We use the present subjunctive (the infinitive without to) in a few fixed phrases and in formal and impersonal language.

1. Present subjunctive in fixed phrases

Far be it from me... = I shouldn't criticise, but I'm going to

Be that as it may... = In spite of what you have just mentioned, however...

Suffice it to say... = That's enough to explain...

So be it. = I accept the outcome, although I don't like it.

I want to travel by train, and if it takes longer, so be it.

No matter what... = whatever happens/should happen

I'm going to climb Mount Everest, no matter what. (Nothing will stop me)

Come what may = whatever should happen to prevent it

I'll get to the top of the mountain, come what may.

2. Present subjunctive in formal and impersonal language

We use the present subjunctive after:

  • reporting verbs (insist, suggest, recommend, propose, request, order etc)
  • adjectives and nouns, usually expressing the idea that something is urgent, important or desirable. For Mike, it's essential that he apply for a visa before travelling to Russia. My recommendation/advice is that a traveller (should) leave his mobile phone behind.

3. We can also use the present subjunctive after if, whether, whatever.

If Eve (should) find herself in a familiar place, she tries to see it with new eyes.

Whether she revisit a place or a person, she recognises an old friend.

Whatever your situation may be, I think you should enjoy travelling.