English has a choice between modal verb should and a subjunctive in subordinate clauses following mandative expressions such as recommend, request or require. Previous research found that the subjunctive has seen a revival in the twentieth-century in a change led by American English with British English and settler varieties lagging behind. Studies of the subjunctive in second-language varieties of English (ESL) are scarce, and typically look at only one ESL variety, comparing its text frequency with that observed in first language varieties. Previous research also looked at the distribution of subjunctives across spoken and written registers, their co-occurrence with active and passive voice, and/or with individual triggers, but these factors have not yet been studied as predictor variables for the choice between a subjunctive and a modal construction. On the basis of the International Corpus of English, this paper investigates the choice between mandative subjunctives and modal periphrastic constructions with should across a broad range of World Englishes with a view to modelling the relative strength of external predictor variables such as ‘variety’ and ‘medium/register’ as well as internal factors like ‘lexical trigger’ and ‘verb’. It uses evidence from the Global Web-based English corpus for a follow-up study on the importance of ‘lexical trigger’ on a subset of the varieties, since ICE corpora are two small to provide robust evidence on this. The findings do not lend themselves to straightforward interpretation within an individual model of World Englishes.