In a sentence like the one below, is it okay to use the subjunctive form as is:

It is expected that I comfort the bereaved families, show up in their difficult times.

Is this grammatically okay? Or should it be revised to this:

It is expected that I should comfort the bereaved families...

  • 2
    expected that I comfort...expected that I should comfort.... both are grammatical. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 18 '17 at 22:27
  • 1
    Both are fine. Using "should" feels a little more formal (or at least polite) – Andrew May 18 '17 at 23:25

The subjunctive clause

It is expected that I comfort the bereaved families

correctly uses the subjunctive form of "to comfort". Adding "should" is redundant ("should" is already implied by "it is expected"). It's too verbose and a bit awkward.

Side note: the trailing clause could be stated better. For example,

It is expected that I comfort the bereaved families, that I be present during this trying time.

Notice that the second clause (after the comma) uses the subjunctive again ("be") since the two "that I..." phrases are interchangeable. The second "that I" is optional but (in my opinion) preferred.

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