I would like to ask as to the difference between the sentences below in terms of formality; AmE or BrE; and meaning, if any. As far as I know the sentences are in subjunctive form and both are correct.

All I want/ask is that everyone is kind.

All I want/ask is that everyday be kind.

Besides that, although I wrote my sentences using the word "want", I could not find any results written in this way in Google search. I mean there is no record on Google as a sentence

All I want is that everybody is *

Why is it wrong?

1 Answer 1


This is an example of the bare infinitive (without "to"). The infinitive form is "to be" rather than "to is", so the bare infinitive is "be". We can slightly reword the sentence to see how one might make this request using the non-bare infinitive.

All I want is for everybody to be kind.

  • 1
    That analysis is plausible, but it is not how these are usually treated: as Mrt says, the "be" (etc) is usually treated as a subjunctive, a form which is obsolescent in English, and always the same as the bare infinitive. Either way, it is a different structure from your example with "to be": consider "I want him to be kind" vs "I want that he be kind".
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 16, 2018 at 17:55

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