The street native may be a vendor, from whom the street participant purchase.

Is the second clause correct? I mean for the "street participant," just as the "street native," to be understood as a generalized, broad role.
I care for grammar. I care not that it sound correct.


You are correct to have concerns about the sentence. If the subjunctive were more easily defined, this would be an easy thing to answer. Stack Exchange recommends that each of us try to be helpful to others. If I were more recently out of school, I'd be better at this.

I recommend that you have something that could be purchased as an object in your subordinate clause. Maybe if you saw more examples of the subjunctive, you would write a correct subjunctive sentence. Adding a modal verb to the second clause would make it more clearly hypothetical. I may be too tired, that my attempt might fail. This post may be too obtuse, that it be all for naught.

Speaking plainly, the subjunctive tends to be difficult to spot, but even more so if there's other grammar mistakes. In this case, you're lacking an object for the second clause. I think that would be enough to technically fix it, but somehow may feels like it only weakly indicates the hypothetical nature of the sentence... I think it's that it's indicating the role of the street native is hypothetical, but there's nothing that clearly indicates the second clause is hypothetical apart from the tense of the verb, and people getting verb tenses wrong is common - possibly especially in this stack exchange.

  • Thank you Ed Grimm. You have clarified the issue. One note: your second sentence requires the subjunctive; namely, that "were" replace "was" — "If the subjunctive were more easily defined, this would be..." Your examples of certain subjunctive use are great. Thank you. – Till W. Feb 24 at 16:30
  • @TillW. Thanks for catching that. I said I might be too tired. :/ – Ed Grimm Feb 24 at 18:27

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