What is the grammatical structure and meaning of "there be" in the following sentence. Could it be rephrased more simply?

In view of the above, it is of greatest importance to understand Adlerian group procedures that there be an understanding of the philosophy and the theory of Adlerian Psychology and, having that, understanding group procedures as done by Adlerians will be a relatively simple matter.

Long, S. (Ed.). (2013). Six group therapies. Springer Science & Business Media.


1 Answer 1


This is a subjunctive.

You can rephrase with "there is", with little change in meaning.

(Note the sentence doesn't that "an understanding of Aldarian Psychology" exists now. But it says that It is important that an understanding of Aldarian Psychology should exist. In older styles of English, this means that you are not stating a fact, using the indicative mood "there is" but stating a hope using the subjunctive mood "there be", but in modern English the distinction has largely disappeared)

  • Thank you so much for your helpful answer. What is the relation of the two parts before and after "there be"? I mean between "to understand Adlerian group procedures" (A) and "an understanding of the philosophy and the theory of Adlerian Psychology" (B). For example, the author wants to say that A is equal to B, or A should be done to achieve B, or something else?
    – user52346
    Jul 26, 2021 at 15:41

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