Can you please tell me which one is correct?

I need a list in which all the variations are shown.

I need a list in which all the variations be shown.

I sometimes see that "be" is used to have a passive structure however I cannot understand when to use this form.

  • 1
    It is important that all variations be shown on the list. Are you thinking of this kind of form? We also use be in some future forms: will be shown. Or with some modals: should be, might be. Feb 5, 2015 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


You problem is not with passive vs. active, but singular vs. plural:

All variations (=plural) are shown. but:
One variation (=singular) is shown.

You use "be" to form the passive infinitive form:

to show (active) but:
to be shown (passive).

Or, as examples:

I beg you to show me your work. but:
I asked for your work to be shown.

  • @S Oguz might also have noticed be in the subjunctive case, in both active and passive constructions. See, for example, this. (It has some good examples but gives only an incomplete or partially correct explanation of the use of the subjunctive.) Feel free to copy or adapt any of this into your answer if you want. Feb 6, 2015 at 3:48
  • 1
    Note that the subjunctive is not a case.
    – user230
    Feb 6, 2015 at 8:06
  • 1
    @JimReynolds this is absolutely what I was looking for. for example; "We suggested that you be admitted to the organization." Can I say "We suggested that you are being admitted to the organization". ???
    – discoversf
    Feb 6, 2015 at 14:57
  • Ah, snailboat is right. The subjunctive is a mood, not a case. Well, it is possible to say "We suggested that you are being admitted to the organization." But the meaning changes to: at one point in the past, we told someone that we believed you are being admitted. Feb 6, 2015 at 15:15

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