2

The present progressive can be used to insist that people do things or do not do things —Swan, Practical English Usage, 214-3, p.190

I'm in a big trouble with understanding what the that-clause of above example means. What does it really mean?

I guess it expresses,

  1. To insist that people should do things or should not do things. OR
  2. To insist what people do or what people don't do.

Which is correct?

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    @Whelt The complete sentence is "The present progressive can be used to insist that ......." – Kevin D Mar 19 '15 at 17:51
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    It would definitely help to see the rest of the sentence and the context. As things stand, you're right, it's ambiguous. [And you've made me think of one reason perhaps why the subjunctive hasn't dies completely in English] – Araucaria Mar 19 '15 at 17:52
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    @Araucaria M.swan's PEU - Page 190. – Kevin D Mar 19 '15 at 17:56
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    @Araucaria See this image – Kevin D Mar 19 '15 at 18:29
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because without context, either of OP's suggested meanings could apply - and that context hasn't been supplied. – FumbleFingers Mar 19 '15 at 21:10
2

It means the present progressive can be used to either:

  • insist that X does Y, or
  • insist that X does NOT Y (it's implying you would use the word not with this or a verb that means to not do something, like stop or give up)

You are going there tomorrow. (If I said this to you, I am insisting you go there tomorrow.)

You are not going there tomorrow. (If I said this to you, I am insisting you not go there tomorrow.)

1

Yes, #1 is correct. I'm not even sure what you mean by #2.

It seems you might be having trouble with parsing "that"; I see you bolded it along with "people" as if it were "that people" (like "these people" or "those people") rather than not bolding it, since it belongs with "insist that".

No way would I substitute "what" for "that" in this case.

That said.... ultrasawblade's answer is good too. I hope between the two of we helped you to sort it out.

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