He will look at the city which is within him, and take heed that no disorder occur in it, such as might arise either from superfluity or from want; and upon this principle he will regulate his property and gain or spend according to his means. The Republic by Plato

I know that "should" is omitted here, but "take heed" doesn't sound similar to verbs often cited in the grammar section in question, such as "demand," "suggest," "order," etc.

What's going on here?

  • Language changes over time. Plato wrote a long time ago so you have to consider the style of language in use when the translation was done. – AdrianHHH Nov 8 '15 at 12:19
  • "take heed that" ~ "be mindful [of the need to ensure] that... – Brian Hitchcock Nov 8 '15 at 12:36
  • 2
    Plato did write a long time ago, but he didn't write in English. What might be relevant is how long ago the translator wrote! – Colin Fine Mar 7 '16 at 16:42

It's a case of an infinitive used to represent subjunctive mood in the sense of desire or wish. Similar examples

I suggest that he study.
Is it essential that we be there?
Don recommended that you join the committee.

Another possible way to express subjunctive mood is with help of "would", and that is what you think of, probably:

He will look at the city which is within him, and take heed that no disorder would occur in it, such as...

Both forms exist in the language. I suggest you learn them, recognize them, even use them without dismissing either of them (here 'learn', 'recognize', 'use' are all in subjunctive mood).

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I am a native English speaker and I don't think "take heed" is what is causing the subjunctive herein; it's the "that" itself. In older forms of English (Victorian/Shakespearean/Jacobean English), "that" was sometimes used to mean "so that". In Modern English, we still use a subjunctive form in formal English after "so that" in some instances. In the case above, it is saying "He will...take heed so that no disorder occur", which means the same thing as, "He will take heed in order that no disorder occur." That's pretty much it.

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