Here is a normal sentence from a dictionary.

It is too early to conclude (jump to the conclusion) that he is the criminal.

But I would like to know if it is also okay to say like below.

It is too early to conclude (jump to the conclusion) that he be the criminal.

There is a small difference in the shapes of 'Be' verbs.

  • In different tenses and with different subjects we need to use different forms of to be verb. Present forms ---> am, is, are; past forms ---> was,were; perfect form ---> been. "Be" form is the base form and we are allowed to use where ever we need the base form, like after models.
    – user33000
    May 28 '16 at 18:07
  • Here you cannot use the base form. So you should Use "is" and not "be".
    – user33000
    May 28 '16 at 18:08
  • @Avicenna Thank you for the kind explanation, Avicenna. Sorry that my reply is too late. Aug 19 '16 at 17:06
  • You're welcome. LawrenceC's answer points out the reason. I like to mention that subjunctive is mainly used in formal language to express a wish or necessity, and it's more common in American English. You can find more info about subjunctives here.
    – user33000
    Aug 19 '16 at 18:10
  • @Avicenna Thank you very much. I will dig in it. Appreciate the link. Aug 19 '16 at 20:30

You are using be subjunctively in the second sentence.

Subjunctive expresses statements about "one's state of mind" or something "contrary to fact." (definitions from Wikipedia article on "English Subjunctive".)

However, you are not expressing a state of mind or something contrary to a known fact. You are saying something has not happened yet. So the subjunctive should not be used. (For something to be "contrary to fact" the fact in question must have happened. For something to be a "state of mind" it must be related to a wish, intention, dream, request, or similar. At the very least connected to a person, which is not happening when you say "It is too early to conclude ...")

  • Thank you for the delicate answer, LawrenceC. If the verb were "suggest", not "conclude", then is it okay to use "be" there? If it is yes, is it a must to be "be"? If you also answer this, I would be so much grateful to you. Aug 20 '16 at 9:48

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