Questions tagged [subjunctives]

A traditional term for the use of finite verbs uninflected for number or person with commands, wishes, suggestions, and hypothetical or counterfactual propositions. The 'present subjunctive' is the plain/infinitive form of the verb; the 'past subjunctive' is the general past form of the verb.

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Is 'there was life beyond Earth' a subjunctive clause?

People have always wondered if there was life beyond Earth. Technology caught up with their curiosity in 1957 with the Soviet Union's launch of the space satellite Sputnik 1. Then in 1958, the ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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What's the difference to use past simple and past perfect tense when we use subjunctive mood in the past tense?

I'm reading Harry Potter. I found a difference in chapter 6 between the American version and the British version British Version: Half terrified, half furious, they acted as though any chair with ...
Jesse's user avatar
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The omission of 'should' in the present subjunctive clauses or other clauses

For example, 1. Lee urged that Mara Bianchi (should) be promoted to export manager. (command) 2. Alice recommended that a sales representative (should) be sent to South Africa. (advice) 3. Alice ...
Omen's user avatar
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"…to the end that a blessed status be attained in the future world…" — If we replaced "be" with "will be", would the sentence meaning remain the same?

As far as I understand, after "to the end that", we can use both the subjunctive and indicative. Is it true? an example from a book: As teachers of this law, and as ministers of its ...
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Can "find that" be followed by a subjunctive clause, i.e. bare form of verb is used instead of inflectional form

I saw the following sentence in a book that I'm reading: We will therefore find it imperative that the real number system which we're in the process of constructing also exhibit these qualities. It ...
Tran Khanh's user avatar
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The use of subjunctive in prayer

We pray God give you health. We pray God gives you health. We pray God shall give you health. We pray God may give you health. Is the 1st one (the subjunctive) ok? Do we necessarily place a modal ...
xeesid's user avatar
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Subjunctive mood / Unreal grammar "If I were" with "when"

Which of the two sentences is grammatically more correct/consistent?("drink" or "drank")? 1. "If I were in Paris, I would be sitting at a cozy café, enjoying the beautiful ...
Yellow Rubber Gloves's user avatar
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What a shame they couldn’t/can't come

What a shame they couldn’t come. What a shame they can’t come. Is there any difference between them? The only difference is couldn't(past) vs. can't(present). In other words, 'couldn't' means past ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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Why does Obi-Wan use 'were' in "He wanted you to have it when you were old enough"?

It's a phrase in Star Wars by Obi-Wan Kenobi: "He wanted you to have it when you were old enough." Why did he use the word "were" instead of "will be"? (Regardless of the ...
JustOneMan's user avatar
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Subjunctive or second conditional?

A person I know was asked this question on a test. I believe the operative word in this sentence is "immediately", which I believe makes this sentence a wish and therefore subjunctive, but ...
Rich 's user avatar
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be surprised that someone should/should have done something

1 I am surprised that he should say that yesterday. 2 I am surprised that he should have said that yesterday. I think that they mean almost the same but they are not identical. What's the difference?
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would have gone (subjunctive "would have pp" vs. past occasional habit)

By the time he reached the house, she would have gone inside to get his bowl of milk ready for him. I think this 'would' here means 'past habit' rather than meaning the 'reversed speculation about ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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Why doesn’t “make believe” take the subjunctive mood?

Thanks to this question I got to know this site, but after three years have passed, I still have a tough time understanding! Why doesn’t “make believe” take the subjunctive mood? https://youtu.be/...
beancurdog's user avatar
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What tense to use when a subjunctive mood sentence has nested clauses

Consider the following sentence: If I knew what the problem ___, I would be able to help you better. Should the verb be "is" or "was"?
Long Horn's user avatar
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Why would a native speaker use "Could" while asking a question about a situation which she saw already completed?

A famous singer is being interviewed while shooting one of her music videos. In one scene, she actually jumps in a glass pool, which is supposed to be an aquarium in the video. Taylor's interview (see:...
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"Was/were" and "would be/would have been"

If this ... (was/were) the case, the movie ... (would be/would have been) much better. The context is that I am sending my friend a video of a movie trailer (not released yet), and it has some funny ...
what's user avatar
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Past perfect subjunctive

If used to express presumption in past time, shouldn't if you had be if you had had? That is, if expressing unreal past situations, the sentence should have the structure 'if S + had p.p. ~, S + would ...
Lifeispicnic's user avatar
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"if I had known it WERE you, I might not have attended your phone." OR "if I had known it WAS you, I might not have attended your phone"

Can somebody tell me which one is correct because I think the "was" one is right because here, in the sentence, there is no hypothetical situation or something related to subjunctive mood ...
Shine's user avatar
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"so be it" vs "be it so"

so be it - thefreedictionary.com: (1a) If you really want to throw your career away because of some idealistic principle, so be it. (2a) Mary has decided that this is what she wants. So be it. be it ...
Loviii's user avatar
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"desire that" + subjunctive?

If I want Leonard to eat a banana, is this a desire that Leonard eat a banana or a desire that Leonard eats a banana? How about a desire that my best friend like me / my best friend likes me? Would ...
amadeu's user avatar
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If...were to, would/Present Simple Tense? [duplicate]

If her dream of being naked in front of Simon were to come true – and she knew, somehow, that it would – she needed to be the sveltest version of herself that had ever existed. Fries wouldn't help ...
MickeyQ's user avatar
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Complex Object vs Subjunctive with wish

We wish you did more good things daily. We wish you to do more good things daily. Is there any difference in meaning? When should we use each one if we have difference?
alex safsafsd's user avatar
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"If the earth exploded tomorrow" or "If the earth were to explode tomorrow" or "If the earth would explode tomorrow"?

I basically understand the subjunctive mood. You use the past tense when you refer to something that is not true in the present. But which one of the three below would you choose when you refer to ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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2 votes
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Subjunctive structure with advise

I know that after subjunctive we should use simple form of the verb, so I was wandering which one of the following sentences is better to use? (1) Although Morecambe seems to be very attractive, a new ...
Tabadom2000's user avatar
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Subjunctive mood and the usage of otherwise

For example, as the essay suggests,the convenience and efficiency of intelligent machines can actually free up human time and energy to focus on creative pursuits and higher-level thinking. This can ...
庄怀玉's user avatar
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The subjunctive with should

Could anyone explain to me why we add should subjunctive phrases, is it for more formality? I didn't grasp its role. 1 - They recommend that she should go to a ski resort in Spain. And is it right to ...
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
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"It is important that he studies every day." or "It is important that he study every day"

I learnt that some words such as important requires the subjunctive. Therefore, "He studies every day." becomes "he study every day" after "important", which results in &...
kuwabara's user avatar
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“I hope for it to have helped you”?

I see they use “I hope (that) it has helped you”, but I can’t understand the use of the indicative mood above the subjunctive mood there. Any explanation whatsoever? Can I use the structure stated in/...
Ley Didi's user avatar
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Is "be" the subjunctive in "the intention that every day be a great adventure"?

I am watching a talk show. The link of the talk:https://www.ted.com/talks/bevy_smith_how_to_discover_your_authentic_self_at_any_age/comments/transcript Below is the transcript of that talk: Lolly’s ...
LE HANH's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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Is it grammatically correct to use "want" in a subjunctive sentence?

I know the basic rules of the subjunctive mood. You use the past tense in the if-clause and use "would" in the main clause. I would buy a big house if I had a million dollars. How about &...
kuwabara's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
955 views

Two questions about the 4th verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner"

4th verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner": O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war’s desolation. Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued ...
Zhang Jian's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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counterfactual "didn’t happen" vs. "hadn't happened"

In the following sentences, should "didn’t happen" or "hadn't happened" be used? Sales have gone down, and obviously we’d prefer it if that didn’t happen / hadn't happened. Sales ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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Using subjunctive following it is intended that

As far as I know, there are some specific verbs, nouns, and adjectives that subjunctive can only be used with. Wanted to know is this a fix rule, that is, really isn't it possible to use other things ...
Erfan Brv's user avatar
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1 answer
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I suggest that he can

Can we use modal verbs in subjunctive mood? I haven't been able to find any information about any modal verbs but the fact that should can be used. I suggest that he can swim, as unless you're able ...
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2 answers
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Can we use the simple present or simple past when talking about impossible or hypothetical situations?

Example 1 He talks with old-fashioned words like a guy who travels in time a lot. In reality, it is impossible to travel in time, and we all know that. Therefore, I am wondering whether I can use &...
vincentlin's user avatar
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"It is necessary <that he sell the house> <for him to sell the house>."

usefulenglish.ru: (1) It is necessary that he sell the house. (2) It is necessary for him to sell the house. Do (1) and (2) mean the same? If not, then what's the difference between them? If they do, ...
Loviii's user avatar
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The past subjunctive form of be is consistently were, even when was would otherwise be the form

Merriam-Webster says The Subjunctive Mood with "Be" and "Were" “The subjunctive is most noticeable with the common but grammatically complicated verb be. In the present ...
Maurice's user avatar
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"if S were to do" vs "if S did"

I learnt that you use "were to do" when you use the subjunctive mood to express the future. ex) What would you do if the world were to come to an end tomorrow? Does that mean the following ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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"I wondered what it was" or "I wondered what it were"

It's a question about the subjunctive mood. Let's say you found out the name of a new object. Which construction would be grammatically correct/more frequently spoken? "I wondered what it was&...
hellofriends's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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Do you use the past tense in a subordinate clause in past subjunctive?

I wish I had a robot which helps me do my homework. I wish I had a robot which helped me do my homework. Which sentence makes more sense? Does the tense in the subordinate clause need to agree with ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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Why is "would" missing in a subjunctive sentence?

Two years later the opportunity came for him to take a distinctly American look at the Old World. In New York City the steamship Quaker City prepared to sail on a pleasure cruise to Europe and the ...
wonderfulwonder's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the difference between "be they" and "whether they are"?

As time has gone by, we have found and accepted that dealing with problems, be they new or old ones, is always going to be a big part of our lives. What is the difference between "be they" ...
onose shaibu's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
578 views

"I could have been on time if..." Why not normal past tense here?

I learned that I should use have + p.p. in the sentence below. The game starts in 5 minutes. If I had taken that train, I could have been on time. And I think there can be sentences like this: I am ...
Nigutumok's user avatar
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as if usage - whether it's "statement as if" or "subjuctive as if," it does not matter?

According to my understanding there are two different types of usages in terms of "as if"/"as though". One is subjuctive mood and the other just functions like a normal statement. ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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Is it possible to use the Past Simple Tense in the that-clause after the word 'suggest'?

I have stumbled across the following sentence in a book: 'She suggested that I trained as a teacher.' As far as I know, after the word 'suggest' we have to use either the subjunctive or 'should + ...
Ольга Бракина's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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What's the meaning of "It would have been a beautiful life."

This is an image from Yu Yu Hakusho. He says "it would have been a beautiful life." Does that mean his life was actually bad and that he is regretting his past?
kuwabara's user avatar
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Use of be with is/am/are/was/were [closed]

It is necessary that all documents, in original, ______ Submitted. (a) Are (b) Be (c) To Be (d) Are To be My Text book prefers (b) Be
Internet Knowledge 's user avatar
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sentence construction and verb form for: convenient for you that I do something

Are any of the following correct?: 1.- Let me know when it's more convenient for you me going to your office. 2.- Let me know when it's more convenient me going to your office for you. 3.- Let me know ...
Dog_69's user avatar
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A question about a sentence using a past tense

I tried to write a sentence like the following. I have thought that I were similar to the older man after seeing him. I wonder if it is grammatically correct and idiomatic, or conveys a subjunctive ...
bak1936's user avatar
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If joe is out of town, he hasn't heard the news

The Little, Brown Handbook 9th ed section 14i has Not all clauses beginning with 'if' express conditions contrary to fact. In the sentence "If Joe is out of town, he hasn't heard the news," ...
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