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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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Why does "They be naked" use the base form of "be"?

source: "Zootopia" 00:38:22 / 01:48:32 transcript: https://zootopia.fandom.com/wiki/Zootopia/Transcript Judy Hopps: Oh thank you so much, I'd appreciate that more than you can imagine, it'd ...
Zhang Jian's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
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subjunctive - present tense - after taste (verb)

There is a new patty on the market. Its main ingredient is insects. Producers say that it taste like peanuts. A typical correction here might be: "it tastes like" (it = the patty). ... say ...
Nederlanditis Nederlanditis's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
35 views

I wish Monica pass this exam…

Thank you all who have helped me with my first question. Today I have one more which has sparked a heated discussion among my colleagues. How to say the following correctly? Imagine a situation. ...
Avid learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

David thinks if he can/could grow taller, he will/would attract more attention from others. - what is the difference?

Example 1 John: My friend David thinks [if he can grow taller, he will attract more attention from others.] However, I don't think he can grow taller anymore because he is a grown adult. Does this ...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does subjunctive mood reflects the speaker's estimate of the likelihood?

Example 1 John:She thinks if it rained on her birthday next week, she would not go out and celebrate her birthday at an open air restaurant. However, I think it is actually very likely to rain on her ...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
79 views

That darn verb to be!

I teach conversational English in Thailand and have a student who took a practice TOEIC test. The question below was on the test. Can someone here explain to me why “be” is the correct answer and not “...
troysantos's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

What’s the mood of “wish” in I wish sentences?

So, I have a task to identify the mood of bold verbs. As I understand “wish” in such sentences isn’t included in the Subjunctive mood? Pls help if I’m wrong I wish you would pay attention. (wish – ...
natbv22's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

It would be just as well if you paid me now

It would be just as well if you paid me now. VS. It would be just as well if you pay me now. What's the difference between the two sentences in terms of either 'meaning' or 'grammar'? And if you ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
85 views

I wish I were taller. VS. I wish I was taller

I wish I were taller. VS. I wish I was taller. What's the difference between them?
gomadeng's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
46 views

he's still treating it as if you [did]/[dad done] it yesterday

A year ago, a girl told her new boyfriend about her past experience with her ex. For some reason, what he heard hurt his feelings. She has apologized to him countless times, but he still can't get ...
prof1589's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Imperative, subjunctive or inversion (far be it from me)?

I ran into a phrase recently (the context, use the cc button for subtitles): Far be it from me to make moral judgements. The way it sounded was: It's far from me to make moral judgements. I'm in no ...
x-yuri's user avatar
  • 511
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
138 views

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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0 votes
0 answers
31 views

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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0 votes
0 answers
34 views

"…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 ...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
37 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

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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0 votes
1 answer
57 views

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
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

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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9 votes
4 answers
7k views

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
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

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
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

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?
user1425's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
49 views

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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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
62 views

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
2 votes
1 answer
262 views

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:...
Yunus's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
32 views

"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
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

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
2 votes
2 answers
65 views

"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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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

"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
  • 4,963
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

"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
  • 11
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
45 views

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
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

"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
  • 1,488
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

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
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

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
  • 159
0 votes
1 answer
329 views

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
0 votes
3 answers
533 views

"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
  • 1,488
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

“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
2 votes
1 answer
27 views

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 ...
LE123's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
2k views

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
  • 1,488
3 votes
2 answers
964 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
1k views

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
  • 5,986
0 votes
2 answers
113 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
33 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
40 views

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 &...
VinceL's user avatar
  • 2,313
0 votes
1 answer
18 views

"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
  • 4,963
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

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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0 votes
0 answers
64 views

"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
  • 1,488
0 votes
0 answers
208 views

"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

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