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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Would it be alright if I [present tense/ past tense]?

I heard native speakers use present tense in the following sentence. Would it be alright if I take a rain check?Would it be alright if I call you Annie? But I think the correct grammar is took and ...
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Why is sometimes "he were" used (instead of "he was")? [duplicate]

In school we learned that the past tense of "to be" for "he" is "was". But now I stumbled upon the following phrase on the internet: He wishes he were born rich. Why is ...
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1answer
34 views

Are the following translations of the sentences using "thought" and "think" correct?

I think that usage of the words "think" and "thought" is the most difficult in English grammar. Even though I watched several videos and searched the internet, I am unable to ...
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Even if the sun were to rise in the west, I love you

I came across a sentence in my textbook: If the sun were to rise in the west, I would never tell a lie. And I also found a Japanese webpage that says Even if the sun were to rise in the west, I ...
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the use of "if we are to believe" and "if we were to believe"

Consider the following sentence. This is an exercise from a grammar book, the portion in bold is the answer to a blank. if we are to believe the media hype, the world should have ended several times ...
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2answers
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I am afraid vs I was afraid

After a playdate, would you, Taro's parent, say: I was afraid that Taro might make himself a nuisance to you. Or I am afraid that Taro might have made himself a nuisance to you. What's the ...
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1answer
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The subjunctive mood in indirect speech

"...There was no point in worrying Mrs Dursley, she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn't blame her - if he'd had a sister like that... but all the same, those people in ...
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2answers
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"What would you do if it were possible" Part of Speech

"What would you do if it were possible" Is it appropriate to call this a "second conditional" AND a past subjunctive?
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Suppose that + subjunctive mood

I want to say: consider this hypothetical condition to be true. Suppose that these two numbers are equal. (indicative) Suppose that these two numbers be equal. (subjunctive) Which one is correct?
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Rewriting "He doesn't study hard, so he can fail the examination."

Rewrite the following sentence: He doesn't study hard, so he can fail the examination. If ......... And the answer is: If he studied hard, he wouldn't fail the exam. Can I write the sentence as ...
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1answer
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Would/Do you mind?

After would/do you mind, which of the following is correct (for each 3 of them)? Would you mind if she come/comes +...? Would you mind me to tell/telling +...? Would you mind if I leave/left +...? ...
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1answer
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Always were or were always?

If I always were there, I would see everything. If I were always there, I would see everything. What difference does the position of "always" make for this kind of sentence?
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How to know if sentence containing would/could is not a conditional sentence

Do we always use could would in conditional sentences? 1.I would love to go there. 2.It could rain. 3.That would be Daniel. Are all the above sentences 2nd conditionals? How to distinguish between ...
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1answer
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Insist (that) something should be done

Fowler reads You can insist that something be done (subjunctive with that optionally omitted) or that something should be done. Isn't that also optional in the version with should then?
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1answer
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Who do you think you are that you should...? [closed]

What's the function of "that" in the following sentences? How do you analyze it? Who do you think you are that you should talk to me like that? Who are you that you should talk to me like ...
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1answer
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The use of "was" in a question

So, I'm currently working on something and simply cannot get my head around one specific question. Apart from the fact that I could easily paraphrase the question, I was wondering if the use of "...
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1answer
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Which mood should I use in here?

1a) If he not lose the tomorrow's competition, he will be the champion. 1b) If he win the tomorrow's competition, he will be the champion. 2a) If he does not lose the tomorrow's competition, he will ...
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Proper usage of subjunctive in sentence

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? I would highly recommend the GEMS school to restrict the usage of public transportation for field trips. or I would highly recommend GEMS ...
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1answer
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Question about subjunctives in formal text

I am in the process of writing my dissertation (in maths/physics), and for some reason constructions like these come naturally to me: We impose that the background be symmetric. We also require that ...
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1answer
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Subjunctive mood and conditional

I've seen read a lil bit about subjunctive mood. And the present subjunctive mood works like this: am -> be "I demand that I be available". I often see wishes like that: "I wish, I ...
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1answer
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Is this past subjunctive or is this a grammar error?

The women behaved as if they had realized that they had the courage to fight the men off. Do you always use the past subjunctive in formal writing like here? Is this even the past subjunctive, or can ...
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2answers
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I'd barely said my name before he (have/had) slapped me

Consider the following three sentences: I'd barely said my name before he slapped me. I'd barely said my name before he had slapped me. I'd barely said my name before he have slapped me. Is there ...
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1answer
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Usage of conditional constructions

I'm from India where English is not a native language. Generally here we use constructions like "Should you work hard?" and "Had I done it?" in interrogative sense. But now I find ...
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1answer
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Usage of UNLESS

What's wrong with this sentence? Unless we had reduced the price, no one would have bought it. My teacher said it's wrong and the correct sentence is the following one. If we hadn't reduced the ...
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1answer
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Let's agree on this so that we might/may go home early

MIGHT (used with another phrase or clause to express the condition, purpose, or result of something): Let's agree on this so that (as a result) we might/may go home early https://www.wordreference.com/...
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1answer
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Some Unnatural Instances of Present Subjunctive Uses

As far as I know, the present subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses that follow verbs expressing a desire, a demand, a recommendation, or a resolve. However, I came across the following examples ...
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Tensed verb in Subjunctive Clause

Subjunctive Clause calls for a plain verb form to be used as predicate. It still can be realized via «should» and even with the Tensed Verb (number and person indication). Though in two latter cases, ...
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Agree followed by the subjunctive mood

Is it possible to use subjunctive with AGREE like this? Everybody agreed that the appointment take place the next day. I hear that it's not something usual. But is it really wrong? I hanker to know ...
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1answer
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Difference between these sentences

a. The journalist demanded that the minister resigned. b. The journalist demanded that the minister resign. c. The journalist demanded that the minister should resign. Is there any difference in ...
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If he were to cancel the deal tomorrow, I would be devastated

If they were to cancel the deal tomorrow, I would be devastated. If they canceled the deal tomorrow, I would be devastated. If he were to cancel the deal tomorrow, I would be devastated. If he ...
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'Since' with subjunctive past perfect

Suppose the following statement is true for one person. I have lived in the US since I was five, so I speak English naturally. Another person wishes it were true for him, and says: If I had lived ...
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subjunctive - "there were" or "there was"?

Is it: Naturally, she assumed that once there was a new film everybody would be eager to go and see it. Or: Naturally, she assumed that once there were a new film everybody would be eager to go and ...
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But once we begin Vs But once we began

But once we began to work hard, poverty would vanish. What happens if we use begin instead of begin and will instead of would, means like below: But once we begin to work hard, poverty will vanish. ...
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2answers
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Subjunctive mood usage in Conditionals

India’s concern is that if it takes a decision that irks Generals in Myanmar, China would get closer to the junta and use the opportunity to hurt India’s interests in Myanmar. I studied that would is ...
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"I will shoot you a message, if you ___ available, we can play!"

I will shoot you a message, if you ___ available, we can play! So, what verb should I use here? "were" or "are"?
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1answer
63 views

Why do they use "be" in titles of videos like "something be like"?

A lot of videos on Youtube have a title like "something be like". But why do they use "be" instead of "is" there? Is this a type of the present subjunctive form or ...
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How can I decide if there should be subjunctive mood in an if-clause?

For example, there are two sentences: If she lived in a mill town, the choice was more or less made for her. If she lived in a mill town, the choice would be more or less made for her. What the ...
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1answer
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Sherlock's English (Benedict Cumberbatch): subjunctive in conditional structures

So, if you are a big fan of Sherlock, you have probably watch BBC series ''Sherlock''. I think it is the third chapter in Series 1, the one that starts with Sherlock in Eastern Europe talking to a man ...
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The usage of the verb AGREE with the indicative and subjunctives moods

Is my thinking correct or not? I think “agree” can convey different moods such as the indicative and the subjunctive. The indicative (facts) 1 I agree that the demise of London zoo would be terrible ...
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"I certainly wish he would teach me," or "I certainly wish he taught me," or "I certainly wish he could teach me"

For multiple-choice question: --Tom can take his toy apart and put it back together again. --really? I certainly wish he _____ me. Why is "would teach" the best answer? I am aware of the ...
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1answer
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"It's time that someone looked you in the eyes and told it to you straight."

Could anyone tell me why the verbs "look and tell" are in the past tense in the following sentence: It's time that someone looked you in the eyes and told it to you straight.
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Modal perfect past of "would" and the Subject in the 1st person singular

A pattern: "I would have eaten a patty". How can it be taken in by native speakers? As for me, I have the following ways of reading it: I wanted to eat a patty (but I didn't really); I ate ...
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3answers
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I wish I met/ I had met/ I could meet her

I'm having some trouble with this sentence, it would be kind enough if someone could help me... Let, I never met my mother-in-law coz she had died long before we got married, in this case what should ...
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Use of the subjunctive in context

Twelve steeds unmatch’d in fleetness and in force, And still victorious in the dusty course; (Rich were the man whose ample stores exceed The prizes purchased by their winged speed;) Extract from ...
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"I'd rather she were..." or "I'd rather she be..."?

In the 21st episode of the 8th episode of The Office Ryan said the following. Ryan: Maybe we weren’t right together, but… it’s weird. I’d rather she be alone than with somebody. Is that love? I'd ...
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Use and meaning of WOULD

Could you please explain me what is the use and the meaning of WOULD in this sentence? “It’s very odd that he WOULD HAVE BEHAVED rudely to you”. Thank you! Francesca
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Further questions: Even if with subjunctive mood or indicative mood

My main question is; Even if can be used with subjunctive mood or something like indicative mood. Actually I do know Even if used with subjunctive mood. But my main point is latter one. ===============...
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If you came earlier, I could go there. (Past vs Subjunctive mood)

If you came earlier, I could go there. The sentence could be interpreted below. You didn't come earlier and I could not go there (past) It looks like you are not going to come earlier but if you ...
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1answer
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for us to condone such actions

a. It will damage our country's reputation for us to condone such actions. b. For us to condone such actions will damage our country's reputation. ======================= c. It will damage our country'...
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Would've --- And Question

I have a question about these sentences. I would like to know which one is correct. A) I would have stayed at home and do nothing. I would have stayed at home and did nothing. I would have stayed at ...

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