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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Can the subjunctive mood lack “would”?

In all the examples I've seen, the subjunctive mood has "would." Examples: If I were rich, I would buy you a car. What about these examples? What if I was/were an astronaut? (I'm not actually ...
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“wouldn't have done” vs “couldn't have done” + if not vs unless

I have run across a MCQ for which I chose the wrong answer. It's from a Chinese Entrance Exam grammar problem set. Here is the question: I couldn't have got to the meeting on time ______ an earlier ...
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24 views

Using the subjunctive in if clause

When using the subjunctive in if clause, do we describe a hypothetical situation in the past or in the present?
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20 views

Personal subject and subjunctive vs impersonal subject and infinitive

Is there any difference between using an personal subject with subjunctive mood (1st and 2nd examples below) and using an impersonal subject with infinitive (3rd example below)? Example: We ask that ...
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52 views

past subjunctive after the verb “to want”

I read the following sentence: I wanted my daughter to make her bed. If I wish to use the subjunctive mood instead of the (more usual) infinitive form, would it be "I wanted that my daughter made ...
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44 views

Sentense-structure: Meaning of “Had I been”

I've seen this structure on a Quora post Had I been a Muslim man, I would've been able to have sex plenty, and society wouldn't know at all because I would've had no hymen, but as a Muslim woman, ...
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27 views

Negative with subjunctive in that clause

I was wondering, why exactly is it correct to use "not" without a helping word instead of "do not" with the subjunctive in the negative after the "that" clause, after words like "suggest" or "...
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32 views

Subjunctive mood in the dependent clause

I am wondering whether I should use subjunctive mood in the dependent clause in the following example. Is there a rule for sentences like this? Or they just have different meanings? Example: There ...
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He has come to see if I was/were ok - indicative or subjunctive?

I know that the subjunctive is used in formal English in some imaginary situations, such as conditions, wishes (after "to wish", but strangely not after "to hope"), assumptions (eg after "to suppose"),...
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113 views

“demands that he abandon” vs. “demands that he abandons”

On a site about movies, I read the following: While Nader defaults to self-righteousness after his wife demands that he abandon his Alzheimer’s-ridden father, Maadi shades the character’s ...
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Take heed ere it BE / IS too late

Can generalised form of is that is be be used everywhere? Are the following two sentences different? Take heed ere it be too late. Take heed ere it is too late.
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43 views

Would be ,Will be

It would be very helpful to me for my presentation tomorrow. or It will be very helpful to me for my presentation tomorrow. Which one is grammatically correct? Which is most suitable ? Please ...
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27 views

They wish it was/were June

AFAIK, the subjunctive should be used in the sentence "They wish it were June", but I have seen "They wish it was June" in this blog: https://blog.abaenglish.com/intermediate-grammar-how-to-use-wish/ ....
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It’s necessary that I not be lazy?

It’s necessary that I not be lazy? Is this sentence correct? Because it sounds odd - but due to the structure of subjunctive: It’s important /(un)necessary /essential + that + Subject + (should) + ...
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40 views

Why is it “had to” in “she had to get a new hip”?

I saw this in a TV series (Modern Family), and I really can't understand why it's "had to" here, subjunctive maybe? so here's the context: Wife: I usually wear nothing when I'm in a hot tub. ...
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24 views

A question regarding subjunctive mood

I'm not sure whether the following sentences are correct: 1) I wonder what will happen if we are late. 2) I wonder what the teacher will do if I forget my homework. Would them be better to be ...
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For a desired action in the end of the current period of time, should I use “would be” or “would have been”?

When talking about some desired action that did not transpire toward the end of the period of time, which is coming to a close during the moment of speaking, should I use "would be" or "would have ...
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30 views

Subjunctive clause

I have seen myself being at the lowest. I have seen myself at the lowest. Which one is correct? Is first one(being at the lowest) a subjunctive clause case?
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29 views

Is “You say that” a present subjunctive expression?

For example "Look, I've got to get going. I'm due in a meeting in about twenty minutes. We'll talk tonight." -"You say that, but we won't. We won't talk. We don't know how to talk anymore." ...
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If I had a daughter who (is/were/was) cute, I would be very happy

If I had a daughter who (is/were/was) cute, I would be very happy. (Written to mean that I have never had a cute daughter, so I would be very happy if I could have one) I think "were" or "was" is ...
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tense usages in relative clauses in an imaginary discussion

If I were A, I would become a person who __ as successful as B. Let's say B is really a successful person. Should I fill in the blank with is or were?
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23 views

I insisted that he {don’t/doesn’t/not) look out of the window

I insisted that he doesn’t look out of the window. I insisted that he don’t look out of the window. I insisted that he not look out of the window. Which is correct?
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Why it is “be” here?

The original sentence: The administration of a strong sleeping draught to the condemned man every night from which one night he does hot awake, seems a more civilized alternative to our present ...
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conditional vs subjunctive: “it would mean they (were / would be)”

I have a hard time convincing someone that the correct verb to use in the following sentence is the conditional "would be" rather than the subjunctive "were": One interviewee expressed hope that ...
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What is the meaning of ‘It really is time that you had that fence repaired.’?

Why not say: It really is time that you have that fence repaired? What is the difference between ‘had that fence repaired’ and ‘have that fence repaired’?
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Whether to use second or third conditional sentence

I have read about conditional sentences over here, now I have to form a conditional sentence but I am not sure whether it should be in second or third conditional sentence. Do either of the following ...
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If ai ever wanted to travel to M87, all I'd need was/would be

When talking about hypothetical scenario such as this: If I ever wanted to travel to galaxy M87, all I'd need would be/was/is a time machine. Which one is the best option among would be/was/is here? ...
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Difference between 'should do this' & 'should have to do this'

I am confused between You should do this and You should have to do this Can anyone explain difference between these sentences.
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19 views

guess or subjunctive mood?

In this quotation: Theseus was a great hero to the people of Athens. When he returned home after a war, the ship that had carried him and his men was so treasured that the townspeople preserved it ...
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949 views

Which is the correct word to use: “I'll rather” or “I'd rather”?

I want to write a sentence to a friend indicating that instead of looking at the one thing, it's better to look at something else. Do I say, "I'd rather" or I'll rather" look?
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Should I use subjunctive mood when I'm writing a document?

the subjunctive mood is used to explore conditional or imaginary situations. I want to write, When it is processing task-A, it would frequently use the XXX resource. It seems like an ...
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27 views

Be glory to God or vice versa

In the phrase 'Glory be to God' the use of 'be' is in place of 'is' or is it a subjunctive? In full it is: Glory should be to God. OR Glory is to God. If it is 'is' then what if we place 'be' ...
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22 views

Difference between 'should have a place to live' & 'should need a place to live'

I am confused between I should have a place to live and I should need a place to live Can anyone explain difference between these sentences.
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24 views

Subjunctive 'were' in concrete sentence

I need help. Can I use 'were' here. The condition the speaker has is not an illness. If it wasn't for the spiritual practice that initiated it I would be convinced that it were(?) a serious ...
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961 views

“What do you have me do?” or “What do you have me TO do?”

"What do you have me do?" or perhaps "What do you have me to do?" Which one is correct and could you please anyone tell me the meaning of the phrase? Thanks
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124 views

What does “you should mention that” on this context?

I am watching and learning the Thor’s Ragnarok movie and in the beginning of the movie Thor: I thought my father killed you, half a million years ago? Surtur: I cannot die, not until I fulfil ...
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Why “had” in “[something] we would have made had we used [something]”?

In https://peerj.com/preprints/3190.pdf section 4.3 SHFs simulate the errors we would have made had we used this forecasting method at those points in the past. The meaning I could understand is ...
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Sense of the second “were” in this line of When I Survey

I was listening to this the other day and was wondering if this was grammatically correct. Were the whole realm of nature mine... I'm OK with this one; the realm isn't mine and likely never will ...
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189 views

Should I use “was” or “were” in “as though he was frightened”?

I have seen a sentence and there was: He acted strangely, as though he was frightened. Is "was" right for this sentence? Or must there be "WERE".
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34 views

Can you emphasize the present subjunctive with “do”?

The present subjunctive is seen in this example taken from the NYT: The country demanded that Boeing pay a $1 billion penalty for the manufacturing delays in India’s 27-plane order. The verb 'pay'...
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280 views

I could take her

From Child Protective Service (David): I take it Bill told you about Callie? Lena: Yes David: Yes, well, it seems that she has been having a few issues with male authority figures, of ...
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41 views

What's the grammar's rule right down or can it just be a writer's misprint?

The air grew denser and what little light the sliver of moon above provided, diminished as though IT WERE BEING sucked deep into the ground with no escape. What's the grammar's rule right down or can ...
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171 views

Usage of “Should” With Subjunctive or Without Subjunctive

What is meaning of "should" in these sentences? What are differences from other usages of "should"? It's funny that you should say that. I was going to say the same thing. It's only natural ...
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318 views

I could buy it yesterday, wrong?

I just learned that I should not say: I could buy it yesterday. but rather use “was able” or “could have”. At the same time, I have just seen a sentence: He could help me but he did not. That is ...
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Does this sentence make sense? - would expect to receive

Could someone please check if the following sentence makes sense/correct? As discussed earlier, there is one more video in the pipeline you would expect to receive by the end of September. It ...
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29 views

Is there a subjunctive tense in English?

The following sentence come from The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by J.B. Lippincott: Unless there be some lesion of the stomach, there is no blood, either microscopic or occult. Is "...
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Subjunctive Mood — Correct use in the following:

The street native may be a vendor, from whom the street participant purchase. Is the second clause correct? I mean for the "street participant," just as the "street native," to be understood as a ...
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Why would you do that

Sam: Can I get you something? Austin: Do you know what bugs me? Sam: People taking your order? Austin: No. Taking people’s order. Sam: Why would you do that? Austin: Hah. You ...
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Is “If I was just counting the number of people” apt in this context?

Rui: Hey, Momo. Um, do you have plenty of experience being in relationships? Momo: Did you hear that from someone? I wouldn't call it plenty, but If I was just counting the number of people......
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69 views

If I were you, I would + verb (same expression in the present tense) [closed]

I would like to know the exact form of the following structure in the present tense: If I were you, I would + verb Thanks in advance.