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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27
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5answers
79k views

Why is it “If I were you” and not “If I was you”?

From my research online the correct way is to say "If I were you" and not "If I was you" because this is the "subjunctive mood". However they don't say the underlying reason for it. They just say use ...
3
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1answer
325 views

Different uses of subjunctive

It is necessary for Mary to go home. It is necessary that Mary go home. It is necessary that Mary goes home. I am wondering, what's the difference between their meanings?
23
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1answer
3k views

Why is it 'come' and not 'comes' in 'it is important that he come…'?

We usually add 's' or 'es' to the first form of the verb when the subject is a third person. I do not understand why 's' hasn't been added to the verb "come" in the following sentence: It is ...
3
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1answer
31k views

Use of “were to” in English grammar

The Prime Minister said: "I have indicated in opening remarks that I do not intend to be Prime Ministerial candidate if the UPA were to come to power after the general elections. BJP leader ...
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3answers
54k views

Is “considered” always followed by “as”?

I have the following idea: The reconstruction of object models is performed using a graph matching approach, which is considered a corner fixing dilemma. The reconstruction of object models ...
14
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5answers
13k views

“If something was” vs “If something were”

Which of these sentences is correct, and why? "What if the Moon was a Disco ball?" or "What if the Moon were a Disco ball?"
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2answers
5k views

“It's time you …to bed.”

Could you possibly help me on this question please? "All right, Johhny, it's time you ..........to bed." went would go will be going going to go I would have gone for the word "go" but it is not ...
45
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5answers
13k views

I demand that he leave or leaves?

I am confused between the two. I demand that he leave!or I demand that he leaves! I demand that this man leave!or I demand that this man leaves! Which is correct with s or without and why?
6
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3answers
16k views

“If you were to do” compared to “If you did”

If they were to cancel the deal, I would be devastated. If they canceled the deal, I would be devastated. My thextbook says, the "if ... were to" construction gives much less probability for ...
5
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1answer
22k views

Why do we use “was” for the pronoun “I” in some cases?

Why do we use was for the pronoun I? Can we use were or not? What is the difference between I was and I were??
4
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1answer
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Explaining the Second Conditional and the Third Conditional in a “logical” way

When I was searching for a job, I applied to be an English teacher, and the employer asked me about "how to efficiently explain to students the difference between the second conditional and the third ...
4
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2answers
88k views

difference between won't and wouldn't

I hoped you won't mind when I told you the truth. I hoped you wouldn't mind when I told you the truth. First of all, I would like to know what differences do the use of won't and wouldn't ...
5
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1answer
426 views

When I put 'is' instead of 'be' in: “If she be found guilty”

If she be found guilty… (YBM #8) I got a curiosity what difference there is when I put ‘is’ instead of ‘be.’ The dictionary says ‘is’ is used in spoken language. Is that all? Is there no semantic ...
6
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4answers
26k views

Should a verb after “any” be singular or plural?

While I'm aware of Should nouns after "any" be singular or plural? it does not quite answer my question. I have a simple sentence: If any of the devices was not switched off, do something....
3
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2answers
542 views

omitting “s” in subjunctive mood

1.Etiquette requires that the bride's father makes a speech. 2.The situation requires that he go there. UPDATED: These are two different sentences. My questions are about those, not only one of ...
3
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3answers
8k views

“If he were to do” vs. “if he did”

What is the difference in the meaning of following sentences? If Tom were to do my homework, I would watch a film. If Tom did my homework, I would watch a film. I know that both of these ...
2
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3answers
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I 'had' better get going (Why 'had'??)

I specifically want to know why the past tense of the word 'have' is used in this phrase. In modern casual English(at least in the US), everyone says ' I should better get going' or they completely ...
5
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2answers
468 views

Which requires he “be” injected with gamma globulin

He has rare autoimmune disease which requires he be injected with gamma globulin once every 21 days. Why do we use "be" in the sentence above? What does it mean?
5
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3answers
1k views

Can ‘should’ be omitted, as in this case?

"What is all this?" demanded another voice peremptorily; and Mrs. Reed came along the corridor, her cap flying wide, her gown rustling stormily. "Abbot and Bessie, I believe I gave orders that Jane ...
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3answers
1k views

I'd rather something do something else — grammar pattern

Example (audio version: http://tindeck.com/listen/wtoo): You may not have ever come across this before. For example, my food order ID, I want it to be an Autonumber data type because I don't care ...
3
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3answers
312 views

“it be” instead of “it could/would be”

Need we add that it be usable in the woods? This paper1, albeit an old one, contains an example of this odd way of writing. Where I would expect "..that it would/could/may/should/... be", there is ...
3
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2answers
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“It was recommended that” + verb in present tense

It was recommended that the international development partners develop guidelines or a roadmap to help countries take the necessary steps to select the right tool for their purposes. Why is it using ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Could 'it' be regarded as plural? Why is 'were' used instead of 'is' in “…if it were cleaned and fed…”?

I am reading 'Justice' from M.J. Sandel and he quoted the story from another author to criticize utilitarian as follows: If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of the vile place, if it ...
0
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2answers
116 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 ...
5
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5answers
1k views

Difference between “would” and “will” when talking about the future

Which option should I use here: I often think about a big ideal house in the suburbs I will live in without noisy neighbours to disturb me. I often think about a big ideal house in the suburbs ...
5
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2answers
8k views

How about someone do something?

Can "how about" be used in this way? I heard it in an episode of Grey's Anatomy: How about we don't talk to her anymore? Because from what I've learned after "how about" we're supposed to ...
10
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5answers
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Use of the subjunctive versus conditional mood

From my English classes I remember the rule that when you are expressing a condition with words like if, you must use the subjunctive mood in the subordinate clause, and the conditional in the main ...
8
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4answers
2k views

We have to go. It is time we…

The question from the test: We have to go. It is time we… – A. Leave, B. Are leaving, C. Left, D. Must leave. The correct answer is C. Can you please explain why? What grammatical phenomenon is ...
6
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3answers
571 views

The condition that {something} be {something} . .

When I read a math textbook, I encountered: The condition that a function be continuous is... I don't know why I need to use "be" instead of "is". Is it inappropriate if I use "is"? Is there any ...
5
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
98 views

Does subjunctive structure always use 'that' word in the begining? How exactly it works?

I have an idea about it but not utterly sure how does it work? I read it in books but it's still confusing; for instance, is it mandatory to be preceded always by the word that? Is there any rules ...
3
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1answer
862 views

Correct usage of “If I were”

Which of the following sentences are correct? If I was him, I'd buy a car later when I have money. If I was him, I'd buy a car later when I had money. If I was in her place, I'd ask the kids if they ...
8
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2answers
38k views

whether it be vs whether it is

I brought the sentences from the speech about conversation tips. They don’t just want to know about news and the weather. They want to know about you. So what are three things that you have ...
8
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2answers
11k views

“I would love to if I can” vs. “I would love to if I could”

I would love to if I can I would love to if I could Which one is right?
3
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2answers
16k views

She couldn't come vs. she couldn't have come

What is the difference between "couldn't come" and "couldn't have come"? When we compare the below two example sentences: She couldn't come to the party. and She couldn't have come to the ...
3
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3answers
3k views

require that X be used VS. require X to be used

Some cities have a rule requiring that a certain percentage of the budget be used to fund public art. I am wondering the reason for being omitted the preposition to before used to.
3
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1answer
200 views

“were” instead of “was”

“We’re just happy our little girl is alive,” said Jessica’s father, Michael Paulsen, as though the state of being alive were itself a sufficient cause for happiness and not a prison of its own, at ...
2
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2answers
9k views

Should versus If

Which is one the best and right one: Finally, I will be at both focal points' disposals should they need my support. or Finally, I will be at both focal points' disposals if they need my ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Proper way of using past tense

Which one is correct and why? I will help you once I understand how it works. or I will help you once I understood how it works.
2
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1answer
199 views

“be” or “being”? “And though absolute justice be unattainable, as much justice as we need for all practical use is attainable”

Though absolute justice being/be unattainable, as much justice as we need for all practical use is attainable by all those who make it their aim. (Ruskin, Unto this Last (1862)) which one? why? ...
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2answers
23k views

I suggest that he go/goes?

I suggest that he go to the doctor as soon as he returns from taking examination. Book says because the sentence involves suggestion so there should be go instead of goes. What kind of rule is this?
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3answers
568 views

Usage of the subjunctive word “would”

After an English class on the subjunctives, I am now confused about the usage of "would". The definition provided for "would": (expressing the conditional mood) indicating the consequence of an ...
0
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2answers
833 views

Why would the author write 'and happy indeed I was' instead of 'and I was happy indeed' in this passage?

My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness." Why didn't the author say "and I was happy indeed"? "If pleasure be happiness," as I see it, should be "If ...
7
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1answer
709 views

It is important that each player not know

I have just encountered the following phrase: It is important that each player not know what the other player will do. Why is it written here "not know" and not "not knows"? Also would it be ...
3
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2answers
661 views

Like I am / were a different person

She looks at me like I am a different person. She looks at me like I were a different person. I heard someone say the first sentence. It is an imaginary situation. What mood is appropriate here? ...
1
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1answer
50 views

the main thing is that the guilty parties be tracked down — the subjunctive mood

Usage example with a context: She has given a full and exhaustive account of her last hours with Boris," Prokhorov said. "If any further investigative action is required, she has promised—something ...
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1answer
1k views

“Supposed to” - past/present usage

I found this examples in my grammar book. John is supposed to have helped Mary with shopping. It was supposed to be warm today. Both sentences are translated that something was about to ...
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2answers
394 views

What's the grammar of “You kiss me tomorrow, I'll bite you face off!”?

"Zootopia" around 00:23:37/01:48:32 There is a YouTube clip (by the way, is "clip" an appropriate word?): Nick Wilde: Hey, no kiss bye-bye for daddy? Finnick: You kiss me tomorrow, I'll bite ...
1
vote
1answer
545 views

“wasn't” vs “weren't” [duplicate]

According to Google Search, "if it wasn't for you <verb>ing" and "if it weren't for you <verb>ing" are both used. What is the correct usage of wasn't or weren't in this case?
1
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2answers
501 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 ...