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Is it correct to use "that+subjunctive" after the phrase "in order"?

For example: Nutritionist recommend that people at risk for anemia consume iron supplements in order that blood counts remain stable.

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Are you sure you are using the subjunctive mood after "in order"? –  kiamlaluno Mar 13 '11 at 10:35
    
I think this is fine, but awkward sounding. I would rewrite as per @nico below. –  Marcin Mar 13 '11 at 13:12
    
Wow, that's not awkward at all. That's how I've always spoke –  Jonathan Sterling Apr 24 '11 at 23:43
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3 Answers 3

I would just get rid of "in order" (see this question for instance) and say:

Nutritionists recommend that people at risk for anemia consume iron supplements for their blood counts to remain stable.

or

Nutritionists recommend that people at risk for anemia consume iron supplements so that their blood counts remain stable.

Anyway, I never heard "in order that" only "in order to". However, I am not a native speaker so I may be wrong on that.

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I would re-write the sentence as "nutritionist recommend that people at risk for anemia consume iron supplements in order that blood counts might remain stable."
In the sentence, in order that means "with the intention; so that."

The present of the subjunctive mood is used to express commands or requests; the past of the subjunctive mood is used to express what is imagined or wished or possible.

The NOAD has the following notes about the usage of the subjunctive in English:

The subjunctive is used to express situations that are hypothetical or not yet realized and is typically used for what is imagined, hoped for, demanded, or expected. In English, the subjunctive mood is fairly uncommon (especially in comparison with other languages, such as Spanish), mainly because most of the functions of the subjunctive are covered by modal verbs such as might, could, and should. In fact, in English, the subjunctive is often indistinguishable from the ordinary indicative mood since its form in most contexts is identical. It is distinctive only in the third person singular, where the normal indicative -s ending is absent (he face rather than he faces), and in the verb to be (I were rather than I was, and they be rather than they are).

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I think it would be more natural English to say "in order for their blood counts to remain stable", or better in this case, just "in order to stabalise their blood counts".

People do use "in order that..." with an infinitive/modal in English, but it feels a bit like a translationism.

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