Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

"While everyone chafes under any ethical and moral systems, we’d shine and prevail by flagrantly ignoring and disregarding modernity in favor of successes, results and growth."

or should I have written it as:

"While everyone chafes under any ethical and moral systems, we shine and prevail by flagrantly ignoring and disregarding modernity in favor of successes, results and growth.

Is it correct and/or does it change the meaning of the original sentence?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The two mean slightly different things; the first sentence means we would shine and prevail if only we were to flagrantly ignore and disregard modernity, but since we don't, we aren't shining or prevailing. The second means that we do flagrantly ignore and disregard modernity, and that is the reason we shine and prevail.

share|improve this answer
1  
Very subtle distinction. thanks. I need to digest it. –  Anderson Silva Jan 3 '11 at 13:37
add comment

Actually, I think the distinction @Brian Hooper cites would be lost for a great many readers. Your first clause sets up the present indicative, but many people would understand the "any" to introduce a sense of the hypothetical and then interpret the second clause to be subjunctive.

How can an indicative declaration be conditional? Consider:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

These declarative sentences mean just what they say, but each also sets up a conditional: [If you eat] an apple a day [you will] keep the doctor away. No apple has yet been eaten (by you), yet you are being encouraged to eat one every day, and assured that if you do you will be healthy.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.