Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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When do we use subjunctive after “unless”?

In this sentence: The body will not be kept comfortable unless the air be maintained at a temperature higher than necessary. Why did the author use "be maintained"? When do we use subjunctive ...
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Is President Obama's disuse of the subjunctive defensible?

In today's NYTimes op-ed, no lesser an authority on English language usage than President Obama says: They include making sure that anybody engaged in the business of selling firearms conducts ...
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63 views

present or subjunctive

In the sentence "the tradition wants that it be always the same person who handles the teapot" (where "be" is a subjunctive), I was wondering if "handles" should not be replaced by the subjunctive ...
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38 views

What if there were a song that (is/were) about cars?

I've been wondering about this sentence: What if there were a song that is about cars? I know that the first verb there should be in the subjunctive (were) because it follows the word "if", but ...
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184 views

The Future Perfect Subjunctive

Can anyone tell me what's all this hype about? People consider the following sentence to be the future perfect subjunctive. There is no future perfect subjunctive in English and neither there is in ...
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3answers
46 views

Which one is correct and in which situation? [closed]

If I had seen you, of course I would have talked to you If I saw you, I would talk to you. Also, why do we use past perfect to describe an incident that didn't happen. Sorry, if these sound ...
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29 views

Correct form of verb after “I wish” [duplicate]

What is correct form: I wish I were a king. or I wish I was a king. I need some explanation.
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46 views

Subjunctive Mood in Second Conditional - Inversion

The sentence If I were you, I wouldn't do this One can add emphasis to the sentence, by saying Were I you, I wouldn't do this However, I noticed that in everyday English people tend not ...
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26 views

Subjunctive use

Consider the phrase "A necessary condition to achieve good marks is that you be hardworking". Or even "Another necessary condition to achieve good marks is that the teacher be sensible." Is the ...
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34 views

Degree of Potentiality: Would vs. Should: Which indicates a greater possibility?

People in my new workplace hold that "should" is less definitive than "would," for e.g., in the sentence: Commodity prices could be depressed in 2016 due to oversupply, which should pressure power ...
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1answer
51 views

“If I were to go” vs “If I had gone”

If I were to go there then I would have been injured. If I had gone there then I would have been injured. Is the usage of sentence 1 correct? And do both these sentences mean same?
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3answers
108 views

“specify” or “specifies”? [duplicate]

I have seen both "(Something) requires that one specify how.." and "(Something) requires that one specifies how.." used in various contexts. Which is grammatically correct? My sense is that the former ...
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2answers
65 views

Use of conditional tense/sujunctive mood

I am discussing with a friend (over email) the pros and cons of various interview styles. At some point in the email I write: "Ideally the candidate will demonstrate X." Then in the next ...
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Which is right: “It is ordered that X supersede/supersedes Y” [duplicate]

Which one of the two sentences is correct: It is hereby ordered that Order 456 supersede Order 123. It is hereby ordered that Order 456 supersedes Order 123.
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2answers
99 views

Is this the right use of the word 'lest' in this sentence?

The dictionary software 'WordWeb', when searched for the word 'lest' shows this as one of the sentence examples under the meaning 'In case' : "he worried lest he should be late." Now, I have even ...
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2answers
62 views

Use of subjunctive with ‘concern that’

Some interpreters have expressed concern that Charles oscillate[s] between. . . . Does anyone think this use of the subjunctive is wrong? Or does anyone have parallel exemplary examples ...
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37 views

usage in subjunctive and indicative mood

I was reading about the subjunctive in Dr Wheeler's Grammar Website {Carson-Newman University} and I'd like to ask about the following: For example: I suggest that John arrive on Tuesdays this ...
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1answer
69 views

Subjective use of believe

I said: "I believe he know me." But that was marked wrong. The right answer should be: "I believe he knows me." But if I remember correctly about subjunctive structure, after verbs like hope, believe, ...
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1answer
64 views

Past or present in: “Why was it imporant that he rub” / “Why was it important that he rubbed” [closed]

(1) Why was it important that Andrew rub the robot with grease? (2) Why was it important that Andrew rubbed the robot with grease? Are both acceptable? Is there a nuance suggested by one which isn't ...
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43 views

Could you explain this construction? [duplicate]

What is the construction be + verb (perfect form)? I have come across it multiple times in legalese. For instance: to ensure that every person be granted adequate assistance
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1answer
62 views

confusing Subject-Verb Agreement in one quote

what though life conspire to cheat you I think this quote has a wrong part. I know Singular subjects need singular verbs; so should the verb "conspire" agree to the subject "life" like ...
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1answer
150 views

“It wouldn't surprise me if it” + subjunctive

'It wouldn't surprise me if it [was/were] true.' Recently I have become interested in the use of the subjunctive mood in English; however, I am not entirely familiar with it yet. Should the ...
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59 views

The police officer ordered the gunman (to) drop his weapon

(1) The police officer ordered that the gunman drop his weapon. (2) The police officer ordered the gunman to drop his weapon. I think these mean virtually the same. Perhaps, the act of ...
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66 views

But other things being equal, it is better for society that the girl is educated than that she remain/remains ignorant

I found the following sentence in Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age But other things being equal, it is better for society that the girl is educated than that she remain ignorant. (p. 164 in Google ...
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“It's (high) time” vs. other uses of the past subjunctive

The most common usage of the past subjunctive is in counterfactual if statements: If I were you, I would eat more vegetables. Additionally, statements starting with "it's (high) time" are also ...
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If someone says “They insisted that he left”, is there any ambiguity in BrE or in AmE?

Do they mean something like "please go! You must leave!" or could it be "We assure you that he left"?
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63 views

Is “What does the woman suggest the man **do** for his vacation?” correct? [duplicate]

I just went through an official English test taken in China, and I saw something rather weird. Whenever I read this sentence, something tells me that the "do" part isn't right, it simply doesn't sound ...
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69 views

Negative subjunctive

Some verbs require subjunctive, as in: The UN has demanded that all troops be withdrawn. A student has written: ...my sense of responsibility demands that I can't do that. What is the negative ...
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115 views

Should we write “allow” or ”allows” in “require that the class allow[s]”? [duplicate]

Can you explain to me whether I should or should not use ‑s at the end of the verb allow in this sentence? This function requires that the container class allow[s] random access The sentence in ...
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2answers
129 views

“If I were to”, “If I was to”, & “If I was going to” Which is correct?

Examples: I didn't know if I was going to work next week. I didn't know if I was to work next week. I didn't know If I were to work next week. I think number 1 is correct, but I would like to know ...
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2answers
141 views

Subjunctive or indicative: “was” or “were” after he [duplicate]

I have a question regarding which it should be: He acted as if he were owner of the place or He acted as if he was owner of the place. Which is correct?
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103 views

Are the tenses used in the sentence correct?

From http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-07-31: I'm going to call you Carlos from now on. And it would help if you grew a beard and walked with a limp. Shouldn't it be grow a beard and walk with a ...
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225 views

Which of “I’d rather it be/were you” is/are correct?

Which of these is correct and why? I’d rather it be you. I’d rather it were you.
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70 views

Correction for future in past text

Would it be correct to change this... "He agreed to those changes, but insisted that if the team do not reach the objective by the deadline, the company must commit to implement all the ...
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Sequence of Verb Tense when it comes to if condition

Normally, a noun clause has the same tense as the main clause, right. So, I am wondering how about the case in IF condition sentence? If she were here, I would tell her that I liked/like her. ...
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90 views

“Propose that” or “propose for”?

Can the sentence They proposed (that) the book be banned. be rephrased as They proposed for the book to be banned. If so, would it sound (very) informal?
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2answers
433 views

“As if you have” vs. “As if you had”

I saw this advertisement while waiting for the subway in a town in Germany: English fit for travel, as if you have your teacher with you. Is this proper English? I would have said it should be ...
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1answer
72 views

interesting for you to say that

Just heard a non-native English speaker saying this: "Interesting for you to say that, since..." I would have said "Interesting that you should say that" Are both correct and natural? And what ...
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The use of 'that' and the bare form of a verb [duplicate]

Can anyone help me with the use of 'that' and the bare form of a verb in the following sentence? This plan suggested that the supply target for new and renewable energy be increased to 20% by 2020. ...
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79 views

Future Conditional Subjunctive?

I assume that "future conditional subjunctive" is not really a term. But that's pretty much what I'm asking about. I often find myself addressing the scenario where (x) one thing "A" may happen in ...
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89 views

it's strange that he * it's strange for him to

My wife and I are waiting for a friend. It's late. I say to my wife: It's strange that he should be late. He's always on time. It's strange for him to be late. He's always on time. It's strange that ...
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101 views

Use of “were” (subjunctive) [duplicate]

I'd like to know if the use of were is correct in the sentence below or if it should be replaced with was: As if X weren't hard enough already, companies now face the challenge to deliver Y. ...
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3k views

Be it… or grammar

Can anyone please describe the use of "be it or " grammar, I have checked internet but couldn't find anything that me help. with regards
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337 views

it's important that he… — it's important for him to

I'm always struggling with these structures: 1) It's important/vital/essential that + subject + (should +) verb It's vital that you (should) do exactly as I say. It's important that they ...
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1answer
113 views

Sentence structure of “It is time we found out” [duplicate]

I've heard in a lot of movies they use this format : "It is time we found out" Now I would like to know if the sentence " It is time we find out " incorrect and why we are using a past tense in the ...
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1answer
473 views

It's suggested that he work hard. It's suggested that he works hard [duplicate]

It's suggested that he work hard.lt's suggested that he works hard. Which one is correct? I think, It is suggested that he works hard. This is correct one. But, how ? I am confused. Please clear ...
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1answer
113 views

Using the present tense to write about future events as future events

I'm an undergraduate student. Today, I was writing an email to my department's undergrad adviser to request a meeting to discuss what I will study next year. When I began to write the email, I wrote ...
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“We are requesting that all deaths be recorded.” vs 'We are requesting that all deaths will be recorded." [duplicate]

"We are requesting that all deaths be recorded." vs 'We are requesting that all deaths will be recorded." I've corrected this sentence by taking out the 'will' but can't articulate exactly why a want ...
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2answers
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Is this subjunctive?

The following is a part of a Lucy Kellaway's column in FT.com. Why do estate agents still exist? Travel agents are gone — or going. Estate agents, who were hated long before Tim Berners-Lee gave ...
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203 views

I was wondering if it WAS / WERE [duplicate]

I'm very doubtful about the use of the subjunctive mood in this particular case. I wrote "I was wondering if it were correct" and someone said it's wrong because I should've used "was" instead of ...