Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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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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2answers
110 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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1answer
5k 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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539 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
141 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
709 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
134 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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24 views

“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
119 views

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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265 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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Should the subjunctive form have been used in this sentence?

I read this in a Facebook post today: "If his participation in the Kardashian circus wasn't already a sign that he were mentally ill, then this is the slam dunk." I would be grateful if ...
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1answer
205 views

Replacement for “It was as if he was”

It was as if he was messing around with him. Is there an alternative for that sentence so the "double was" can be removed? I believe that it is grammatically correct, but it just doesn't flow ...
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1answer
57 views

How to correctly express the subjunctive mood in future tense?

1. If the sun rise in the west, I would give you ten dollars. 2. If the sun rises in the west, I would give you ten dollars. 3. If the sun rose in the west, I would give you ten dollars. 4. If ...
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1answer
275 views

the use of “were to” to mean “suppose” or “imagine”

Is it okay to use the counterfactual subjuntive verb phrase, "were to" with the present tense of a main clause? I thought that "if subject + were to + verb" should be used with "would" or "could" in a ...
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1answer
80 views

… suggest that someone have [duplicate]

Q: Is the italicised verb form correct in this sentence? Jane's pale face suggested she could be ill: her parents suggested that she have a medical examination. A: The sentence is ...
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1answer
57 views

Subjunctive that has no subject? [duplicate]

Like it or not, . . . (Whether you like it or not) I've come across this kind of phrase many times, but this is the only one--among no-subject subjunctives--that I can be sure it's common and right ...
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2answers
350 views

Is “were I you” archaic?

Would the following usage be considered archaic? Were I you, I would ask her for a date.
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2answers
106 views

Are these subject-dependent inversions?

Consider these sentences: Be it ever so humble,... Hallowed be your name. I think these two have similar structure whose elements are merely arranged differently; why I think so is they can also ...
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2answers
124 views

Present or Past?

In this sentence: "It might be relaxing if you read a book" - why is the verb 'read' in past tense? Why isn't the verb 'read' in past tense with this example: "Why not read a book?" I'm just trying ...
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2answers
93 views

Subtle difference between “I insist he be punished” and “I insist he should be punished”?

I insist he be punished. and I insist he should be punished. What's the SUBTLE difference between them?
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2answers
317 views

If it was'nt / hadn't been for

Would I rather say He would have forgotten about the incident, if it wasn't for the huge backpack or He would have forgotten about the incident, if it hadn't been for the huge backpack or ...
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2answers
168 views

“will” vs. “would” in conditional clauses [closed]

What's the difference between the following: If he is in the US now, he would be in New York. If he is in the US now, he will be in New York. Does #2 necessarily mean that he will be in ...
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3answers
2k views

“There were lots to do” vs “There was lots to do…”: is the backward existential still used?

I read in a book: There were lots to do on the farm: feeding the hens, collecting the eggs, going on a hay ride, visiting the ducks. To me it seemed odd, that it should have been "There was ...
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2answers
169 views

It Is Imperative That You Be Not Afraid?

A question closed recently as proofreading asked about the grammaticality of the following subjunctive statement: They suggested that the washing machine not be put in that place. To my ear, that ...
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4answers
981 views

Why is the verb used without “-s” in this sentence? [duplicate]

In order to help the system make a better guess of the corner locations,... In this sentence, why is "make" not succeeded by "s"? It seems it is needed!
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1answer
64 views

Why is the “were” placed ahead? [duplicate]

Loosely speaking, the mode is the highest bump, the median is where half the area is to the right and half is to the left, and the mean is where the histogram would balance, were it a solid object cut ...
2
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1answer
122 views

'Might' is the subjunctive inflection of 'may'; was there ever a subjunctive inflection of 'must'?

I acknowledge that there is no subjunctive mood in English. However, there are variants of some words that we might regard as subjunctive variants. For example, 'might' is the, if you will, ...
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5answers
2k views

“to require someone to do something” vs “to require that someone do something”

Professor required his students to return their papers typed. vs Professor required that his students return their papers typed. Which of the examples is correct? Do they have ...
0
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1answer
94 views

User was or user were to store data? [duplicate]

If the user was to store data.... (or) If the user were to store data.... we normally use If I were, If they were but this usage confuses me. I've tried searching in search engines but haven't ...
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3answers
694 views

Can “wonder if” be followed by a subjunctive clause only?

In the book A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, I've noticed the use of the subjunctive mood after wonder if: In truth, he had scarcely considered the mudmen at all, beyond eyeing Meera ...
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1answer
609 views

I demand they do… / I demand them to…

According to practically every grammar I've encountered, "I demanded them to leave" is incorrect English. I've quite literally spoken like this all my life; I don't know if it's a dialectal thing (I'm ...
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0answers
47 views

Question on use of subjunctive [duplicate]

In the classic American children's show Spongebob Squarepants, one line in the theme song goes like this: If nautical nonsense be something you wish and it is then followed by the chorus. My ...
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71 views

Unreal Conditional and Subjunctive [duplicate]

I have read that in using unreal conditionals, irrespective of personal pronouns, it mandatory to use subjunctives to form verbs. " If Jack was playing they would probably win " - if I am correct, ...
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45 views

'that' + (pro)noun + infinitive: what grammar is behind such construct? [duplicate]

While reading a technical book, I stumbled upon the following sentence: It is important [that all Java programmers be fully versed in, and comfortable with, the traditional approach]. For me, ...
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0answers
187 views

Is “If you be…” correct? [duplicate]

Are the "If you be my everything..." and "If I be wrong" structures correct? Thank you for the answers!
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1answer
329 views

“it's truly vital that he or she becomes/become familiar with the reasons”? [duplicate]

Please have a look at the sentence below: Before one votes on the propositions, it's truly vital that he or she becomes familiar with the reasons for voting both for the proposition and against ...
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2answers
387 views

Understanding sentence starting with “were” [closed]

I am reading a economics book and the following sentence confuses me: Were such individuals to gain a lot of money, they would stop buying insurance. It seems strange to me. What is the ...
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1answer
205 views

What's the truth about the subjunctive and conditional statements, anyway?

I have generally (I would say always, but I'm not sure I always thought this) supposed that in English, uses of the subjunctive are quite limited. They include desires, judgments, etc. ("I desire that ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Use of subjunctive form

I know that when you introduce a statement with 'if,' you are speaking in the subjunctive and therefore use 'were' instead of 'was' (e.g., "If I were to do this thing, something else would happen."). ...
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2answers
299 views

Subjunctive mood - what is the tense of the verb following a conjunction?

Which verb is correct? If the world were perfect, workers would wear respirators even when dust levels were/are low. "If the world were perfect" is an impossible condition/situation, which makes ...
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321 views

Which is correct “was” or“ were”? [duplicate]

It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it was an oak. It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it were an oak. Which is correct sentence?
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1answer
443 views

I wish there was? [duplicate]

Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams when he was at Philadelphia for Second Continental Congress in 1776. "I wish most sincerely there was not a slave in the province. It always seemed a most iniquitous ...
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2answers
321 views

“When he come we will eat” or “When he comes we will eat” [closed]

Which is the right way to say it? In Spanish we use Present Subjunctive in this case (Cuando el venga comeremos), but I don't know in English.
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81 views

How to rationalise the putative 'should'?

Why not simply use the English present subjunctive? Why use and thus complicate 'should' wits its many other meanings? How else can I rationalise the putative 'should', though I heed the Etymological ...
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1answer
36 views

Subjunctive usage

I wanted to know whether this sentence is correct: The author, being aware of the money to be earned by ecranizations of books, helped to write the scenarios for movies based on his stories. ...
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0answers
97 views

What governed present subjunctive uses in archaic English?

Source, para 4 : p 2 of 2, 'Against YA', by Ruth Graham, slate.com Fellow grown-ups, at the risk of sounding snobbish and joyless and old, we are better than this. I know, I know: Live and let ...
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3answers
3k views

Can I use “lest” in the following sentence?

I am not a native English speaker/writer, but I am working on a technical thesis written in English. To me, for some unknown reason, it feels natural to write the following: However, the ...
2
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1answer
158 views

Use of subjunctive in Britain vs North America

Why has much UK writing abandoned the use of the subjunctive? I see phrases such as: "It is important that his writing is comprehensible." rather than, "It is important that his ...
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2answers
159 views

a principle that […], and that […]

Chekhov's gun is a dramatic principle that requires every element in a narrative be necessary and irreplaceable, and that everything else be removed. The source: ...
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3answers
193 views

Does good grammar offend?

I'm not a grammar nazi in my native language, and SURELY nor in the language I learn (English). And I think, when a person is expressing thoughts, he or she shouldn't think about grammatical ...