Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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“If a huge quake was to hit” — what is it grammatically? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English? When should I use the subjunctive mood? “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is ...
2
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1answer
204 views

was or were in Subjunctive Mood [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Which of following sentences is ...
4
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1answer
206 views

Mixing subjunctive and indicative, “if you tripped every time someone mentions”

If you tripped every time someone mentions your name, you would have been dead by now. My question is about the subordinate clause of the above sentence, "If you tripped everytime someone ...
3
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5answers
210 views

Right tense for conditional event in nondescript time?

What is the right tense to describe an event that might have occured, be occuring or occur in the future, if (not) for something that happened in the past? Unike, in the examples, which anchor the ...
2
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2answers
11k views

Which one is correct: “wish I was here” or “wish I were here”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Which one is the correct form: "Wish I was here" or "wish I were here"? ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Different conditional clauses — “if you saw”, “if you were to see”, “if you had seen”

Given the following sentences, what is the difference between the conditional clauses in them? If you saw a lion in a thick forest, what would you do? If you were to see a lion in a thick ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Why is American English so wedded to the subjunctive?

In the sentence 'She suggested that they go to the cinema' there is no way of telling from the sentence in isolation whether it means that the speaker gave advice on attending a moving picture show, ...
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3answers
11k views

Why is this sentence correct? “She suggested that he go to the cinema.”

Why is this sentence correct? She suggested that he go to the cinema. I would definitely use goes instead of go.
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1answer
933 views

A weird usage of “were” instead of “was” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Why have the ...
7
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3answers
17k views

“It would be better if you drink/drank all the water”

Which one of the following is grammatically correct? It would be better if you drink all the water. It would be better if you drank all the water. The question is, obviously, about the use ...
2
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2answers
661 views

Past perfect sentence in “I would have killed the snake if I had hit him…”

Is the following a correct past perfect sentence? I would have killed the snake if I had hit him hard with a stick.
7
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3answers
21k views

“if it wasn't for…” vs “if it weren't for”

Should it be "if it weren't for holes, a bagel would be a bun" or "if it wasn't for holes, a bagel would be a bun"? I've been reading about the subjunctive and how it is generally used with "if" ...
3
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2answers
482 views

Verb agreement for something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present

How do you write something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present? The discussion resulted in the committee members highlighting crucial areas that need to ...
2
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4answers
311 views

'too' vs. 'so' in the subjunctive?

A colleague of mine just asked me about the sentence: If the book were not so expensive, I would buy it. She wanted to know why too was not a worthy substitute. I explained to her about the ...
1
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4answers
157 views

“Were you seen by him” vs. “were you be seen by him”

I am confused about which of the two is grammatically correct: Were you seen by him, he would have been surprised. Were you be seen by him, he would have been surprised.
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5answers
2k views

If he is still alive today, he…

Suppose Jeff was born on 1/1/1982. He went missing a long time ago. At the present time, he could be either dead or alive, but nobody knows for sure: 1 "If Jeff is still alive today, he is 30 years ...
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3answers
456 views

Use of the subjunctive for verbs other than “to be”?

It is to my understanding that it is grammatically correct to say: If I be [something], then [something]. because 'were' is the subjunctive of 'to be'. However, is it correct to use the ...
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1answer
5k views

Correct usage of “were” or “was”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? I am unsure whether to use "were" or "was" in the following instances ...
1
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5answers
256 views

“I was going to be called Kate if I was a girl”

This is an excerpt from a grammar book by Longman. It was discussing tense and time distinctions and the excerpt is about future time. As you can see in the next example, the reference can be to a ...
4
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1answer
355 views

Trouble with second conditionals (with “could”)

I would do B if you could do A. This is a statement which has been bothering me for quite a while. I come across such statements often and, to me, they make no sense. Could is the subjunctive of ...
2
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3answers
5k views

past perfect + would have + ed-participle / past simple + would + infinitive

Could you clarify difference between sentences: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses If I asked people what they wanted, they would say faster horses ...
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4answers
734 views

What to use for hypothetically completed future actions

I was talking to a friend where I had to make a hypothetical statement about an activity that was completed in the future. So I came up with the following statements. If he continued college, he ...
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1answer
657 views

“It will depend on what I [will] see”

I want to refer to the future. When someone asks me: "what are you going to do when you have a chance to look at [something]?". How should I reply? Basically, the question is which one is correct (or ...
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1answer
2k views

“if you were” vs. “if you did”

In the following two sentences "did" and "were" seem to be conveying the same meaning. If that's the case, what is the difference between the two and which one is more preferred? If you studied, ...
1
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1answer
804 views

Subjunctive mood: 'was' usage after 'I wish' and 'if only'

SFX Magazine had declared the sentence below as follow: 1) STAR TURN, 2) BEST LINES. I wish Bernard Cribbins was my grandad. Perhaps he would be willing to adopt? Rattigan: “If only that ...
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1answer
610 views

Third conditional would have and would

I read the following on a website and I was wondering if it was okay? Because the books only talk about the standard three forms. What would it mean if we changed the second part of the statement to ...
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2answers
2k views

“If I would have lost you” vs “If I had lost you”

I watched a (Hollywood?) film the other day where a character visiting his just-hospitalised wife (who it seems will actually survive) says "If I would have lost you [I don't know what I'd do]". I'd ...
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3answers
2k views

The third conditional for “if I could”

What is the third conditional for "if I could"? For example, we say: If I had studied hard, I would have passed the exam. How about this: If I could study, I would have passed the exam.[Is ...
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1answer
2k views

“If something were” or “If something was” in the 2nd conditional? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Correct usage of was/were on the object of a sentence “Was” or ...
3
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4answers
7k views

“So that it be” vs “so that it is”

Recently on IRC I said this: I do not believe in proving the correctness of already constructed programs. I believe in formally deriving programs so that they be correct. And I got almost ...
0
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2answers
855 views

“If we were going outside” in polite requests [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses Can we use "if you were going outside, please let me know" or "I was wondering if you were going outside" ...
2
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1answer
184 views

Is the indicative “correct” when dealing with a conditional future? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Someone recently posted to meta.stackoverflow.com about a plural bug on Area 51, ...
4
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2answers
10k views

“If we were to agree” vs “If we are to agree”

In an undecided situation that needs to be discussed, which one of the following seems more accurate? Are they interchangeable? If we were to agree on this deal, do you think we can start ...
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4answers
5k views

Tenses after “as if”

"I'll always remember this rule as if I had just learned it" Do you consider this sentence grammatically correct? The main clause refers to the future, so I guess that the Past Simple would ...
3
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4answers
614 views

Past conditional statements

What is the difference between the following two statements? If I went home for dinner, I took a glass of soft drink. If I went home for dinner, I would take a glass of soft drink. Are both ...
3
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3answers
270 views

Tense to use with “would”

In this sentence: "We would also accept an international transfer, but in that case we would ask you to pay your bank's charges at the time of the instruction to ensure that we received the full ...
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2answers
108 views

How do you properly follow a subjunctive with a related statement?

I recently wrote the following: …even if the story were originally true, there's no way that Obama was president when it happened. And then I stared at it, trying to figure out if the second ...
3
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2answers
289 views

Subjunctives and “am”

Hopefully this one is nice and simple. Which is correct: I would never say that I am superior to a cleaner. or I would never say that I were superior to a cleaner. I'm rather confused -- ...
4
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3answers
1k views

What's an example of good style for an “if/then” statement?

I'm not sure what's common for conditional statements, with and without alternative consequent clauses, in speech—even my own—but as a computer programmer, I'm niggled whenever I have to write English ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Recommend someone

I'd like to ask about the use of the verb "recommend" in the following sentences: We'd recommend you to book your flight early. The plumber recommended me to buy a new water heater. The ...
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2answers
482 views

English Subjunctive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English? Why is it that in the English language, the past subjunctive is the same as the past indicative for ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Must conditional sentences begin with “if?”

I've been looking at conditional sentences (conditional clauses). Every example I've see is along the lines of, "if [x] then [y]." I've seen alternatives/substitutes for the if part: were I ...
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4answers
913 views

What is the subjunctive mood?

I had always understood the subjunctive mood to mean a hypothetical present tense. However, I think it might also imply that the hypothetical event is outside the realm of possibility. Is that ...
6
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5answers
918 views

Is it correct to say: “I would do something, be it me”?

I mean that "I would do something, if it only were me. But it was not me, so I've done nothing".
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5answers
1k views

What's the tense for repetitive past action?

In English, "would" usually denotes a conditional voice. "If I were sleepy, I would go to bed." But I've caught myself using it to denote repetitive or habitual past action. "On Thursdays, we would ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Does “it is entirely possible that” require the subjunctive form of the verb following “that”?

For instance, take the following sentence (from a real email exchange): it is entirely possible that one WebEx is not enough Is it correct? Should it be it is entirely possible that one WebEx be ...
4
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3answers
5k views

“Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses

I'm not a native english speaker, so even though I'm decently proficient at it, I don't really "know the rules" sometimes, and this is one that's been confusing me for a long time. Which one is ...
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5answers
1k views

Am I using the subjunctive mood correctly?

Does this sentence use the subjunctive correctly? He spoke as though he was the only one to tell the truth.
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1answer
1k views

Past/Present tense in a conditional statement

I'm not an English speaker. Even though I do understand conditional statements that are written by others but when it comes to my turn I still feel confused and don't really know how to organize it. ...
10
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1answer
545 views

English Subjunctive: An Imposition from Latin?

Often English grammar (as well as Koinê Greek, e.g "deponent", and probably others), has often been ruled by what I call "totalitarian grammarians" who impose Latin structures on it rather than doing ...