Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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What is the correct way to construct a conditional sentence with “would”?

I was told several times that a conditional sentence with the following structure is incorrect: If I would do this, then he would do that. Rather it should be: If I do this, then he will do ...
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1answer
313 views

A conditional with present tense vs. the subjunctive?

I may just be in my own head, but I'm trying to figure out how these two sentences differ: If you walk down the street, you'll see an oak tree. If you were to walk down the street, you'd see ...
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4answers
290 views

“factoring” subordinate clauses with verbs that require indicative and subjunctive clauses

For some verbs a subjunctive form is used in the subordinate clause, and I would write I demand that he read the appendices. Other verbs demand that you use an indicative form, for example I ...
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2answers
258 views

“It were” versus “were I”: the proper subjunctive for this statement

I wouldn't have been surprised to learn it were already named Lingua Mathematica, and I submit that as the best reason to give it that name (and not some other). Based on my understanding, I ...
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3answers
238 views

Saying about many related events in the future

My question relates to these questions : Conditionals in the future Future tense in conditional clauses “If I go..” vs. “If I will go..” referring to the future About two mutually related, future ...
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1answer
648 views

Is “ask something be done” grammatical? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? The city council has asked a comprehensive survey be performed in order to determine the measures to lessen the serious ...
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1answer
529 views

Difference between some sentences involving tense

What is the difference between the two sentences in each of the three cases? 1A. I should like to have sat down. 1B. I should have liked to sit down. 2A. He acts as if he knows the ...
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2answers
844 views

“Something suffices the condition that” vs. “it suffices that something”

In a book I am reading there is a sentence: Our initial version of Cauchy's theorem begins with the observation that it suffices that f(z) [a function] have a primitive in a region Ω In ...
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3answers
655 views

“Even were he not to…”

I am currently reading "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" by P.K. Dick and I have come across a grammatical structure I don't quite understand. The excerpt is the following (no spoilers, don't ...
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What tense is “If I were a bird, I could fly”

The sentence is not referring to any time past, present of future. It's just referring to an imaginary condition which has never existed and seemingly will never exist. Still, the sentence and other ...
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158 views

“Be not” or “is not”?

My point here is trying to explain why the message issued is not correct according to the operations allowed ahead. However, I'm in doubt about the bold part, is it grammaticaly correct or is there ...
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1answer
7k views

“If I was to” vs. “If I were to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? If I was to sum up my computer knowledge in one word, it would be “destitute”. If I were ...
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4answers
291 views

A prediction made in the past that affects something we will do in the future

Please ignore the factual accuracy of this sentence and focus on the tenses used. If the Mayans were wrong to end the calendar on Dec. 20, 2012, we'll use your donation to fund 2013 programming. ...
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4answers
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Usage of 'had been' or 'were'

I was doing an exercise. I completed the sentence as following. If you were my child, I would have demanded that such an irresponsible teacher be fired. But the answer given in the book is ...
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2answers
122 views

Redundancy in subjunctive?

Is there any significant difference between the following sentences? Were it to be thought tasteless, I wouldn't do it. Were it thought tasteless, I wouldn't do it. Is the former implying that ...
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2answers
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“Be them” or “be they”? [closed]

Which of the following is grammatical? He had lollies be they red or blue? He had lollies be them red or blue? It seems as if it could be them as an object of be.
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1answer
735 views

Under what circumstances can the word “be” be used directly without any change? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? 2 examples first: 1.It is announced that the accounting class of the 3rd and 4th hours on the morning of this Wednesday be ...
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3answers
2k views

When is “will” used in an “if” clause?

Given the following sentences that use will in the if clause (which is seldom with if-clauses and therefore, I'm not sure they all are even grammatical or not). If you will/would kindly lend me ...
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3answers
160 views

“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 ...
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1answer
231 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 ...
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1answer
218 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 ...
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5answers
217 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 ...
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2answers
14k 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"? ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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3answers
21k views

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

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 ...
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2answers
727 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.
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27k 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" ...
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2answers
504 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 ...
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4answers
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'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 ...
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“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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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
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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
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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 ...
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5answers
269 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 ...
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388 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 ...
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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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785 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
731 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
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“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, ...
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1answer
879 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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655 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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“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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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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“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 ...
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4answers
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“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 ...
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2answers
893 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" ...
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1answer
193 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, ...