Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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“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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2answers
31 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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4answers
8k 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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0answers
22 views

“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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2answers
79 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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4answers
20k 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
48 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Some verbs require subjunctive, as in: The UN has demanded that all troops be withdrawn.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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3answers
89 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
359 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 ...
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1answer
896 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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2answers
96 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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4answers
82 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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2answers
503 views

Tensed verb form or the plain form when used after “that” (in a mandative construction)

I know that each is a singular subject, but in certain cases it seems that is not the case. For example, in this sentence below, why would the correct verb be "keep" instead of "keeps?" The tour ...
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5answers
7k views

Difference between would and will

Thank you for your time reading this. I am from China and have learned British English for years from my middle school to undergraduate time. I normally take 'would' as the past form of 'will', ...
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2answers
215 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
37 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
57 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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1answer
29 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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0answers
22 views

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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0answers
47 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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2answers
81 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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0answers
79 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
106 views

Using the subjunctive without “that”

One purpose of that is to “express a wish or regret.” Even so, can that be removed from the following sentence and still leave it OK? It is crucial that you be there before Tom arrives.
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1answer
48 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
136 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
72 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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0answers
20 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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6answers
76k views

When do I use “can” or “could”?

When should I use can? When should I use could? What is right under what context?
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99 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 ...
2
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1answer
74 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
97 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
47 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
42 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
391 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
113 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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2answers
77 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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1answer
106 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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2answers
130 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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2answers
8k views

“If you were to …” or “If you …” or “If you will …”

If you were to go home you would feel better versus If you went home you would feel better versus If you will go home you will feel better Are all the above correct? Are ...
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3answers
621 views

Usage of “wish” in a sentence [closed]

I want to make a sentence with "wish". If someone is leaving tomorrow and I want him not to leave. What sentence should be correct using "wish": I wish you were not leaving tomorrow OR I wish you ...
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4answers
2k views

Present perfect in subjunctive past tense (I wish I had done)?

It's an exercise, imagine you're in the situation, and write a sentence with "I wish". the situation is: "You've painted the gate red. Now you think that it doesn't look very nice." Because ...
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1answer
968 views

Subjunctive and conditionals

This is another subjunctive and conditional question. I am interested in the formal, even archaic, uses, not just the modern uses (I am given to understand that the subjunctive is disappearing from ...
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3answers
412 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
167 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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3answers
204 views

how to conjugate verb in dependent clause inside subjunctive mood

In the sentence I pretended that I understood, lest he think I am stupid or deaf. the "he think" part is definitely present subjunctive, but I'm not sure how the "I am" part should be ...
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0answers
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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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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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'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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8answers
4k views

Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English?

It is to me a curious fact that the subjunctive mood of verbs in English has so nearly disappeared in modern times. In fact, even the correct form and usage of the subjunctive in Modern English barely ...
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1answer
164 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 ...