Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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“Small Latin and Less Greek”

About a third of the way through his poem "To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare and What He Hath Left Us," Ben Jonson writes: And though thou hadst small Latin and less ...
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34 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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1answer
28 views

“that one consider” or “that one considers”? [duplicate]

I have a question to ask regarding this quote. In the formation of a marketing strategy, it is imperative that one considers the marketing mix, also known as the 4Ps – product, price, place, and ...
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5answers
746 views

“I hope this computer work”?

Why is the phrase "I hope this computer work" unacceptable? The word "hope" makes the phrase subjunctive, so why isn't it correct to use the infinitive verb form?
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70 views

Why is English grammar so basic? [closed]

I understand that the essence of my question requires a good deal of historical context, and I am fine with this... Having taken three semesters of Spanish, which naturally required that I understand ...
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3answers
398 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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1answer
774 views

Conditional sentences not starting with “if”

Were I rich, I would live on Long Island. If I were rich, I would live on Long Island. Is the first sentence still used, or is used in particular contexts (in example, to give emphasis to the ...
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4answers
125 views

“That… be” construction

We will make the convention that exact categories be skeletally small. Is this construction (used in a mathematical context) correct? There is something that strikes me as odd in that "be". ...
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4answers
5k views

Usage of the future subjunctive

In the Wikipedia article about the subjunctive mood, I read that the future subjunctive of own for the first person singular is I were to own. In which situations is the future subjunctive used in ...
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1answer
56 views

Let it be done - grammatical analysis

How should the phrase "Let it be done" be interpreted grammatically? What confounds me are the following assumptions, some or all of which may be wrong: "Let" implies imperative "it be done" ...
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5answers
218 views

How is the English Subjunctive Composed?

Yesterday, I read about the English subjunctive mood. I tried to, but couldn't, discern a concise conception of it. What do you regard as a useful and concise conception of the subjunctive mood?
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41 views

Is 'that' required? Does it make a difference?

I want that he become a doctor. I want he become a doctor. Is there any difference between these?
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11k 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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4answers
785 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 ...
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3answers
110 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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3answers
194 views

“Assume that A = B” subjunctive?

Over on Math.SE, a question exists regarding the usage of the word "that" in the following sentences: Assume that A = B. Assume A = B. A well-known author suggests that users elect Option 1 in ...
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1answer
72 views

Subjunctive or not subjunctive?

I'm trying to express the following with the verb laugh: Given a certain condition (that has not been met yet), I will be happy. So: When she laugh, I'll be happy. However, I'm unsure if ...
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4answers
6k 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 ...
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2answers
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Is this sentence using Subjunctive Mood?

Here is the sentence I'm confused about: If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. (Hal Abelson, MIT Professor) My difficulty is to ...
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3answers
128 views

Reported Speech with was and were

I set a test with the following direct sentence, which the students were supposed to put into reported speech: Interviewer: "Are you fluent in English?" I expected the students to write: The ...
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1answer
106 views

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives?

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives? If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge ...
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92 views

I would that & I would to God / heaven

For I would that all men were even as I myself. (1 Corinthians 7:7) I would to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. (2H4 I.ii.219-220) Do these would-constructions mean ...
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8answers
3k 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
253 views

Past subjunctive Vs. Present Subjunctive

The verb be is the only one that has a past subjunctive form. In some cases, be, as a subjunctive, retains its present form even if the sentence is in the past tense. Example: Present: It ...
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1answer
66 views

Conjugation of “smite” - unsure of all forms

Smite is an interesting word for which I found a use today. However, my understanding of its conjugation is as follows: I/you smite He/she/it smites We/you/they smite And then "I was smitten ...
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2answers
753 views

Behave as if it was or it were

You can place the script in the head or body as you like. The script will behave as if it was located exactly where you put the script tag in the document. The sentences above are taken from ...
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1answer
60 views

Infinitive use in “whether or not he be” compared with its use in “if he be”

Here is the phrase in question: . . . but whether he be, or whether he be not. . . . Is the usage of the infinitive in that phrase above the same sort of thing as occurs in this quotation: ...
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378 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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131 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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3answers
174 views

If I were him, I would doubt if she (is/was/were?) serious about this relationship

Which one is correct? If I were him, I would doubt if she is serious about this relationship. If I were him, I would doubt if she was serious about this relationship. If I were him, I would doubt if ...
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3answers
1k 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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2answers
140 views

Mixed Conditionals

This question is about conditionals If I had money, I would give it you conditional 2 (present tense) If I had money, I would have given it to you conditional 3 (Past tense) But I've ...
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1answer
63 views

which type of conditional should I choose?

In a crowded market, I'm pushing someone in front of me aside in order to get my way through. The guy turns around, arguing why I'm pushing him. I reply: (1) If I don't push you, how can I get ...
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478 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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“was” or “were” in the context of “X wishes that he [was / were] Y” [duplicate]

If you are saying that somebody wishes that they could have been somebody else, which would be more correct: E from the eels wishes he was Elliott Smith or E from the eels wishes he were Elliott ...
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Subjunctive mood

I am just curious, how often this form of Subjunctive mood is used and what alternatives are available to express the very same thing. Examples: I suggest that he implement a budget cut in March. ...
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Subjunctive mood with complex sentences

Which sentence is correct? If I could, I would find a hint which helps me. If I could, I would find a hint which would help me.
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4k views

“I would prefer [it] if the meeting [would be/was] postponed”

Because I am still in New Haven, I would prefer [it] if the meeting [would be/was] postponed. What is the correct way of saying this? I am curious as to with or without it, and would be versus ...
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2answers
108 views

make sure + subjunctive

I'm wondering if "make sure" can take the subjunctive mood of a verb. Take this sentence for example: Loki would be disappointed in me if I did not make sure this was the true casket. What if ...
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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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1answer
97 views

Use of “would” for subjunctive phrases

This has been bugging me for some time; I tried to look for previous questions here but my language tools may not be sharp enough to phrase my query correctly so please forgive me if this has already ...
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1answer
94 views

“I look for a place where I be free” — subjunctive or just bad English?

I'd like to know whether the phrase "where I be" is grammatically incorrect or whether it is correct if in the subjunctive mood. If it is in the subjunctive mood, what exactly would it mean? The ...
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189 views

Is ”If I leave, it’s because Bob has arrived” ambiguous?

If I leave, it’s because Bob has arrived. Does this mean: Bob has not arrived yet. When Bob does arrive (shortly), I may leave. Bob is here now and requesting my attention. Therefore, I may ...
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2answers
111 views

Should “If I ever had a philosophy” be in the past perfect?

Excerpted from The Hills of Triumph: If I ever had a philosophy with which to govern my social life, even long after learning that social is often at the detriment of personal, it would have been ...
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2answers
253 views

Can I use the word “must” in subjunctive mood?

I'm a student in China. Our English exam has a grammar item. 54.My boss ordered that the legal documents __ to him before lunch. A.be sent B.were sent C.were to be sent D.must be ...
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4answers
5k views

When should I use the subjunctive mood?

In which cases should I use the subjunctive mood? I suggest that every applicant fill out the form carefully. If she were rich, she would live on Long Island.
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Tense Confusion in “If they have to/If they were to/If they had to” [closed]

Which is correct and what is the meaning of each sentence? Wickets will keep falling if they had to. Wickets will keep falling if they were to. Wickets will keep falling if they have 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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1answer
835 views

Which is correct? If I was or If I were for this particular sentence [duplicate]

Which is correct? 1) If I were a little taller, I would be able to reach the top of the shelf. 2) If I was a little taller, I would be able to reach the top of the shelf.
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754 views

I'd be honored if it was/were you [duplicate]

I've been reading a lot about the subjunctive mood lately, and everything seems clearer than it did some time ago, but I still have doubts regarding this mood. The other day I read the following ...