Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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When do we use subjunctive after “unless”?

In this sentence: The body will not be kept comfortable unless the air be maintained at a temperature higher than necessary. Why did the author use "be maintained"? When do we use subjunctive ...
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2answers
119 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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6answers
2k 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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2answers
502 views

Why does Hamlet not say, “ere he rots?”

How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot? The quoted line is Hamlet's. I wonder why the "rot" is not "rots".
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2answers
3k 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
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Is President Obama's disuse of the subjunctive defensible?

In today's NYTimes op-ed, no lesser an authority on English language usage than President Obama says: They include making sure that anybody engaged in the business of selling firearms conducts ...
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3answers
180 views

The Future Perfect Subjunctive

Can anyone tell me what's all this hype about? People consider the following sentence to be the future perfect subjunctive. There is no future perfect subjunctive in English and neither there is in ...
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2answers
63 views

present or subjunctive

In the sentence "the tradition wants that it be always the same person who handles the teapot" (where "be" is a subjunctive), I was wondering if "handles" should not be replaced by the subjunctive ...
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1answer
38 views

What if there were a song that (is/were) about cars?

I've been wondering about this sentence: What if there were a song that is about cars? I know that the first verb there should be in the subjunctive (were) because it follows the word "if", but ...
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5answers
1k views

How is the English Subjunctive Composed? [closed]

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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3answers
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Which one is correct and in which situation? [closed]

If I had seen you, of course I would have talked to you If I saw you, I would talk to you. Also, why do we use past perfect to describe an incident that didn't happen. Sorry, if these sound ...
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2answers
12k 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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0answers
29 views

Correct form of verb after “I wish” [duplicate]

What is correct form: I wish I were a king. or I wish I was a king. I need some explanation.
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1answer
34 views

Degree of Potentiality: Would vs. Should: Which indicates a greater possibility?

People in my new workplace hold that "should" is less definitive than "would," for e.g., in the sentence: Commodity prices could be depressed in 2016 due to oversupply, which should pressure power ...
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3answers
45 views

Subjunctive Mood in Second Conditional - Inversion

The sentence If I were you, I wouldn't do this One can add emphasis to the sentence, by saying Were I you, I wouldn't do this However, I noticed that in everyday English people tend not ...
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0answers
26 views

Subjunctive use

Consider the phrase "A necessary condition to achieve good marks is that you be hardworking". Or even "Another necessary condition to achieve good marks is that the teacher be sensible." Is the ...
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3answers
108 views

“specify” or “specifies”? [duplicate]

I have seen both "(Something) requires that one specify how.." and "(Something) requires that one specifies how.." used in various contexts. Which is grammatically correct? My sense is that the former ...
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1answer
50 views

“If I were to go” vs “If I had gone”

If I were to go there then I would have been injured. If I had gone there then I would have been injured. Is the usage of sentence 1 correct? And do both these sentences mean same?
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4answers
540 views

Is “I would understand everything you said if you said it in Portuguese” correct?

"I would understand everything you said if you said it in Portuguese." Is it any kind of conditional? And if it is, can you tell me which one? As I wrote this I had the feeling that it ...
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3answers
59 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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5answers
1k 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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3answers
2k views

“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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2answers
65 views

Use of conditional tense/sujunctive mood

I am discussing with a friend (over email) the pros and cons of various interview styles. At some point in the email I write: "Ideally the candidate will demonstrate X." Then in the next ...
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3answers
66 views

But other things being equal, it is better for society that the girl is educated than that she remain/remains ignorant

I found the following sentence in Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age But other things being equal, it is better for society that the girl is educated than that she remain ignorant. (p. 164 in Google ...
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1answer
78 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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3answers
70 views

Correction for future in past text

Would it be correct to change this... "He agreed to those changes, but insisted that if the team do not reach the objective by the deadline, the company must commit to implement all the ...
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Which is right: “It is ordered that X supersede/supersedes Y” [duplicate]

Which one of the two sentences is correct: It is hereby ordered that Order 456 supersede Order 123. It is hereby ordered that Order 456 supersedes Order 123.
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2answers
97 views

Is this the right use of the word 'lest' in this sentence?

The dictionary software 'WordWeb', when searched for the word 'lest' shows this as one of the sentence examples under the meaning 'In case' : "he worried lest he should be late." Now, I have even ...
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2answers
62 views

Use of subjunctive with ‘concern that’

Some interpreters have expressed concern that Charles oscillate[s] between. . . . Does anyone think this use of the subjunctive is wrong? Or does anyone have parallel exemplary examples ...
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1answer
190 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 ...
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1answer
68 views

Subjective use of believe

I said: "I believe he know me." But that was marked wrong. The right answer should be: "I believe he knows me." But if I remember correctly about subjunctive structure, after verbs like hope, believe, ...
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37 views

usage in subjunctive and indicative mood

I was reading about the subjunctive in Dr Wheeler's Grammar Website {Carson-Newman University} and I'd like to ask about the following: For example: I suggest that John arrive on Tuesdays this ...
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2answers
261 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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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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6answers
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What is the opposite of 'subjunctive'?

Any verb has a mood, a voice and a tense. The mood will be indicative, imperative. infinitive etc. Voice will be either active or passive. Tense will be present, future, past,perfect,pluperfect, ...
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1answer
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Past or present in: “Why was it imporant that he rub” / “Why was it important that he rubbed” [closed]

(1) Why was it important that Andrew rub the robot with grease? (2) Why was it important that Andrew rubbed the robot with grease? Are both acceptable? Is there a nuance suggested by one which isn't ...
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2answers
5k views

It vary or it varies?

In "The Origin of Species " of Charles Darwin, Chapter 1, we can read this: it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and ...
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3answers
1k views

Could the sentence “Not even death can do us part” be considered correct?

Not even death can do us part. These are lyrics from the Beyoncé song "Sweet Dreams" (link to the part in question.) I've been curious about this for a while. If one considers "Till death do us ...
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210 views

confusion in two sentences of present simple

As we know that there is a sentence "Allah says" this sentence is correct, but when we say "God bless you" why not " God blesses you"
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2answers
3k views

We recommend that he provide/provides?

To my ear "We recommend that he provide an appropriate response" sounds better than "provides" what is this tense/construct called and which is right ?
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2answers
261 views

Am I using “suggest that” correctly?

I am writing to my manager. I want to suggest making a new service to her. I have problem with this sentence: Can you suggest to them that [Company Name] develops the Italian version of the ...
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1answer
387 views

“We propose the session focuses on …” or “We propose the session focus on …” Which is correct? [duplicate]

I understand a verb in English needs to match the sentence subject. Is the subject here "we" or "session", or am I seeing this incorrectly?
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2answers
742 views

How does one parse 'woe betide'?

How would one parse the sentence 'Woe betide anyone wearing the wrong colour'! 'Betide' is clearly the main verb, meaning 'happen'; as in 'they waited wondering what might betide'. But clearly ...
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4answers
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“He walks as if he is drunk.” Grammatically correct ? Any difference in meaning from “…as if he were drunk.”?

Is it grammatically correct to use an indicative verb after "as if", or "as though" for that matter? I've heard someone say: "He walks as if he is drunk." Would there have been any difference ...
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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 ...
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1answer
386 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
316 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
81 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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1answer
62 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 ...
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4answers
875 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!