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 entire example sentence is:

I look for a place where I be free.

  • You need to give the entire sentence for complete context. (Although I can't think of a sentence where "...where I be..." would be correct, it might be.) – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '13 at 7:12
  • "I look for a place where I be free". thanks – userunknown Aug 1 '13 at 7:19
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    @Carlo_R. that does not look syntactically correct either. – mplungjan Aug 1 '13 at 7:55
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    I look for a place where I can be free or where I'll be free. Where I be free is not correct English, but there are regions where they use "I be" for "I'll be" – mplungjan Aug 1 '13 at 7:55
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    be: "In 13c. it took the place of the infinitive, participle and imperative forms of am/was. Later its plural forms (we beth, ye ben, they be) became standard in Middle English and it made inroads into the singular (I be, thou beest, he beth), but forms of are claimed this turf in the 1500s and replaced be in the plural." etymonline.com/?term=be Today this construction is considered archaic or alternately, literary usage. – Kris Aug 1 '13 at 10:13

"Where I be" can be used in conjunction with an auxiliary verb. I would suggest never using the phrase on its lonesome as "be" should be replaced with "am." Instead, inserting "would," "should," or "could" into the phrase can be used in a wide variety of situations.

Hawaii is where I would/should/could be right now.

"Would" expresses a wish or a desire. "Should" expresses a sense of longing. Finally, "could" expresses a sense of possibility.

  • That is Modern English. – Kris Aug 1 '13 at 10:13

protected by Community Aug 1 '13 at 19:06

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