Here is a sentence that I am trying to understand grammatically:-

Defrauded depositors of XBANK staged a protest march from the New Town hall to the Fountain circus this afternoon demanding that they be paid immediately.

How can we just use:-

they be paid

In my understanding, the correct way should be:-

they should be paid immediately

  • I demand they be {whatever it is you want done to them} is perfectly normal English. If you want a simpler, more "idiomatic" version, those depositors could be demanding to be paid immediately, but I don't see anything grammatically unusual in your version. Nor do I see why changing plain "be" to "should be" makes any difference. Sep 17, 2013 at 5:47
  • All 3 forms are correct.
    – DAVE
    Mar 10, 2016 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


No, that's fine. It's just a shortened version of "that they are to be paid immediately".

  • Can't it be shorten even further, dropping "that" ? "[...] this afternoon demanding they be paid immediately." Sep 17, 2013 at 5:05

This is an example of the subjunctive mood. See several examples like yours here.

  • Could you explain how this is a subjunctive situation? In what manner is it subjunctive? Sep 17, 2013 at 7:55
  • @Geek, it describes an Intention. Feb 8, 2017 at 18:21

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