The sentence is:

No one forget about the issue, please.

From what I've read on the internet, 'no one' always takes a singular verb, but somehow 'no one forgets' doesn't sound right to me. But I don't know why it doesn't sound right. Probably because this is an imperative sentence? No? Can someone please explain?

  • The imperative takes a bare verb: No body move! The declarative: This dog is vicious. No one forgets that without risking being bitten. See the comment thread here. Sep 20, 2014 at 7:02
  • 1
    So the title is incorrect. The fact that 'forget' is first person plural in 'We forget so quickly' doesn't make it first person plural in 'I forget my keys at least once a week', 'Do you forget your keys so frequently?', 'Forget about it!' or 'No one forget about this, please.' Sep 20, 2014 at 7:07
  • 1
    Oh, English. I cry.
    – blergh
    Sep 20, 2014 at 7:13
  • 1
    @blergh - I don't blame you a bit. I've been speaking this language for decades, and I'm still learning new things. ') Sep 20, 2014 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


If English had a third person imperative, I would say it was that, but otherwise I would go with a subjunctive expressing a wish or desire or command, kinda like a jussive subjunctive in Latin.

Other subjunctives like this in English: God bless America, God save the King. I'm sure there are some good examples without God too, but subjunctives are pretty dusty in English now...

  • 2
    Said someone wiser than I am: "Consider: Somebody at the front write their name on the board" -- an imperative with a 3rd person subject. This is an imperative, something different than the subjunctive. Sep 20, 2014 at 17:50
  • My first thought was the same, but looking around the internet, I don't see any agreement that a 3rd person imperative exists in English (can you?). You could just as easily say "Somebody at the front write your name on the board". Maybe it's safer to say it's a jussive? Check out this article by Nordquist.
    – gpr
    Sep 21, 2014 at 1:17
  • If you accept Nordquist's proposal that all are subsets of Jussives (to which I have no objection, nor the expertise to object), then your point is well taken. Sep 21, 2014 at 2:00
  • In English, 'jussive' can only describe a category, its not a unique mood, and of course imperatives fall into this category. However, the first examples in his article are of non-imperative jussives which are subjunctives, including "Everybody listen" which is the same form as the OP's sentence. The only thing that comes close to a 3rd person imperative in English is a periphrastic construction using let
    – gpr
    Sep 21, 2014 at 5:06
  • That is better debated with a grammarian or linguist than with me. My example came from one such person. :) Sep 21, 2014 at 5:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.