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Why is in this sentence used bare continuous infinitive?

It is important that the focus of training courses be towards enabling employees to competently perform tasks.

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Edwin Ashworth, Community Feb 24 '17 at 10:33

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  • It's not. There's no infinitive (it's a subjunctive), and there's no progressive/continuous aspect (enabling is a gerund). Progressive constructions don't allow prepositions between the auxiliary and the participle. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 24 '17 at 8:17
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"It is important that the focus of training courses be towards enabling employees to competently perform tasks".

In this sentence, the verb is 'be' and it is in the subjunctive mood; the word 'towards' is a preposition which is placed before the verbal noun (gerund) 'enabling'.

Subjunctive: The subjunctive a special kind of present tense which has no -s in the third person singular. It is sometimes used, especially in American English, after words which express the idea that something is important or desirable (e.g. suggest, recommend, ask, insist, vital, essential, important, advice).

E.g It is important that every child have the same educational opportunities.

It is important that Helen be present when we sign the papers.

The forms I were and he/she/it were used after if and wish are also a kind of subjunctive.

E.g. If I were you I should stop smoking. I wish it were Saturday.

Subjunctive are also use in certain fixed phrases:

God save the King! God bless you.

(Based on Michael Swan's PEU).

  • This has all been covered before on ELU, mahmud. Plus the school of thought attesting that English has no subjunctive mood as such. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 24 '17 at 10:23

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