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To expect Daub to acknowledge critiques of tech thinking by women is to expect that he include not the most feminist or woke critiques of those philosophies, but the most trenchant ones.

  • Why he include has been used? Under what circumstances is this allowed? What is the grammar behind it?

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/books/review/what-tech-calls-thinking-adrian-daub.html

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  • @EdwinAshworth Yes. If I I understand the idea correctly, I can use he would include also. Right? – Budu Gulo Nov 27 '20 at 12:11
  • @Budu Gulo- No, the conditional is not the same as the subjunctive. 'Expect' has two different senses. "I expect the Sun will rise tomorrow" is not subjunctive. It is a prediction based on past experience. "I expect you to clean your bedroom" is almost a command. It implies obligation and requires action. – chasly - supports Monica Nov 27 '20 at 12:42
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    Yes; that (using 'would' or perhaps 'should') would be the usual way to express this in 'British English'. The 'indicative-in-place-of-the-subjunctive' is perhaps the most common of the three variants in 'BrE' (ie used most often by proficient speakers in the UK), but would not work here (and alter the intended meaning). Whether or not the term 'subjunctive' is properly used for English 'hypothetical structures', and the fact that the 'mandative subjunctive' is often preferred to the periphrastic and 'indicative-for-subjunctive' approaches by many in the States, has been discussed here before. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 27 '20 at 12:47
  • Write to Govern has an article on the use of the 'mandative subjunctive': << The mandative subjunctive is used with clauses that often, but not always, begin with that and express a demand, requirement, request, recommendation or suggestion: (1) I suggest she leave the country. (2) It is recommended that the Board approve the policy. (4) I demand that he give me the book. >> [rearranged]. Guess where I feel 'We expect that he include the most trenchant examples' fits in. (But admittedly, I'd probably rephrase them all.) – Edwin Ashworth Nov 27 '20 at 12:58
  • @chasly-supportsMonica would you give a detailed answer? I am little confused. Thanks! – Budu Gulo Nov 27 '20 at 13:07
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A brief explanation. The verb "to expect" can be used either in the sense of "to predict" or "to require".

I expect you will arrive soon. (I predict that you will arrive soon - indicative. This could mean that the person has phoned because they are lost. You reassure them that they will soon arrive.)

I expect you to arrive soon. (I require you (place you under an obligation) to arrive soon)

The above senses can be found in any good dictionary. See for example Merriam-Webster - Compare meanings 1a and 1c.


To expect Daub to acknowledge critiques of tech thinking by women is to expect that he include not the most feminist or woke critiques of those philosophies, but the most trenchant ones.

In a comment you ask if "he would expect" could be substituted. I answered No. My reason is that the subjunctive requires him to include trenchant critiques. This inclusion is expected of him.

However, if you use "would", this anticipates that, if he were to acknowledge critiques of tech thinking, then he would (of his own free will) include trenchant critiques.

I hope this helps.

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  • "To expect Daub to acknowledge critiques .." does it mean that the author's assumption is Daub is going to acknowledge critiques? – Budu Gulo Nov 27 '20 at 14:46
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The simple answer is that the implied phrase is "he would include", but "would" has been left out. (I would tend to call this "elision", but in linguistics the term is mainly used for leaving out sounds, so it's best to avoid it here.)

(Ah, yes -- the "proper" term is "ellipsis".)

This practice is fairly common in English, but it would be hard to establish rules for when it should or shouldn't be done. Mainly it's a matter of becoming familiar with the language.

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