Questions tagged [subjunctive-mood]

Questions regarding the subjunctive verb mood

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The subjunctive in a hypothetical scenario of a historical event

To the prompt "What historical moment would you like to have participated in?", my ESL student chose a Queen Live Aid concert, saying: I’m a huge fan of Queen and Freddie Mercury so I think ...
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I would ask Bob to lend us the money if I knew him/ if I had known him [migrated]

Could anyone clear my doubt? I would ask Bob to lend us the money if I ____ him. A. knew B. had known Which option is better? A would be the Second Conditional which is quite the same as "I ...
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If he die or If he dies: subjunctive

I am confused on the correct usage of the subjunctive. I am a native English speaker but learning Latin has roused in me an interest in grammar. My question is on the correct usage of the subjunctive ...
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Saying "I could have been on time" when still you have some time before the appointment

On a different website I asked which sentence is more proper: The game starts in 5 minutes. If I had taken that train, I could have been on time. The game starts in 5 minutes. If I had taken that ...
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Would rather they WENT by bus than WALK

I would rather you washed it yourself than see your mom do it for you. I would rather you washed the dishes than watched TV. The mom would rather the kids went by bus than walk. I can understand, ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Why isn't it "I will have been running, lest they have been catching me"?

The phrase in the title is obviously incorrect; however, I'm having difficulties figuring out how it could actually be grammatically constructed. To be clear, I'm aware this is a ridiculous ...
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1 answer
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Why use subjunctive mood in 'all the force would be transferred back to the ship'?

When reading a discussion about whether the Titanic could have avoided sinking, I saw a sentence that puzzled me a lot, as following: – it would probably have survived. [When a ship hits an iceberg ...
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How to use the subjunctive mood here, where it seems like it might mix subjunctive and not subjunctive?

In the following sentence, how should the "to be" verbs be conjugated since the sentence is in the subjunctive mood? If it went over their heads once, then they’d soon forget what it was ...
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Do you use the past tense when talking about hypothetical situations?

Do you use the past tense when using the subjunctive mood to talk about hypothetical situations? So if I were to write the following sentences, which wordings should I choose? "If the car were to ...
2 votes
1 answer
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it is not inappropriate that risks be taken

Many outdoor experiences involve risk but that does not mean it is inappropriate that risks be taken, the report says. (Source: Stuff, a New Zealand news media website) I'm curious about the use of ...
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How do American speakers use the present subjunctive in a less formal way on American-English? [duplicate]

Although we don't use present subjunctive often, there are some kind of times you practically need to use it. For example, in British-English you usually use "should" in the present ...
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1 answer
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How do American speakers use the present subjunctive in a less formal way on American-English?

Although we don't use present subjunctive often, there are some kind of times you practically need to use it. For example, in British-English you usually use "should" in the present ...
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2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Reason for subjunctive in "If God be for us, who can be against us?" [closed]

Romans 8:31 (KJV): "If God be for us, who can be against us?" This sounds natural but old-fashioned to my ear as an English speaker, but I can't explain intellectually the reason for the ...
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2 answers
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Subjunctive "be" inversion [closed]

Can i invert the protasis bellow : If you not be, ... Into : Be you not, ... Will it not —in an archaic sense— be mistaken for imperative and will it convey the same conditional notion?
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3 answers
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“suggested I just ate/eat a banana”

The following is an extract from a passage, the emboldened sentence being the phrase of interest: Coming in a minimalistic white pouch, the meal-replacement powder blends things like rice, peas and ...
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How to know when it is subjunctive or not [duplicate]

In this line: God save the earth! … and the Queen too if God so chooses. Was the word “chooses” correctly used?
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Is "I wish I would have <done something>..." ever correct? (vs. "I wish I had <done it>...")

I often hear (or read) a construct along the lines of "I wish I would have ". Here is a recent example: I wish I would have written a post guessing at Facebook’s new name [...] This wish-I-...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Combination of past subjunctive and past perfect [duplicate]

I know that the following sentence is valid. •If I had known about the matter, I would have told you. This means that at a point in the past, I did not know about the matter and I didn't/couldn't tell ...
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1 answer
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Subjunctive "inevitable that" vs. indicative/infinitive "inevitable for"

Why does this require the subjunctive (because of the use of "that"): "It was always inevitable that this virus become endemic" whereas the following requires the indicative or the ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Subjunctive sentence by A. Einstein "The astonishing thing is that those discoveries were made at all." [closed]

About the development of Science and Technology in China, there was a famous question as "Needham's Grand Question" by Joseph Needham, also known as "The Needham Question" which is:...
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What is the number of the verb in "We require that"? [duplicate]

I am writing a paper in which I need an object to satisfy a condition. (I can give the specifics here, but it seems to be irrelevant to the question.) The object is singular, so I originally wrote (...
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Subjunctive mood and bare infinitive in past

In present tense I would say: "It is imperative that everyone stay home." How would that sentence be in past tense? For example: "In 2020, it was imperative that everyone stay home.&...
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Use of conditional and subjunctive in past tense narration [duplicate]

I am helping my friend with a story that is written in the past tense, and I've hit a snag with their uses of conditional and subjunctive. I could have sworn that I learned that you use "was"...
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Why is it grammatically correct to say “It’s time she went”? [duplicate]

Consider these possibilities: It is now time for her to leave home. It is now time for her to be told. It is now time (that) she left home. It is now time (that) she were told. It is now time (that) ...
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Do verbs following relative pronouns need to be in the past tense if the sentence begins in the subjunctive?

"I would prefer someone who was a bit more sincere about their beliefs." vs. "I would prefer someone who's a bit more sincere about their beliefs." The second sounds more correct ...
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Tense in subjunctive sentence

The divorce won’t affect the money that has already been given to the foundation trust, but the couple may devote less money to it over time than they would have if they had stayed together. The tail ...
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1 answer
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Subjunctive in English. Is it used for politeness?

The usual explanation I get for expressions such as "How much did you want to spend, sir?" is that the use of the past tense produces a distance between the present reality and the question, ...
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2 votes
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The probability that it "be" or "is" -- subjunctive?

I am writing a scientific paper, and would like my diction to be as precise as possible. Regarding the subjunctive mood, I know the following is correct: "It is important that she be at home by ...
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2 answers
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Indicative vs subjunctive in terms of conveying meaning

In A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (page 156), the book gives these examples for WERE-SUBJUNCTIVE (for showing the structural differences between indicative vs subjunctive ...
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1 answer
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Varying modal verbs in counterfactual ("subjunctive") conditionals

There are some situations in which one would like to vary the modal verb in counterfactual conditionals, but it seems to be incorrect. "If things were otherwise, she would keep her promise."...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Should I use subjunctive or indicative mood after "makes it possible that"?

I am editing a text in analytical philosophy, and I came across the following sentence: Such a mechanism for a term’s designation makes it possible that the idea designated by the term be distinct ...
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Subjunctive vs. indicative with conditionals

I was reading this topic from March 2014 and thought Charles’s answer was great until I got to the following part: The letter claimed exactly the same as the first, namely that if his letter wasn't ...
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Other than “to be”, what verbs in English change in the subjunctive past tense?

I recently found out that the reason we say ”if I were...” and not “if I was...” (though some argue both are correct) is because “to be” is irregular in the subjunctive past. Are there any other verbs ...
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To know vs Would know

Mary: "Does he have any enemies here?" Bill: "Not that I know of." or Bill: "Not that I would know of." Is there a difference in meaning between the two answers Bill ...
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1 answer
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The meaning of the sentence "Fortunately/Wisely, she consults her lawyer regularly."

In Quirk's A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language Section 8.128 (page 624): it says Fortunately/Wisely, she consults her lawyer regularly. [1] = It is fortunate/wise that she consult(s)/...
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could have done it [closed]

I really could have done it, if you had come earlier. I could really have done it, if you had come earlier. I could have really done it, if you had come earlier. I could have done it really, if you ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Does the main clause determine everything?

If the clause is If I disturbed you: If I disturbed you, I am sorry. If I disturbed you, I would give you money. Both of them use the past tense of disturb in the 'if-clause' According to the ...
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Subjunctive Mood with the Type 3 Conditional or "could with the perfect infinitive" expressing ability, theoretical possibility, etc. in the past

From NBC news’s ‘Breakthrough finding’ reveals why certain Covid-19 patients die: "Before Covid, their condition was silent," Bastard said. "Most of them hadn't gotten sick before.&...
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subjunctive followed by indicative

I have a question about the use of the subjunctive in this sentence: If all the schools were to implement this program, which now exists only in the lower grades, then five years from now we will not ...
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Why is "be" in "this court rules he be put on probation" an infinitive?

I was watching an old movie, The Little Rascals, and one of the lines from a kid goes: Your Honor, may I suggest... this court rules he be put on probation. I am not sure if be is in infinitive form ...
1 vote
2 answers
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Consecutio modorum: Do “that” clauses follow an irreal subjunctive in the parent clause?

Does English have a “sequence of moods” rule? Should the blanks be filled in by was or were? If we knew that it ___ raining, we would also know that the street ___ wet. That is, are the irreal ...
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2 answers
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Is it correct to say 'I wish some magic happens'? [closed]

Another read I come across in which a guy has written, "I wish you could see that young restless orphan who has no house to live in, none to get food from, whose pshychological centre has been ...
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Is 'would have' always the third conditional?

a. No Stone Age ten-year-old would have been living on tender foods like modern potato chips, hamburgers, and pasta. Their meals would have required far more chewing than is ever demanded of a modern ...
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Is "Had you anything", as a whole sentence, grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I saw someone said "Had you anyone specific in mind" in an old English drama. How am I supposed to understand this sentence?
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Should V.S May in subjunctive mood

I was doing a grammar exercise the other day and was confused by the key to this question. He’s working hard for fear that he _____. should fall behind fell behind may fall behind would fallen behind ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Sequence of Moods (Subjunctive)

I asked a question a while ago ("If I asked, would she say it were/was time?" Past Vs. Subjunctive) about “sequence of moods” whose top answer read, Fowler says the past simple is used in ...
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The Present (Concessive) Subjunctive (Whether/If It Be) in Past Tense Cases

Did the present, concessive subjunctive (“if it be the case”; “whether it be the case”) ever have a place in past-tense sentences? To my understanding, the subjunctive “were” and the conditionals in ...
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Should it be "didn't think it was" or "didn't think it were"?

I know that scenarios contrary to fact should be in the subjunctive mood, but ones that we are uncertain of can use past tense. For example, "If I were you..." vs "I don't know if I was ...
2 votes
3 answers
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Shall & Should & the “Mandative Subjunctive”

I came across this distinction between shall and will in Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage: That-clauses after intend or intention, desire, demand, be anxious, &c., have shall & ...
1 vote
3 answers
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Past Subjunctive Sentence

If we started now we would be in time (but we cannot start now) This is an example sentence in my grammar book for past subjunctive used after If. The sentence sounds to me a suggestion rather than ...

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