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Thread: Subjunctive

  1. #1
    Ferdie11's Avatar
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    Default Subjunctive

    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you.

    Can you please explain to me why the word "thinks" is used in the sentence above instead of "think".

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    csheywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you.

    Can you please explain to me why the word "thinks" is used in the sentence above instead of "think".

    Thanks in advance.
    Hello
    Good question . As a native speaker I never learnt this as a rule so I can't really explain it according to any principles because they often seem flawed from a non-native's point of view. In the same way I also find flaws with the grammar of another language. Here is a link which gives a good, but not overlong, list of the use of subjunctive. You will see that 'remember that' is not included on the list.
    I wonder if any academics out there can give a practical explanation.
    ENGLISH PAGE - Subjunctive

    PS I noticed that you corrected a subjunctive in another thread
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...tml#post499665
    (actually the original sentences with 'monitor' were fine as written. The word 'necessary' is similar in meaning to 'crucial', 'a good idea' in the list given in englishpage.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you.

    Can you please explain to me why the word "thinks" is used in the sentence above instead of "think".

    Thanks in advance.
    This has nothing to do with the subjunctive. It is the verb 'to think' conjugated in the third person singular.

    I think
    you think
    he/she/it thinks
    Robin = he = third person singular.

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    usignolo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    bhaisahab

    What about this:
    It is important that he try to study often
    This sentence is from the link above: ENGLISH PAGE - Subjunctive

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by usignolo View Post
    bhaisahab

    What about this:
    It is important that he try to study often
    This sentence is from the link above: ENGLISH PAGE - Subjunctive
    Yes, this is the subjunctive.

    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you. This is not.

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    usignolo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    To my mind, these sentences are very similar.
    Could you tell me how I should distinguish them.

    Thanks in advance!

  7. #7
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by usignolo View Post
    To my mind, these sentences are very similar.
    Could you tell me how I should distinguish them.

    Thanks in advance!
    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you.
    It is important that he try to study often.
    The subjunctive mood is a tool, a system of inflections for verbs used when we want to express importance, urgency, possibility, desite, etc.


    In the first sentence, what is important? To remember that Robin... . The infinitive verb phrase is obviously not inflected for subjunctive. Mind, we do not necessarily resort to the subjunctive inflections when we want to express one of the above listed notions.

    Second sentence. What is important? (T)hat he try to study often.
    The subordinate clause expresses importance, and resort has been made to the present subjunctive inflection of "try": it remains unaltered (bare inf.) in the singular third person.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes, this is the subjunctive.

    It is important to remember that Robin (think) thinks very differently from you. This is not.
    Exactly. To "remember that he thinks" is just a recollection expressed in the indicative.

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    usignolo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Many thanks!!!!

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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Many thanks.

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