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Thread: subjunctive

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default subjunctive

    We are arguing about the following phrase, used in a lawyer's letter to a client:

    "I hope the above meet your needs."

    The word in question is of course "meet" -- is this a correct usage of subjunctive?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Re: subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by apricotia
    We are arguing about the following phrase, used in a lawyer's letter to a client:

    "I hope the above meet your needs."

    The word in question is of course "meet" -- is this a correct usage of subjunctive?

    Thank you.
    I would not use the subjunctive in that manner. In the context of "hoping" we should not use a subjunctive form in the present.

    Write it in the simple present as follows:

    I hope the above meets your needs.
    You might even want to say:

    I hope the above information meets your needs.

    Here is a webpage that outlines the present subjunctive very well. Let us know if you have any more questions.

    http://www.englishpage.com/minitutor...bjunctive.html

  3. #3
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    Default and to use it?

    Thanks!


  4. #4
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Re: and to use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by apricotia
    Thanks!

    I thought he could say something like "I hope the above will have met your needs" but my lawyer friend (Italian) really wants to use subjunctive here... (yes, because he would in Italian) What would you suggest to convey the same idea?

    we are most appreciative
    but my lawyer friend (Italian) really wants to use subjunctive here... (yes, because he would in Italian)

    I speak some Spanish and Portuguese. I believe that in Spanish the subjunctive is used with greater frequency. As Italian is also a Latin based language, I imagine the same thing might be true. In English, we use the present subjunctive, but with far less frequency. I strongly recommend that you look at the page I left. It really does outline the English present subjunctive very well. If your Italian lawyer friend has any further doubts, you can show him that page. You could print it out if necessary.


    _____________________________________________

    I thought he could say something like "I hope the above will have met your needs" but my lawyer friend (Italian) really wants to use subjunctive here... (yes, because he would in Italian) What would you suggest to convey the same idea? <<

    I thought he could say something like "I hope the above will have met your needs.

    I would not use that tense/aspect. You really want the "above information" to meet the reader's needs. Presenting this in that future aspect weakens the statement.

    If you would like to say the same thing, but in a stronger way, I suggest the following:

    I sincerely hope that the above information meets your needs.

    It would make sense to state this in the simple future also as follows:

    I hope that the above information will meet your needs.

    Using "will" could make for a stronger statement. I'd say use the simple present or "will", which would be the simple future. I also feel that "will" implies or suggests that the said "needs" to be met will have some relevance in the more distant future.

    I don't recommend saying "will have met". It's really not necessary. You would also need to indicate that the "needs will have been met" after something else happens or takes place. I don't see that in your sentence. It's probably not necessary to add something like that in. If it is, and you believe there might be reason to use "will have met", which is the present perfect, post a new sentence and I'll see if there is really any call to use "will have met" (present perfect).


    8) :)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    From your sentence, it is ambiguous as to whether you are talking about one or two things; meet would be fine if the above were plural. I see no need for a subjunctive here; it's not natural modern English to say 'I hope he come', so I'd avoid it here. :D

  6. #6
    Anonymous Guest

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    From your sentence, it is ambiguous as to whether you are talking about one or two things; <<

    Quite true, but don't you think it is logical to believe that we are viewing "the above information" as a singular form. Of course, I am also going on the idea that "the above" is information. What else could it be if it is written in a letter? Perhaps I'm assuming too much, but it seems logical to me that we could put "information" after "the above".

    I also say this going on the idea that "information" is an uncountable noun and would take a singular verb form .

    Do you know what I mean? Me old dutch. Or are we running into another BE/AE comparison issue here?

    8) :)

  7. #7
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    I agree about information, but it could equally be four separate numbered items, in which the plural is fine. 8)

  8. #8
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I agree about information, but it could equally be four separate numbered items, in which the plural is fine. 8)



    I'd still view separate numbered items collectively and therefore use the singular verb form. Even separate numbered items could be viewed collectively as "information". Now are we talkin' AE/BE perspectives here? Perhaps? Maybe?

    :P 8) :)

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    In legal language in BE, we would definitely use a plural where necessary. :o

  10. #10
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In legal language in BE, we would definitely use a plural where necessary. :o
    I would think legal language would be more in the context of a "document" or " some type of "contract" agreement, not necessarily a letter to a client per se. (as I believe is/was the case here)

    Just a thought...

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