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Thread: be

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    #1

    be

    "For myself, having twelve months ago in this place moved you that George Washington be appointed commander of the forces, raised or to be raised, for defence of American liberty , may my right hand forget her cunning , and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."The above by Daniel Webster in 1826,please analyse it,especially the subjunctive mood usage.Thanks a lot!

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    #2

    Re: be

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    "For myself, having twelve months ago in this place moved you that George Washington be appointed commander of the forces, raised or to be raised, for defence of American liberty , may my right hand forget her cunning , and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."The above by Daniel Webster in 1826,please analyse it,especially the subjunctive mood usage.Thanks a lot!

    That is a TERRIBLE sentence. Where did you come up with it? It is poorly punctuated, and the reader has to do most of the work to make sense out of it.

    If you REALLY want, I can try to diagram it, but it may not actually make sense -- in which case, it may not be "diagrammable".

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    #3

    Re: be

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    That is a TERRIBLE sentence. Where did you come up with it? It is poorly punctuated, and the reader has to do most of the work to make sense out of it.

    If you REALLY want, I can try to diagram it, but it may not actually make sense -- in which case, it may not be "diagrammable".
    When I copied it , I was checking it prudently.After reading yours , I checked it again prudently , too.I am sure I quoted it right,if the original is right.It came from a Chinese book.The sub topic is Danial Webster Celebrates the American Heritage (August 2 ,1826).I don't know what you mean by "terrible" here.I hope you explain it in detail,or point out something wrong in printing.Sincerely thanks!

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    #4

    Re: be

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    "For myself, having twelve months ago in this place moved you that George Washington be appointed commander of the forces, raised or to be raised, for defence of American liberty , may my right hand forget her cunning , and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."The above by Daniel Webster in 1826,please analyse it,especially the subjunctive mood usage.Thanks a lot!
    Well, "moved you" is so archaic that it is hard to understand. I think Webster meant what we would now say as "made the motion for you". Everything through the word "liberty" has to be ignored to get to the subject of the sentence. The helping verb "may" serves both "forget" and "cleave", which are separated by a comma and have different simple subjects. The mood of "may forget" is, I think, called imperative, as in "let us pray". It's not used that much -- especially in modern style.

    Granted that in 1826 language was different, but this is more like something Alexander Pope (of the 1700's) would write than, say Wordsworth.

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    #5

    Re: be

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Well, "moved you" is so archaic that it is hard to understand. I think Webster meant what we would now say as "made the motion for you". Everything through the word "liberty" has to be ignored to get to the subject of the sentence. The helping verb "may" serves both "forget" and "cleave", which are separated by a comma and have different simple subjects. The mood of "may forget" is, I think, called imperative, as in "let us pray". It's not used that much -- especially in modern style.

    Granted that in 1826 language was different, but this is more like something Alexander Pope (of the 1700's) would write than, say Wordsworth.
    My main question is the function of "be".so it is my topic."may..."came from the "Bible".I cannot know the metaphor.But I know it expresses the speaker's will.hoping of more from you.Thanks!

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    #6

    Re: be

    The "be" after Washington is the subjunctive mood. It is used when there is uncertainty. "I wish happiness be in your future". It is not used much anymore.

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