Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Subjunctive

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Subjunctive

    "We cannot accept that you are the owner of the ideas and creations born from the collaboration."

    I would've written "that you be." I think the subjunctive is necessary here. What do you think?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,276
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Apart from fossilised expressions, I don't use the present subjunctive and the original sounds fine to me. (BrE speaker)

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    NOT A TEACHER

    (1) I am delighted to share with you the views of one expert. (IF I understood him correctly.)

    (2) Mr. Wilson Follett in "Modern American Usage" makes this point:

    "Accept," unlike most verbs denoting a mental process, is ill at ease with a substantive [noun]
    clause. He feels the gerund is proper. He says that a "that" clause after "accept" is not idiomatic.

    (3) He might (I think) prefer:

    We cannot accept your being the owner of the ideas and creations born from the collaboration.

    (4) Furthermore, he says that if a writer insists on a "that clause," she COULD use that "overworked

    locution" [his words] One accepts ... the fact that.

    (a) So I guess (guess) that he might approve of:

    We cannot accept the fact that you are .... (But he says that this would only make sense if the writer is

    actually referring to a FACT.)

    (5) If I understand your sentence, X (the person whom you are addressing) wishes to be the owner of the

    ideas. He is NOT, in fact, the owner at this time. So I can understand why you are thinking about the

    beloved subjunctive. But maybe "accept" does not take the subjunctive. So maybe you would have to

    express the idea something like:

    We cannot accept your wish/desire to be the owner ..../ We cannot accept your wanting / wishing to be the owner ....

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    The subjunctive, even for those who still use it, is not appropriate here.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    "We cannot accept that you are the owner of the ideas and creations born from the collaboration."

    I would've written "that you be." I think the subjunctive is necessary here. What do you think?

    Thanks!
    No, that would have to be in the subjunctive in many languages, but not in English.
    With the indicative, it means "We don't believe it", which is possibly what you mean.

    With the subjunctive, it means "We can't accept that you be/become the owner ..." But this would be phrased differently by most people. Maybe, "We cannot allow a situation where you become accepted as being the owner of the ideas ..."
    If you wanted to use the subjunctive, "We cannot accept that you be credited with the ownership of the ideas ..." This one sounds fine to me. But few people would insist on the subjunctive as long as your meaning was clear.

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Allen, how about this sentence?

    We cannot accept your demand/wish/desire that you be the sole owner of the ideas and creations born from our collaboration.


    (I hear that the "British subjunctive" often includes "should." Thus:

    Your demand that you should be ....)

Similar Threads

  1. Subjunctive
    By Adam Cruge in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2010, 17:02
  2. subjunctive
    By daisy1352 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-Dec-2009, 08:57
  3. [Grammar] Imperfect subjunctive vs past subjunctive
    By SwordAngel in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Apr-2009, 02:01
  4. Subjunctive
    By DebsWells in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2007, 15:16
  5. the subjunctive
    By balakrishnanijk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-Aug-2007, 21:04

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •