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Thread: function of be

  1. #1
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    Default function of be

    Hello,
    Please explain to me this sentence: when Valentine's action were discorvered, Claudius ordered that he BE put to death. What is the function of BE?
    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Re: function of be

    Quote Originally Posted by hien
    Hello,
    Please explain to me this sentence: when Valentine's action were discorvered, Claudius ordered that he BE put to death. What is the function of BE?
    Thank you so much.
    Well, I'm not a native speaker, but as far as I know it's the so-callend "subjunctive", an archaic, old-fashioned style of wording expressing hopes, wishes etc., letting out the silent "should"; i.e. one should read this as "Claudius ordered the he (should) be put to death".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: function of be

    Quote Originally Posted by reklov
    Well, I'm not a native speaker, but as far as I know it's the so-callend "subjunctive", an archaic, old-fashioned style of wording expressing hopes, wishes etc., letting out the silent "should"; i.e. one should read this as "Claudius ordered the he (should) be put to death".
    It's not at all archaic or old-fashioned, especially in American English, although in Britain this use of the subjunctive is fighting a losing battle. It's probably not as common in informal English, but is considered good style in formal English even today.

    The subjunctive is used by careful writers after verbs of command or request:

    They requested he return the books.
    The courted ordered that the fine be paid.
    She suggested he try phoning.

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