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Thread: Subjunctive

  1. #1
    BrunaBC's Avatar
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    Default Subjunctive

    Hello,

    I'd like to know how frenquent the use of the subjunctive is in spoken English. Are sentences like the ones below natural?

    Is it essential that we be there before 8?

    The doctor recommended her not to eat fat food.

    The manager recommended that Bob not be at the meeting.

    I'd rather say:

    Is it essential to be there before 8? or (but this one I'm not so sure) Is it essential for us to be there before 8?


    Thank you.
    Last edited by BrunaBC; 10-Nov-2013 at 22:28.
    Not a teacher.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    Hello,

    I'd like to know how frenquent the use of the subjunctive is in spoken English. Are sentences like the ones below natural?

    Is it essential that we be there before 8?

    The doctor recommended her not to eat fat food.

    The manager recommended that Bob not be at the meeting.

    I'd rather say:

    Is it essential to be there before 8? or (but this one I'm not so sure) Is it essential for us to be there before 8?


    Thank you.
    Those types of subjunctive constructions are used often in AmE. For your second, I would use: The doctor recommended that she not eat fatty foods.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    They're natural in BrE too, with the same comments that Mike made.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    As others have said, the subjunctive is less used in British than in American English, although I would say that most BrE speakers still find it more 'elegant'.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by panglossa View Post
    As others have said, the subjunctive is less used in British than in American English, although I would say that most BrE speakers still find it more 'elegant'.
    I think that the majority of BrE speakers don't know what a subjunctive is. When they encounter one, some sometimes think it is incorrect.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 11-Nov-2013 at 16:27. Reason: Typo

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