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Thread: it good

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default it good

    Is there a difference between:
    1-It is good that you know that I am on your side.
    2-It is good that you should know that I am on your side.

    How about:
    3-It is better that you know that I am on your side.
    4-It is better that you should know that I am on your side.

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    No, I don't see any difference.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    The difference woud come with the third person, where the question of the present subjunctive might rear its ugly head. Many BE speakers would use should to avoid deciding between 'know' and 'knows'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: it good

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Is there a difference between:
    1-It is good that you know that I am on your side.
    2-It is good that you should know that I am on your side.
    The first sentence is about present reality. The second one I am not so sure about because I wouldn't use should that way, but it seems to be a conditional sentence. I would say that they are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    How about:
    3-It is better that you know that I am on your side.
    4-It is better that you should know that I am on your side.
    In my opinion, those sentences definitely mean two different things.

    :)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Would you use 'It is better that he know'? In BE, we put 'should' in to avoid the present subjunctive, so to us it means more or less the same.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Would you use 'It is better that he know'?
    Possibly. I am hestitant to be more definite, because it is not a type of sentence I use often, so absent context I can't be sure.

    :?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, we put 'should' in to avoid the present subjunctive, so to us it means more or less the same.
    In AE I don't think we use should that often. That is, it is used in admonitory sentences, e.g.: "You should mind your manners." Or in conditionals: "He should be here by 5 o'clock."

    Maybe Mike will come by and comment on this one.

    :)

  7. #7
    CitySpeak Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Would you use 'It is better that he know'? In BE, we put 'should' in to avoid the present subjunctive, so to us it means more or less the same.

    Yes, in American English we would use "It's better that he know."


    2 - Let's wait until tomorrow to tell him.

    9 - That's not a good idea.

    2- Why?

    9 - The sooner he knows the better.

    2 - Do you think it'll be too much for him to handle after having heard the other bad news this morning?

    9 - No, It's better that he know now.

    or: It's better that we tell him now.

    or the opposite: It's better that he not know about this until tomorrow.

    The present subjunctive used with the third person singular may often go unnoticed, but it is there. I hear it mostly in news broadcasts. I have, by the way, heard the present subjunctive in BE, but it is typically not used in the third person singular in BE. I use the present subjunctive, but I was not always in the habit of taking note of it. I do take note of it now.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...now%22&spell=1

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22It...UTF-8&filter=0

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...at+he+leave%22

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    The present subjunctive is used by pedants or to lend gravitas to an utterance. Otherwise, it is almost never used. The BBC, say, would rarely use it except for special occasions, like huge disasters, etc.

  9. #9
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default

    This is getting interesting, and confusing.

    1-It is strange that they should be so rude.
    2-It is strange that they are so rude.

    I think here 1 implies a bit of doubt as to their being rude. "The whole thing is strange. Maybe we have misinterpreted their acts, although they do seem to be rude."
    The second sentence leaves no doubt as to their have being rude. But if one uses "sad" instead of "strange", it will all come down to the same thing.

    3-It is good that he should go there.

    One meaning could be: it is good that he OUGHT TO go there. But if we leave this aside, we'll have one question: Does he actually go there?

    With "good" it seems to me that he does. But what if we use "better"?

    4-It is better that he should go there.

    I would tend to interpret it as "It would be better if he went there." But I don't think that the second interpretation is excluded. The sentence could be used when he does actually go there.

    I have, as is my habit, expressed all this in a very dogmatic manner, because it is easier to speak that way. In reality I am plagued with doubts. Every affirmative sentence I have used should be read as a question, except this one!

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    This is getting interesting, and confusing.

    1-It is strange that they should be so rude.
    2-It is strange that they are so rude.

    I think here 1 implies a bit of doubt as to their being rude. "The whole thing is strange. Maybe we have misinterpreted their acts, although they do seem to be rude."
    The second sentence leaves no doubt as to their have being rude. But if one uses "sad" instead of "strange", it will all come down to the same thing.
    I'm not sure it's doubt about the rudeness, but it might suggest that this was not characteristic behaviour in the first example.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    4-It is better that he should go there.

    I would tend to interpret it as "It would be better if he went there." But I don't think that the second interpretation is excluded. The sentence could be used when he does actually go there.
    It could be used meaning him and not someone else.

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