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Thread: Subjunctive

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Subjunctive

    1)I suggested (that) he go to school (american english)
    2)I suggested (that) he went to school(british english)(past tense)
    3)I suggest (that) he goes to school(british english)(present tense)

    According to a british english teacher,all the above sentences are correct. but I disagree with 2 and 3. I think it's more appopriate to say I suggest( suggest=in any of its tenses) that he should go to school. Saying I suggested that he went is totally unacceptable in my opinion because the word "went" shows that he did go to school.But in general, we don't know whether he went to school or not.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    You can use 'should' after suggest, but I would say that 2&3 are perfectly right. 2 doesn't necessarily mean that he listened to my suggestion.

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by jameschew
    1)I suggested (that) he go to school (american english)
    2)I suggested (that) he went to school(british english)(past tense)
    3)I suggest (that) he goes to school(british english)(present tense)

    According to a british english teacher,all the above sentences are correct. but I disagree with 2 and 3. I think it's more appopriate to say I suggest( suggest=in any of its tenses) that he should go to school. Saying I suggested that he went is totally unacceptable in my opinion because the word "went" shows that he did go to school.But in general, we don't know whether he went to school or not.
    In AE, #3 would be incorrect beacuse of the indicative verb "goes". #2 would be possible in AE, but it would have a different meaning. It would no longer be a suggestion "to him"; it would be a suggestion about where he went.

  4. #4
    james_chew_84 Guest

    Default subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    You can use 'should' after suggest, but I would say that 2&3 are perfectly right. 2 doesn't necessarily mean that he listened to my suggestion.
    You say it doesn't necessarily mean that he listened to my suggestion. right?Let me put i this way.

    I suggested that he suggested that he went to school.
    Doesn't it sound odd to you?Sometimes ed form or past tense has something to do with events that have been actualized.It's like someone saying he didn't went to school, which is wrong

    I still insist that saying I suggested that he went to school is totally......errrr....odd maybe.The word should is indeed necessary in this kind of sentence.

    I suggested that he should suggest that he should go to school.
    Don't you think this should be the correct one? I'm just using the above sentence to explain, even though no one would probably say that kind of sentence.What do you think?

  5. #5
    james_chew_84 Guest

    Default Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jameschew
    1)I suggested (that) he go to school (american english)
    2)I suggested (that) he went to school(british english)(past tense)
    3)I suggest (that) he goes to school(british english)(present tense)

    According to a british english teacher,all the above sentences are correct. but I disagree with 2 and 3. I think it's more appopriate to say I suggest( suggest=in any of its tenses) that he should go to school. Saying I suggested that he went is totally unacceptable in my opinion because the word "went" shows that he did go to school.But in general, we don't know whether he went to school or not.
    In AE, #3 would be incorrect beacuse of the indicate verb "goes". #2 would be possible in AE, but it would have a different meaning. It would no longer be a suggestion "to him"; it would be a sugesstion about where he went.
    well! mike! I wouldn't say I suggested that he went to school if I were to suggest about where he went.Most people would intrepret it differently. I would probably say I suggested about him going to school.

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