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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Indicative or subjunctive?

    Hi all,

    I have got a question regarding English grammar, and decided to register myself in this forum and post this.

    I wrote today, in an company memo, what goes below:

    I do not have either the data or the expertise to address your question. Perhaps John has a more useful answer.
    Although I am pretty sure no one in the company will complain about that has in the second sentence, I am not sure whether in fact I should have used has or have.

    I am starting to try grasping the subjunctive mood in English and its use, hence my doubt.

    Thank you in advance,

    Bruno

  2. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    #2

    Re: Indicative or subjunctive?

    Hi Bruno

    No, you definitely should not have used "have" instead of "has" in your sentence. However, you could have used "would have" or "will have".

    I might suggest a bit of rewording at the beginning of the first sentence:

    "Unfortunately, I have neither the data nor the expertise to address your question. Perhaps John will have a more useful answer. "

    If you are confident that John will be able to help the person, you could use something like this as your second sentence:

    "However, John should be able to help you."

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,109
    #3

    Re: Indicative or subjunctive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bzdm View Post
    I am starting to try grasping the subjunctive mood in English and its use, hence my doubt.
    You don't use the subjunctive after 'perhaps, maybe, possibly, probably, hopefully ...' or other adverbs that already indicate that what follows is not certain to be true.

  4. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: Indicative or subjunctive?

    Philly,

    Thanks for the advice. Indeed, after I wrote the negative with "either..or" and hit send, I realized that it would have been better a positive sentence and then "neither..nor".

    But my question was really on the possible usage of subjunctive in a sentence like that.

    Again, thank you!

    Bruno
    Last edited by bzdm; 23-Jul-2009 at 05:04. Reason: Forgot to address my quick-reply to the proper person.

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