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    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #1

    hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    Subjunctive is used to express contrafactual, unlikely situations.

    "I wish I were a vampire"
    "If I were a vampire.."

    We don't say, "If I am a vampire.." because it's not a possible situation.

    However, it's possible to say:

    "Imagine I am a vampire.." (as if it's possible)
    "Assume I am a vampire.."

    Is the subjunctive used only in "if" conditional and wishes?

    Thanks.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #2

    Re: hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Subjunctive is used to express contrafactual, unlikely situations.

    "I wish I were a vampire"
    "If I were a vampire.."

    We don't say, "If I am a vampire.." because it's not a possible situation.

    However, it's possible to say:

    "Imagine I am a vampire.." (as if it's possible)
    "Assume I am a vampire.."

    Is the subjunctive used only in "if" conditional and wishes?

    Thanks.
    Hello Lycen,

    How are you? Allow me to offer you my understanding of this.

    "Imagine I am a vampire.."
    In this sentence, the speaker requests the hearer to regard his/her being a vampire as not being counterfactual.


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #3

    Re: hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    Hey Kondorosi,

    What you said certainly make sense . I also use it that way, but those people who use it otherwise as such:

    "Imagine I were a vampire.."

    And that confuses me.

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    #4

    Re: hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    They might be associating it with things like 'Supposing I were/was a vampire'


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #5

    Re: hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    They might be associating it with things like 'Supposing I were/was a vampire'
    "Suppose I were.." does make sense to use the subjunctive as it is similar to "If I were.."

    All in all, which is more correct? The one I normally use "Imagine I am a.." or "Imagine I were a.."?


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #6

    Re: hypothetical situations with indicative instead of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Hey Kondorosi,

    What you said certainly make sense . I also use it that way, but those people who use it otherwise as such:

    "Imagine I were a vampire.."

    And that confuses me.
    Subjunctives express counterfactual things, wishes, commands, requests.

    "Imagine I were a vampire.."
    "Imagine I am a vampire.."
    My opinion based on my speculation is this:
    Both sentences denote a hypothetical situation (we know there are no vampires in our modern society), but the English language affords the opportunity for us to decide whether we want to emphasise it ... or not.

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