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    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    using subjunctive mood.

    I've a problem with an exercise...
    I have to correct the mistake in the following sentence:

    "I wish John doesn't smoke as heavily as he does".

    I know that "doesn't" is wrong, my teacher says that I have to use "wouldn't" or "didn't" in that case. but another teacher taught me that it could be posible to use subjunctive mood.. in this case is it wrong to say:
    "I wish John not to smoke as heavily as he does".

    thanks!!

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    #2

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcossierz View Post
    I've a problem with an exercise...
    I have to correct the mistake in the following sentence:

    "I wish John doesn't smoke as heavily as he does".

    I know that "doesn't" is wrong, my teacher says that I have to use "wouldn't" or "didn't" in that case. but another teacher taught me that it could be posible to use subjunctive mood.. in this case is it wrong to say:
    "I wish John not to smoke as heavily as he does".

    thanks!!
    ***NOT a teacher***marcossierz, good morning. I think your teacher is correct and you are correct!!! I think the word "subjunctive" is the problem. (1) John did not smoke yesterday. "Did" is the regular past. (Books call it the indicative mood. The indicative mood tells us about something that really happened in the past. (2) I wish that John did not smoke. (a) That is only my wish for the future. (b) so we use the past SUBJUNCTIVE form. And the past subjunctive form is the SAME word -- "did." So your teacher is correct: I wish (that) John did/ would (both words are past subjunctive in this WISH sentence) not smoke. It's something like the conditional: IF John DID not smoke (but he DOES), I WOULD BE (but I AM not) very happy. Thank you.


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    #3

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Thanks!!!

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    #4

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcossierz View Post
    Thanks!!!
    You are very welcome. The subjunctive even confuses many native speakers!!!


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    #5

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    and in the same case " I wish John not to smoke as heavily as he does"
    Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    thank you very much!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcossierz View Post
    and in the same case " I wish John not to smoke as heavily as he does"
    Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    thank you very much!
    I can't see anything grammatically wrong, but it's an unusual construction.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    And I wouldn't call it a subjunctive - it's just a to-infinitive after the verb 'wish'. But as bhaisahab said, it's an unusual construction; a to-infinitive after 'wish', in the negative, usually expresses a wish about the speaker's own behaviour: 'I did not wish to interfere...'. The expressions 'ask him not to...' or 'tell him not to...' or 'want him not to...' would be OK, but they don't have the meaning I think you are aiming for.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Feb-2010 at 17:52. Reason: Fix typo: 'What's in a handle?' (Shakespeare)


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    #8

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Thank you very much!!!
    you two were very helpful.!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: using subjunctive mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcossierz View Post
    Thank you very much!!!
    you two were very helpful.!
    Glad to be of service

    b

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