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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Smile Subjunctive Mood

    Dear teachers,

    Is it a must to use the verb in Subjunctive mood in the following sentence ?

    1. I still remember the folly of my childhood as if it were yesterday.

    Can I rephrase the above statement into the following sentence ?

    2. I still remember the folly of my childhood as if it was yesterday.

    Your guidance is highly appreciated.
    Happy Chinese New Year to All.
    Thanks

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: Subjunctive Mood

    Quote Originally Posted by kl004535 View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Is it a must to use the verb in Subjunctive mood in the following sentence ?

    1. I still remember the folly of my childhood as if it were yesterday.

    Can I rephrase the above statement into the following sentence ?

    2. I still remember the folly of my childhood as if it was yesterday.

    Your guidance is highly appreciated.
    Happy Chinese New Year to All.
    Thanks
    According to the traditional rule, the subjunctive should be used to describe an occurrence that is presupposed to be contrary to fact, as in if I were ten years younger The main verb of such a sentence must then contain the modal verb would or (less frequently) should. So strictly going by the grammar rule, your original sentence should read:
    1. I would still remember the folly of my childhood as if it were yesterday.

    Your question: Can I rephrase the above statement into the following sentence ?
    2. I still remember the folly of my childhood as if it was yesterday.

    This means flouting the grammatical rule, but surprisingly it is often done in modern English. I have the following note from a web-site:
    The New York Public Library's Writer's Guide to Style and Usage has this important note on the subjunctive: "The words if, as if, or as though do not always signal the subjunctive mood. If the information in such a clause points out a condition that is or was probable or likely, the verb should be in the indicative mood. The indicative tells the reader that the information in the dependent clause could possibly be true" (155). Cited with permission.
    So if you go by this advice, you can rephrase as suggested.

  2. Junior Member
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 90
    #3

    Smile Re: Subjunctive Mood

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    According to the traditional rule, the subjunctive should be used to describe an occurrence that is presupposed to be contrary to fact, as in if I were ten years younger The main verb of such a sentence must then contain the modal verb would or (less frequently) should. So strictly going by the grammar rule, your original sentence should read:
    1. I would still remember the folly of my childhood as if it were yesterday.
    I wonder why I should put would in the above sentence, it has nothing to do with the past.

    I mean I still remember now the folly of my childhood as it were yesterday.

    Maybe the "would" is not the past form of will, it is used as modal verb here, right ?

    Your guidance is highly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Subjunctive Mood

    Quote Originally Posted by kl004535 View Post
    I wonder why I should put would in the above sentence, it has nothing to do with the past.

    I mean I still remember now the folly of my childhood as it were yesterday.

    Maybe the "would" is not the past form of will, it is used as modal verb here, right ?

    Your guidance is highly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    "Would" is not correct in that sentence. You do need "were" and not "was" however.

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