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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    "should",Is it really strict?

    My grammar book says the following is a wrong answer that should be replaced by "should be", but I wonder if it is really strict grammar-wise or practically.

    ex)A little stress can actually do more good than harm. For example, it can lead to heightened memory and a lower sensitivity to pain. While these are positive changes, it's important that they are followed(=> should be followed) by the activation of the body's relaxation response, which allows us to return to a normal state once the stressful event is over.

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    #2

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    I am not a teacher.

    The American English that I speak makes that "important that they be followed by the activation ...." The subjunctive is alive here, if not particularly well. I would never say the two choices you present.

    Other types of English do it differently.

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    #3

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    The American English that I speak makes that "important that they be followed by the activation ...." The subjunctive is alive here, if not particularly well. I would never say the two choices you present.

    Other types of English do it differently.
    Do you happen to substitute "ought to" for "should" in the affirmative sentence?

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    #4

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Do you happen to substitute "ought to" for "should" in the affirmative sentence?
    It depends. We use both, sometime interchangeably. The variations are too many to name.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    I'd say "it's important that they be followed" too. "Are" and "should be" seem clumsy to me.

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    #6

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    I'm not a big user of the present subjunctive, so are sounds fine to me.

  3. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    My grammar book says the following is a wrong answer that should be replaced by "should be"...

    ex)A little stress can actually do more good than harm. For example, it can lead to heightened memory and a lower sensitivity to pain. While these are positive changes, it's important that they are followed (=> should be followed) by the activation of the body's relaxation response, which allows us to return to a normal state once the stressful event is over.
    BLECHH! "Should be" sounds awful in this sentence! I would never use this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    The American English that I speak makes that "important that they be followed by the activation ...." The subjunctive is alive here, if not particularly well. I would never say the two choices you present.
    I agree. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'm not a big user of the present subjunctive, so are sounds fine to me.
    - Are sounds fine only if the meaning is that the stress changes are always "followed by the activation of the body's relaxation response".

    Therefore,
    - My guess is that be (the subjunctive) is the better verb form, because the relaxation response does NOT always follow the stress changes, so it is a speculative "untrue" situation. Thus...,

    ... the best sentence (in my opinion) is:
    - While these are positive changes, it's important that they be followed by the activation of the body's relaxation response,...

  4. Khosro's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    While these are positive changes, it's important that they are followed(=> should be followed) by the activation of the body's relaxation response, which allows us to return to a normal state once the stressful event is over.
    As some other members here, I am in favour of "subjunctive" here. Actually I need it. I can't say "are" instead of "be".

    If I were to use "should", I would omit "it is important".

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by mayita1usa View Post
    - Are sounds fine only if the meaning is that the stress changes are always "followed by the activation of the body's relaxation response".
    That is not true for most speakers of BrE, for whom the present subjunctive is dead.

    I am surprised that a couple of people find 'should be' clumsy or unacceptable. It is quite common for 'should' to be used as a pseudo-subjunctive.

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "should",Is it really strict?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    That is not true for most speakers of BrE, for whom the present subjunctive is dead.

    I am surprised that a couple of people find 'should be' clumsy or unacceptable. It is quite common for 'should' to be used as a pseudo-subjunctive.
    In many cases I like "should" used in that way, but in that particular sentence I think it flows better with "be".

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