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  1. moonlike's Avatar
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    #1

    If I be a ....?

    Hi
    A common mistake that's usually made by the students is 'If I be more studious,I'll...'. However, I came across a sentence in their writings as the following:
    If I love my job and be a knowledgeable person, I'll be able to be a good teacher. Honestly, I need help to correct it. should the sentence be corrected like this?
    If I am a knowledgeable person and love my job,...

    Thanks a million.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

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    #2

    Re: If I be a ....?

    If I love my job and be a knowledgeable person, I'll be able to be a good teacher. Honestly, I need help to correct it. should the sentence be corrected like this?
    This sentence is correct.
    but If I be, ................ is incorrect

  2. MrsEnglish's Avatar
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    #3

    Lightbulb Re: If I be a ....?

    In my opinion, these variations are fine :-

    (i) If I love my job and am a knowledgeable person, I'll be able to be a good teacher.
    (ii) If I love my job and become a knowledgeable person, I'll be able to be a good teacher. (indicating here that you are not yet knowledgeable)
    (iii) If I love my job and being the knowledgeable person that I am, I'll be able to be a good teacher.
    (iv) If I love my job and am knowledgeable, I'll be able to be a good teacher.

    Part of the sentence structure is a bit redundant though. It could be simplified to just
    "If I love my job and am knowledgeable, I'll be a good teacher."

    "Be able to be" - once you are able, you are necessarily in "being" already.

    I hope that this explanation helps.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If I be a ....?

    i and iv.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: If I be a ....?

    That's not ungrammatical, but the current "love" and future-looking "become" don't pair well together.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: If I be a ....?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonlike View Post
    Hi
    A common mistake that's usually made by the students is 'If I be more studious, I'll...'.
    That's not necessarily a mistake.
    "If you be good, I'll buy you an ice cream."
    "If I be more studious, I'll pass the exam."
    Naturally, it means something different from "If I were more studious ..." This would require, "... I would..."
    "If you were good, I'd buy you an ice cream." (But you're not good or but you're not being good). This can still imply, "If you start to be good, I'll buy you an ice cream."


    The following is wrong because you can't just choose to be a more knowledgeable person (in the short term). I'm not sure whether you can choose to love your job either.
    "If I love my job and be a knowledgeable person, I'll be able to be a good teacher."Change 'be' to 'become' and it makes sense.

    The point is, you can't say 'If I be more studious, I'll ..." is a mistake without knowing what it's supposed to mean.

    PS: If you're saying that "If I be good/studious" is a mistake for "If I am good/studious", I don't think that's right either. It's simply the difference between conceptualising "being good/studious" as something you are or something you do.
    Last edited by Raymott; 17-Aug-2012 at 02:46.

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    #7

    Re: If I be a ....?

    One will find many, many examples for "if I be" in the classical English literature. But in the contemporary language it is at best a mistake. For if not a mistake, it's pretentious archaism -- which is far worse.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: If I be a ....?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    One will find many, many examples for "if I be" in the classical English literature. But in the contemporary language it is at best a mistake. For if not a mistake, it's pretentious archaism -- which is far worse.
    Again, that depends on the context and the intent.
    If a child says, "If I be good, will you buy me an ice cream", is the child being pretentiously archaic, or illiterate?

  7. moonlike's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: If I be a ....?

    That's not necessarily a mistake.
    "If you be good, I'll buy you an ice cream."
    "If I be more studious, I'll pass the exam."



    The point is, you can't say 'If I be more studious, I'll ..." is a mistake without knowing what it's supposed to mean.


    Whenever the students make a sentence like this they're corrected ASAP. Surprisingly I didn't know it can be possible as well. I'm kind of mixed up. Firstly thanks for the reply, secondly you mean it can be possible if it's said by a child. In class setting, grammatically speaking, it's not correct.

    Thanks a lot.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

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    #10

    Re: If I be a ....?

    I just got confused , what is the difference between two following sentences:
    'If you be more studious, you'll get more
    'If you were more studious, you'd get more
    I think both mean that you are not studious now ...

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