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  1. Soup Chicken's Avatar
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    #1

    If there BE/ARE

    Hi!

    I'm a little confused with the following sentence:

    "If, god forbid, there are/be riots between the people of "State X" and the people of "State Y", he'll obviously favour one of them as he belongs to it."

    Should I use "are" or "be"?

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #2
    In my opinion you should use "there are".

    This is a question of the mood of the verb. "There are" is the indicative mood and "there be" is the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive has become rare in BrE, but is still sometimes heard in AmE. In this case, however, I think that nowadays most fluent speakers would say "there are riots."

    Having said that, I must add that it is unnatural to say "there are riots between." Although when riots occur it is often obvious that there are opposing parties, one often does not know exactly who the rioting parties are or what their agenda is.
    Last edited by probus; 16-Mar-2014 at 15:46.

  3. Soup Chicken's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    In my opinion you should use "there are".

    This is a question of the mood of the verb. "There are" is the indicative mood and "there be" is the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive has become rare in BrE, but is still sometimes heard in AmE. In this case, however, I think that nowadays most fluent speakers would say "there are riots."

    Having said that, I must add that it is unnatural to say "there are riots between." Although when riots occur it is often obvious that there are opposing parties, one often does not know exactly who the rioting parties are or what their agenda is.
    Which word should I use then? Or are you saying that it is better to avoid naming the parties altogether?

  4. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If there BE/ARE

    probus said "you should use "there are"".
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #5

    Re: If there BE/ARE

    "Riots" is odd to me in this context. I would say that there may be violence between groups, or conflicts, or fighting. Maybe even a skirmish.

  5. Soup Chicken's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: If there BE/ARE

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    probus said "you should use "there are"".
    I was talking about the usage of "between", which probus pointed out.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: If there BE/ARE

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup Chicken View Post
    I was talking about the usage of "between", which probus pointed out.
    The Australian press often uses the phrase "riots between". I find it acceptable.
    "A riot broke out between supporters of the opposing football teams." Riots between police and protestors happen all the time.

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