Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 4
    #1

    "Avoid" + subjunctive

    Is it correct to use the subjunctive after the verb "avoid"?

    1. The use of round-tip scissors avoids that the kid hurt himself.
    2. The use of round-tip scissors avoids that the kid hurts himself.

    Which one is correct, if any?

    Incidentally, I am quite sure I may use an -ing form, as follows.

    The use of round-tip scissors avoids the kid hurting himself.

    But I am wondering if any of the other two alternatives is correct.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: "Avoid" + subjunctive

    No the subjunctive is quite incorrect there. Sentences one and two are wrong, as is your last example.
    Obviously you're aware that compared to your language, English tends to use the subjunctive much much less - though not to the negligible extent that some would have it. The subjunctive is often hard to spot in English, since it doesn't have a dedicated form.
    There are sites everywhere on the web that list verbs which normally take the subjunctive after them. They are mainly command/order/suggest type verbs. You won't find 'avoid' among them.

    "The use of round-tip scissors prevents the kid hurting himself."
    "The use of round-tip scissors can help avoid injuries to children."

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 4
    #3

    Re: "Avoid" + subjunctive

    Thank you for your response.
    So, if I understand correctly, 'avoid' cannot be followed by a that-clause at all. The -ing form can only be used if the subject of the avoided action is the same person who avoids, like in 'I avoid eating meat'. Is it correct?
    Last edited by teor90; 30-Jun-2014 at 10:04.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #4

    Re: "Avoid" + subjunctive

    No, you cannot follow 'avoid' with a that-clause. You can't say "I avoided him eating meat". You can say, "I prevented him from eating meat." You seem to have it worked out.

Similar Threads

  1. 45 ways to avoid using the word "very"
    By Freeguy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-Apr-2014, 11:42
  2. [Grammar] "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood
    By th.19 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Oct-2011, 08:13
  3. [Idiom] idioms meaning "to avoid showing any emotion"
    By Olenek in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 21-May-2011, 12:27
  4. [Idiom] idioms meaning "to avoid"
    By Olenek in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 30-Apr-2011, 16:10
  5. China: How to avoid "Do you understand?"
    By Noego in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Apr-2007, 12:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •