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  1. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #1

    The subjunctive

    Hello,

    The thing is that living in the UK for over a year now I don`t recall hearing any subjunctive structure. Somehow I think some sentences sound wrong when I use the subjunctive.
    Could you please tell me if the sentences below are grammatically incorrect?

    - It`s important that she attend the meeting.
    - It`s important that she attends the meeting.

    - The teacher suggested that he take some review lessons.
    - The teacher suggested that he takes some review lessons.

    - It`s essential that everybody be here on time.
    - It`s essential that everybody is here on time.

    Thanks!
    Not a teacher.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The subjunctive

    Your three ticked questions (with the present subjunctive) are correct, at least in AmE. It is my understanding that the indicative is commonly used in BrE.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The subjunctive

    They are all OK except this one: "The teacher suggested that he takes some review lessons." It would be much better with "took".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #4

    Re: The subjunctive

    If I were you, I'd come to the US to hear the subjunctive in use.

  4. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The subjunctive

    I was even "corrected" when I used the subjunctive here.
    I said: "it`s best she come tomorrow" and the person said: "you mean comeS". Argh I was so angry!
    Not a teacher.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The subjunctive

    It is not necessary to get angry. You can simply instruct the person in the use of the subjunctive.

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    #7

    Re: The subjunctive

    In British English, the present subjunctive is largely restricted to a few fossilised expressions (God save the Queen, Be that as it may, etc) and you will hear it in some speeches or other very formal usage, often when the person is trying to give a rhetorical twist and seriousness to the text. The past subjunctive is only noticeable in things like If I were you, where it survives, though many don't use it. We use the indicative and forms like He suggested that I should take some lessons instead. It is grammatically correct to use it, but some people may see it as an error in a non-native speaker because we use it so rarely.
    Last edited by Tdol; 13-Oct-2015 at 10:55.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The subjunctive

    I like the present subjunctive.

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I like the present subjunctive.

    So do I.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #10

    Re: The subjunctive

    Be that as it may... One reason that the .....if I were..... form is so tricky in Britain is that the error " I were going to the shops" / "We was going too" is so prevalent that when children are corrected by teachers, "It's- I WAS going to the shops" the result is that they then can't cope with "if I were going..." , which is of course correct. So "If I was" becomes the common usage..
    You can't win,,,, (but if you were to try..)

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