Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #1

    supposional mood / may + infinitive

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough tell to me your personal opinion about the following two sentences?

    Don’t let the baby play with the cup lest he should break it.

    Don’t let the baby play with the cup so that he may not break it.

    Regards.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 07-May-2008 at 10:06.

  1. Neillythere's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537
    #2

    Re: supposional mood / may + infinitive

    Hi Vil

    "Donít let the baby play with the cup lest he should break it."
    "Lest" is virtually never used these days in spoken English (it's a bit archaic).

    What I would have said, would be:
    "Donít let the baby play with the cup, in case he breaks it."

    "Donít let the baby play with the cup so that he may not break."
    As written, this suggests that the baby might break! I'm sure that wasn't your intent.
    ".. so that he may not break [it] ..." also sounds somewhat archaic.

    What I would have said, would be:
    "Donít let the baby play with the cup, as he might break it."

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    NT

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #3

    Re: supposional mood / may + infinitive

    Hi Neillythere,

    Thank you for your very relevant amendments of my original wording in my post above.

    Thank you also for your diligence to bring up-to-day my archaic English. Your perplexity concerning my intent binds me to resume my story (I will try help you make yourself clearer).

    You:. Don’t let the baby play with the cup so that he may not bteak it.

    I: I gave him the cup to play with so that (as) he might be quiet.

    Do you think this English is from Tudor’s time (late fifteenth century until the beginning of the seventeenth century)?

    And what do you mean about the following examples?

    I don't mind in the least.
    Nobody cared, least of all the manager
    Not in the leastI’m not in the least tired.
    To say the least.
    It’s a lie, to say the least.The least said soonest mended.
    Least of all.
    Nobody can complain, you least of all.
    He ran away lest (least) he should be seen.
    You must be as flexible as the reed in the fable lest by resisting the tempest like the oak you be torn up by the roots.
    Let me comply with you in this garb, lest my extent to the players (which I tell you must show fairly outwards) should more appear like entertainment than yours. (Hamlet)
    He cut the remark out of the final programme lest it should offend the listeners.
    Soviet leaders were concerned lest this Warsaw Pact state sanction the neutralisation of a state which had a socialist-inclined regime and was upheld by Soviet troops.
    Indeed in Lylsland Church in Paisley this fetish was carried so far that even the common cup used by the minister and elders on either side, had three wee individual cups soldered inside the brim, lest their lips should touch. Needless to say they do not practise the kiss of peace there.

    Thank you again for your interest in my work. That’s all to the good.

    Regards.

    V

  2. Neillythere's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537
    #4

    Re: supposional mood / may + infinitive

    Vil

    I am somewhat at a loss to understand your response to my well-intentioned attempt to assist you, as previously - there is no need to be so rude, yet again, to those trying to help!

    Quote:
    "Thank you also for your diligence to bring up-to-day my archaic English. Your perplexity concerning my intent binds me to resume my story (I will try help you make yourself clearer).
    Unquote
    I do not, in my response, express any "perplexity concerning [your] intent" but, nevertheless, you insist on mistakenly trying to "help me make [something that I have not said and would never say] clearer"!

    Quote:
    You (i.e. me): "Donít let the baby play with the cup so that he may not bteak it".
    This is not only not, and could never be, a quote from any of my posts. It does, however, bear a somewhat uncanny likeness to your own post:
    "Donít let the baby play with the cup so that he may not break".
    Unquote

    Quote:
    I (i.e. you): I gave him the cup to play with so that (as) he might be quiet.
    Unquote
    This (not in your earlier post), with "so that he might be quiet", would work in written English, but is not what I, as an NES, would actually say. I would have probably phrased it, simply, as: "I gave him the cup to play with, to keep him quiet".
    It doesn't work at all, for me, using the word "as".

    I'm not clear on the connection between the sentences containing the word "least" (i.e. the superlative of "less") and the word "lest", which means "for fear that".
    e.g. Quote:
    "He ran away lest (least) he should be seen."
    Unquote
    The 2 words have different meanings and are not interchangeable.

    In your other sentences, you quote from Shakespeare's (archaic) Hamlet. You should read Shakespeare as excellent prose, but not representative of current English. Shakespeare's work was written some while ago - and, you may notice that English has changed ever-so-slightly since then.
    When I was at school, I learnt Greek and Latin, but, unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to speak to ancient Greeks or Romans, despite my age! Likewise, you should only use Shakesperean English in the context intended.

    Please, please do not bite the hand that is freely held out to assist you, or it will be withdrawn, permanently.

    Regards
    NT

Similar Threads

  1. Infinitive
    By Cooklava in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Feb-2008, 06:12
  2. infinitive
    By shinna in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Aug-2006, 14:59
  3. infinitive or bare infinitive?
    By miniwave in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Jun-2006, 11:08
  4. about 'to + infinitive'
    By sariputra in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 26-May-2005, 09:11

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
  •