Student or Learner
It's only until I have a job and be able to rent an apartment on my own.
Should I use "I'm" instead of ''be''?
... But I think that use of the subjunctive is a bit of a red herring. Those days are gone. Jane Austen could have written 'until I be', but the only people who use it today wear smoking jackets and use long cigarette holders.
I'm a little bit confused. Could someone sum up the answer, please?
"Until I be" is funny old archaic expression. :)
This form of subjunctive is still used in American English and sounds very formal.
(I asked a native English speaker who was my teacher and used it repeatedly in an academic essay)
Yes, I understand your point and I know it is true that it is somewhat archaic in English, either in England or other English speaking countries. But according to the teacher I mentioned, who was from the USA, it is a feature of formal style, though many people don't use it.
I have been checking my handouts and I want to share this excerpt (Source: Student's Grammar of the English Language by S. Greenbaum & R. Quirk):
"The present subjunctive is used very occasionally, and generally in formal style, in open conditional clauses (...) and in concessive clauses (...):
Whether she be right or wrong, she will have my unswerving support.
More usually, the simple present indicative is used.
Clauses of concession and purpose may also very occasionally in formal style contain a present subjunctive (especially in AmE) to express putative meaning (...):
Though he be the president himself, he shall hear us ['Though he is...]."
PS: I know what you mean because according to some linguists, apart from real every day use, the conception of certain forms (like archaic forms) is quite subjective, but it does not always affect equally all 'dialects' (or the groups that speaks them).
I myself, who speak 'Castellano' (The Argentinian variety of Spanish), find funny some things in Spaniards' conversations... perhaps the same happens to you.