Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. Simosito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 1,706
    #1

    If and missing "s"

    I find, sometimes, sentences like these:
    I'll look to like, if looking liking move
    (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

    I am unable, yonder begger cries,
    To stand or move; if he say true, hee lies
    (John Donne, Epigrams)

    And I can't understand why there's no "-s" (or, being this Early Modern English, "-th")* in the verbs, even if they refers to a 3rd person.

    I would say it's because of these if indicating possibility or something like that, but I can't find such rule on my books.


    Thank you,
    Sim

    ---
    * checked on-line, this -th thing.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 902
    #2

    Re: If and missing "s"

    This is a subjunctive present. It was used to mark a hypothetical situation. It has almost entirely vanished from the living language.

    if I,you,he,she,it,we,they say/move/be.

    The only locution that still uses it sometimes is the demand or request:

    The government demanded that the guerillas stop their insurgency.
    I demand that you give me the book.
    I'd like to request that he refrain from calling me all day.

  2. Simosito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 1,706
    #3

    Re: If and missing "s"

    I though it could be a subjunctive, for Italian uses them a lot.

    Thank you!

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Missing cargo
    By Zoe2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2008, 19:05
  2. [Grammar] Missing cargoes
    By Zoe2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Jul-2008, 20:13
  3. Missing Word: Gap fill Quiz
    By Red5 in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-May-2008, 20:24
  4. What happened to those missing languages on this planet?
    By Mariranalily in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 12-Dec-2007, 19:28
  5. Went missing?
    By glorria in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Dec-2006, 19:55

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
  •