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    #1

    Application of subjunctive

    Dear Teacher,
    The subjunctive somewhat puzzles me particularly when using the past tense. Can you tell which form is more approrpriate:

    1) The Banker insisted that he pay off his loan. Or,
    2) The Banker insisted that He paid off his loan.

    Thank you so much for your advice

    Gilles L

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: Application of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilles L View Post
    Dear Teacher,
    The subjunctive somewhat puzzles me particularly when using the past tense. Can you tell which form is more approrpriate:

    1) The Banker insisted that he pay off his loan. Or,
    2) The Banker insisted that He paid off his loan.

    Thank you so much for your advice

    Gilles L
    The first one is the subjunctive, but the other one is the indicative. Both are fine, though.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Application of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilles L View Post
    Dear Teacher,
    The subjunctive somewhat puzzles me particularly when using the past tense. Can you tell which form is more approrpriate:

    1) The Banker insisted that he pay off his loan. Or,
    2) The Banker insisted that He paid off his loan.

    Thank you so much for your advice

    Gilles L
    The first one is in the subjunctive mood and is better English than the second.

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    #4

    Re: Application of subjunctive

    The two sentences have very different meanings. The first indicates that the loan must be paid, the second that the loan has already been paid.

    I am not a teacher.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Application of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    The two sentences have very different meanings. The first indicates that the loan must be paid, the second that the loan has already been paid.

    I am not a teacher.
    To mean that it had already been paid, the sentence would have to read;
    The Banker insisted that he had paid off his loan.

  4. engee30's Avatar
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    #6

    Thumbs up Re: Application of subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    To mean that it had already been paid, the sentence would have to read;
    The Banker insisted that he had paid off his loan.
    Same here.

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    #7

    Re: Application of subjunctive

    These are also possible:

    The banker insisted that he had paid off the loan already.
    Prior action, in the past.

    At our interview today, the banker insisted that he paid off the loan yesterday.
    Prior action, in the present or more precisely in the very near past.

    Both are indicative, not subjunctive: they report the reality.

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