Was it too much to ask that...

99bottles

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Was it too much to ask that he be allowed some privacy?

I found that sentence on the Longman website, and it exemplifies the word ask.

Shouldn't it be that he is allowed instead? Have I got something wrong regarding basic grammar rules?
 

SoothingDave

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It's the subjunctive mood, found in places like this that express a desire. Also used for un-real situations, like "If I were king."

You can use "is" in that sentence, but "be" is the correct word for the subjunctive mood of expression.
 

Tdol

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In BrE, we rarely use the present subjunctive outside a few fossil phrases like God save the Queen.
 

emsr2d2

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In BrE, we rarely use the present subjunctive outside a few fossil phrases like God save the Queen.
Well, there's something I never considered. I always thought of that line as an imperative, albeit one missing the comma.
 
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