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God save the subjunctive!


Few things annoy me more than to hear, “If I was you ...” Most who actually know that there exists a verbal mood called the subjunctive agree that it appears to be vanishing in common usage. Earlier in the twentieth century, grammarians and linguists proclaimed the subjunctive's death and argued that this was no big loss, as its historical role in English had been weak and inconsistent; some even went so far as to say that in Modern English its usage is “pretentious”.


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Added: Jan 12 2004
Category: Language Articles: Linguistics: Modality

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