English Subjunctive

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English Subjunctive

Postby Sprochamaedli » Tue 21 Feb 2012 4:35 am

I didn't know where to post this, since I'm not really learning English. But this seemed the most appropriate place for it anyways.

I had thought about how English doesn't have a separate form for the subjunctive mood. I mean some people (including myself) use "were" for singular nouns (i.e., If she were there), but other than that I hadn't really noticed anything that changed. And then I was reading about English grammar and these examples came up: "I accepted on the condition that I not be given a starring role," and "I would rather he not know who I am."

And I thought, hmm, that is really odd grammar: nominative pronoun with infinitive verb. Had anyone thought about this expression of subjunctive mood in English before? It had never stood out to me before.
наверное мне место на луне, но страшно оставаться в темноте...
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Re: English Subjunctive

Postby linguoboy » Tue 21 Feb 2012 6:25 pm

Sprochamaedli wrote:And I thought, hmm, that is really odd grammar: nominative pronoun with infinitive verb. Had anyone thought about this expression of subjunctive mood in English before? It had never stood out to me before.

We were taught the subjunctive (in all tenses) explicitly in English class when I was in grade school and high school.

Language Log has a couple of good articles on why, from a cross-linguistic perspective, "subjunctive" isn't the best term for these forms: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001192.html.
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