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subjunctive in English

في الأحد يناير 29, 2017 3:03 am


subjunctive in English

The subjunctive is a set of forms of a verb which express states that do not exist. There are two sorts of subjunctive in English: the present subjunctive and the past subjunctive. In form, the present subjunctive is the same as the infinitive, so the present subjunctive of to be is: I be, you be, he/she/it be, we be, they be. There is no s on the end of the third person singular: he go; she leave; it have.
The present subjunctive has three uses in modern English. First, it follows verbs, nouns or adjectives that express the idea of command, suggestion or possibility: I suggested that he leave; It is my recommendation that she not be appointed; It is fitting that she resign.

This use of the present subjunctive is common in American English. In British English it is more usual to use should: I suggested that he should leave, but it seems that the present subjunctive may be on the increase.

Second, it is used in formal English in clauses beginning with words such as if; although; whether and lest: If that be the case, there is little more we can do; Tie her up securely, lest she escape.

This use of the present subjunctive tends to sound stilted and old-fashioned, and in everyday speech and writing the indicative is usually used instead: If that is the case..., but again American English uses it more readily than British English.


Third, it is used in certain fixed phrases, such as far be it from me; be that as it may; God save the Queen; come what may; suffice it to say; heaven forbid; perish the thought.

The past subjunctive effectively relates only to the verb to be, where it takes the form were. It is used to express hypothetical states, and comes after the verbs wish and suppose, conjunctions such as if; if only; as; though; whether, and the phrases would rather and would that: I wish she were here; If I were you, I'd resign; Would that he were still alive.


It is widely used in everyday English, but in non-formal contexts it is often replaced by was in the first and third person singular: I wish she was here. In formal or literary English, the order of if-clauses can be reversed and the if omitted: Were I you, I'd resign.
We use "if it were" for unreal conditions. Example: If it (gold) were cheap, everyone would have it. [Gold is, in fact, NOT cheap so the condition is UNREAL] we use "if it was" for uncertain conditions. Example: If it (the shirt) was cheap, it was a good buy. [In this case, we don't know if the shirt was cheap. It may have been cheap and, if that is real, the shirt was a good buy]









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رد: subjunctive in English

في السبت فبراير 11, 2017 4:41 pm


Good topic
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Eng.Ali sabry
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رد: subjunctive in English

في الخميس مايو 18, 2017 1:33 am


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رد: subjunctive in English

في الخميس يونيو 15, 2017 5:02 am


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