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Re: English Subjunctive

From:David Barrow <davidab@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 4, 2003, 14:16
Andrew Patterson wrote:

>I've been bringing together various ideas on the subjunctive from various >sources including this site and my own ideas. This is what I've come up >with: > >The subjunctive is a mood which expresses ideas as conceived rarher than as >fact.It's counterpart is the indicative mood. All other moods such as the >interogative, imperative and statements (What is this mood called by the >way?)can be expressed in either the indicative or subjunctive. > >The subjunctive has some features in common with the catenatives. > >The past subjunctive expresses wishes, contingencies and hypothetical >situations and uses the past tense to indicate psychological distance in >the same way as the past modal verbs. > >In the past subjunctive, the words "if", "as if", "wish", "suppose", etc >are followed by the subject and the subjunctive past which is the same as >the past simple except that "be" is always "were". > >The present subjunctive expresses commands, exhortations and prospective >events. It uses the infinitive to indicate immediacy in the same way as the >imperative. > >The present subjunctive has two main structures: > >a) the >verbs "ask", "insist", "order", "propose", "recommend", "request", "suggest2 >, etc followed by "that" the subject and infinitive. > >b) "It is" followed by the >adjectives: "desirable", "esssential", "imperative", "necessary", "vital", >etcfollowed by "that", the subject and infinitive. > >There are also some "fossilised" idiomatic expressions that use the >subjunctive in different ways. Fossilised idioms mainly use the present >subjunctive (controversial statement correct me if I'm wrong.) > >One last question: > >Is "get used to" a use of the past subjunctive? > >
'get' can be put in any tense or form including subjunctive I suggest that you get used to it before it causes you problems (subjunctive) I haven't got used to it yet (past participle) used is a past participle , same structure as get tired, get married, get worried 'to' is a preposition, so it's followed by the gerund or a noun object or an object noun clause She got used to waiting She got used to the weather She got used to what they chose A subjunctive form cannot go after another verb Another thing about subjunctives : modals have no infinitives (with or without 'to') so they cannot be put in present subjunctive. *I request that she can ...... I request that she be able to..... They can be put in the past subjunctive Claire wishes Tom wouldn't do that David Barrow