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
>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
>The present subjunctive has two main structures:
>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
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
*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