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The english subjunctive
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The english subjunctive

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  • 1. THE ENGLISH (old SUBJUNCTIVE
  • 2. YOU HAVE LEARNED A LOT OF VERB TENSES SO FAR: SIMPLE PRESENT PRESENT PERFECT PAST CONTINUOUS PRESENT PERFECT ETC. ETC. ETC.
  • 3. THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS ONE MORE!
  • 4. LANGUAGE CHANGES OVER TIME.
  • 5. 500 YEARS AGO, IN SHAKESPEARE’S TIME, AND THE TIME THE BIBLE WAS TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH, THERE WAS A LOT OF SUBJUNCTIVE
  • 6. FOR EXAMPLE, FROM THE BIBLE: BLESSED BE THE PEACEMAKERS. (= THE PEACEMAKERS SHOULD BE BLESSED.)
  • 7. FOR EXAMPLE, FROM SHAKESPEARE: WOULD THAT HE WERE HERE (= I WISH THAT HE WAS HERE)
  • 8. NOW, THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS SLOWLY DISAPPEARING FROM ENGLISH, BUT SOMETIMES WE STILL USE IT.
  • 9. PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE IS THE BASE FORM OF THE VERB:
  • 10. I BE, YOU BE, HE BE, SHE BE, THEY BE, YOU BE, WE BE I GO, YOU GO, HE GO, SHE GO, THEY GO, YOU GO, WE GO
  • 11. WE USE THE PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE AFTER CERTAIN VERBS AND ADJECTIVES THAT “TAKE” THE SUBJUNCTIVE. THESE ARE WORDS THAT COMMUNICATE ADVICE, NECESSITY AND URGENCY:
  • 12. HIS TEACHER SUGGESTED THAT HE TAKE A GRAMMAR CLASS. MY HUSBAND’S BOSS DEMANDS THAT HE WORK ON SUNDAYS. IT IS URGENT THAT SHE SEE A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.
  • 13. FOR MOST USES OF THE PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE, THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO EXPRESS THE SAME IDEA: HIS TEACHER SUGGESTED THAT HE TAKE A GRAMMAR CLASS = HIS TEACHER SUGGESTED TAKING A GRAMMAR CLASS. MY HUSBAND’S BOSS REQUIRES THAT HE WORK ON SUNDAYS = MY HUSBAND’S BOSS REQUIRES HIM TO WORK ON SUNDAYS. IT IS URGENT THAT SHE SEE A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY = IT IS URGENT FOR HER TO SEE A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.
  • 14. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU BE POLITE TO YOUR UNCLE = IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE POLITE TO YOUR UNCLE.
  • 15. PAST SUBJUNCTIVE LOOKS LIKE THE SIMPLE PAST TENSE FOR MOST VERBS: IF I HAD IF YOU KNEW IF HE DIDN’T WORK HARD
  • 16. PAST SUBJUNCTIVE OF THE VERB TO BE IS DIFFERENT: IF I WERE IF YOU WERE IF HE WEREN’T A HARD WORKER
  • 17. OUR MOST COMMON USE OF THE PAST SUBJUNCTIVE IS IN TYPE 2 CONDITIONAL SENTENCES: I WOULD STAY HOME AND STUDY THIS WEEKEND IF I WERE YOU. IF HE WERE HERE, HE COULD HELP US.
  • 18. WE ALSO USE THE PAST CONDITIONAL AFTER THE VERB WISH: I WISH MY FAMILY WERE HERE. I WISH I HAD A CAR.
  • 19. NOTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WISH AND HOPE: I WISH I HAD A CAR (= THIS IS A DREAM, AND I DON’T THINK I CAN GET ONE.) I HOPE (THAT) I WILL GET A CAR = I HOPE TO GET A CAR (= I EXPECT THAT IT WILL BE POSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE.)
  • 20. COMPARE TENSES: SIMPLE PRESENT PRESENT TENSE SUBJUNCTIVE I go I go You go You go He/she/it goes He/she/it go We go They go We go They go
  • 21. COMPARE VERB TO BE: PRESENT TENSE I am You are He/she/it is PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE I be You be He/she/it be We are They are We be They be
  • 22. COMPARE TENSES: SIMPLE PAST TENSE I went You went He/she/it went PAST SUBJUNCTIVE I went You went He/she/it went We went They went We went They went
  • 23. COMPARE VERB TO BE: PAST TENSE I was You were He/she/it was PAST SUBJUNCTIVE I were You were He/she/it were We were They were We were They were