Anagomezgarcia’s Weblog

This is a blog for my students at the Official Language School in Valencia

Subjunctive in English May 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 8:01 pm

Apart from  some set phrases such as “God save the Queen! or “Be that as it may”, the English version of other languages´subjunctive forms are “backshift”(*), as in conditionals  (“If I were a rich woman”) and wishes (“I wish he hadn´t died”)  and also:

Explanations and exercise with key

Don´t confuse “subjunctive” and “non-subjunctive” uses of:

1- It´s time we went (= Come on, let´s go! We should have already left)

with It´s time to go (= It is a good idea to go now)

2-I wish I could help all those lonely people (impossible) with I wish to help all those lonely people (possible)

3-I wish they had been luckier (they weren´t)  with I wished them good luck (they may have been)

4-Imagine you´d been appointed mayor (conjecture) with Imagine you become mayor of L.(premise)

5-What if climate change finished us off ? (vague)with What if climate change finishes us off? (real)

6-I´d rather start (the same person)with I´d rather you started  or you´d rather I started(a different person)

These pairs are practically identical:

1-I wish they went away and I wish they would go away (the 2nd is more emphatic)

2-I wish it were (or was) true and it hadn´t been a dream and If only it were(or was) true and it hadn´t been a dream.

3-It´s time we stopped and It´s high time we stopped and It´s about time we stopped

4-He works as if/as though he were an paid employee and He works like he was/is a paid employee (the 2nd is colloquial)

 

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