Anagomezgarcia’s Weblog

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

Subjunctive March 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 1:34 pm

English expresses the equivalent to a “subjunctive mood” in other languages in two ways and in three areas:

TWO WAYS:

a)Backshift (replacing present with past tense when referring to the present and replacing past tense with past perfect tense when referring to the past).Examples:I wish I had a bike(because I don’t have one) and I wish I had bought a lottery ticket with the winning number(because I didn’t win it)

b)Infinitive, preceded or not, by some modal auxiliary verbs (would, should, must, may) or by “to”. Examples: The secretary suggested that he should go. They formally requested that she sign the petition.I: I asked him to write the report.

THREE AREAS

1-Hypothetical (unreal) situations

2-Suasive verbs (verbs that refer to a person who wants another person to do something)

3-Formulaic subjunctive (fixed phrases that express the ideas in 1 and 2)

1-Hypothetical (unreal) situations

CONDITIONALS: If I were an optimist, I would vote for you. If I hadn’t missed that train I would already be in  London. I WISH/IF ONLY: I wish I were a man; I mean, I wish I had been born a member of the opposite sex. If only I could explain why! I’D RATHER (different subject): I’d rather you fixed my bike. She’d rather he fixed his bike (not with the same subject:I’d rather fix my own bike).IT’S HIGH TIME:It’s high time people stopped blaming politicians for the government’s  wrongdoing.hypothetical situations

2-Suasive verbs (verbs that refer to a person who wants another person to do something) and similar verbs that require to-infinitive.

suasive verbs and expressions

Verbs with to-infinitive: I’d like you to come. She prefers you to pay beforehand. This is not considered subjunctive in English but it translates into subjunctive in other languages. Notice that the alternative with a “that-clause” in the previous section (link) is regarded as subjunctive. It is rare in British English. It often sounds too formal or wrong.

3-Formulaic subjunctive (fixed phrases that express the ideas in 1 and 2)

May you have peace and fortune.

God save the Queen.

Long live the Revolution.

 

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