Subjunctive Mood

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Boris Boddenov, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Boris Boddenov

    Boris Boddenov Well-Known Member
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    The present tense of the subjunctive uses only the base form of the verb—I demanded that I be switched to a class with less rigorous standards. The past tense of the subjunctive has the same forms as the indicative except for the verb “to be,” which uses “were” regardless of the number of the subject. I wish I were able to climb down chimneys like Santa. But if Santa were here, he’d envy my 32-inch waist.
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    I understand subjunctive mood but don't understand WHY the plural of the verb "to be" is used for first and third person singular. "If I was president," conveys the same meaning as "If I were president."

    And the subjunctive really got hairy when studying Latin.
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    Subjunctive vs. Indicative Mood ("If I Was" or "If I Were"?) - Writer's Digest
     
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  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    "Were" just sounds better than "was."

    Why not.... "If you was taller, you could reach the top shelf." .Sounds like Mafia speak. :p
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    When I lived in Japan, one of the English speakers asked me why Americans never use the subjunctive voice. I told her it was our poor educational system didn't teach English grammar.
     
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  4. Boris Boddenov

    Boris Boddenov Well-Known Member
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    But, but, but, does it sound better for 1st and 3rd person singular?

    "You" is 2nd person and always takes "were." Oh I get it, you is funnin' me, yanking old Boris' chain.
     
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  5. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    When I were living in Arizona, I owned several horses.

    HP
     
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  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    “Far be it for me to ask” but were you happier when you was in Arizona or was you happier when you were in Arizona?
     
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  7. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Touche'
    Hal
     
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