3
   

Fine-Tuning, Taking Requests Again

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2003 01:57 pm
Hi all,

I ran a taking-requests thread in June, asking that a2kers let me know what topics they would like to see covered in the Fine-Tuning threads. I have run threads on all the requests, save one from Setanta:

You done the subjunctive and the attendant verb changes yet, Boss?

Nope, I didn't. And I don't know enough to write anything helpful or cogent on the subject. If Setanta would like to write something, I'd be happy to read it and learn.

In the meantime, I'm looking for additional requests. C'mon gang.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 3,328 • Replies: 25
No top replies

 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2003 03:42 pm
Boy, the subjunctive is a challenge. I've seen it laid out somewhere in an old-fashioned grammar book years ago. I remember some from my Latin days, too. It would be fun to try to conjugate the different tenses. (Yes, I really DO need to get a life beyond grammar. Ha!)

Here goes my attempt. Feel free to argue with any entry. My memory is shoddy these days, especially in this Texas August heat!

First, to orient myself, I will attempt the indicative tenses:

Present: Today, he goes . . .
Present Progressive: Right now, he is going . . .
Past: Yesterday, he went . . .
Past Progressive: Yesterday, he was going . . .
Pluperfect (?): He had gone . . .
Pluperfect (?) progressive: He had been going . . .

Future: Tomorrow, he will go . . .
Future Progressive: Tomorrow, he will be going . . .
Future Past: Someday, he will have gone . . .
Future Past Progressive: Someday, he will have been going . . .


Subjunctive

Present: I wish he went . . .
Present Progressive: I wish he were going . . .
Past: I wish he had gone . . .
Past Progressive: I wish he had been going

Pluperfect: Well, if the rule is you go back one tense, then how would you go back from here? Is there a subjunctive constructive for this?

Future: I wish he would go to the party next week, but he refuses.
Future progressive: I wish he would be going . . .
Future Past: Someday, but not now, I will wish he had gone . . .
Future Past Progressive: Someday, I will wish he had been going . . .


I wonder what happens if we also conjugate "wish."

Present: I wish he went . . .
Present progressive: I am wishing he were going . . .
Past: I wished he had gone . . .
Past Progressive: I was wishing he had been going . . .
Pluperfect: I had wished he had been going . . .
Pluperfect Progressive: I had been wishing he had been going . . .

Future: I will wish he would go . . .
Future Progressive: I will be wishing he would be going . . .
Future Past: By that time in the future I will come to my senses and I will have wished he had gone . . .
Future Past Progressive: I will have been wishing he had been going . . .

Okay, um, that actually took up an hour or so. Smile

It was a lot of fun.

I know a link on the subjunctive which, I believe, compares it to the conditional.

Going to fetch it now, so we can see how it is really supposed to be laid out.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2003 03:54 pm
Quote:
Mood in verbs refers to one of three attitudes that a writer or speaker has to what is being written or spoken. The indicative mood, which describes most sentences on this page, is used to make a statement or ask a question. The imperative mood is used when we're feeling sort of bossish and want to give a directive, strong suggestion, or order:

Get your homework done before you watch television tonight.
Please include cash payment with your order form.
Get out of town!
Notice that there is no subject in these imperative sentences. The pronoun you (singular or plural, depending on context) is the "understood subject" in imperative sentences. Virtually all imperative sentences, then, have a second person (singular or plural) subject. The sole exception is the first person construction, which includes an objective form as subject: "Let's (or Let us) work on these things together."

The subjunctive mood is used in dependent clauses that do the following: 1) express a wish; 2) begin with if and express a condition that does not exist (is contrary to fact); 3) begin with as if and as though when such clauses describe a speculation or condition contrary to fact; and 4) begin with that and express a demand, requirement, request, or suggestion. A new section on the uses of the Conditional should help you understand the subjunctive.

She wishes her boyfriend were here.
If Juan were more aggressive, he'd be a better hockey player.
We would have passed if we had studied harder.
He acted as if he were guilty.
I requested that he be present at the hearing.
The subjunctive is not as important a mood in English as it is in other languages, like French and Spanish, which happen to be more subtle and discriminating in hypothetical, doubtful, or wishful expressions. Many situations which would require the subjunctive in other languages are satisfied by using one of several auxiliary verbs in English.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2003 04:00 pm
The above from Professor Charles Darling, of course.

http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:n3QfisZ34xkJ:webster.commnet.edu/grammar/+%22Charles+Darling%22+%22English+Guide%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 12:47 am
Hi and Holy Moley, Dupre. You've outdone yourself. Thanks mucho. I've been subjunctified.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE FINE-TUNING THREADS?
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 12:55 am
Dupre,

Any explanation for the following:

She wishes her boyfriend were here.
Why is were used instead of was?
If Juan were more aggressive, he'd be a better hockey player. Same question here.
He acted as if he were guilty. And here.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 01:10 am
Because when you use the subjunctive with "wish" you use the plural form of the verb. The form never changes regardless of the subject.

"If I were a rich man . . ."

When using the subjunctive with command verbs, you use the infinitive without the "to."

"I demand that you be on time."

On the last example in your post, "He acted as if he were guilty," if the sentence read, "He acted as if he WAS guilty," the sentence would imply that he, indeed, WAS guilty. By using "were" in the sentence, the sentence implies that even though he acted guilty, he, indeed, was not.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 01:15 am
People usually confuse the subjunctive with the conditional.

"If I go to the party, I will take a cake."

vs.

"If I were going to the party (and I'm not), I would take a cake."
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 01:36 am
This from the American Heritage Dictionary on the indicative was and the subjunctive were:

In conditional sentences the clause introduced by if may contain either a past subjunctive verb (if I were going) or an indicative verb (if I am going; if I was going), depending on the intended meaning. According to the traditional rule, the subjunctive should be used to describe an occurrence that is presupposed to be contrary to fact, as in if I were ten years younger or if Napoleon had won at Waterloo. The main verb of such a sentence must then contain the modal verb would or (less frequently) should: If America were still a British colony, we would have an anthem that human voices could sing. If I were the President, I should (or would) declare November 1 a national holiday. When the situation described by the if clause is not presupposed to be false, however, that clause must contain an indicative verb, and the choice of verb in the main clause will depend on the intended meaning: If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, as many have argued, then we have underestimated Marlowe's genius. If Kevin was out all day, then it makes sense that he couldn't answer the phone. Note also that the presence of the modal verb would in the main clause should not be taken as a sign that the verb in the if clause must be in the subjunctive, if the content of that clause is not presupposed to be false: If I was (not were) . He would always call her from the office if he was (not were) going to be late for dinner. · Again according to the traditional rule, the subjunctive is not correctly used following verbs such as ask or wonder in if clauses that express indirect questions, even if the content of the question is presumed to be contrary to fact: We wondered if dinner was (not were) included in the room price. Some of the people we met even asked us if California was (not were) an island. · With all deference to the traditional rules governing the use of the subjunctive, it should be noted that a survey of the prose of reputable writers over the past 200 years would reveal a persistent tendency to use the indicative was where the traditional rule would require the subjunctive were. A sentence beginning If I was the only boy in the world, while not strictly correct, is wholly unremarkable. But the corresponding practice of using the subjunctive in place of the indicative may be labeled a hypercorrection. · In spoken English there is a growing tendency to use would have in place of the subjunctive in contrary-to-fact clauses, as in if I would have been the President, but this usage is still widely considered incorrect.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 01:52 am
So,
when you know you're not going to the party, you should say:

"If I were going to the party (and I'm not), I would take a cake." As in dupre's example.

But, if you haven't decided, or don't know about going to the party, you should say:

""If I was (not were) going to the party--I still don't know--I would take a cake."
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 05:11 am
When using the conditional, the simple present indicates the future.

When using the subjunctive, the past indicates the present.

"If I go to the party" indicates an unknown future possibility.

"If I were going to the party" indicates that you are not going to the party.

Is there a special mood for this:

"If I am to go to the party . . ."

Seems a little old-fashioned, but it seems to me to imply the conditional, except that the emphasis is that the speaker is fairly resigned to the fact that he or she will be going. Seems to imply, "Since I am going to the party . . ."

Any thoughts?
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 05:12 am
Hello, InraBlue. Nice post. Glad to see another grammar buff here!

Wecome!
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 05:17 am
BTW, "If I was going to the party . . ." would mean that the speaker is not really sure whether he or she was actually in the process of making their way to the party at some time or another. As if the speaker had a memory lapse.

"If I was going to the party before I had the wreck and lost my memory, I might have decided to bring a cake." Conditional.

That's the way I see it, anyway.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 05:44 am
Uh-oh.

Had I read this first, my repsones might have been correct!

CONDITIONAL CLAUSES


Quote:
- Conditional consists of two parts: if-clause and main clause

- four types of conditionals

- Propositions depend on each other

► deductive: the result in the main clause is provable; types I-IVa

→ if A then B [the principle (A) leads to the conclusion (B)]

► inductive: Things happen again and again and on the basis of observation we can

conclude that another case of A will lead to another case of B (always true); type IVb

- Comma-rule: You must use a comma if the if-clause comes first and the

main-clause follows. If the main-clause comes first, you needn’t use a

comma.

Four types of conditional

I. real condition

if-clause main clause

present will (or other modal)

If you park your car there, the neighbours will complain.

à used for real or possible situations



IIa. unreal condition

if-clause main clause

past would (or other modal)

If you parked your car there, the neighbours would complain.

à used for unreal or less probable situations



IIb. stronger unreal condition

if-clause main clause

were + infinitive would (or other modal)

If you were to park your car there, the neighbours would complain.

à to be is always conjugated as were



III. contrafactual condition

if-clause main clause

past perfect would (or other modal) + perfect inf.

If you had parked your car there, the neighbours would have complained.

à hypothetical result of a past situation



IVa. implicational condition

if-clause main clause

present present or must + infinitive

If this is grammar class, it is/must be Tuesday.

past past or must + perfect infinitive

If you parked your car there, the neighbours complained / must have complained.

IVb. real condition

if-clause main clause

present present

If (= whenever) you park your car there, the neighbours complain.

past past/would + infinitive

If (= whenever) you parked your car there, the neighbours complained/would complain.

Conditional: Ralf Becker


Introductory forms


Some alternatives for introductory forms: Type of conditional:

If you study, you'll be successful. 1, 2, 3, 4



Suppose / Supposing you study, you'll be successful. 1, 2, 3

In the event that you study, you'll be successful. 1, 2, 3

On the condition you study, you'll be successful. 1

In case you study, you'll be successful. 1, (2, 3)

Provided / Providing you study, you'll be successful. 1, (2)

Allowing that you study, you'll be successful. 1



Unless you study, you won't be successful. 1, 2, 3



Inversion
Should you study (=infinitive), you would be successful. 2, 3

Were you to study (=infinitive), you would be successful. 2

Had you studied (=past participle), you would have been successful. 3

Conjoined clauses:

Example: You don't study and you won't be successful. 1

Subjunctive vs. conditionals
The following formulaic expression takes the subjunctive and not the conditional:

It's (high / about) time … he came. * he would come.

he were here. * he would be here.

The following take subjunctive or conditional depending. The conditional is only possible if the verb is dynamic. And the subjunctive past is only possible with stative verbs.

If only he were here / *he came. * he would be here / he would come.

I wish he were here. / * he came. * he would be here / he would come.

The subjunctive is also used to describe what would happen if something were to be the case. But it is old-fashioned: If that be the official view, it cannot be accepted.

The were-subjunctive
The were-subjunctive (or past subjunctive) is hypothetical or unreal in meaning. It is limited to the one form were, and thus breaks the concord rule of the indicative verb BE in the 1st and 3rd person singular of the past tense. The indicative form was is used in less formal style.

· If I were / was rich, I would buy you anything you wanted.

· Tim speaks quietly on the phone as though he were / was telling a secret.

· I wish the journey were / was over.

· Just suppose everyone were / was to give up smoking and drinking.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 05:48 am
I would take issue with some of the above, if I only had the time.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 06:46 am
Hmm, how 'bout a fine-tuning thread on synonyms and the differences in shades of meaning? I recall reading (I think it was in Atlantic Monthly) that there are few true (e. g. one word equivalents) synonyms. Hence, there's aroma, scent, smell, odor, stink and stench. The first 2 are virtually 100% positive. The second 2 are neutral but can evoke unpleasantness. The last 2 are downright icky.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 08:34 am
InfraBlue and Dupre, Thanks to you both. I think I'll have to read the explanations a few more times before I can get a firm (or even a tenuous) grasp on the subject.

Jespah, Hmmm. Interesting idea. And one my ESL students would love. It will appear in the future. I promise. Thanks for the suggestion.
0 Replies
 
bree
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 10:00 am
This may be a little arcane, but I've always wondered about it: what are the acceptable adjective forms of "archetype" and "prototype"? I believe that both "archetypal" and "archetypical" are acceptable, as are both "prototypal" and "prototypical." But for some reason "archetypal" seems to be used more often than "archetypical," while "prototypical" is used more often than "prototypal." Is there a reason for this difference in usage, is it just random, or am I imagining it?

By the way, Roberta, I hope you noticed how hard I tried to get the quotation marks right in the above, however much it went against the grain to put the periods at the end of the second and third sentences inside the quotation marks, when years of practice urged me to put them outside.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 04:20 pm
Guy flies into Logan airport, and hasn't been in beantown in ages, so he's looking for some great sea food . . .

Cab driver pulls up, helps him load his bags, jumps in and says: "Where to . . . hey you lookin' for a good time?"

All the guy can think of is seafood . . . "Oh yeah, you know where i can get scrod?"

"Well i'll be damned, the pluperfect!"
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 04:23 pm
Very Happy
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Is this comma splice? Is it proper? - Question by DaveCoop
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
Is the second "playing needed? - Question by tanguatlay
should i put "that" here ? - Question by Chen Ta
Unbeknownst to me - Question by kuben123
alternative way - Question by Nousher Ahmed
Could check my grammar mistakes please? - Question by LonelyGamer
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Fine-Tuning, Taking Requests Again
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 12/12/2019 at 06:07:17