What is the subjunctive case?
Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:17 AM
Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:59 PM
In this case, "were" is the subjunctive form of "to be." To form the subjunctive of other verbs, you generally use "were" with their infinitive. For example, to talk about owning something in the future, you would say, "If I were to own a house, I would be so happy."
Unlike Spanish, however, English does not make as frequent use of the subjunctive, nor are there distinctive subjunctive forms of most verbs.
Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:43 PM
I mention this because I learned Spanish while I was growing up and had the chance to talk to some native speakers. Some of them did not know the subjunctive case by name, and explained to me that they just say what sounds right, much the way I do with English.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:36 PM
"I ask that you be at the theater by ten so we can start rehearsals."
See that "be" there? Usually, this word is paired with "to" to make the infinitive "to be," or with a modal verb like "can" or "will." However, when it exists all by its lonesome like this, it is a subjunctive. Typically, it occurs when someone is giving commands of some sort, and can use verbs other than "be":
"Sarah required that Joe show up an hour early to the dinner."
"The best man asked that the other groomsmen be prepared for a long day of wedding photographs."
"The invitation requested that we wear blue ties."
The present subjunctive does not have to happen in the present, as you can see. Also, it is the subjunctive MOOD, not the subjunctive CASE.
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