Subjunctive(?): not critical that

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 21 03:31:40 UTC 2008

On 3/20/08, goofy dreaming <goofy at> wrote:
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>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       goofy dreaming <goofy at DREAMING.ORG>
> Subject:      Re: Subjunctive(?): not critical that
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> In my Canadian dialect, either subjunctive or indicative here is fine.
>  Instead of "tie" I might say "should tie".
>  There are cases where the subjunctive makes a difference for me, for
>  instance these sentences have different meanings.
>  She insists that he take his medicine.
>  She insists that he takes his medicine.
>  On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:
>  > A practical reason for retaining the subjunctive is the fact that
>  > other languages have it or an equivalent. These foreign subjunctives
>  > are difficult to grasp, even when you're an active user of the English
>  > subjunctive, which itself can be difficult to grasp, as this thread
>  > shows.
> So if using the English subjunctive doesn't help with foreign subjunctives,
>  then what is the practical reason for retaining the English subjunctive?
>  John
Well, to keep sentences like the following from falling together:

She insists that he take his medicine.
She insists that he takes his medicine.

among other reasons.

Don't everybody agree that it don't be no reason for not even no
(pswaydo-)standard in English.


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