English Grammar


Use of the subjunctive tenses in english

I've made a lot of improvements in english but I still don't understand when to use the subjunctive tenses, specially make the difference between past and present subjunctive..... Is someone able to give me a "trick" (ou "truc") to understand the difference between french and english concerning this particular subject? Thank you

2 comments

  • Hi, ambitious you. I can't actually come up to your expectations about comparing the use of the subjunctive in English and French. I for one think you had better stop being used to translating from a language into the other. The use of subjunctive mood is an idiomatic question. I am unable to tell whether there are or not rules for translation. But as no one answered your post so far, I am so bold as to give my opinion, be it totally needless. - Present subjunctive: Generally used in advice, report, suggestion, etc. after a main clause in the past or even the present and a that-clause with 'should' followed by bare infinitive. Example: I suggested that you should not translate. The "should" is sometimes dropped: I am concerned that you should think I am a boaster; or: I'm concerned that you think I'm a boaster. I can't tell more. - Past subjunctive: As for me, I use it only with "were". If I were you, I wouldn't translate. If only it were that easy! I wish you were happy. Imagine the grammar were simplified! - I wish you were answered by a true grammarian, ambitious you.
  • 3 full days yet that I've been waiting for a follow-up by you, ambitieuse. Now I guess why I had better drop any hope. You are cross. You are cross because you can't stand a mistake you found in my reply. Instead of writing "as no one answered your post", I extended my sentence with a "so far". Yes indeed, "so far" opens the possibility of an answer in the forthcoming times. So, ambitious you, you are perfectly right with thinking that I should have written "as no one has answered your post so far,...". - All gods bless you!

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