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  #31  
Old February 13, 2010, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Here4good View Post
Ahhh vale. ¡No entendía nada!
¿Sabes qué? Llevo más que veinte años enseñando inglés, y aunque Perikles me mata, a mí no me parece muy importante si dices was or were porque parece que depende de la zona y la cultura y no sé que más. Si estas negociando con un holandes, un slovako, y un americano y dices was en vez de were todos te van a entender igual. Ahora, si estas haciendo el examen del TOEFL or el First es otra historia...
I didn't see your post yesterday. I'm studying English Philology and I'm not sure if my teachers would like if I wrote () in an exam 'was' instead of 'were' (this is a common mistake I make). I'd like to be sure.
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  #32  
Old February 13, 2010, 01:51 AM
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The subjunctive mood is almost non-existent in modern American or British English. Very few people use it in daily speech.

I recognize it only because I know Spanish and read the KJV. I sometimes get strange looks when I slip it into a conversation.
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  #33  
Old February 13, 2010, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
I didn't see your post yesterday. I'm studying English Philology and I'm not sure if my teachers would like if I wrote () in an exam 'was' instead of 'were' (this is a common mistake I make). I'd like to be sure.
No your teachers probably wouldn't, but that's the thing about studying languages for a qualification - you're studying for an exam, not real life!! In real life language changes all the time, and I think especially English as it has so many influences.
If in doubt, follow the grammatical rules. As I said, it's not a big thing. As you know there are plenty of other grammatical rules that are written in stone and should not be "violated" under any circumstances!!
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  #34  
Old February 13, 2010, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
The subjunctive mood is almost non-existent in modern American or British English. Very few people use it in daily speech.
I can't speak for AmE, but this is simply incorrect for BrE. I don't have figures, but virtually all people I ever speak to can and do use a distinctive subjunctive form when appropriate.

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Originally Posted by Here4good View Post
No your teachers probably wouldn't
Sorry, I disagree here, too. If the teacher is remotely interested in philology, or not a teenager, he/she would mark it as incorrect. The point is really that using were instead of was in the right construction is bound to be correct. Nobody in their right mind would mark it as incorrect, so why not use it anyway to be sure?
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  #35  
Old February 13, 2010, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
I can't speak for AmE, but this is simply incorrect for BrE. I don't have figures, but virtually all people I ever speak to can and do use a distinctive subjunctive form when appropriate.

Sorry, I disagree here, too. If the teacher is remotely interested in philology, or not a teenager, he/she would mark it as incorrect. The point is really that using were instead of was in the right construction is bound to be correct. Nobody in their right mind would mark it as incorrect, so why not use it anyway to be sure?
Perikles, you have understood the exact OPPOSITE of what I said. Yes, a teacher (who is probably just going to follow the rules after all) would mark if + I + was wrong.
Irmamar said
I'm not sure if my teachers would like if I wrote () in an exam 'was' instead of 'were'
And my reply was
No your teachers probably wouldn't....If in doubt, follow the grammatical rules.
Hope that's clear now
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  #36  
Old February 13, 2010, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Here4good View Post
Perikles, you have understood the exact OPPOSITE of what I said.
You are quite correct, I misread your post entirely. Sorry. I agree with your argument - use the most correct language for an exam, even if you don't put it into practice afterwards. (Rather like a driving licence exam )
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  #37  
Old February 13, 2010, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
You are quite correct, I misread your post entirely. Sorry. I agree with your argument - use the most correct language for an exam, even if you don't put it into practice afterwards. (Rather like a driving licence exam )
Uff, thank goodness we've got back on track!! I thought I'd written entirely the wrong message for a moment!!
PS I was going to say exactly the same thing about the driving exam in that post to irmamar, but thought that people might not know what I was getting at
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  #38  
Old February 13, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
I can't speak for AmE, but this is simply incorrect for BrE. I don't have figures, but virtually all people I ever speak to can and do use a distinctive subjunctive form when appropriate.
That is refreshing to hear. I'm sorry I grouped the British with the Americans. I guess it depends upon which circles you frequent, but most Americans don't use the subjunctive.

Last edited by Rusty; February 13, 2010 at 10:35 AM.
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  #39  
Old February 13, 2010, 11:58 AM
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I guess the key thing here is to be able to recognize it, right?
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  #40  
Old February 13, 2010, 12:45 PM
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I guess the key thing here is to be able to recognize it, right?
Right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
That is refreshing to hear. I'm sorry I grouped the British with the Americans. I guess it depends upon which circles you frequent, but most Americans don't use the subjunctive.
The subjunctive can lurk almost invisibly, because quite few forms are identical to the indicative. There are however the following:

Long live the King (OK - political content here, ignore that)
Long live the Republic (hortative subjunctive)
May all your Chrismasses be white
The committee requests the president that he reconsider his decision (subjunctive)

Would that last one just not be correct in AmE ?
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