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Курсовая работа: The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in English

Название: The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in English
Раздел: Топики по английскому языку
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Federal Agency on education

State educational institution of vocational training

College of Optics and Electronics

Diploma paper

«The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in English»

Krasnogorsk2007


Федеральное агентство по образованию по образованию

Государственное образовательное учреждение среднего профессионального образования

Красногорский оптико-электронный колледж

Дипломная работа

«Проблемы сослагательного наклонения в английском языке»

Красногорск 2007


Contents

Preface

1. The Subjunctive Mood?

1.1 Foreign linguists’ speculations about the Subjunctive Mood

1.2 The Subjunctive Mood from the point of view of the representatives of the Russian linguistic school

2. The main cases of the use of the Subjunctive Mood in English

3. The use of The Subjunctive Mood in the works of English and American writers

Conclusion

Bibliography


Preface

There are many controversial and not thoroughly investigated points in the English grammar. Nevertheless, in my opinion one of the most difficult and not clear both from the point of view of its definition and description and from the point of view of its practical implementation in speech is the subject of the Subjunctive Mood. Even the name of this grammatical category seems ambiguous in term of its being approached and characterized by different outstanding linguists in our country and abroad.

No wonder this problem couldn’t but arise my curiosity and language interest. I have made up my mind to consider the material compiled on this problem in different sources to clear up the point for myself and to have a better idea about the usage of the Subjunctive Mood in speech.

I will learn more information about points of views of English and Russian grammarians. It is very interesting for me to know how English linguists understand problem of The Subjunctive Mood and what way Russian ones do it. I will also introduce the most important point of my diploma paper – the usage of the Subjunctive Mood. I want to learn in what cases we should use the Subjunctive Mood.

Thus the object of my paper is the Subjunctive Mood itself.

The subject of my diploma paper is the Subjunctive Mood in the works of foreign and Russian grammar schools as well as the main cases of the Subjunctive Mood usage.

The aim of my diploma paper is to compare different approaches to the problem of the Subjunctive Mood with the purpose of investigating the material available for me about the Subjunctive Mood from English and Russian sources.

My diploma paper consists of three chapters: in the 1st chapter I consider different approaches to the Subjunctive Mood understanding both in our country and abroad. In the 2nd chapter I present the main cases of the Subjunctive Mood use and perform the results obtained. There is a conclusion too. To write my diploma paper I used the works of the outstanding English grammarians, such as: H. Sweet, G.O. Curme, O. Jespersen and Russian scholars: V. Kaushanskaya, V. Vinogradov. You can see the names of their works in the list of literature, on page 25, and the information from Internet.

The 3d chapter represents my practical contribution into the problem of the Subjunctive Mood. In this chapter I analyze the use of the Subjunctive Mood by some English and American writers and draw the conclusion based on the material collected.

The literary sources are given as supplementary material after Bibliography.


1. The Subjunctive Mood?

1.1 Foreign linguists’ speculations about the Subjunctive Mood

As we shall further see there is no unity on the Subjunctive Mood among the world famous foreign grammarians. I would like to dwell on the views of the most outstanding linguists.

By the moods of a verb H. Sweet in his work «A new English Grammar (Part I)» understands grammatical forms expressing different relations between subject and predicate. Thus, if a language has special forms to express commands as distinguished from statements, we include the forms that express command under the term «imperative mood». Thus in English come! is in the imperative mood, while the statement he comes is in the «indicative» mood.

In English the only inflectional moods are the indicative and subjunctive. But the inflections of the English verb are so scanty that we need not be surprised to find that the distinction between indicative and subjunctive is very slight. The only regular inflection by which the subjunctive is distinguished from the indicative in English is that of the third person singular present, which drops the s of the indicative (he sees) in the subjunctive (he see). In the verb to be , however, further distinctions are made: indicative I am, he is, he was , subjunctive I be, he be, he were , although in the spoken language the only distinction that is still kept us is that between was and were. Consequently the sense of the distinction in function between subjunctive and indicative has almost died out in English, and use the subjunctive were only in combination with other mood-forms, the other subjunctive inflections surviving only in a few special phrases and constructions, such as God, save the Queen!, where the subjunctive expresses wish, being thus equivalent to the Greek optative.

The few distinction that English makes between fact-statements and thought-statements are mainly expressed, not by inflections, but by auxiliaries (periphrastic moods), and by peculiar uses of tense-distinctions. The following are the auxiliary forms:

a) The combination of should and would with the infinitive – the conditional mood.

b) The combination of may and its preterite might with the infinitive is called the permissive mood.

c) The combination of the finite forms of the verb to be with the supine is called compulsive mood.

We use tenses to express thought-statements in the hypothetical clauses of conditional sentences, as in if I knew his address I would write him; if it were possible I would do it . In the latter example the hypothesis is shown not only by the preterite tense, but also by the subjunctive inflection, which is really superfluous. When a thought-statement is expressed by a tense in this way, H. Sweet calls it a tense-mood. Were in if it were is a subjunctive tense-mood.

As we see, in some conditional sentences all three ways of expressing thought-statement are used.

G.O. Curme in the work «A Grammar of the English Language» considers moods as the changes in the form of the verb to show the various ways in which the action or state is thought of by the speaker.

There are two moods:

1. Indicative Mood. This form represents something as a fact, or as in close relation with reality, or in interrogative form inquires after a fact.

2. Subjunctive Mood. The function of the subjunctive mood is to represent something, not as an actual reality, but as formed in the mind of the speaker as a desire, wish, volition, plan, conception, thought; something with more or less hope of realization, or, in the case of a statement, with more or less belief, sometimes with little or no hope or faith.

The various meanings may be classified under two general heads – the optative subjunctive and the potential subjunctive. The optative subjunctive represents something as desired, demanded, required. The potential subjunctive marks something as a mere conception of the mind, but at the same time represents it as something that may probably be or become a reality or on the other hand as something that is contrary to fact.

H. Whitehall in the work «Structural Essentials of English» says that Mood (or mode) establishes the speaker’s or writer’s mood about the actuality of a happening. The indicative mood indicates that what he says must be regarded as a fact, i.e., as having occurred or as occurring; the so-called subjunctive mood implies that he is doubtful or uncertain about its occurrence.

Although the subjunctive is gradually dying out of the language, English is rich in devices for expressing one’s psychological moods toward happenings that are imaginary.

Our apparatus for expressing mood suggests that in the use of verb word-groups, the speaker’s or writer’s mental attitudes are of great importance.

Many grammarians enumerate the following moods in English, etc.: indicative, subjunctive, imperative, infinitive, and participle. O. Jespersen as it can be seen from «The Philosophy of Grammar» considers that infinitives and participles cannot be coordinated with the others, and we shall therefore in this chapter deal with the first three moods only. These are sometimes called fact-mood, thought-mood, and will-mood respectively. But they do not express different relations between subject and predicate. It is much more correct to say that they express certain attitudes of the mind of the speaker towards the contents of the sentence.

O. Jespersen in his work «A modern English Grammar» presents forms of the Subjunctive Mood in the table:

For expressing unreal action, simultaneous or planning action towards now For expressing unreal action, past towards now

I. I should

he, she, it would do

we should be doing

you would be done

they would

II. I

he, she, it do

we would be doing

you be done

they

III. I

he, she, it do

we should be doing

you be done

they

IV. I

he, she, it

we be, did, were

you

they

should

would have done

should have been doing

would have been doing

would

have done

would have been doing

have been doing

have done

should have been doing

have been doing

had been

had done

1.2 The Subjunctive Mood from the point of view of the representatives of the Russian linguistic school

The category of mood in the present English verb has given rise to so many discussions, and has been treated in so many different ways, that it seems hardly possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and universally acceptable conclusion concerning it. Indeed, the only points in the sphere of mood which have not so far been disputed seem to be these: there is a category of mood in Modern English; there are at least two moods in the modern English verb, one of which is the Subjunctive. These points were discussed not only by English grammarians, but Russian grammarians too.

Academician V. Vinogradov in his work «Russian Language» gave the definition of the category of mood: «Mood expresses the relation of the action to reality, as stated by the speaker.»

The relations between meaning and form will be expressed by two different series of external signs.

The first of these two points may be illustrated by sequence we should come , which means one thing in the sentence I think we should come here again tomorrow; it means another thing in the sentence if we knew that he wants us we should come to see him, and it means another thing again in the sentence How queer that we should come at the very moment when you were talking about us! In a similar way, several meanings may be found in the sequence he would come in different contexts.

The second of the two points may be illustrated by comparing the two sentences, I suggest that he go and I suggest that he should go, and we will for the present neglect the fact that the first of the two variants is more typical of American, and the second of British English.

Matters are still further complicated by two phenomena where we are faced with a choice between polysemy and homonymy. One of these concerns forms like lived, knew, etc. Such forms appear in two types of contexts, of which one may be exemplified by the sentences, He lived here five years ago, or I knew it all along, and the other by the sentences If he lived here he would come at once, or, If I knew his address I should write to him.

In sentences of the first type the form obviously is the past tense of the indicative mood. The second type admits of two interpretations: either the form lived, knew, etc. are the same forms of the past indicative that were used in the first type, but they have acquired another meaning in this particular context, or else the forms lived, knew, etc. are forms of the past indicative but are basically different.

There is another peculiar complication in the analysis of mood. The question is, what verbs are auxiliaries of Mood in Modern English? The verbs should and would are auxiliaries expressing unreality. But the question is less clear with the verb may when used in such sentences as Come closer that I may hear what you say. Is the group may hear some mood form of the verb hear , or is it a free combination of two verbs, thus belonging entirely to the field of syntax, not morphology? The same question may be asked about the verb may in such sentences as May you be happy! Where it is part of a group used to express a wish, and is perhaps a mood auxiliary. We ought to seek an objective criterion which would enable us to arrive at a convincing conclusion.

All these considerations, varied as they are, make the problem of mood in Modern English extremely difficult to solve and they seem to show in advance that no universally acceptable solution can be hoped for in a near future. Those proposed so far have been extremely unlike each other. Owning to the difference of approach to moods, grammarians have been vacillating between two extremes – 3 moods (indicative, subjunctive and imperative), put forward by many grammarians, and 16 moods, as proposed by M. Deutschbein. Between these extremes there are intermediate views, such as that of Prof. A. Smirnitsky, who proposed a system of 6 moods (indicative, imperative, subjunctive I, subjunctive II, suppositional, and conditional), and who was followed in this respect by M. Ganshina and N. Vasilevskaya.

If we look through the meaning of the mood forms, we obtain the following headings:

Meaning Means of expression

Inducement (order, request, prayer, and the like)

Possibility (action thought of as conditionally possible, or as purpose of another action, etc.)

Unreal condition

Consequence of unreal condition

come (!) (no ending, no auxiliary, and usually without subject, 2nd person only)

(he) come (no ending, no auxiliary)

Should come (should for all persons)

may come (?)

came, had come (same as past or past perfect indicative), used in subordinate clauses

should come (1st person)

would come (2nd and 3rd person)

We would thus get either four moods, or three moods, or two moods. The choice between these variants will remain arbitrary and is unlikely ever to be determined by means of any objective data.

If, on the other hand, we start from the means of expressing moods we are likely to get something like this system:



Meaning

Means of expression

Inducement

Possibility

Unreal condition

Unlikely condition

Consequence of unreal condition

Wish or purpose

come (!) (no ending, no auxiliary, and usually without subject)

(he) come (no ending in any persons, no auxiliary)

came, had come

Should come ( for all persons)

should come (1st person)

would come (2nd and 3rd person)

may come (?)

In this way we should obtain different system, comprising six moods, with the following meanings:

1. Inducement

2. Possibility

3. Unreal condition

4. Unlikely condition

5. Consequence of unreal condition

6. Wish or purpose

A similar problem concerns the groups «should + infinitive» and «would + infinitive». Two views are possible here. If we have decided to avoid homonymy as far as possible, we will say that a group of this type is basically a tense (the future-in-the-past), which under certain specified conditions may express an unreal action – the consequence of an unfulfilled condition.

If we endorse one of the views, that is, if we take the temporal and the modal groups «should (would) + infinitive» to be homonyms, the patterns themselves will not change. The change will affect the headings. We shall have to say, in that case, that the patterns serve to distinguish between two basically different forms sounding alike. Again, just as in the case of lived and knew , this will be a matter of interpreting facts, rather than of the facts as such.

To sum up the whole discussion about categories of the verb found in conditional sentences, the simplest view, and the one to be preferred is that we have here forms of the indicative mood in a special use. Another view is that we have here forms of special moods, and that they are distinguished from each other according to the category of correlation.

2. The main cases of the use of The Subjunctive Mood in English

1. Simple sentences

In simple sentences the synthetic forms of the Subjunctive Mood are more frequent than the analytical forms.

In simple sentences the Subjunctive Mood is used:

· To express wish:

e.g . Success attend you!

· To express wish the analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary may is also used.

e.g. May you live long and die happy!

· To express an unreal wish:

e.g. If only he were free!

· In oaths and imprecations:

e.g. Manners be hanged!

· In some expressions:

e.g. Be it so!

God forbid!

The Subjunctive Mood in simple sentences is characteristic of literary style, except in oaths and imprecations, which belong to low colloquial style.

2. Complex sentences

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in conditional sentences to

express an unreal condition (in the subordinate clause) and an unreal consequence (in the principal clause).

In sentences of unreal condition referring to the present of future the past Subjunctive of the verb to be is used in the subordinate clause; with other verbs the same meaning is expressed by the Past Infinitive of the Indicative Mood. In the principal clause we find the analytical subjunctive consisting of the mood auxiliary should or would and the Indefinite Infinitive. Should is used with the first person singular and plural, would is used with the second and third person singular and plural.

e.g. The world would be healthier if every chemist’s shop in England were demolished.

An unreal condition referring to the future can also be expressed by the Past Subjunctive of the verb to be + to – Infinitive of the notional verb or the analytical Subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should for all the persons. Such sentences are often translated by means of «Еслибыслучилосьтак…», «Случилосьтак…»

e.g. Well, Major, if you should send me to a difficult spot – with this man alone, I’d feel secure.

If in the subordinate clause the mood auxiliary should is used, we often find the Indicative Mood in the principal clause.

e.g. If he should come, ask him to wait.

In sentences of unreal condition referring to the Past Perfect of the Indicative Mood is used in the subordinate clause; in the principal clause we find the analytical subjunctive consisting of the mood auxiliary should or would and the Perfect Infinitive.

e.g. If I had consulted my own interests, I should never have come here.

There are two mixed types of sentences of unreal condition. In the first of these the condition refers to the past and the consequence refers to the present or future.

e.g. If you had taken your medicine yesterday, you would be well now.

In the second type the condition refers to no particular time and the consequence to the past.

e.g. If he were not so absent-minded, he would not have mistaken you for your sister.

In sentences of unreal condition the modal verbs might and cold are often used; they fully retain their modal meaning and therefore they do not form the analytical subjunctive.

Here we have the group «modal verb + Infinitive» which forms a compound verbal modal predicate, whereas the analytical subjunctive forms a simple predicate.

e.g. I could have done very well if I had been without the Murdstones.

Would, when used in the subordinate clause of a sentence of unreal condition, is also a modal verb forming with the infinitive a compound verbal modal predicate.

e.g. If you would come and see us…, mother would be as proud of your company as I should be.

The conjunctions introducing adverbial clauses of condition are: if, in case, provided, suppose, unless, and some others.

e.g. Suppose he wrote to you, would you answer?

Adverbial clauses of condition containing the verbs had, were, could and should are often introduced without any conjunctions. In these cases we find inversion.

e.g. Should he come this way, I will speak to him.

The Subjunctive Mood is used in sentences expressing what may be understood as an unreal consequence, the condition of which is not expressed as such.

e.g. There was no piano… because it would have taken up much room.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in adverbial clauses of purpose.

When a clause of purpose is introduced by the conjunctions that, so that, in order that, we find the analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary may(might) if the principal clause refers to the present of future; if the principal clause refers to the past, only the form might is used.

As has already been stated, the mood auxiliary may(might) retains in this case a shade of modality.

e.g. He got up, cautiously, so that he might not wake the sleeping boy.

If a clause of purpose is introduced by lest the mood auxiliary should (for all persons) is generally used. Lest has a negative meaning (чтобыне).

e.g. She opened the window lest it should be stuffy in the room.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in adverbial clauses of concession.

Adverbial clauses of concession are introduced by the conjunctions and connectives though, although, however, no matter, whatever, whoever, etc. The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary may (might) is generally used.

e.g. Though he may (might) be tired he will go to the concert.

If the action of the subordinate clause is prior to that of the principal clause the Perfect Infinitive is generally used.

e.g. However badly he may have behaved to you in the past he is still your brother.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in adverbial clauses of time and place

after the conjunctions whenever and wherever ; in these cases the clauses have an additional concessive meaning.

e.g. Whenever you may (might) come, you are welcome.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in adverbial clauses of comparison ( or manner) introduced by the conjunctions as if and as though ( the latter is more literary).

If the action of subordinate clause is simultaneous with that of the principal clause the Past Subjunctive of the verb to be is used; with other verbs the same meaning is expressed by the Past Indefinite of the Indicative Mood.

e.g. She speaks about him as if she knew him well.

If the action of the subordinate clause is prior to that of the principal clause the Past Perfect of the Indicative Mood is used.

e.g. She speaks about him as if she had known him for years.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in predicative clauses:

a) introduced by the conjunctions as if, as though, when we find the link verbs to be, to fell, to look, to seem, etc. in the principal clause.

If the action of subordinate clause is simultaneous with that of the principal clause the Past Subjunctive of the verb to be is used; with other verbs the same meaning is expressed by the Past Indefinite of the Indicative Mood.

If the action of the subordinate clause is prior to that of the principal clause the Past Perfect of the Indicative Mood is used.

e.g. I fell as if we were back seven years, Jon.

b) when the subject of the principal clause is expressed by an abstract noun such as wish, suggestion, aim, idea, etc. In this case the analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should (for all persons) is used.

e.g. One of the conditions was that I should go abroad.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in subject clause after a principal clause of the type It is necessary, It is important, etc.

The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in EnglishIt is necessary

It is important

It is right

It is requested

It is recommended that smb. should do smth.

It is obligatory

It is better (best)

It is desirable

It is of vital importance

The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should is used for all persons.

e.g. It was necessary that the child’s history should be known to none.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in object clauses:

a) When the predicate of the principal clause is expressed by the verb to

wish . If the action expressed in the object clause is simultaneous with that of the principal clause the Past Subjunctive of the verb to be is used; with other verbs the same meaning is expressed by the Past Indefinite of the Indicative Mood.

e.g. I wish I were a girl again.

If the action expressed in the object clause is prior to that of the principal clause the Past Perfect of the Indicative Mood is used.

e.g. Auntie, I wish I had not done it.

The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary would (for all persons) is also used in object clauses the verb to wish . This form is used only in sentences referring to the present or future; it is possible only if the subject of the principle clause is not the same as the subject of the object clause. It is chiefly used in sentences expressing request or annoyance.

e.g. I wish you would stay with me for a while.

b) The Subjunctive Mood is used in object clauses introduced by the

conjunction lest if in the principal clause the predicate is expressed by a verb denoting fear.

e.g. She fears lest she should be blamed.

After verbs denoting fear object clauses are often introduced by the conjunction that, in which case the Indicative Mood is used often with the modal verb may (might).

e.g. She fears that she will (would) be blamed.

c) The Subjunctive Mood is used in object clauses when we find verbs

and Word-groups denoting order, suggestion, advice, desire, etc. in the principal clause. The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should (for all persons) is used.

The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in EnglishSuggest

Propose

Demand

Desire

Insist that smth. should be done

To be anxious

See to it

Order

Require

Make up one’s mind

e.g. Mr. Micawber was very anxious that I should stay to dinner.

· The Subjunctive Mood is used in attributive appositive clauses modifying the nouns wish, suggestion, aim, idea, etc. The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should (for all persons) is used.

e.g. His wish that everybody should take part in the work was reasonable.

· The Subjunctive Mood is also used in attributive clauses modifying the noun time in the principal clause It is time, It is high time. In this case the Past Subjunctive of the verb to be is used; with other verbs the same meaning is expressed by the Past Indefinite of the Indicative Mood.

e.g. It is time we went home.

The analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should is also possible, though less common.

e.g. It is time we should go home.

· As has already been stated the Subjunctive Mood may be used to express an emotional attitude of the speaker to real facts. Here we always find the analytical subjunctive with the mood auxiliary should , which in this case is often called the ‘emotional should’. If priority is expressed the Perfect Infinitive is used.

In this case the Subjunctive Mood is rendered in Russian by the Indicative Mood. The emotional should occurs in different kinds of subordinate clauses; the principal clause in such cases contains:

a) An adjective expressing astonishment, incredulity, regret, joy, such as strange, wonderful, unnatural, impossible, fortunate, unfortunate, etc.

e.g. It is impossible that she should have said it.

b) A noun with the same meaning: wonder, pity, shame, etc.

e.g. He is such a charming man that it is quite a pity he should be so grave and so dull.

c) The principal clause may be of the following type: I am sorry, glad, pleased, vexed, etc.

e.g. I am sorry you should take such needless trouble.

· The Tenses of the Forms Expressing Unreality (Summary)

As can be seen from the above description, not all the forms of unreality can express tense distinctions. Thus the Subjunctive Mood and the modal phrases should (for all persons) + infinitive and would (for all persons) + infinitive have no tense distinctions. They are used only in certain types of subordinate clauses and generally show that the action of that clause follows the action of the principal clause, i.e. they express time relatively.

e.g. I suggest(ed) that he takes up the matter.

Since these forms have no tense distinctions the rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed here.

Tense distinctions are expressed only by the forms of the Conditional Mood (which has two tenses – Present and Past) and also by the use of the forms of the Past Indefinite and the Past Perfect.

The Present Conditional Mood and the form of the Past Indefinite (also the form were for all persons singular) serve to refer an action to the present or the future when they are used in complex sentences with a clause of condition (or a clause of concession introduced by even if or even though).

e.g. If I had time I should go on a short holiday.

The Past Conditional Mood and the form of the Past Perfect serve to refer an action to the past in the same kinds of clauses.

e.g. If I had had time I should have gone on a short holiday.

The Present Conditional Mood is also used with reference to the present or future in simple sentences with implied condition while the Past Conditional refers an action to the past.

e.g. It would not be possible to decide anything without him.

It would not have been possible to decide anything without him.

In all those cases the tenses are used absolutely, i.e. they refer an action directly to the present, the past or the future.

The same is true of the modal verb were + infinitive which is used only in if-clauses and refers an action of that clause to the future.

e.g. If everybody were to be brought up differently, would the world not change?

But when all those forms, which in the above described cases express time relations absolutely are used in other subordinate clauses, they become relative tenses, i.e. they express the time with regard to the action of the principal clause. The Present Conditional Mood and the form of the Past Indefinite indicate that the action of the subordinate clause is simultaneous with that of the principal clause or follows it.

e.g. They say it would be impossible to decide anything without him.

The Past Conditional Mood and the form of the Past Perfect show that the action of the subordinate clause precedes that of the principal clause.

e.g. They say it would have been impossible to decide anything without him.

It should be remembered that the tenses in sentences of unreal condition are also used relatively in reported speech.

e.g. He says that if he had time he would go on a short holiday.

As is seen from the examples, the rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed with any of the above mentioned forms expressing unreality.

It is different, however, when the forms can (may) + infinitive are used to express problematic actions. Can is found only in clauses of purpose, may – in clauses of purpose and-in object clauses after expressions of fear in the principal clause.

e.g. On Sundays we always go outing so that the children can spend the day in the open air.

The forms can (may) + infinitives are in the Indicative Mood here, so the rules of the sequence of tenses should be observed. The above forms express the time relatively – they show that the action of the subordinate clause follows that of the principal clause.

e.g. On Sundays we always went outing so that the children could spend the day in the open air.

3. The use of The Subjunctive Mood in the works of English and American authors

The 3d chapter is my practical investigation of the problem of the use of different forms of the Subjunctive Mood by English and American writers. For this purpose I chose the following stories included into the textbook by Merkulova which we studied during our 3 year, there are: «A Marriage of Convenience», «The Luncheon», «The Verger» by S. Maugham, «Jerusalem the Golden» by M. Drabble, «One Pair of Hands» by M. Dickens, «Shopping for One» by A. Cassidy, «A Start in Life» by A. Brookner, «The Lord of the Rings» by J.R.R. Tolkien as well as our home reading material «Love story» by Erick Segal.

All in all I have collected 62 examples on the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the above literature.

As far as the Conditional clauses are concerned they are represented by the following cases:

1. Refering to the Future – Present Tense

e.g. If I were a sentimentalist, and cared enough about Harvard to hang a photograph on the wall, it would not be of Winthrop House, or Mem Church, but of Dillon. Dillon Field House.

2. Refering to the Past Tense

e.g. If you were to tell any of a dozen girls at Tower Court, Wellesley, that Oliver Barrett IV had been a young lady daily for three weeks and had not slept with her, they would surely have laughed and severely questioned the femininity of the girl involved.

3. Refering to the mixed type

e.g. If I did not want to marry, do you imagine that I should have spent three days reading love letters from women I have never set eyes on?

There are also examples when the unreal condition is expressed with the help of inversion:

e.g. What inducement would there be for her to give up her accustomed life to accompany in exile a man of forty-nine who is by no means a beauty?

Some sentences show the use of the Subjunctive Mood introduced by as if, as though in adverbial clauses of comparison depicting the action both:

- simultaneous with the principal clause:

e.g. It was as if her exigent temperament required immediate results.

- prior to it:

e.g. Except white wine,» she proceeded as though I had not spoken.

It worth mentioning that the verb «to be» in found in two forms as «was»:

e.g. It’s not as if I was a bettin’ man.

and (what looks more Subjunctive) «were» for the person in singular:

e.g. The manager stared at him as though he were a prehistoric monster.

A number of examples are characteristic of emotional «should» usage to express surprise or indignation of the speaker about the real facts:

e.g. It’s real, but why in hell should I subject it to some arbitrary test?

Very few are sentences with the verb «wish»:

e.g. I wish I coulda seen it.

No examples were found on the use of the Subjunctive Mood in adverbial clauses of concession; attribute clauses which modify the noun of the principal clause «time» and adverbial clauses of purpose.


Conclusion

Having learned points of views of different grammarians about the Subjunctive Mood, and also about its usage, I can say that this problem is really difficult and needs solving.

Nevertheless, the problem of the Subjunctive Mood in English is really interesting. It is discussed by a lot of linguists not only of England, but Russia, Germany and other countries.

Doing my work, I found out, that English and Russian grammarians see the problem of the Subjunctive Mood in a different way. Different linguists present various quantities of Moods and give them different names.

So, I’ve managed to get acquainted with different theories on the problem of the Subjunctive Mood definition, to consider the main cases of its usage and to learn that the same verbal mood phenomena can be treated differently depending on the basic point in understanding what the Subjunctive Mood is. All these theories only prove the fact that the language is the reflection of variety of forms of human life which is manifested in the saying: so many men, so many minds.

So, before starting to collect the material on the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the works of English and American writers for chapter 3 I had expected there would be quite a lot of examples for some reasons: firstly, because it is fiction, secondly, there are some but not one author, I was going to analyze the works of with their own peculiarities in writing: their own lexical and stylistic devices, their own vocabulary. But the number of the examples I have found came as a surprise to me as it did not meet my expectations.

As it turned out the majority of authors prefer using different forms of the conditional clauses , they make 72,6%.

The second place belongs to the quantity of the Subjunctive Mood forms introduced by the conjunction as if /as though in adverbial clauses of comparison and manner, they make 14,5%.

The sentences to express people’s emotions with «why should» occupy the 3d place, they constitute 8%.

The 4th place 3% that is taken by the sentences where the Subjunctive Mood is introduced by the verb «wish» .

And the last (but not least in importance) place – 1,6% belongs to subject clauses inserting the Subjunctive Mood according to the formula:

It be A .

Graphically I can show it in the following way:

The use of the Subjunctive Mood in the works of English and American authors:

The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in English

It should be understood that I do not claim that the results obtained by us are embracing all the English and American literature, but I can express an idea that they may be characteristic of it.

The authors can very well do with the Indicative Mood and sometimes Imperative in their creative activities not using supposition, wishes, sorrow and other emotional shades of meaning so much, as I had first expected. May be it is due to the fact that the stories I considered for investigation are based on modern life reality.

It is not necessary to say that our contemporary life is deprived of that romantic touch of sentimentality which can be expressed with the help of the Subjunctive Mood. But I do hope that the forms of the Subjunctive Mood which I discovered in the works of modern English and American writers will be of interest to our students.

As far as my interest of this diploma paper is concerned I am guided by the words of Pascal who said: «People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they themselves have discovered than by those which have come into the minds of others».


Bibliography

1. Е.А. Корнеева «Пособие по морфологии английского языка» Москва, «Высшая школа» 1974

2. Л.Л. Иофик, Л.П. Чахоян «Хрестоматия по теоретической грамматике английского языка» Санкт – Петербург, «Просвещение» 1972

3. Е.М. Гордон, И.П. Крылова «Грамматика современного английского языка» Москва, «Высшая школа» 1974

4. Б.А. Ильиш «Строй современного английского языка» Санкт-Петербург, «Просвещение» 1971

5. В. Каушанская «Грамматика английского языка» Санкт-Петербург, «Просвещение» 1973

6. Л.С. Бархударов «Очерки по морфологии современного английского языка» Москва, «Высшая школа» 1975

7. H. Sweet «A new English grammar» Oxford, 1988

8. G.O. Curme «A Grammar of the English Language» London – New-York, 1931

9. H. Whitehall «Structural Essential of English» New-York, 1956

10. O. Jespersen «The philosophy of Grammar», London, 1935 «A modern English Grammar» (Part IV), Heidelberg, 1931

11. В. Виноградов «Русский язык» Москва, 1947

12. Erick Segal «Love story»

13. M. Drabble «Jerusalem the Golden»

14. M. Dickens «One Pair of Hands»

15. A. Cassidy «Shopping for One»

16. A. Brookner «A Start in Life»

17. J.R.R. Tolkien «The Lord of the Rings»

18. Yelena M. Merkulova «English Reading, writing and conversation» St. Petersburg «SOYUZ» 2004

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