are closer/be closer

Vanda

Moderesa de Beagá
Português/ Brasil
Hello everyone,

Which verb tense should I use in the excerpt?
The surgeon must be attentive that the first and second sutures are/be closer and higher than the third one is.

erhhhh... suddenly I have the impression that that is in the end isn't a good choice, either.
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Technically, "be," but a lot of people use "are." (This topic has been discussed many, many times before.)

    By the way, I would say "make sure" instead of "be attentive." :)

    Oh, and the "is" at the end is fine, although not necessary.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    The surgeon must be attentive that the first and second sutures are/be closer and higher than the third one is.

    If this is for a medical publication, you should probably stick to formal register. If it is for something more day-to-day, you can use a conversational tone.

    Formal: The surgeon should take care that the first and second sutures be closer and higher than the third. (Omit 'one is'.)

    Standard/conversational:


    The surgeon should make sure that the first and second sutures are higher than the third [one].

    One is optional in the less formal version. It would almost certainly be included in spoken English.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Formal: The surgeon should take care that the first and second sutures be closer and higher than the third. (Omit 'one is'.)
    [Raises head fearfully ¼ inch above parapet]

    Cuchu, that formal sentence sounds really strange to me - not so much because of the subjunctive (I'm learning to love the AmE subjunctive) but because I don't think I'd ever use "take care that" with the meaning "make sure that" ("take care to" + infinitive, yes).

    My formal version of "make sure that ... the ... sutures are" would be "ensure that ... the ... sutures are".

    [Ducks below parapet again, assuming she has just said something really stupid.]
    [EDIT: Ah, takes comfort from Forero's post]
     
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