demanding that

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ron_artest

Member
spanish
Hi everyone! I was reading the news and found an article about a lawsuit. It was something like this: "Yeater filed legal paperwork demanding that Justin take a paternity test"

Is it ok "Justin take" or should it be "Justin takes"?

Please, can you explain me why?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Es un caso de subjuntivo. La estructura "to demand that someone do something" rige subjuntivo. Sin embargo, parece ser que hay mucha gente a la que le suena bien el modo indicativo en esa oración, es decir, "takes" en vez de "take". Por lo visto, en inglés americano se prefiere el subjuntivo y en inglés británico no...
     

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    Es un caso de subjuntivo. La estructura "to demand that someone do something" rige subjuntivo. Sin embargo, parece ser que hay mucha gente a la que le suena bien el modo indicativo en esa oración, es decir, "takes" en vez de "take". Por lo visto, en inglés americano se prefiere el subjuntivo y en inglés británico no...
    En inglés británico usamos '... that Justin take a paternity test' o 'that Justin should take a paternity test.'
     

    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Wow, would you really use the subjunctive in that sentence?! Perfect! jaja :)
    I read some explanations by English people which said that they wouldn't use the subjunctive mood with the structure "to demand that someone do something"
     
    Last edited:

    OMT

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Wow, would you really use the subjunctive in that sentence?! Perfect! jaja :)
    I read some explanations by English people which said that they wouldn't use the subjunctive mood with the structure "to demand that someone do something"
    You use the subjunctive within the dependent clause: the paternity test would not have been done absent the demand.
     

    luo.mai

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Es un caso de subjuntivo. La estructura "to demand that someone do something" rige subjuntivo. Sin embargo, parece ser que hay mucha gente a la que le suena bien el modo indicativo en esa oración, es decir, "takes" en vez de "take".
    No, "takes" is not OK here. If we wanted to avoid the subjunctive, we would say "…demanding Justin to take…" (note that this sounds less formal and would not be used in the context of a lawsuit).
     

    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Yes, that is what I was taught, but check this link:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=949999

    The first person who answered was from England and (s)he said that (s)he would use the indicative instead of the subjunctive, in fact, (s)he considered the subjunctive to be incorrect in that sentence.
    A person from US stated that you can't "demand somebody to do something". It seems to be a controversial matter, just as the constructions with the verb "to recommend" :S
     
    Last edited:

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, this is what I was taught, but check this link:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=949999

    The first person who answered was from England and (s)he said that (s)he would use the indicative instead of the subjunctive, in fact, (s)he considered the subjunctive to be incorrect in that sentence.
    A person from US stated that you can't "demand somebody to do something". It seems to be a controversial matter, just as the constructions with the verb "to recommend" :S
    I wouldn't take too much notice of that first English person. This is what he wrote:

    1- I demand that he apologize. This is not correct, because apologize needs to be plural.:rolleyes:

    The writer believes that putting an 's' at the end of apologize makes it plural!!! I think you can easily discount his answer.:D In fact, I demand that the posting be obliterated!
     

    luo.mai

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, that is what I was taught, but check this link:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=949999

    Unfortunately, as Wandering JJ said, the person who responded in that thread was apparently quite confused (and clearly wrong).


    A person from US stated that you can't "demand somebody to do something". It seems to be a controversial matter, just as the constructions with the verb "to recommend"

    Personally, I wouldn't "demand somebody to do something" – I would "demand that somebody do something". But if I were ignorant of the subjunctive, or just didn't want to use it for whatever reason, I wouldn't "demand that he takes", I'd "demand him to take". (Neither of these sounds very good; let's just agree to use the subjunctive.;))
     
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