I suggest/insist/recommend that you be/are here

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roniy

Senior Member
ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
"I suggest/insist/recommend that you be here"

"I suggest/insist/recommend that you are here"

Is there any difference between these two sentences exept that the first is more formal than the other ???


Thanks.
 
  • brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    roniy said:
    "I suggest/insist/recommend that you be here"

    "I suggest/insist/recommend that you are here"

    Is there any difference between these two sentences exept that the first is more formal than the other ???


    Thanks.
    I don't think it's a matter of formal vs. informal. This is an example of the English subjunctive mood for verbs. In these examples, you need the word "be," which is the subjunctive form of "to be." The reason it's subjunctive is because it denotes the sense of possibility, doubt, volition, etc. characteristic of this mood.

    Here's an example with the verb "to wish":

    I wish that you were here.

    You would not write, "I wish that you are here." And the "were" in this case is not past tense. Past tense would be, "I wish you had been here."

    Try reviewing English subjunctive mood some more. If you have any more questions, please ask!


    Brian
     

    roniy

    Senior Member
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    brian8733 said:
    I don't think it's a matter of formal vs. informal. This is an example of the English subjunctive mood for verbs. In these examples, you need the word "be," which is the subjunctive form of "to be." The reason it's subjunctive is because it denotes the sense of possibility, doubt, volition, etc. characteristic of this mood.

    Here's an example with the verb "to wish":

    I wish that you were here.

    You would not write, "I wish that you are here." And the "were" in this case is not past tense. Past tense would be, "I wish you had been here."

    Try reviewing English subjunctive mood some more. If you have any more questions, please ask!


    Brian
    I know subjunctive mood, but having heard with "are" made me confused.
     
    elroy said:
    "Are" is frequently used instead of "be" in colloquial registers.
    Mainly because, IMHO, most Americans don't understand the subjunctive even as it exists in their own language! In my experience, it isn't even taught in English grammar in American schools. We're just told as an afterthought that in certain cases "be" is correct... it takes learning a foreign language to understand why!

    Cheers
    j.
     

    modus.irrealis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    elroy said:
    "Are" is frequently used instead of "be" in colloquial registers.
    Really? "Are" for "were" in Brian's example I hear all the time, but not "are" for "be", and even if I'm not American, I'm close enough :). To also respond to the original post, the versions with "are" are possible for me (except with recommend) but with a different meaning.

    I suggest that you are here = I suggest that it is true that you are here.
    I insist that you are here = I insist on the fact that you are here

    I can even think of a context where these might be said, say you're discussing someone's location with them and you point somewhere on a map and say one of the above. Basically for me, the indicative can be used with these verbs in asserting/denying propositions.

    Thymios
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "We recommend that your seatbelts are fastened."

    I've definitely heard it. It's probably less likely to be used where there's more ambiguity as far as what is meant (as in your examples).
     
    modus.irrealis said:
    Really? "Are" for "were" in Brian's example I hear all the time, but not "are" for "be", and even if I'm not American, I'm close enough :). To also respond to the original post, the versions with "are" are possible for me (except with recommend) but with a different meaning.

    I suggest that you are here = I suggest that it is true that you are here.
    I insist that you are here = I insist on the fact that you are here

    I can even think of a context where these might be said, say you're discussing someone's location with them and you point somewhere on a map and say one of the above. Basically for me, the indicative can be used with these verbs in asserting/denying propositions.

    Thymios
    True; I agree that the indicative is used (correctly) when insisting, or suggesting, that you "are" here presently--as is famous when posting a map of the area (my favorite being the image of the Milky Way with the large arrow labeled "you are here"). However, when used as the original poster implied when including "insist," I interpret the sentence as a command of sorts, implying the future: I suggest/insist/recommend that you be here at such-and-such a time or date, for example. It's not that those verbs can't be used in the indicative, just that, in the sense implied by the questioner, the subjunctive would be correct.

    As for whether you hear it all the time: well, I hear incorrect English all the time (I live in an area where "fixin' to," or even further contracted, "finna," is common), but that doesn't necessarily make it correct. I may use improper English in my everyday speech, but I ain't gonna push it on someone who's tryin' to talk right! :)

    cheers!
    j
     
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