If you <don't be> fast...

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Ivan_I

Banned
Russian
I know that the standard way to say this would be:

1 If you are not fast enough, you will lose.

Do you find this version acceptable?

2 If you don't be fast enough, you will lose.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    No. I don't think "be" ever takes "do" as an auxiliary verb.*

    I don't see how the present subjunctive ("if you be not fast enough") could be used in this situation, although it might be an archaic use.

    *Edit: Yes it does, as Ivan reminded me in post #4. The imperative mood can use "do": "Do be quiet!" "Don't be silly."
     
    Last edited:

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I don't think anyone would use a present subjunctive in the if-clause like that in modern English: it definitely comes across to me as archaic.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    I don't think anyone would use a present subjunctive in the if-clause like that in modern English: it definitely comes across to me as archaic.
    If it were a subjunctive case it would be (I think) If you NOT be fast enough, you will lose.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Don't be a bad boy!"
    That is an imperative in which "be" is the infinitive and the structure is standard. "If you don't be fast enough, you will lose" is not standard, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear it in some regional dialects.
    If it were a subjunctive case it would be (I think) If you NOT be fast enough, you will lose.
    No.
    If you be not fast enough, you will lose. But that's archaic, as has already been said.

    Cross-posted with Uncle Jack.
     
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