insist

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sejpdw

Senior Member
Korean
"He insists that he has to work a lot."
I've seen this sentence in a book.
Many grammar books say that if someone demands that something happens, we use "verb" without -s, or -ed. And British people use "should verb" in that situation. If so, why is the writer using "has" instead of "have"? Is that because "has to" functions as "should"? What do you think?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    He is insisting on a fact, and the fact is that he has a lot of work to do.

    If he were insisting that he be given something, if he were making a demand, it would be said differently: He insists that he be given the last piece of cake.

    (That is a rather formal way of saying it. A less formal version would be: "He insists on having the last piece of cake.")
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    If the two "he"s are different people, such as Steve and John, then in a completely different context you could say:

    John insists that Steve work a lot.

    This would mean that John is insisting that Steve be given a lot of work to do.

    This is different from "John insists that Steve works a lot" which would mean that John is stressing the fact that Steve already does a lot of work.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I'm completely puzzled as to whether we can say:

    Jill brought a medicinal tea which she insisted Jane to drink.

    Is this correct? Am I confusing "insist" with another verb?
    Thanks.
    I think you are confusing "insist" with another verb, such as require. We could say:
    Jill brought a medicinal tea which she required Jane to drink.​
    We don't say "insisted [someone] to".
     

    Thomas Veil

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    There are two different meanings of "insist".

    1. Forcefully make a claim
    2. Command

    With Meaning 1, the object of the verb is the claim. So, for instance,
    A) "Jill brought a medicinal tea which she insisted that Jane should drink." "Jane should drink (the tea)" is the object of the verb "insist".
    B) "Jill brought a medicinal tea which she insisted that Jane drank."
    "Jane drank (the teas)" is the object of the verb "insist".

    In Meaning 2, the object of the verb is is a command. Since it is a command, the verb in the command should be the infinitive.
    C) "Jill brought a medicinal tea which she insisted that Jane drink."
    "Jane drink (the tea)" is the object of the verb "insist".

    These three sentences express three different meanings. A) says that Jill asserted that Jane should drink it. B) says that Jill asserted that Jane did drink it. C) doesn't contain any assertion; instead, Jill is commanding Jane to drink it.

    The verb "suggest" similarly has two different meanings; it can mean "imply" or "present a possible course of action for consideration".

    I think you are confusing "insist" with another verb, such as require. We could say:
    Jill brought a medicinal tea which she required Jane to drink.​
    We don't say "insisted [someone] to".
    To clarify, the word "to" is not used this way with "insist". There are other mandative (I just made that word up) verbs that do use the word "to": "Jill ordered Jane to drink the tea".
     
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