models whose beliefs and actions <be inspired> [Subjunctive?]

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natyorlowski

Member
Spanish - Argentina
Hi! This is from a written task I've done recently
"They should try to become role models whose beliefs and actions be inspired both on a peaceful lifestyle and an empathetic approach towards other people"
Is the use of the subjunctive correct here? Are there any other possibilities of writing the same thing in another way? Thanks!
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    No, I'm afraid "be inspired" doesn't work here. Can you give us a little more context, or explain in other words what you are trying to say? Do their beliefs and actions inspire others to a peaceful lifestyle and an empathetic approach, or are their own actions inspired by these things?
     

    natyorlowski

    Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    Their own actions are inspired by these things (and, as a consequence, they become role models who may inspire other people to act in the same way)
    It's necessary/good/expected for these people who want to become role models to adopt beliefs and actions inspired by a peaceful lifestyle and an empathetic approach.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    The subjunctive isn't appropriate there. The relative clause is an indicative statement describing a certain kind of role model. It doesn't relate directly to the question of whether those people ("they") are or are not yet such role models. So it should be "whose beliefs and actions are inspired ..."

    Just for comparison, if you replace "They should try ..." (modal "should" + bare infinitive "try") by an expression with a finite form of "try", for example "It's necessary that they try", then "try" is subjunctive; but the rest of the sentence would still be "to become role models whose beliefs and actions are inspired" (= to become that kind of role model).

    That's easier to see if you replace "try to become" by "be", where the subjunctive form is clearly identifiable: "It's necessary that they be role models whose beliefs and actions are inspired ..."

    So coming back to your original sentence, where the introductory clause doesn't contain any expression involving the subjunctive, you have:
    - "They should try to be role models whose beliefs and actions are inspired ..."

    (By the way, it's "inspired by", not "on", so it should read "inspired by both a peaceful lifestyle and an empathetic approach towards other people".)

    Ws
     

    natyorlowski

    Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    Thank you so much, Wordsmyth, priceless answer.
    One last question: In your opinion, is it the same if I say "both by" or "by both" in the context of this sentence? Some people have told me to use "both by"; but, as I see, you seem to have very good knowledge on grammar, so maybe your opinion would be accurate.
    (I hope I'm expressing myself well!:))
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    That's really a separate topic. Suffice to say that it's a question of parallel structures: "by both A and B" or "both by A and by B". Any further discussion would need its own thread.

    Ws
     
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