that she apologise/apologised (subjunctive)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by yarka, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. yarka Senior Member

    Spanish
    Hi,

    I don't know why the following sentence is not correct:

    "That man demanded that she apologised"

    Why it is not correct?

    By the way, is correct to say:

    "That man demanded that she apologises"

    or

    "That man demanded that she apologise"

    ?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    As nobody answers, I´m going to try.

    I think it´s because it´s a reporting verb here. The reporting verb ´demand´ can be followed by a to-infinitive; e.g. He demanded to know where I had been. And also with a that-clause; so in your sentence, in my opinion, the right one is:

    That man demanded that she apologise. (subjunctive)

    This is actually, That man demanded that she should apologise, but often the modal ´should´ is left out.

    Wait for more answers, please. Un saludo.
     
  3. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    But with the reporting verb in past, I can see nothing wrong with "That man demanded that she apologised" (using past subjunctive). In real life, we use both versions, but certainly "should apologise" is the safest. (Unfortunately not among Yarka's options).
    I suppose the one that really clashes with the grammar rules is "apologises", but I wouldn't be surprised to hear it either.
     
  4. pubman Senior Member

    Morning Blasita;)

    Very brave of you to attempt this one. I would agree the 3rd one sounds most natural as a stand alone sentence.

    Cheers
     
  5. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    Hi inib and pubman :).

    Thank you, pubman. But I wouldn´t call it ´brave´, but too brave :(.

    Un saludo cordial.
     
  6. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    He hecho 'copy/paste' de un sitio English Grammar Secrets which confirms that blasita was right to be brave!


    We can use 'should' after 'reporting verbs' such as
    demand insist propose recommend suggest

    • <LI class=style50>He demanded that we should pay for the repair. <LI class=style50>She insisted that she should pay for the meal. <LI class=style50>I have proposed that he should take charge of the organization. <LI class=style50>The committee recommends that Jane should be appointed.
    • We have suggested that Michael should be given a reward for his hard work.
    However, it is also possible to say exactly the same thing by omitting the 'should' and just using the infinitive form without 'to' . Some people call this the 'subjunctive' form.

    • <LI class=style50>He demanded that we pay for the repair. <LI class=style50>She insisted that she pay for the meal. <LI class=style50>I have proposed that he take charge of the organization. <LI class=style50>The committee recommends that Jane be appointed.
    • We have suggested that Michael be given a reward for his hard work.
     
  7. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    Thanks very much, Wandering (¡qué bien me viene ahora una inyección de moral!). I just know the theory and have a little bit of practice, but the three of you have my theory and lots of practice :).

    So, leaving aside the theory and trying to help Yarka and others, then would it be okay to say ´apologised´ in here as well (as inib said, informally at least)?

    Thank you all. Saludos.
     
  8. yarka Senior Member

    Spanish
    Thank you very much for all their answers. It's helped me a lot!!
     
  9. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
     
  10. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Wandering, I've just seen your last message, but can't see any confirmation or otherwise. What do you think?
     
  11. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    You certainly hear phrases of the type using 'apologised' frequently in UK English. Although grammarians would say it is incorrect, English 'rules' are based on usage, not theory ~ we don't have anything like the French Academy!

    Food for thought: would you say, 'He demanded that she were [past subj. as ibid stated] there at 7 o'clock'? No! You would say, 'He demanded that she be there...' or, informally, 'He demanded that she was there at 7.' This suggests it's not a past subjunctive but more like the French 'concordance of tenses' and I agree that it doesn't really jar the English ear.

    Gracias a todos. Saludos.
     
  12. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    You've got a point there. Of all the possibilities, I agree that "He demanded that she were there" seems by far the least likely. What a shame that we, in general, (including myself and excluding you) are flummoxed by our few surviving subjunctives!
     
  13. capitas

    capitas Senior Member

    Castellón, Spain
    SPANISH SPAIN
    Just one more flummoxing question: What about the negative of your subjunctive?
    He demanded that she should not eat apples.:tick:
    He demanded that she not eat apples.:tick:
    He demanded that she do/did not eat apples.:cross:?
    He demanded that she does/did not eat apples. :cross:?
    Does thus subjunctive work as a bare infinitival?
     
  14. donbill

    donbill Senior Member

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    "The man demanded that she apologize": apologize/apologise is subjunctive; apologized/apologized is past indicative and not appropriate in the context.

    "apologises" is present indicative. It does not logically combine with "the man demanded."

    The sentence is quite literally "el hombre le exigió que pidiera/pidiese perdón." It's one of the relatively few cases in which both Spanish and English use subjunctive in the dependent clause. English subjunctive does not distinguish between past and present:

    The man demands that she apologize/apologise.
    The man demanded that she apologize/apologise.

    Saludos
     
  15. donbill

    donbill Senior Member

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Amigo capitas,

    I would say: He demanded that she not eat apples. (subjunctive)
    I would day: He said that she should not eat apples. (recommendation>>obligation.)

    I would not say: He demanded that she should not eat apples.

    Should often denotes subjunctive: Should she eat apples, she would become ill; but most often expresses some sort of moral obligation: She should eat an apple every day for her health.

    Is this as confusing to you as it is to me?
     
  16. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Well put.
     
  17. ZacaríasLS Senior Member

    Florida
    English
    Just my two cents in this thread:

    "He demanded her to apologize(apologise)."

    :D
     
  18. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Are you serious?
     
  19. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    English subjunctives are timeless. The "present" subjunctive acts something like an infinitive and does not usually reflect the tense of other verbs around it. Like the infinitive, it usually suggests futurity, i.e. something not yet true at the time in question. (In the sentence in question, she had not apologized, and was not apologizing, at the time the man made his demand.)

    The only exception that comes to mind is that English sometimes allows a present subjunctive after whether or even after if, and that present subjunctive can shift to past subjunctive in a past tense context:

    Whether that be true or not, I have made up my mind.
    Whether that were true or not, I had made up my mind.

    This sort of thing is rare.
     
  20. ZacaríasLS Senior Member

    Florida
    English
    :confused: Umm... I thought this is another way to say it. If it's wrong I'm sorry for causing more confusion.:eek: But I swear that I've heard this construction somewhere...
     
  21. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I have heard all of these:

    He demanded an apology from her.
    He demanded for her to apologize.
    He demanded her to apologize.

    But this last one seems to me to be confusing "demand" with "command" since the direct object of demand is not supposed to be a person but the action being demanded.
     
  22. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    The grammar I knew was that the right verb form is here ´apologise´, as I stated in post #2.

    But Inib, and then Wandering, said that in real life you could find ´apogised´, so the past. And I wonder if in some cases you could hear them informally; e.g. I demanded she told me the truth. I wouldn´t say, but what do you think?

    Un saludo.
     
  23. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    "I demanded she told me the truth" :eek:
    Maybe in England, who knows about them! :D
     
  24. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    I am by now more than convinced, after reading all your arguments, that the past should not be used in He demanded that she apologised, but I'm not sure if I understand what you are saying here about the subjunctive being timeless. I have probably misinterpreted your words, but if you are saying we hardly use the past subjunctive what about I wish I had, I wish I were, if I had, if I were?
     
  25. donbill

    donbill Senior Member

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Thanks! :)
     
  26. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Those are subjunctive, period. They don't change tense. They just happen to have some of the same forms as the past tense.
     
  27. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    I'm sorry to be a pain. I'm sure it must be because I've missed something in one of your explanations. Let me just check if you agree with this:
    He demanded that she be puntual (present subjunctive)
    I wish I were with you now (past subjunctive)
    Is this correct?
     
  28. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    Sorry, I know Inib is not asking me, and the others will answer properly. But, in my opinion, both are fine.

    I wanted to add that in two of my grammar books, they say that most subjunctive structures are formal and unusual in BrE, and that in that-clauses, British people often prefer should + infinitive, or ordinary present/past tenses. Well, this is only what books say, and I hope this comment can be of help.

    Un saludo a todos.
     
  29. donbill

    donbill Senior Member

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Hi inib,

    I know you're writing to k-in-sc, but I'll chime in.

    The "timeless" feature of the subjunctive that has been mentioned and explained before is:

    He demands that she be punctual.
    He demanded that she be punctual.

    I know that's not your question, but I thought I'd include it as point of departure for what I think is correct about what you're really asking.

    I wish I were with you now, is not, in my opinion past subjunctive. It is just a past tense form, which used with a present context, means contrary to fact or hypothetical.

    I wish I were with you now.
    I wish I had time now to help you.
    I wish I knew how to explain this better.

    Mayb k-in-sc will say what she thinks about it. To a large degree, I think it's just a matter of terminology. I think that we, as relatively well educated speakers of English, know how to say all of this; we just can't agree on what we want to call it.

    saludos
     
  30. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    The subjunctive "were" happens to consist of exactly the same word as the past tense for all persons except first singular. That doesn't mean it's past tense. It's not.
    You can't tell by looking at "were" by itself whether it's past or subjunctive. It could be either. But not both.
     
  31. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    OK,
    Thanks very much to the three of you. I think I've got it now. So the "timeless" bit means not that there aren't present and past forms of the subjunctive, but that the subjunctive to be used doesn't follow a sequence of tenses as it would in Latin, or to a large extent in Spanish too. I mean that we must use a present subjunctive after demand, whatever tense demand itself is in. Am I on the right track now?
    I repeat, therefore, that my earlier suggestion that He demanded that she apologised was acceptable is NOT correct.
    K-in-sc, I intentionally chose an example with "were" in first person singular, because otherwise, as you say, we can't see the difference between the past simple and the subjunctive.
    However, you still say that it can't be both past and subjunctive. As Donbill says, we may possibly be using different terms for the same things, but how would you distinguish be from were in the following examples, if one is not present subjunctive and the other past subjunctive (however much it refers to the present)?
    He demanded that she be punctual
    I wish he were here
    I hope I'm not getting on anyone's nerves with my insistence (or thickness!), but I would like to be 100% clear about this so as not to make any more mistakes.
     
  32. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Blasita,
    Sorry I forgot to mention part of your contribution. Yes, should is the easiest way to express a lot of situations which would carry a subjunctive in Spanish, and may in other situations. If I had stuck to them, I wouldn't be in this mess now!!!
     
  33. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left four years ago
    You´re not getting on mine, for sure. I think thanks to you this has turned out to be a very interesting discussion.

    Subjunctive is subjunctive for me. I would not call them ´present and past subjunctive´ but it may well be a question of terminology. For example, in I wish he were here, ´were´ is just a past tense which is used with a present or future meaning.

    As to ´demand´, a base form of a verb is used (´apologise´ instead of ´apologises´), and it is often referred to as the subjunctive.

    I have just found an interesting thread about this: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=384237&highlight=demand+request+suggest. Some foreros even talk about what I said but nobody here paid attention to it :(: differences between BrE and AmE even in this case.

    I actually wasn´t comparing English and Spanish, but if it helps you, I´m more than happy :).


    Un saludo.
     
  34. donbill

    donbill Senior Member

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    You're not getting on my nerves! This is interesting.

    He demanded that she be punctual. vs I wish [that] she were here.

    Aren't we talking about two different kinds of main verb? We would not say *"I wish that he be here," would we? I see "were" in your sentence just as an expression of a "contrary-to-fact" situation, not and embedded command, as is the case in "He demanded that she be punctual."

    And as blasita pointed out, there does seem to be a difference in AmE and BrE usage in this whole matter. It seems that AmE uses the "pure":) subjunctive more.

    Saludos
     
  35. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Many, many thanks, Blasita. Why, oh why, do I never remember to consult the monolingual forums?
    The link was extremely interesting and I was relieved to find that Owlman (whom I believe to be a reliable source) also refers to present and past subjunctives. The further link that LV4-26 offers us was very comforting in the sense that it explains that almost "anything goes", and if I get something wrong, I can blame it on being British!!
    Donbill, I've just seen your latest post, and have to admit that you are quite right in saying that we wouldn't say "I wish (that) he be here". I had always thought that that hypothetical past was a subjunctive (basing my argument on the switch from was to were), but I've obviously been trying to compare Spanish and English too closely.
    I thank you all again, and stand corrected.
     
  36. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    I'll keep my answer simple

    That man (the speaker pointing to the man) demanded she apologise. es perfecto
     
  37. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    Sorry to come into this (again) late. English does not differentiate between the present and past subjunctives except in the case of the verb 'to be' where we find 'were' and 'be'. The hypothetical past is a subjunctive, as in 'I wish that he were here.
     

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