Реферат: Subjunctive (or conditional) mood

Now we come to a very difficult set of problems, namelythoseconnected with the subjunctive (orconditional) mood.

The chief difficulty analysis has to face here is the absence of amutual relation between meaning and form. Sometimes the same external series ofsigns will have two or more different meanings depending on factors lyingoutside the form itself, and outside the meaning of the verb; sometimes thesame modal meaning will be expressed by two different series of external signs.

Let’s take, for example, the sequence we should come, which means one thing in the sentence:

I think we should come hereagain to-morrow (here we should comeis equivalent to we ought to come);it means another thing in the sentence:               

If we knew that he wants us weshould come to see him (here weshould come denotes a conditional, i.e. an action depending on certainconditions), and it means another thing again in the sentence:

How queerthat we should come at the verymoment when you were talking about us! (here we should come denotes an actionwhich has actually taken place and which is considered as an object forcomment).

The second point may be illustrated by comparing of two sentences, I suggest that he go and he I suggest that should go, and we will for the present neglect the fact that thefirst of the two variants is more typical of American, and the second ofBritish English.

Mattersare still further complicated by two phenomena where we are faced with a choicebetween polysemy and homonymy. One of these concerns forms like lived, knew, etc. Such forms appear intwo types of contexts, of which one may be exemplified by the sentences, He lived here five years ago, or I knew it all alone,  andthe other by the sentences, If he livedhere he would come at once, or, If Iknew his address I should write tohim. 

In sentences of the first type the form obviously is the past tense ofthe indicative mood. The second type admits of two interpretations: either theforms lived, knew, etc are the same forms of past indicative that were used inthe first type, but they have acquired another meaning in this particularcontext, or else the forms lived, knew,etc. are forms of some other mood, which only happen to be homonymous withforms of the past indicative but are basically different. 

Subjunctive mood may express suppositionalor desirable action.

1.<span Times New Roman"">   

The verb to be has in present tense the form be for all singular andplural persons. The verb to be in the past tense has the form were for singular and plural persons (Ibe, I were respectively).

2.<span Times New Roman"">        

Forms be or were are used forformation of Present and Past Subjunctive mood in Passive voice (I be sent, Iwere sent respectively).

3.<span Times New Roman"">        

All other verbs in subjunctive mooddiffer from indicative mood by the form of the third person of the Present timewithout ending –s.   

Using of forms of Subjunctivemood.

<span Times New Roman"">                                     I.<span Times New Roman"">   

Theforms of Present Subjunctive of the verb to be and of other verbs are used :

a)<span Times New Roman"">   

In subordinate clauses of subject,beginning with conjunction thatafter impersonal turns such as: it is necessary (необходимо), it is important (важно),it is desirable (желательно) and soon:

Ex.It is desirable that he be there at 5 o’clock. (Желательно, чтобы он был здесь в пять часов.)

b)<span Times New Roman"">   

In subordinate clauses of object,expressing order, offer, resoluteness,accord – to order, to command приказать, to suggest, to propose предлагать,to decideрешать, to agree соглашаться, договариваться.

Theworkers demanded that the law be put into effect.

c)<span Times New Roman""> 

Insubordinate clauses of purpose after conjunction lest:

Ex.They covered the goods with canvas lest theybe damaged by rain. (Онипокрыли товар брезентом, чтобы они не были повреждены дождем).

Present Subjunctive is used mainly in the USA, in England this form isremained only in official language (acts of the law, document); in a modernliterary language and in a spoken language Present Subjunctive is replaced byconstruction should with infinitive. 


Theform of Past Subjunctive of the verb to be- were is used:

a)<span Times New Roman"">   

In a subordinate part of conditionalsentences of the second type:

Ex.If he were here, he would helpus.  ( Если бы он был здесь, он помог бы нам.)

IfI were you, I would accept theiroffer. (Если бы я был навашем месте, я бы принял их предложение.)

b)<span Times New Roman"">   

In subordinate sentences of course ofaction (образадействия), beginningwith conjunctive as if: 

Ex.He spoke as if he were a specialist on the subject. ( Он говорил, как если бы он былспециалистом по этому вопросу.)

c)<span Times New Roman"">   

In subordinate sentences of objectwith the verb  to wish:

Ex.I wish he were with! (Как я хотела, чтобы он был с нами.)

Fromall forms of Subjunctive mood the form wereis the most spread, but it is often replaced by the form was in the first and the third personsof a singular form. It is especially typical for colloquial speech.

 Ex. If he washere, he would help us.

Thus,those few forms of the Subjunctive mood that are preserved in the modernlanguage are gradually ousted from it.

Thedesirable and suppositional actions are expressed also by the followingcombinations: should, would, may, mightplus infinitive, which perform thefunctions of the Subjunctive mood.

Ex.There are some suggestions that mighthelp in our work.  (Имеются некоторые предположения,которые могли бы помочь в нашей работе).         


Conditional sentences are closely connected withsubjunctive (conditional) mood. There are three types of conditional sentences.

Conditional sentences of the firsttype express entirely real and realizable suppositions and correspondin Russian language to conditional sentences with verbs in indicative mood. These conditional sentences mostly expresssuppositions referring to the future tens.

Ex. If the weather is fineto-morrow, we shall go to thecountry. (Еслизавтрабудетхорошаяпогода, мыпоедемзагород.)

Thereis no necessity to further consider this type of conditional sentences as theydo not conform to the theme.

The conditional sentences of the secondtype express incredible and improbable suppositions. They refer tothe present or future and in Russian language agree with conditional sentenceswith verbs in Subjunctive mood(i.e. in the form of past tens with the particle быin Russian language). In theconditional sentences of the second type in subordinate clause (in condition)there used the form of Past Indefiniteand in main clause (in consequence) – a combination of should or would with Indefinite Infinitive:

Ex. If Helen knew** aboutAlice’s arrival (now), she would call her up. (Если бы Елена знала о прибытии Алисы, она бы ей позвонила).

(Given sentence is incredible as Helen does not know about Alice’sarrival that is why she can not call her up.)

Ex. If my brother had** atime now, he would help them. ( Если бы у моего брата быловремя, он бы помог нам.) 

(This sentence is also impossible as the brother has not time now thatis why he can not help us.)

        ** We have here Subjunctive moodwhich however coincides with the form of Past Indefinite of Indicative mood.

The combinations such as:

1. Should (with all persons) with Infinitive without particle to;

             2. Were(with all persons) with Infinitive with particle to.

areused along with Past Indefinite in order to underline a small possibility of realization of a fact in future.

Ex. If I should see himto-morrow,      

      I should ask him aboutit.    

      If I were to see him to-morrow,          

      I should ask him aboutit.                

    (Если быя увидел его завтра, я спросил быего об этом.)

In subordinate clauses there used sometimes combinations of would with Infinitive. In this case theverb would is not an auxiliary verb but serves to show a request.

Ex. We should be obliged if you wouldacknowledge receipt of this letter. (Мы были бы обязаны, если бы Вы подтвердили (былилюбезны подтвердить) получение этого письма).

The following examples of sentences may also be regarded as sentences of unreal conditions for the present andfuture:

1.<span Times New Roman"">   

I wish I knew it. (Как жаль, что я этого не знаю).

2.<span Times New Roman"">   

Ifear lest he should be late. (Я боюсь, как бы он не опоздал).

3.<span Times New Roman"">   

Hespoke as if he were a doctor. (Он говорил так, как-будто ондоктор).

4.<span Times New Roman"">   

I suggest that he should go there too. (Я предлагаю, чтобы он тоже туда пошел).

5.<span Times New Roman"">   

KnewHelen hisaddress she would visit him. (Знай Елена его адрес, она бы навестила его).

6.<span Times New Roman"">   

Itis necessarythat he shouldcome. (Необходимо,чтобы он пришел).         

Conditionalsentencesof the third type expresssuppositions referring to the past andthat is why they are unrealizable. Likethe Conditional sentences of the second type they correspond in Russianlanguage to the Conditional sentences with a verb in Subjunctive mood (i.e. with a verb in the form of past tenswith a particle быin Russianlanguage).

In the Conditional sentences of the third type in the subordinate clause(in the condition) there used the form of PastPerfect and in the main clause (inthe consequence) there used a combination wouldwith Perfect Infinitive (without to).

Ex. If your instructions had beenreceived** ten days ago, the goods wouldhave been shipped by the S.S “Svir” yesterday. (Если бы ваши указания былиполучены десять дней назад, товар былбы отгружен вчера пароходом «Свирь»).  

** We have here the form of Subjunctive mood which coincides with theform of Past Perfect of Indicative mood.

The unreal condition of thepast momentcan be expressed also by other ways:

1. Without using of conjunction If:

Ex. Had I seen him yesterday I should have informedhim. (Увидь я его вчера,я бы сообщил ему об этом.)

2. By using of the model verb might:

                      Ex. He might have done it if he tried.

              (Он смог бы это сделать, если быпопытался).

4.<span Times New Roman"">   

By using of the verb wish:

                      Ex. I wish(ed) I had known him then.

            (Как жаль, что я его не зналатогда).

It is worth while giving example of the case of using the Conditionalsentences of the mixed type:

Ex. If you had worked harderthen you would know English better. (Если бы ты занимался усерднее(раньше, когда-то), (сейчас) ты бы знал английский лучше).     


Finally, it is appropriate mention here those scholars who devotedthemselves to studying the problems of moods:

M. Deutschbein (heproposed 16 moods);

Prof. Smirnitsky (heproposed the system of 6 moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive1,subjunctive2, suppositional and conditional);

Prof. G. Vorontsova;

M. Gantina and N. Vasilevskayaand others.


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