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Me and myself
Posted: 08 October 2013 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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You’re confusing meanings with the grammatical constructions used to express them.  Indirect objects exist in modern English; the dative case does not.  Conditional, counterfactual, and similar clauses are robust in modern English; the subjunctive mood is withering.

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Posted: 08 October 2013 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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The subjunctive mood may be withering, but it is still in use. You can call it anything you like, conditional etc, but we still use it to denote ‘possibility’. The grammar we used to use to express it is declining, but its existence is not in question.

Similarly, the dative case is still recognisable in personal pronouns like ‘him’ but because ‘him’ is also used in the accusative, there is no grammatical distinction.

My point is there is no real difference in either examples. Once the subjunctive has ‘withered’ and died, grammatically speaking, there will no longer be a trace of its existence, yet we will still be using it.

[ Edited: 08 October 2013 06:40 PM by Arga ]
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Posted: 08 October 2013 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Is the expression of the future (He will go ...) in English a mood or a tense? The future and the subjunctive seem as if they should be called the same thing.

I’m inclined to call the subjunctive (and therefore the future) a tense simply because “If she were ...” employs a separate verb conjugation from “If she was ...” It won’t make a hill of beans of difference but mood seems a bastardization of a perfectly good word applicable in otherwise very pertinent situations.

On the other hand, tense refers to time frames while the subjunctive isn’t so much about time as it is about the je ne sais quois of time ... almost parallel universes. If X had happened then we might be in case Y. But cases apply to nouns not verbs. The future is perceived as being that which has a high likelihood of succeeding the present (tense) situation, unless you don’t place much faith in your interlocutor, in which case the future tense is uncertain while the subjunctive mood covers all the possibilities ... it’s getting a little Twilight-Zonesque in this post.

[ Edited: 08 October 2013 07:16 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 09 October 2013 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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This will blow Arga’s mind, but there is no future tense in English, or in any Germanic language for that matter.

What English has is a variety of ways to express futurity. The most common, the one that is commonly called “future tense,” is the periphrastic construction using will or shall. We can also express the future adverbially, as in: “Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment.” What we don’t have are inflections of verbs that signal futurity.

Futurity and the subjunctive are not the same. A future tense, either a true one as in Latin or a periphrastic one, expresses something that will likely happen in the future. The subjunctive expresses conditions contrary to fact, conditional statements, exhortations and demands, etc. In languages with a non-defective subjunctive and a future tense, a verb can be both future and subjunctive (e.g., expressing a future state that is conditional or unlikely). Latin has a future subjunctive, but it is archaic and exceedingly rare by the classical period, and periphrastic methods are the more common way to express it. English doesn’t have a future subjunctive because it has no true future tense and its subjunctive is defective (i.e., incomplete).

In general, tense is an inflection on a verb used to mark the time when the action occurs. The mood, while expressed through the verb, expresses an emotion or attitude that influences the entire sentence. And the voice, passive or active, expresses the relationship the subject and object have with the verb.

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Posted: 09 October 2013 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language calls was of if I was a rich man the modal preterite. It’s the past tense form used to indicate modal remoteness, that is, a clause that is not presented as factual. Other examples are

I wish they lived nearby.
If you left now, you’d miss the rush-hour traffic.

This is how all verbs work, except be. be has this special form were that no other verbs have. CGEL calls were of if I were a rich man the irrealis, because it has not relation anymore to the subjunctive of I demand that you be quiet.

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Posted: 09 October 2013 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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gooofy - 08 October 2013 05:42 AM

happydog - 08 October 2013 05:34 AM
I’m sure many of us were taught as I was that you simply leave out the other person to determine if it’s me or I.

Except that doesn’t work with between. If you remove one of the pronouns from between youand I you get between you or between I, which make no sense. Which makes me think that the teachers who taught students to simply leave out the other person weren’t thinking it through.

Rittenhouse: “Good morning, Captian.Did you enjoy your ride? What in the world are you looking for?”

Spaulding: “I lost my horse. Yes. Slipped right out from between me. “

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Posted: 09 October 2013 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Dr. Techie - 08 October 2013 11:14 AM

For that matter, between you is fine if you is plural.

Yeah but that doesn’t help much, given that “you” is either accus or nom.

On the other hand: we say “between them”, not “between they”.

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Posted: 09 October 2013 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I wonder if this is a form of hypercorrection. Perhaps people are responding to being told that “You and me” is not correct in the nominative case by replacing _all_ instances of “you and me” with “you and I”.

This is an intuitively appealing theory, and I used to believe it myself.  The only problem is that there is no evidence for it, and it does not appear to be true.  Remember, it is also intuitively obvious that the sun goes around the earth—you can see it!

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Posted: 09 October 2013 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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languagehat - 09 October 2013 05:59 AM

I wonder if this is a form of hypercorrection. Perhaps people are responding to being told that “You and me” is not correct in the nominative case by replacing _all_ instances of “you and me” with “you and I”.

This is an intuitively appealing theory, and I used to believe it myself.  The only problem is that there is no evidence for it, and it does not appear to be true.  Remember, it is also intuitively obvious that the sun goes around the earth—you can see it!

Sure, sure. Just musing.

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Posted: 10 October 2013 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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“This will blow Arga’s mind, but there is no future tense in English, or in any Germanic language for that matter.

What English has is a variety of ways to express futurity. The most common, the one that is commonly called “future tense,” is the periphrastic construction using will or shall. We can also express the future adverbially, as in: “Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment.” What we don’t have are inflections of verbs that signal futurity.

Futurity and the subjunctive are not the same. A future tense, either a true one as in Latin or a periphrastic one, expresses something that will likely happen in the future. The subjunctive expresses conditions contrary to fact, conditional statements, exhortations and demands, etc. In languages with a non-defective subjunctive and a future tense, a verb can be both future and subjunctive (e.g., expressing a future state that is conditional or unlikely). Latin has a future subjunctive, but it is archaic and exceedingly rare by the classical period, and periphrastic methods are the more common way to express it. English doesn’t have a future subjunctive because it has no true future tense and its subjunctive is defective (i.e., incomplete).

In general, tense is an inflection on a verb used to mark the time when the action occurs. The mood, while expressed through the verb, expresses an emotion or attitude that influences the entire sentence. And the voice, passive or active, expresses the relationship the subject and object have with the verb.”

I concur completely. Mind not blown but still intact and functioning, after a fashion.

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