pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Subjunctive Widely Misused

Subjunctive is evidently a subversive element, slated for depredation through a general refusal to use it.  The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.  Wish fulfillment, doubts, commands/demands/suggestions/ recommendations that run contrary to current faces call for the subjunctive.  "If"... is one of the most common ways to set up one of those ideas, among others.  "What if I were to explain it to you carefully?   Would you use it?"

Debbie Macomber, in the two-in-one novel On a Snowy Night, in The Snow Bride, page 183, wrote "If that was the case..."  The truth/veracity of the statement or thought that follows is in doubt for whatever reason, but the subjunctive were is not used.

The two-in-one Right Next Door contains The Courtship of Carol Sommars, with another example from page 264: ...she felt as though she was stepping into the light...

Yet again, in Midnight Sons, Vol. 1's Brides for Brothers, p. 105, Debbie writes, "Sawyer almost wished that was true."

In the two-in-one Be My Valentine on page 269 of My Hero, Debbie writes, "If it was any more obvious, Bailey thought..."

In 16 Lighthouse Road, Debbie writes, on page 195, "Cathy Lackey came to mind next, but it might sound as though she was bragging and Cecilia didn't want that."

(That little gem also needs a comma after bragging, since what follows and is a complete sentence.)
Tags: grammar gaffes

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