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Structurally Dependent Use of Forms Expressing Unreality




The Use ofForms Expressing Unreality inObject Clauses

§ 128. In object clauses the use of different forms of the predi-
cate depends on the lexical character of the predicate verb in the
principal clause.

As a rule, we find the Indicative Mood in object clauses after
most verbs.

e.g. We know (that) he is doingvery well in his studies.
They thought (that) he hadgiven up his idea.
He said that he wouldsoon be back.

As is well known, the rules of the sequence of tenses are to be
observed here.

Note. Care should be taken to remember that in object clauses after expressions
of regret, surprise, sometimes pleasure or displeasure the emotional should can be
used alongside the Indicative Mood (see "Verbs", § 109, 2a).


§ 129. However, after certain verbs and expressions we find
forms of unreality in object clauses.

Thus should + infinitive or the Subjunctive Mood is used after
expressions of suggestion, order or decision such as to decide, to
demand, to give instructions, to give orders, to insist, to make up
one's mind, to move, to order, to propose, to recommend, to re
quest, to require, to suggest, to urge
and also after to arrange, to
be anxious, to be determined, to prefer
and to take care.

e.g. Con demanded that Andrew should returnto the house with
him to tea.

She urged that they go to Europe.

He had given instructions that everything possible shouldbe
done.

He was determined that they shouldsee everything.

But if I write about war, self-respect demands that occasion-
ally I sharethe risks.

He requested me as a favour that I should reportto him any
"points of interest" that I might pick up on my visits
there.

The situation required that he be courteous.

In all those cases the action of the subordinate clause follows
the action of the principal clause. Therefore, this should is never
combined with the Perfect infinitive.

Object clauses after expressions of order and suggestion are
generally introduced by the conjunction that; asyndetic connection
is less frequent. The rules of the sequence of tenses are not ob-
served in object clauses of this type.

e.g. They propose(d)that the issue should be discussedin a week.
They propose(d)that the issue bediscussed in a week.

§ 130. In object clauses subordinated to the principal clause
with it as a formal subject we find the Indicative Mood after such
expressions as it is wonderful (natural, strange, singular, absurd-
terrible, monstrous, queer, odd,
etc.) it infuriated (outraged-
startled, surprised, puzzled) me
and the like. The Indicative Mood
is also used after it is possible (likely, probable) in affirmative
sentences.


e.g. But it's natural that you cometo get used to things.
It's just possible that .he leftthem alone.
It's wonderful that you carry such petty details in your head.
It's hardly likely that anyone will botherto go into it this af-
ternoon.

Clauses of this kind are usually introduced by the conjunction
that; asyndetic connection is not common.

Care should be taken to observe the rules of the sequence of
tenses when the Indicative Mood is used.

e.g. It is strange that he behaveslike that.
It wasstrange that he behavedlike that.
It is strange that he behavedlike that at the party.
It wasstrange that he had behavedlike that at the party.

Note. As has been shown in § 109, 2, the emotional should may be used in the
above cases too. In contrast to the Indicative Mood, it adds emotional colouring to the
statements, though in both cases actual facts are referred to. However, after it is pos
sible (likely, probable)
in affirmative sentences the Indicative Mood is the rule.

§ 131.Yet, after certain other expressions in the principal
clause the modal phrase should + infinitive or the Subjunctive
Mood is always used in the object clause. They are expressions of
necessity or recommendation, such as it is necessary (important,
vital, imperative, essential, urgent, advisable, desirable);
we also
find these forms after the Passive Voice of some verbs expressing
suggestion, order, decision, such as it is suggested (proposed, re-
quired, demanded, requested, recommended, decided, agreed, deter-
mined, arranged).

e.g. It is necessary at times that certain persons should be encour-
aged.

"Itis necessary that they becareful in the lab," he added.

It is advisable that she should havesomeone to keep an eye
on her,

"It's so important that they should knowthe right things
from the beginning," Isabel had explained.

It was agreed beforehand that he should havethe first shot.

He says it's quite essential that you doit after supper.

It's been suggested that I should joinone of the public ser-
vices.


In all those cases the action of the subordinate clause follows
the action of the principal clause. Therefore, should is never com-
bined with the Perfect infinitive in such constructions.

As a rule, object clauses after all those predicates are also intro-
duced by the conjunction that; asyndetic connection is not common.

Note that the rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed
when should + infinitive or the Subjunctive Mood is used.

e.g. It is arranged that he have (should have) the lab all to himself.
It was arranged that he have (should have) the lab all to

himself.

§ 132. In object clauses after the verb to wish we find the form
of the Past Indefinite (or the form were) or the Past Perfect to ex-
press a wish which cannot be fulfilled or a hardly realizable wish.

e.g. I wish I deserved your compliments. I don't.
I wish you had asked me anything but that.
I wish it were true.
I wished that Thomas hadn't brought me there.

Note. For a realizable wish other verbs and constructions are used,

e.g. I want to see him.
I want himto come.
I should like to talk to you.
I should like him to call me up.
I wish to see it for myself.
I wish him to do something for me.



Object clauses after the verb to wish are usually joined to the
principal clause asyndetically, though sometimes the conjunction
that is found.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed in this
construction. In object clauses after the verb to wish the tense
forms indicate the following:

a) The use of the Past Indefinite form shows that the action of
the subordinate clause is simultaneous with that of the principal
clause,

e.g. I wish(ed) he were with us.

b) If the action of the subordinate clause precedes that of the
principal clause, the form of the Past Perfect is used.


e.g. I wish(ed) he had stayed at home.

c) When the action of the object clause follows that of the
principal clause, we find the modal verbs would + infintive, might
+ infinitive and could + infinitive in the subordinate clause.

e.g. I wish(ed) the child would show more affection for me.
I wish(ed) I could drop the whole matter.
I wish(ed) you might stay with us a little longer.

Note 1. However, could + infinitive and might + infinitive may also be used to
express a simultaneous action.

e.g. I wish 1 could understand you.
I wish he might be here.

Note 2. It should be noted that would + infinitive is not common with the
first person.

As all these forms express an unrealizable wish, they serve as
expressions of regret rather than wish. That is why they may be
rendered in Russian in two ways. Thus the sentence / wish I knew
it,
where the actions in both clauses are simultaneous, may be
translated as Как бы мне хотелось это знать or Как жаль,
что я этого не знаю.
When the action of the subordinate clause
precedes that of the principal clause, there is only one way of ren-
dering such sentences in Russian, namely Как жаль, что.. . For
example, the sentence / wish I had told him about it is translated
as Как жаль, что я не рассказал ему об этом. Thus, where the
verb in the object clause is affirmative in English, it is negative in
Russian, and vice versa.

e.g. I wish I had told him the truth. (Как жаль, что я не сказал

ему правды.)
I wish I hadn't acted like that. (Как жаль, что я так поступил.)

When the action of the subordinate clause follows that of the
principal clause, it is not necessary to translate the modal verbs
into Russian; the usual way of rendering such sentences is Как бы

мне хотелось... .

e-g. I wish he would tell me everything. (Как бы мне хотелось,

чтобы он все мне рассказал.)

I wish I could (might) go round the world. (Как бы мне хоте-
лось объехать весь мир.)


Note. I wish you would + infinitive has become a set phrase and is an equiva-
lent of the Imperative Mood; it is emotionally coloured.

e.g. I wish you would keep quiet.
I wish you would stop it.

Compare it with the Russian Да перестань же ты, наконец.

§ 133.After the idiomatic phrase it is time (also it is high
time, it is about time)
we find the form of the Past Indefinite (or
the form were).
e.g. "Now let's talk." "Yes," she said quietly, "it's time we did,

Arnie." (= пора бы)
It's high time we got ridof our old furniture. (= давно пора

бы)

It's high time you werein bed too, my child.
He said: "It's time we ordereddinner."
Clauses of this kind are usually joined to the principal clause

asyndetically.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed in this

kind of clauses.

e.g. It's time we hadlunch.
It wastime we hadlunch.

§ 134.After expressions of fear, such as to be afraid, to be fear-
ful, to be frightened, to be in terror, to be nervous, to be terrified,
to be troubled, to fear, to have apprehension, to tremble
and others,
we commonly find the Indicative Mood in the object clause. Care
should be taken to observe the rules of the sequence of tenses.

e.g. I am afraid nothing has been doneyet.
She was afraid that he had seenher.
I was afraid you were going to strikehim.

§ 135.Occasionally we also find may + infinitive in object
clauses after expressions of fear. The rules of the sequence of
tenses are also observed in this case.

e.g. She's afraid he maymiss his only chance.

She wasafraid he might misshis only chance.


But in literary style, object clauses are sometimes introduced
by the conjunction lest. In this case should + infinitive (rarely the
Subjunctive Mood) is used in the object clause. The rules of the
sequence of tenses are not observed here.

e.g. They were terrified lest someone should discovertheir secret
hiding place.

An hour before his train was due he began to have apprehen-
sion lest he should missit.

He seemed nervous lest, in thus announcing his intentions,
he should be settinghis granddaughter a bad example.

§ 136.In object clauses introduced by the conjunctions if and
whether after expressions of doubt and negative expressions we
sometimes find the form were.

e.g. He would wonder for a moment, looking into her shining

eyes, if it were true.

He did not ask himself if she werepretty.
When they were back in their seats, Maurice asked Adeline if

she were still enjoyingthe play.

Generally we find the Indicative Mood in such clauses; the use
of the above mentioned form is characteristic of literary style; it
is a survival of the old use of the Subjunctive Mood.






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