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The Suppositional Mood


  Non-continuous forms Continuous forms (express action in process)
Non-perfect forms (express simultaneous-ness with the action of the verb in the principal clause) should do, should be should be doing
Perfect forms (express priority to the action in the principal clause) should have done, should have been should have been doing


The Suppositional Mood represents an action as problematic but not necessarily contradicting reality.


The Use of The Suppositional Mood


  Complex Sentence 1. in Subject Clauses introduced by the anticipatory pronoun “it” a) only non-perfect forms are used after: necessary, essential, important, arranged, ordered, etc. It is important that you should comein time.
b) both non-perfect and perfect forms are used after: possible, probable, likely, odd, doubtful, strange, natural, surprising, curious, annoying, understandable, unbelievable, etc. It is strange that she should sayso. It is strange that she should have said so.
NOTE:Expressions of probability and possibility are followed by the suppositional mood in negative and interrogativesentences. In affirmative sentences the construction may (might) + infinitive is used: It was possible that they might be present.
2. in Object Clauses a) after expressions of order and suggestion: to order, demand, require, request, advise, recommend, decide, insist, arrange, propose, suggest, etc. I suggest that we should starttomorrow.
b) after expression of fear and anxiety: to fear, be afraid, worry, etc. (usually after the conjunction lest) I feared lest we should belate.
NOTE:If the clause is introduced by the conjunction “that”, the construction may (might) + infinitive is often used. I am afraid that we may be late.
3. in Predicative Clauses when the subject is expressed by the nouns: wish, order, demand, suggestion, recommendation, motion, request, arrangement, rule, etc. The order was that no one should leavethe room.
4. in Appositive Attributive Clauses after the nouns wish, order, demand, suggestion, recommendation, motion, request, arrangement, rule, etc. The captain gave the order that nobodyshould leavethe room.
5. in Adverbial Clauses a) of purpose (after the conjunction lest or with negation) We shall start at seven lest we should missthe train.
NOTE:In affirmative sentences introduced by the conjunction “that” the construction may/can (might/could) + infinitive is often used. Come near that I may hear you better.
b) of concession (after the conjunctions: though, although, whatever, whoever, whenever, however, no matter how, no matter what, etc. with reference to the future)   Though it should rain, we shall have to go.
NOTE:With reference to any time the construction may (might) + infinitive is used. Though he may have done it quickly, I am not pleased with the work.
c) of problematic condition (with reference to the future) If you should go shopping, buy some bread Should it rain, I’ll stay at home.


Ex. 15. Translate into English. Use the Suppositional Mood.

1. Важно, чтобы все студенты присутствовали на уроке грамматики. 2. Необходимо, чтобы вы как можно больше говорили по-английски. 3. Нужно, чтобы правительство немедленно ушло в отставку. 4. Было решено, что столицу перенесут из Абиджана (Abidjan) в Ямусукро (Yamoussoukro).


Ex. 16. Paraphrase these laws. Use the Suppositional Mood.

e.g. It is ordered that …

1. You may not drive barefooted. (Alabama) 2. Dominoes may not be played on Sunday. (Alabama) 3. Moose may not be viewed from an airplane. (Alaska) 4. Waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited. (Alaska) 5. Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs. (Arizona) 6. You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit. (Wyoming) 7. In Newark it is illegal to sell ice cream after 6 pm, unless the customer has a note from his doctor. (New Jersey) 8. In Saco, women are forbidden from wearing hats that “might frighten timid persons, children or animals.” (Maine) 9. It is illegal to do anything illegal. (New York) 10. In Racine, it is illegal to wake a fireman when he is asleep. (Wisconsin)


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