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Thread: We insist that the meeting should be held.., be held... or would be held...

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    We insist that the meeting should be held.., be held... or would be held...

    These examples are given in my textbook in the chapter on subjunctive mood:

    We insist that the meeting should be held as soon as possible. or We insist that the meeting be held as soon as possible.
    It's necessary that the sequence of actions
    should be changed. or It's necessary that the sequence of actions be changed.

    Firstly, why is should rather than would used here? Should is only used when the subject is in the first person, you know.
    And, secondly, which way would you use?
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    [/I]Firstly, why is should rather than would used here? Should is only used when the subject is in the first person, you know.
    If I get your question right, you've fallen into the same trap many other native Russian speakers had before you. The way we've been taught English at school was "non-standard" in many ways. One of them was: "I/we should", "he/she/they would". Perhaps, it was a norm some time back, but these days "should" means "должен" almost in all cases. And "would" is used with I/we as well.

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    [/I]Firstly, why is should rather than would used here? Should is only used when the subject is in the first person, you know.
    And, secondly, which way would you use?
    "Would" is impossible to use here. And in fact, I can hardly imagine what the rule about "should" you are quoting might refer to. Google provides me with this:


    Dictionary of English - should <i>or </i>would

    To me that implies that in conditional sentences (and not in subjunctives as you quoted them) "would" used to be replaced with "should" in 1st person singular and plural. It refers to such phrases as "I should say so", which is possible (though "I would say so" is, too), whereas "he should say so" indeed sounds wrong. But it's not a general rule about "should", sentences such as "you should see a doctor" are perfectly OK and you couldn't use "would" here and retain the meaning.

    Ah, and about the question which to use: I'd use the version with "should" most of the time, the other sounds awfully formal. Of course, if I wanted to sound awfully formal I'd use the subjunctive. Mostly in writing.
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    I use the subjunctive insist that the meeting be held


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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    chaika,
    We insist that the meeting should be held as soon as possible. or We insist that the meeting be held as soon as possible.
    The first example (with should be held) is said in that book to be use in BrE and the second one (with be held) in AmE.

    It seems to me that I've understood what confused me.
    For example, If I had more time I should learn Japanese. Here should has the same meaning as would. That is, it would be possible to say If I had more time I would learn Japanese.
    In We insist that the meeting should be held as soon as possible, should has another meaning, but I thought that the same as one above.
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    For example, If I had more time I should learn Japanese. Here should has the same meaning as would. That is, it would be possible to say [I]If I had more time I would learn Japanese.
    I would stick with "would" in all cases. You can say "should" but in the US you never hear people talk like that, it sounds kind of stuffy or pedantic. I'm not an expert on usage in Britain but from what I understand the use of "should" in such cases is mostly a thing of the past and you're best advised to use "would."
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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    In British English language is often used as a denominator of social standing, therefore someone who says "I should say so" instead of "I would say so" sounds like someone from a higher social class. This is nicely subsumed in this article. See the section on sociolinguistic issues.

    As for saying "the meeting be held", when I studied English at university the grammatical form was termed "American subjunctive" by our British tutors, which is quite telling. In some ways other than class consciousness American English is actually more conservative than British English. Another well-known example is the American pronunciation of /r/, which the British traditionally frown upon, but it is in fact the older British pronunciation.
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    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Thank you! You gave me the useful information. In short, if I use would, I won't regret it. )
    bitpicker, the interesting article.
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    Thank you! You gave me the useful information. In short, if I use would, I won't regret it. )
    bitpicker, the interesting article.
    A bit off-topic, but I'd like to make a correction: I gave you useful information without an article (the). You could say "the useful article" only if the sentence went on like "which made me understand it fully" or if you were singling out information which was mentioned before: I got a lot of information, but you gave me the useful bits of information.

    And the final utterance also should not have a definite article: "Bitpicker, (it's an) interesting article". The part in brackets can be dropped or you can keep the indefinite article, but there is no way you can have a definite article here. You could, in a face to face situation, put a newspaper on the table, point at one of the articles and say "(this is) the interesting article (which we talked about)", but that's all.
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    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    OK, thanks!
    Thanks for correcting me.

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