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subjunctive

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subjunctive

Postby Brazilian dude » Tue May 31, 2005 9:32 am

This is what I've read in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a book I'm not finished with yet:

Your master, Poole, is plainly seized with one of those maladies that both torture and deform the sufferer; hence, for aught i know, the alteration of his voice; hence the mask and his avoidance of this friends; hence his eagerness to find this drug, by means of which the poor soul retains some hope of ultimate recovery - God grant that he be not deceived!

Everything I have read about the subjunctive says that negative statements have not before, not after the verb, as you would have in the indicative. This extract is clearly in the subjunctive but doesn't follow that "principle". Haven't they disclosed everything there is to know about the subjunctive, am I missing something here, or is that a good ol' mistake?

Brazilian dude

P.S. I must admit that not looks better after, not before the verb in this particular instance. I guess one could also say that he should/may not be deceived, but that's avoiding the problem.
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Postby WonderingSpaniard » Tue May 31, 2005 4:18 pm

Well, I don't know for sure, but this could be yet another dissimilarity between the verb "to be" and others. However, I didn't know that particular rule of the English subjunctive. It does sound correct to me to put the negation after the verb, as it doesn't putting it before.

Try to see if a sentence such as: "God grant that it not deceive him." sounds good to you and you may have the answer there.

Regards,

WS.
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Postby Apoclima » Tue May 31, 2005 5:01 pm

It is not a mistake! It is 1886!

Well, with the English subjunctive being a bit passé itself, this may sound odd:

God grant that he not be deceived!

This is how I would normally say it in 2005 (though probably most would just say "isn't").

Since it is an educated man saying it, he has chosen to analyze "not deceived" as a single unit like "undeceived."

God grant that he be not deceived!

Sounds alittle sophisticated and formalized, and subtly shifts the emphasis from "not being" to "being not." Yes, too subtle for words!

But the not can really jump around alot, sometimes shifting other elements, but the above two examples are ones that might be heard in (un)common speech.

Any other arrangement would be archaic or poetic.

God grant that he be deceived not!

God grant that not deceived he be!

God grant that not deceived be he!

God grant that not he be deceived!

God grant that be he not deceived!

God grant that be not he deceived!

God grant that deceived be he not!

God grant that deceived he not be!

God grant that deceived he be not!

But, I think you are right, BD, "God grant that he be not deceived!" does sound affected, but certainly within the educated, affected parlance of 1886.

"God grant that he not be deceived!" would surely be the norm for the subjunctive in 2005.

WS, "God grant that it not deceive him" sounds fine.

"God grant that it deceive him not." Sounds formal or archaic.

"God grant that it deceive not him." Here we have jumped into poetry!

Let's face it, BD, they talked really funny back there in 1886!

Apo
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Postby WonderingSpaniard » Tue May 31, 2005 5:13 pm

Let's face it, BD, they talked really funny back there in 1886!


I enjoyed much more Dickens's first half of the century... XD But I must admit, too, that I swore never again to read Shakespeare in Spanish after seeing all those "thou callst thyself my friend"... :D

However, well, who knows now that English actually has a distinctive form for the second person singular?
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Postby Apoclima » Tue May 31, 2005 6:20 pm

BD, if you google the phrase "that he be not" you will see that it is quite prevalent in older documents.

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Postby KatyBr » Tue May 31, 2005 9:56 pm

"Prithee, kind sir, I speak to thee so urgently, shew thine countenance not to the wall." Ameliorate whispered

I'm so glad I'm in 2005,

Katy
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue May 31, 2005 10:12 pm

Hahaha, thanks everyone. So that's what I suspected, it would be indeed a mistake now, or at least quaint.

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Postby tcward » Tue May 31, 2005 10:28 pm

KatyBr wrote:"Prithee, kind sir, I speak to thee so urgently, shew thine countenance not to the wall." Ameliorate whispered.


Wouldn't this be better -- or at least more mockingly authentic -- replacing this with with great urgency...?

You're so funny, Katy!

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Postby gailr » Tue May 31, 2005 10:34 pm

No Tim, with main urgency...

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Postby tcward » Tue May 31, 2005 10:36 pm

Yes! Perfect, gailr!! :D
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Postby Apoclima » Tue May 31, 2005 11:19 pm

"Dear lady, look not upon my ravaged countenance and recognize me, behind this hideous mask of tragedy. Oh, the countless sorrows this once brave face has seen! But, rather, gracious lady, listen to my heart where the scent of your presence brings both a soothing gentle laughter and a sweet searing pain."

Apo
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Postby KatyBr » Tue May 31, 2005 11:49 pm

"Ah, sir, you cause my poor heart to beat so happily when you do speak thus. Your lovely face is not, to me burdensome for indeed I see only the visage your soul radiates."

Your,
Ameliorate


[aside]
Tim I hope this is more authentic.[/aside]
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