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Hi, everyone. Here is a conversation with which I'm deeply puzzled.

Howard: I really don’t want to recommend Paula Forster.

She wouldn’t be satisfied until she had my job.

Trish: But she is the best candidate, right?

If she isn't promoted, it could be seen as an unfair decision.

Why Howard doesn’t say like this--- ‘She won’t be satisfied until she has my job.’

‘She wouldn’t be satisfied until she had my job’ is an example of the subjunctive mood?

Why the subjunctive mood is used here?

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Comments  (Page 2) 
CalifJim
rinoceronteI am sorry, but wasn't that you in the neighboring thread who was thanked for this affirmation:“In contrast, the subjunctive mood never contains the word "would", so there you have the difference.”?
Yes.  And why are you sorry about that?  The subjunctive part is in the unless clause, of course -- not in the main clause.She wouldn't be satisfied unless she had my job. Subjunctive. Hypothetical.CJ
I'm still confused. In one thread you say that subjunctive mood never contains the word "would", and at the very same time in another thread you give a phrase that you call subjunctive and that does contain the word "would". And to sum this up, you call "my theories" strange...
rinoceronteI'm still confused. In one thread you say that subjunctive mood never contains the word "would", and at the very same time in another thread you give a phrase that you call subjunctive and that does contain the word "would".
OK. Let me go over this again.

Here's what I wrote earlier in this thread:
______________________

The subjunctive part is in the unless clause, of course -- not in the main clause.

She wouldn't be satisfied unless she had my job. Subjunctive. Hypothetical.
_______________________

Here's what it means:

The scope of a mood is over a single clause -- not over an entire sentence.

She wouldn't be satisfied is one clause. The verb phrase is would be. It can't be subjunctive because it has would. It's conditional.

unless she had my job is another clause. The verb phrase is had. It doesn't have would, so it's not conditional mood. It's hypothetical, contrary to fact, so it's subjunctive. There is no marker for the subjunctive of have in the past tense, so the form is identical to the simple past indicative.

There won't be a great deal of harm done if you say that this clause is in indicative mood. Nevertheless, it has all the feeling of the subjunctive. In fact, analogous sentences with to be might use the marked subjunctive were, thus: She wouldn't be satisfied unless she were made director. Here, again, in a more obvious way, the first clause is in the conditional mood and the second clause is in the subjunctive.

CJ
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CalifJimOK. Let me go over this again.Here's what I wrote earlier in this thread:________________________The subjunctive part is in the unless clause, of course -- not in the main clause.She wouldn't be satisfied unless she had my job. Subjunctive. Hypothetical._________________________Here's what it means:The scope of a mood is over a single clause -- not over an entire sentence.She wouldn't be satisfied is one clause. The verb phrase is would be. It can't be subjunctive because it has would. It's conditional.unless she had my job is another clause. The verb phrase is had. It doesn't have would, so it's not conditional mood. It's hypothetical, contrary to fact, so it's subjunctive. There is no marker for the subjunctive of have in the past tense, so the form is identical to the simple past indicative. There won't be a great deal of harm done if you say that this clause is in indicative mood. Nevertheless, it has all the feeling of the subjunctive. In fact, analogous sentences with to be might use the marked subjunctive were, thus: She wouldn't be satisfied unless she were made director. Here, again, in a more obvious way, the first clause is in the conditional mood and the second clause is in the subjunctive.CJ
1. The conditional mood (as well as subjunctive mood) sentences are compound ones. The simple conditional sentence like "I would go home now" is only a part of a full compound conditional sentence "I would go home now, IF SOMETHING ALLOWED ME TO DO SO". The subjunctive sentences are also compound since they comprise two subjects and two predicates.
2. The word that determines whether this is a conditional sentence or not, in no way is the word "would". It's the word "if", which is a part of a CLAUSE, not the main sentence.
3. The subjunctive mood had been perfectly "nailed down" centuries ago. It's an expression of a wish for an action to happen. Implies a compound sentence. It has nothing to do with hypotheticity nor contrariness to the fact. In English language the subjunctive sentences look like "I want him to go home" (the alternative version, where the subjunction is actually present, is "I want that he go home").
You are conflating "conditional sentence" with "conditional mood". They are different.

Conditional sentences often contain one clause in conditional mood and another (the if-clause) in subjunctive mood.

CJ
rinoceronteThe subjunctive mood ... has nothing to do with hypotheticity nor contrariness to the fact.
No. Look in any English grammar, and one of the first things you see in the chapter on the subjunctive is this:

If I were king, ... where the subjunctive were is used to show something contrary to fact, namely, to show that I am not king. Further, it's hypothetical because it means "supposing I were king". A supposition is a hypothesis.

CJ
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CalifJimNo.  Look in any English grammar, and one of the first things you see in the chapter on the subjunctive is this:If I were king, ...  where the subjunctive were is used to show something contrary to fact, namely, to show that I am not king.  Further, it's hypothetical because it means "supposing I were king".  A supposition is a hypothesis.CJ
Subjunctive mood is not an attribute of exclusively English grammar. It exists in all the languages. "If I were a king..." is conditional since it contains a condition. That simple. "If I were a king, I would have a queen", - "Under which condition would you have a queen?" - "If I were a king".

Following your logic you will have to call all the sentences beginning with "if" contrary to facts. "If I had" means "I don't have", "If you gave..." means you haven't given, etc. While all of them are conditional.

"If I were a king" is "second conditional" that describes a realizable condition. Means, that there is a chance for you to become a king.  

"If I had been a king" is "third conditional" that describes an unrealizable condition and refers mainly to past.

By the way, "hypothetical" and "contrary to fact" are quite opposite terms. "Admitting the fact" vs. "contrary to fact".
rinoceronteSubjunctive mood is not an attribute of exclusively English grammar.
True. I did not say otherwise. You will find that the subjunctive is also frequently used to express conditions in Spanish and Italian, for example.
rinoceronte"If I were a king..." is conditional since it contains a condition. That simple.
No. It is not that simple. When you express a condition in English (or in certain other languages) , you often use the subjunctive. The idea of being a condition for something does not exclude the possibility that the condition can be expressed with the subjunctive.
rinoceronteFollowing your logic you will have to call all the sentences beginning with "if" contrary to facts.
No, not all sentences beginning with if. If I say to a class, If you have the right answer, raise your hand, there may be quite a few students who have the right answer, so the condition (having the right answer) is not contrary to facts.
rinoceronte"hypothetical" and "contrary to fact" are quite opposite terms.
No. Not opposite. Sometimes they coincide; sometimes they don't. The opposite of "contrary to fact" is "in harmony with the facts" or "factual". "factual" is not "hypothetical", so you see they cannot be opposites. They are simply different terms whose meanings overlap to a greater or lesser extent depending on the situation.

CJ
CalifJimYou will find that the subjunctive is also frequently used to express conditions in Spanish and Italian, for example
In Spanish subjunctive (past subjunctive, to be more exact) is used not TO EXPRESS conditional mood, but TO FORM it:

Si yo supiera, no iría. - If I knew, I wouldn't go

While the pure essence of past subjunctive is to express a wish in the past tense:

El quería que yo supiera. - He wanted that I knew (He wanted me to know).

There is no logical reason for past subjunctive to appear in Spanish conditional clauses. It was just chosen to fulfill its such secondary function. By the way, in the same Spanish language there are parallel conditional constructions with no subjunctive in the clause (for example, in Argentina).

But the rest of the world (in particular, English speakers. And some Russians too, to be true) saw past subjunctive in Spanish conditional and decided that they were connected somehow. No, subjunctive and conditional are two very different moods.
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rinoceronte
CalifJimYou will find that the subjunctive is also frequently used to express conditions in Spanish and Italian, for example
In Spanish subjunctive (past subjunctive, to be more exact) is used not TO EXPRESS conditional mood, but TO FORM it:

Si yo supiera, no iría. - If I knew, I wouldn't go
I did not say that the subjunctive is used to express the conditional mood. I said that the subjunctive is used to express a condition. A condition is something in the world (having the right answer; my knowing something; etc.). The conditional mood is a grammatical concept.
rinoceronteThere is no logical reason for past subjunctive to appear in Spanish conditional clauses. It was just chosen to fulfill its such secondary function.
The same is true of English.
rinoceronteNo, subjunctive and conditional are two very different moods.
I have not disputed that. I merely say that it is the clause with would, and not the if clause, which is in the conditional mood, no matter how strongly our intuitions tell us it should be otherwise. Consult a textbook in Spanish grammar, if you want. You'll see that it is iría, not supiera, that is regarded as the verb in the conditional mood/tense.

CJ
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