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Hi teachers,

Please, look at these examples below:

"After having a heart attack, the minister's doctor suggested that he take a short rest abroad."

"Her father insisted that she take her brother to the amusement park."

As I know, "take" above must be written without "s" although the subject is singular.

1-I want to know why?

2- What this rule is called in English?

3- In which case can I apply it correctly?

4- If I added "s" to the verb in such context, would it be really wrong or just it would have a different meaning?


Thanks in advance

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anonymous1-I want to know why? why.

It's a holdover from older forms of English. There are only relatively few cases left in modern English in which we do this.

anonymous2- What this rule is called in English?

In modern grammar it's called the mandative construction. In traditional grammar it's called the subjunctive mood.

anonymous3- In which case can I apply it correctly?

In the that-clauses which follow certain verbs, nouns, and adjectives we use the mandative construction. The most important ones are the verbs demand, insist, suggest, and recommend. The corresponding nouns are demand, insistence, suggestion, and recommendation. In very formal language you may see the mandative construction after adjectives like necessary or urgent.

anonymous4- If I added "s" to the verb in such context, would it be really wrong or just it would have a different meaning?

It is more common to include the 's' in British English. It is not wrong. However, from the viewpoint of American English I can't say that the same meaning is always communicated by both forms. Yes, the same meaning can be communicated, but from that information we shouldn't draw the conclusion that the same meaning is always communicated. I see a very big difference between these, for example:

1) This Congressional report suggests that Senator Bunkum cheat on his income tax.
2) This Congressional report suggests that Senator Bunkum cheats on his income tax.

1) advises Bunkum to cheat; 2) gives evidence that maybe he cheats.

Contrastive pairs like this are the exception rather than the norm.

CJ

Comments  
anonymous"After having a heart attack, the minister's doctor suggested that he take a short rest abroad."

The doctor had the heart attack.

anonymous1-I want to know why?

That is the subjunctive mood. It can be found in many languages. It is a mere shadow of its former self in English, which makes it hard to say just when it is appropriate today. It is much more commonly used in US English than in British English. I would expect "takes" in both your sentences in England and "take" in the US, with zero difference in meaning.

The subjunctive is a fairly large, complex topic. Look it up, and you will know everything I do about it.

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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJim
anonymous1-I want to know why? why.

It's a holdover from older forms of English. There are only relatively few cases left in modern English in which we do this.

anonymous2- What this rule is called in English?

In modern grammar it's called the mandative construction. In traditional grammar it's called the subjunctive mood.

anonymous3- In which case can I apply it correctly?

In the that-clauses which follow certain verbs, nouns, and adjectives we use the mandative construction. The most important ones are the verbs demand, insist, suggest, and recommend. The corresponding nouns are demand, insistence, suggestion, and recommendation. In very formal language you may see the mandative construction after adjectives like necessary or urgent.

anonymous4- If I added "s" to the verb in such context, would it be really wrong or just it would have a different meaning?

It is more common to include the 's' in British English. It is not wrong. However, from the viewpoint of American English I can't say that the same meaning is always communicated by both forms. Yes, the same meaning can be communicated, but from that information we shouldn't draw the conclusion that the same meaning is always communicated. I see a very big difference between these, for example:

1) This Congressional report suggests that Senator Bunkum cheat on his income tax.
2) This Congressional report suggests that Senator Bunkum cheats on his income tax.

1) advises Bunkum to cheat; 2) gives evidence that maybe he cheats.

Contrastive pairs like this are the exception rather than the norm.

CJ

I can understand it better now. Thank you teacher for your detailed clear explanation.

anonymous
anonymous"After having a heart attack, the minister's doctor suggested that he take a short rest abroad."

The doctor had the heart attack.

anonymous1-I want to know why?

That is the subjunctive mood. It can be found in many languages. It is a mere shadow of its former self in English, which makes it hard to say just when it is appropriate today. It is much more commonly used in US English than in British English. I would expect "takes" in both your sentences in England and "take" in the US, with zero difference in meaning.

The subjunctive is a fairly large, complex topic. Look it up, and you will know everything I do about it.

Thank you very much for your answer and for paying my attention to the example meaning. Yes, I meant to say the minister, but I made the meaning upside down.

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