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Hi, dear teachers. I was doing some CAE tests and came up against a stumbling block, which make me ponder. I'd really appreciate your help or any input on this. Thank you so much in advance.

Patients are often unwilling to admit to stress problems because they feel they are a form of social failure and it is important that symptoms be/are identified in order to avoid unnecessary suffering.

I chose "be" because I thought (and still do) it was subjunctive mood. But the only answer is "are" according to the key answers. Are both of them acceptable?

F.
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Mr WordyI don't agree with those answers. Both are acceptable to me.

My opinion is the same -- in case you want another vote.

CJ
Comments  
I don't agree with those answers. Both are acceptable to me.
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Hello Fandorin

Yes, both are perfectly acceptable.

Let’s take ‘be identified’ first. I’m not sure if you realised that this verb phrase is not only in the present subjunctive mood, but also in the passive voice (you can tell by the –ed participle ‘identified’). The simple present subjunctive of the passive voice is often used in subordinate clauses beginning with that in sentences which contain formal commands, requests or recommendations. So, your CAE key answer on this point is wrong, in my opinion.

Next, ‘are identified’: No subjunctive here, just a plain passive in the indicative mood. Perfectly acceptable, of course.

Personally, I prefer the subjunctive passive because it has a ‘formal’ air about it which can be appropriate when writing about important matters of health, science etc.

BillJ
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
BillJ I’m not sure if you realised that this verb phrase is not only in the present subjunctive mood, but also in the passive voice
Thank you for your appraisal Emotion: smile

Thank you Mr. Wordy, CalifJim and BillJ. CalifJim, yours are always welcome. Have a nice day, guys.
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