The suppositional mood and subjunctive I in complex sentences.
220.127.116.11. In subject clauses introduced by the anticipatory itthe suppositional mood or subjunctive I is used. (In subject clauses after the expression it's time subjunctive II is used – see 18.104.22.168.)
It is important that hypotheses generated in any discussion relating to biogeography should agree with all available information.
It's vitally important that she understand the danger.
22.214.171.124.1. The suppositional mood (or subjunctive I) is used in subject clauses after expressions of necessity, recommendation, suggestion, order, decision, such as it is necessary (important, vital, essential, urgent, advisable, desirable, etc) or it is suggested (proposed, required, demanded, requested, decided, agreed, arranged, etc.)
It is desirable that you should have some familiarity with computers.
It is very desirable that a thorough study be made of the Gulf of California.
As the lieutenant had only that single day in town, it was proposed that Miss Emmy should dine with her future sisters-in-law.
The tenses are used relatively (see 5.2.3.-5.2.6.). As the action of the subject clause follows or is simultaneous with the action of the principal clause, only the present tense of the suppositional mood is used.
If you are a sufficiently great and important person, it is necessary that you should be spared small annoyances. If a fly settles on your forehead again and again, what do you do? You endeavour to kill that fly. You are important – the fly is not. You kill the fly and the annoyance ceases.
That such a bond should rapidly develop in the earliest months of life is biologically essential for two basic reasons.
126.96.36.199.2. Both tenses of the suppositional mood are used in subject clauses after expressions of possibility, estimate, or some motive for performing the action of the subordinate clause, such as it is impossible (possible [in interrogative sentences] incredible, natural, unusual, doubtful, strange, odd, sensible, right, best, curious, surprising, understandable, shameful, sad, a shame, a pity, etc.)
Miss Kenton, I must ask you to leave me alone. It is quite impossible that you should persist in pursuing me like this during the very few moments of spare time I have to myself.
Is it then so strange that these monks should continue to stay in so well-loved a place when they are so obviously happy in their centuries-old home?
Considering her view of life, it seemed strange that such a thing should have bothered her.
The tenses are used relatively. The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed.
It is very sad that he should have gone so completely to seed. He comes of a very good family.
He would let her be, and he passed her without a word, though it hurt him that she should look so distant, and he could not reach her.
That people should love like this, that Mr. Bankes should feel this for Mrs. Ramsay was helpful, was exalting.
188.8.131.52. The suppositional mood or subjunctive I is used in object clauses after expressions of suggestion, order, recommendationor decision, such as to suggest (propose, advise, recommend, move, demand, urge, order, require, request, insist, make up one's mind, decide, etc.)
"In that case I suggest that you should call your wife right now. Here's the number she's at."
I suggested to her that we go to the disco.
The residents demanded that there should be an official inquiry.
Protesters went on hunger strike to demand that all political prisoners be freed.
As the action of the object clause follows the action of the principal clause, only the present tense of the suppositional mood is used. The rules of the sequence of tense are not observed.
Connie had suggested to Mrs Bolton that she should learn to use a typewriter.
184.108.40.206.1. The same rules hold good for appositive (a) and predicative (b) clauses after nouns expressing order, suggestion, wish, agreement, etc.:
a) The cats are said to have been introduced to control rats by James Spurs, who rejected the suggestion that only one sex should be introduced.
He rejected my suggestion that we appoint Roger.
Six companies have signed an agreement that they should share the costs of research and development.
b) A suggestion which has support in relation to the reorganization of the health services is that a system of processable personal health records should be developed for the community as a whole.
The letters were sent to me because the essence of your plan was that one of then should be wrongly addressed and go astray – but you cannot arrange for a letter addressed to the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard to go astray! It is necessary to have a private address.
220.127.116.11.2. The suppositional mood is used in object clauses after predicative adjectives such as sorry (glad, pleased, delighted, eager, anxious, determined, etc) if the action is regarded as an imagined one.
I was anxious that Susan should be involved in the decision.
Amelia would have been delighted that Joseph should carry back a wife to India.
You may be amazed that such an obvious shortcoming to a staff plan should have continued to escape my notice.
18.104.22.168.3. The suppositional mood (rarely subjunctive I) is used after expressions of fear, apprehension, worry in object clauses introduced by the conjunction lest (sometimes that).
He paused, afraid lest he should say too much.
The child watched them, nervous lest they hurt themselves.
And I became nervous and fearful that some turn in a careless conversation should bring that expression back to his eyes again. I began to dread any mention of the sea.