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When substantivized, adjectives start functioning as nouns and acquire some of their morphological characteristics: they can be either singular or plural or can change their number, they can be used with or without articles and other determiners. According to the extent to which adjectives assimilate with nouns they fall into two groups: partially and wholly/fully substantivized adjectives.

Partially substantivized adjectives denoting abstract notions are not inflected for number and are always used with the definite article and the verb in the singular: the beautiful, the unknown. Those denoting groups of persons are also used with the definite article but the verb is always in the plural: the rich, the blind, the old.

Fully/Wholly substantivized adjectives function as different types of nouns: they can be used with different articles, some of them are inflected for number and are used accordingly with the verb in the singular or plural. They denote:

Х languages (= abstract uncounts)

Russian; the English we use; his was a nervous, graphic English;

Ј Individuals characterized through their social, political, national features.

An ordinary-ordinaries, a liberal-liberals

An Indian-Indians, a private-privates


Ј Colours (uncount),shades(count)


Grey, the grey of the earth

The trees were turning yellow and reds

Set expressions:

To take the good with the bad

For the common good

To do good/ ill

At dead of night

To get the better

To go from bad to worse

Of the best

If the worst comes to the worst



Forms: Subjunctive II has two basic forms: non-perfect Subjunctive II is synthetical and is homonymous with the Past Indicative: spoke, went, built, wrote, did, etc. The only exception is the verb to be whose Subjunctive II form is were for all persons: I/she/he/it were. Perfect Subjunctive II is homonymous with the Past Perfect Indicative for all verbs: had been, had done, had gone, had written, etc.

Meaning: Subjunctive II represents an action as contrary to reality:

I always wish I were like you.

Use: Subjunctive II is used in simple sentences and in certain subordinate clauses of a complex sentence.


1. Subjunctive II is used in exclamatory sentences beginning with 'Oh, that ...', 'If only ...':

Oh, that the storm were over! (present) If only Rowley had come! (past)

Such sentences express wish or regret and are characteristic of literary style.

2. Subjunctive II is found in simple sentences with modal verbs. In the sentences referring to the present or future the modal verb in Subjunctive II is followed by a non-perfect infinitive, in the sentences referring to the past Ч by a perfect one:

Could you come again tomorrow? You might have opened the door for me.

3. Subjunctive II is also found in simple sentences containing the modal phraseological expressions had better, had best, would rather, would sooner. Such sentences express preference or advice:

I would rather know the painful truth than imagine it.


You'd better keep out of sight until it's all over, (advice)


Subjunctive II us used in nominal and adverbial clauses.


1. In attributive clauses after the expressions It is time,

It is high time, It is about time:

It's time I made up my mind.

In attributive clauses only non-perfect Subjunctive II is used.

2. In predicative clauses introduced by the conjunctions

as if, as though. The predicative clauses with Subjunctive II

immediately follow the link verbs be, seem, look, feel, sound:

It was as if she were trying to tell him something.

(simultaneous action) / feel as though I had never been away, (prior action)

3. In object clauses after the verb to wish and the modal

phrase would rather:

I wish we were both about ten years older than we are.

(simultaneous action) / wish I hadn't come, (prior action)

I'd rather you cried here with us than all by yourself in there.

Sentences with wish-clauses express regret. When rendering them into Russian it is possible to use a clause with the opposite meaning, introduced by жаль, как жаль кака€ жалостьby the finite form of the verb сожалеть.

With reference to the future, after the verb to wish a combination of the modal verb would in Subjunctive II and the infinitive is often used in the sense of insistence, habit or willingness:

I wish you wouldn't sing in the bath.

I wish you would shut up. I wish you'd give her a message for me.

Would + Infinitive is possible only when the subject of the subordinate clause and that of the principal clause do not denote the same thing or person. The whole sentence expresses a kind of request. Would +Infinitive shows that the fulfillment of the wish depends on the will of the person denoted by the subject of the subordinate clause:

Iwish you would treat me better.

If the fulfillment of the wish depends more on the circumstances, may /might or could + Infinitive is preferable:

I wish I could help you. I only wish I might be with you.

4. In indirect questions introduced by if or whether after the expression of doubt:

Wondering if he were sick, I went over to find out. I doubted if it were possible.


Subjunctive II is used:

1. In adverbial clauses of comparison or manner introduced

by the conjunctions as if, as though:

His voice broke as if he were going to cry. (simultaneous action) He speaks as if he had never seen me before, (prior action)

2. In adverbial clauses of unreal condition or concession

(after the conjunction even if, even though). The principal clause contains a form of the Conditional Mood:

I shouldn't take this line if I were you. (present action) Even if they had wanted me to stay I should have refused.

(past action)

Clauses of unreal condition may be introduced asyndetically. In this case inversion serves as a means of subordination: Were it all true, it would still not excuse their actions. Had she not worn an apron, I would not have known how to address her.

Such sentences are characteristic of literary style.



Date: 2015-12-11; view: 4594

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