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General Writing and Grammar Help/modal phrase / subjunctive mood

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Question
Dear Ted,

Thank you for your answer.

Is modality expressed by  “modal verbs” in some sentences and by use of the “subjunctive mood” in other sentences?

In the sentence   - “The motorist was driving badly, as if he were drunk” -   is  the clause “as if he were drunk” a modal phrase because this clause is in the subjunctive mood?

Thank you  

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

Is modality expressed by  “modal verbs” in some sentences and by use of the
“subjunctive mood” in other sentences?

In the sentence   - “The motorist was driving badly, as if he were drunk” -   is  
the clause “as if he were drunk” a modal phrase because this clause is in the
subjunctive mood?

*** The answers to your questions are yes and yes.

The subjunctive mood is pointedly shown in the sentence about the motorist.  Following "as if," the subject and verb are "he were."

In an indicative mood sentence, the subject and verb are "he was."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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