[DWJ] A grammar realization - Where are we from?

Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) Philip.Belben at eon-uk.com
Fri Apr 13 04:59:02 EDT 2007


Charlie asked:

> Hmm. Is 'mote it be' an example of the hortatory subjunctive? Always
> wanted to meet one.

I'm not sure whether "mote" is a subjunctive.  "Be" in that phrase is an
infinitive, stripped of its (spurious) "to" by the modal verb "mote".  I
would incline away from the hypothesis, the hortatory meaning supplied
by the modal verb rather than by the subjunctive, but a philologist
might disagree.

"So be it" is definitely a hortatory subjunctive, as are the first few
main verbs in the Lord's prayer:  "Hallowed _be_ thy name, thy kingdom
_come_, thy will _be_ done".

(Minnow, being traditionalist grammar queen, may wish to say "an
hortatory subjunctive", as will anyone who drops the H, but I sound the
H and stick to "a")

Philip.
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