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Are these quotes grammatically correct (subjunctive)?

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Are these quotes grammatically correct (subjunctive)?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2019, 03:32
I was reading Vanity Fair last night and came across two sentences (Chapter: Struggles and Trials) that seem wrong to me.

Quote:
So Amelia learned to know every one of the boys in that school as well as Georgy himself: and of nights she used to help him in his exercises and puzzle her little head over his lessons as eagerly as if she was herself going in the morning into the presence of the master.


Quote:
Nor could she: but she acceded to their overtures with a very heavy and suspicious heart, was always uneasy during the child's absence from her, and welcomed him back as if he was rescued out of some danger.


Her going to the lessons is contrary to fact. Him being rescued from danger is contrary to fact. So both should be 'were' not 'was'?

Also, are all sentences containing as if in the subjunctive mood?

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https://www.economist.com/asia/2019/01/ ... university

Quote:
Instead of defending them, Mr Kumar has acted as if the university was indeed in need of more patriotic spirit and discipline.


-----
From Marilynne Robinson Home p. 27
Quote:
"It will be just fine," she said. But she knew he did not want any wholly sufficient, entirely persuasive assurance. If he was disappointed and Jack did not come home, he could tell himself that the fault was his own, taking the bitterness of it all on himself and sparing his miscreant son
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Re: Are these quotes grammatically correct (subjunctive)?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 17:30
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This is something that grammarians argue about, and I'm not sure that I've seen that exact distinction tested on the GMAT. (The people who write the GMAT tend to avoid wading into active grammatical debates, since that would make it much harder for them to prove that their official answer to the question was the right one!)

That said, the subjunctive should be used when you're talking about something that's hypothetical. In both of your examples, it seems (although I'm not totally sure) that what's being described is hypothetical, and didn't actually happen. The boy wasn't actually rescued from danger, etc. So I think that the subjunctive is correct, and the sentences as written are incorrect.

I can't think of an example using 'as if' that doesn't refer to something hypothetical, so it's probably fair to say that 'as if' should go with the subjunctive. That said, I'm not completely sure, so if anybody has a sentence that uses 'as if' differently, please post it!
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Re: Are these quotes grammatically correct (subjunctive)?   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2019, 17:30
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