Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 20:49:51 -0400

From: "William H. Smith" Wh5mith[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: If I was

Donald Lance responded to my query about "If I would have..." with a

reference to Spanish Grammar. I shouldn't be (note the subjunctive)

surprised, since I am familiar

with the usage primarily from my first wife, who is Cuban. Still, Isn't

'would' the subjunctive of 'will'.?

Are there terms for the two subjunctives in English? That is, the

contrafactual "If I

were..." and the wish opf necessity "We insist that he go..."? When I

studied German, we called those Subjunctive II and Subjunctive I,

respectively. Are similar terms available for English? I haven't run across

them (although I haven't looked hare).

Finally, as evidence for the absolute death of the subjunctive, the Atlanta

Braves sportscasters use the present indicative for a past subjunctive sense,

as in the following

(hypothetical) example:

David Justice has just made a spectacular catch preventing the winning

run from

coming in. The announcer says, "If Justice doesn't catch that it's a


and the go-ahead run is in."

Is this general sportscasterese, along with the use of the simple present for

what is going on right now or just Bravesese?

Bill Smith

Piedmont College