Introduction The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Grammatical categories of the verb ». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper. A verb is a word. But it is not simple a word, it is the most important part of the sentence. The verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being. The verb is the word used primarily to indicate a type of action or a general state of existence. The verb is one of the basic building blocks of a sentence in most languages.
The verb is also characterized as the most complex part of speech, because it has more word-changing categories than any other notional part of speech. Actuality of the research: to identify the problems of grammatical categories of voice and mood from the point of view of different scholars. The object of the research: grammatical categories of voice and mood and their use in Modern English. The subject of the research: Modern English texts which contain grammatical categories of voice and mood. The aim of this paper is to determine theoretical and practical aspect of the verb and its grammatical categories of voice and
mood and provide a complex picture of the verb as the part of speech. Methods of research include critical analysis of scientific works on the subject, analysis of the theoretical concept of grammatical categories of voice and mood and their use in practice. The present course paper consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. The main part of our work consists of two chapters. . The general number is 29 pages. The list of the used literature consists of 31 sources, 6 on-line sources and 4 illustrative materials. CHAPTER I. THEORETICAL ASPECT OF THE VERB
1. 1 The verb as a notional word denoting process In syntax, a verb is a word (part of speech) that usually denotes an action (bring, read), an occurrence (decompose, glitter), or a state of being (exist, stand). The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being. The verb is the word used primarily to indicate a type of action, such as to fly or to wish, though it may also be used to indicate a general state of existence, such as to live.
There is also a special type of verb, known as a copula or linking verb, which helps to describe the subject of the sentence, rather than describing an action. The primary example of this in English is the verb to be which is usually used in the role of linking verb. The verb is one of the basic building blocks of a sentence in most languages, with most grammatical sentences requiring at least one noun acting as a subject, and one verb to indicate an action. The verb possesses the grammatical meaning of verbiality – the ability to denote a process developing in time.
This meaning is inherent not only in the verbs denoting processes, but also in those denoting states, forms of existence, evaluations, etc. [10,113]The verb possesses the following grammatical categories: tense, aspect, voice, mood, person, number, finitude and phase. The common categories for finite and non-finite forms are voice, aspect, phase and finitude. The grammatical categories of the English verb find their expression in synthetical and analytical forms. The formative elements expressing these categories are grammatical affixes, inner inflexion and function words.
Some categories have only synthetical forms (person, number), others – only analytical (voice). There are also categories expressed by both synthetical and analytical forms (mood, tense, aspect). [10,113-114]The most universal syntactic feature of verbs is their ability to be modified by adverbs. The second important syntactic criterion is the ability of the verb to perform the syntactic function of the predicate. However, this criterion is not absolute because only finite forms can perform this function while non-finite forms can be used in any function but predicate.
And finally, any verb in the form of the infinitive can be combined with a modal verb. [10,113]The verb as a notional part of speech has the categorial meaning of dynamic process, or process developing in time, including not only actions as such (to work, to build), but also states, forms of existence (to be, to become, to lie), various types of attitude, feelings (to love, to appreciate), etc. Formally, the verb is characterized by a set of specific word-building affixes, e. g. : to activate, to widen, to classify, to synchronize, to overestimate, to reread, etc.
; there are some other means of building verbs, among them sound-replacive and stress-shifting models, e. g. : blood – to bleed, ‘import – to im’port. There is a peculiar means of rendering the meaning of the process, which occupies an intermediary position between the word and the word-combination: the so-called “phrasal verbs”, consisting of a verb and a postpositional element. Some phrasal verbs are closer to the word, because their meaning cannot be deduced from the meaning of the verb or the meaning of the postposition separately, e. g. : to give up, to give in, etc.
; others are semantically closer to the word-combination, e. g. : to stand up, to sit down, etc. A separate group of phrasal verbs is made by combinations of broad meaning verbs to have, to give, to take and nouns, e. g. : to give a look, to have rest, to have a bite, etc. The processual semantics of the verb determines its combinability with nouns denoting either the subject or the object of the action, and its combinability with adverbs denoting the quality of the process. In certain contexts, some verbs can be combined with adjectives (in compound nominal predicates) and other verbs.
[3;5;6] 1. 2 Classification of English verbs The complexity of the verb is also manifested in the intricate system of its grammatically relevant subclasses. On the upper level, all the verbs according to their semantic (nominative) value fall into two big sub-classes: the sub-class of notional verbs and the sub-class of functional and semi-functional verbs. Notional verbs have full nominative value and are independent in the expression of the process, e. g. : to work, to build, to lie, to love, etc. ; these verbs comprise the bulk of the class and constitute an open group of words.
Functional and semi-functional (or, semi-notional) verbs make a closed group of verbs of partial nominative value. They are dependent on other words in the denotation of the process, but through their forms the predicative semantics of the sentence is expressed (they function as predicators). [9;10;24]Functional and semi-functional verbs are further subdivided into a number of groups. Auxiliary functional verbs are used to build the analytical grammatical forms of notional verbs, e. g. : have done, was lost, etc. Link verbs connect the nominative part of the predicate (the predicative) with the subject.
They can be of two types: pure and specifying link verbs. Pure link verbs perform a purely predicative-linking function in the sentence; in English there is only one pure link verb to be; specifying link verbs specify the connections between the subject and its property, cf. : He was pale. – He grew pale. The specification of the connections may be either “perceptional”, e. g. : to seem, to look, to feel, etc. , or “factual”, e. g. : to grow, to become, to get, etc. The semi-functional link verbs should be distinguished from homonymous notional verbs, e. g.
: to grow can be a notional verb or a specifying link verb, cf. : The child grew quickly. – He grew pale. Modal verbs are predicators denoting various subject attitudes to the action, for example, obligation, ability, permission, advisability, etc. : can, must, may, etc. The subdivision of verbs into notional and (semi-)functional is grammatically relevant since the verbs of the two subclasses perform different syntactic functions in the sentence: notional verbs function as predicates, semi-functional and functional verbs as parts of predicates (predicators).
Notional verbs are subdivided into several groups as follows. On the basis of subject-process relations the verbs are subdivided into actional and statal verbs. The terms are self-explanatory: actional verbs denote the actions performed by the subject as an active doer, e. g. : to go, to make, to build, to look, etc. ; statal verbs denote various states of the subject or present the subject as the recipient of an outward activity, e. g. : to love, to be, to worry, to enjoy, to see, etc.
Mental and sensual processes can be presented as actional or statal; they can be denoted either by correlated pairs of different verbs, or by the same verbal lexeme, e. g. : to know (mental perception) – to think (mental activity), to see, to hear (physical perception as such) – to look, to listen (physical perceptional activity); The cake tastes nice (taste denotes physical perception, it is used as a statal verb). – I always taste food before adding salt (taste denotes perceptional activity, it is used as an actional verb).
The difference between actional and statal verbs is grammatically manifested in the category of aspect forms: actional verbs take the form of the continuous aspect freely, and statal verbs are normally used in indefinite forms in the same contexts, cf. : What are you looking at? Do you hear me? The use of the continuous aspect forms of the statal verbs finds its explanation in terms of the oppositional theory as a specific case of transposition and involves certain transformations in the meaning of the verb, e. g.
: The doctor is seeing a patient right now; I’m not seeing much of her lately (seeing acquires the meaning of activity close to “meeting”); You are being naughty (= “behaving”). Another subdivision of notional verbs is based on their aspective meaning, which exposes the inner character of the process denoted, or, its mode of realization. According to the mode of realization, the process may be instantaneous (momentary), durative (continual), repeated, starting, completed, uncompleted, etc. For example: instantaneous actions are denoted by the verbs to drop, to click, to jump, etc.
; starting, durative, terminated, or repeated actions are denoted by the combinations of verbids with semi-notional verbid-introducers, such as to begin, to continue, to finish, used to, etc. ; prefixes are used to denote the aspectual meanings of overcompletion, undercompletion or repetition, e. g. : to overestimate, to underestimate, to reread, etc. All these minor subdivisions are generalized in the grammatically relevant subdivision of all the verbs into two big groups: the so-called limitive verbs and unlimitive verbs.
Limitive verbs present a process as potentially limited, directed towards reaching a certain border point, beyond which the process denoted by the verb is stopped or ceases to exist, e. g. : to come, to sit down, to bring, to drop, etc. Unlimitive verbs present the process as potentially not limited by any border point, e. g. : to go, to sit, to carry, to exist, etc. Some limitive and unlimitive verbs form semantically opposed pairs, denoting roughly the same actual process presented as either potentially limited or unlimited, cf.
: to come – to go, to sit down – to sit, to bring – to carry; other verbs have no aspective counterparts, e. g. : to be, to exist (unlimitive), to drop (limitive). But the bulk of English verbs can present the action as either limitive or unlimitive in different contexts, e. g. : to build, to walk, to turn, to laugh, etc. Traditionally such verbs are treated as verbs of double, or mixed aspective nature. In terms of the theory of oppositions one can say that the lexical opposition between limitive and unlimitive verbs is easily neutralized; this makes the borderline between the two aspective groups of verbs rather loose, e.
g. : Don’t laugh – this is a serious matter (unlimitive use, basic function of the verb laugh); He laughed and left the room (limitive use, neutralization). The aspective subdivision of the verbs is closely connected with the previously described subdivision of the verbs into actional and statal (limitive verbs can be only actional, while unlimitive verbs can denote both actions and states) and it is also grammatically relevant for the expression of the grammatical category of aspect.
English limitive and unlimitive verbs do not coincide with the Russian perfective and imperfective aspective verbal subclasses, which denote the actual conclusion or non-conclusion of the process and may correspond (in due contextual circumstances) with either limitive or unlimitive verbs in English, cf. : He came early yesterday (Он пришел рано вчера). – He came to us every day (Он приходил к нам каждый день). The next subdivision of the notional verbs is based on their combinability features, or their valency.
In traditional grammar studies, on the basis of combinability, verbs are divided into transitive and intransitive: transitive verbs denote an action directed toward a certain object; in a sentence they are obligatorily used with a direct object. Constructions with transitive verbs are easily transformed from active into passive, e. g. : He wrote a letter. – The letter was written by him. This subdivision is grammatically relevant for such languages as Russian, because in Russian only transitive verbs can be used in the passive.
In English the use of passive forms is much wider; almost every verb can be passivized, e. g. : to walk is an intransitive verb, but it is possible to say She was walked out of the room. In English, transitive or intransitive uses of verbs are distinguished rather than separate groups of transitive and intransitive verbs. [16;10]In conclusion, it should be stressed once again that many verbs in English in different contexts migrate easily from one group to another, and the boundaries between the subclasses are less rigid than in Russian.
For example: to work is an uncomplementive verb, but in modern English, especially in its American variant, one can use it with a direct object too, e. g. : She worked her team hard; She worked the phones. Such cases, as well as all other notional “sub-class migration” cases, are treated as syntactic variants (‘uses’) of the same verbal lexemes. But lexemes which coincide as notional and functional or semi-functional verbs should be treated as homonymous verbs, because different grammatical functions underlie these subdivisions.
To sum it up, I wanted to point out that the complicated character of the grammatical and lexico-grammatical structure of the verb has given rise to much dispute and controversy of the principles of systemic linguistic analysis to the study of this interesting sphere of language and also a number of terminological disagreements among the scholars, particularly in the classification of grammatical categories. 1. 3 Grammatical categories of the verbIn the question “how many grammatical categories exist? ” we do not find a generally accepted view-point.
Different scholars have different points of view to this problem. B. A. Ilyish identifies six grammatical categories in present-day English verb: tense, aspect, mood, voice, person and number. L. Barkhudarov, D. Steling distinguish only the following grammatical categories: voice, order, aspect, and mood. Further they note, that the finite forms of the verb have special means expressing person, number and tense. [27,189]B. Khaimovich and Rogovskaya: out of the eight grammatical categories of the verb, some are found not only in the finites, but in the verbids as well.
Two of them-voice (ask – be asked), order (ask – have asked) are found in all the verbids, and the third aspect (ask – to be asking) – only in the infinitive. They distinguish the following grammatical categories: voice, order, aspect, mood, posteriority, person, number. [27,193]Also some scholars consider that there is seven grammatical categories and if to be exact eight, because number and person is consider to be one category. They are tense, number and person, mood, voice, aspect, phase, finitude. Tense indicates the time in which the verb takes place. In English this usually differentiates between the past, the present, and the future.
For example, using the same nouns and the same verb, we can inflect the verb in the following sentence to describe three states of time: The woman sat on the chair or The woman sits on the chair or The woman will sit on the chair. Some languages may also distinguish between distant past, recent past and present; between past, present and future, or far future, and so on. Some may make no distinction through inflection, instead using adverbs or auxiliaries — for instance, English doesn’t actually inflect between present and future tense, we use a modifier, as in the sits/will sit example.
Aspect describes something about the internalized nature of the verb. This can distinguish between progressive and non-progressive — for instance, we could inflect the sentence I pick up the bucket to mean you pick up the bucket eternally, or just at a set time every day, or just once, or as a prelude to some further action, and so on. It can distinguish between a static and dynamic state — a particular as opposed to a changing one — such as in Arabic rukubun, in its static state meaning ‘ride’, and in its dynamic state meaning ‘to mount’. Mood gives the verb’s relationship to intent or reality.
English doesn’t use many moods, but it does use the indicative, describing fact and opinion as in Ursula sat down; the imperative, describing command or prohibition as in Ursula, sit down; and the subjunctive, which is pretty open-ended, including theoretical events, opinions, emotions, or requests, as in Jim suggested Ursula sit down. Other languages make use of a negative mood, instead of using a distinct word, such as not, which would be something like Ursula not-sit down; and some have an opative mood, expressing hopes or desires, as in Classical Greek would that Ursula would sit down.
Voice shows where the verb is focused. The most basic distinction of voice is between active, subject focused sentences such as I cooked the broccoli, and passive, object focused sentences such as The broccoli was cooked by me. As you can see, in English, voice is very rarely inflected, and instead indicated by word order and prepositions. Voice can also take a ‘middle’ form, as in Sanskrit — in English, our best example is the inchoative, a verb that seems active but demonstrates a passive action, such as The broccoli cooked on the pan.
Phase (temporal reality), marking the anteriority of the action to temporal axis of orientation (present, past, etc. ), as opposed to simultaneity of the action with the temporal axis. Traditionally, the category of number is treated as the correlation of the plural and the singular, and the category of person as the correlation of three deictic functions, reflecting the relations of the referents to the participants of speech communication: the first person – the speaker, the second person – the person spoken to, and the third person – the person or thing spoken about.
But in the system of the verb in English these two categories are so closely interconnected, both semantically and formally, that they are often referred to as one single category: the category of person and number. [10,116-117]To conclude, we are to know that each of the identified categories constitutes a whole system of its own presenting its manifold problems to the scholar. CHAPTER II. PRACTICAL ASPECT OF THE VERB IN MODERN ENGLISH 2. 1 The problem of category of voice
The verbal category of voice shows the direction of the process as regards the participants of the situation reflected in the syntactic structure of the sentence. Voice is a very specific verbal category: first, it does not reflect the actual properties of the process denoted, but the speaker’s appraisal of it; the speaker chooses which of the participants in the situation – the agent (the subject, the doer of the action) or the patient (the object, the receiver of the action, the experiencer) – should be presented as the subject of the syntactic construction.
Second, though it is expressed through the morphological forms of the verb, voice is closely connected with the structural organization of the syntactic construction: the use of passive or active forms of the verb involves the use of the passive or active syntactic construction. The majority of authors of English theoretical grammars seem to recognize only two voices in English: the active and the passive. H. Sweet, O. Curme recognize two voices. There are such terms, as inverted object, inverted subject and retained object in Sweet’s grammar.
The inverted object is the subject of the passive construction. The inverted subject is the object of the passive constructions. [26,231]The rat was killed by the dog. O. Jespersen calls it “converted subject”. But in the active construction like: “The examiner asked me three questions” either of the object words maybe the subject of the passive sentence. I was asked 3 questions by the examiner. Three questions were asked by the examiner. Words me and three questions are called retained objects. H. Poutsma besides the two voices mentioned above finds one more voice – reflexive.
He writes: “has been observed that the meaning of the Greek medium is normally expressed in English by means of reflexive or, less frequently, by reciprocal pronouns”. It is because of this H. Poutsma distinguishes in Modern English the third voice. He transfers the system of the Greek grammar into the system of English. He gives the following example:He got to bed, covered himself up warm and fell asleep. H. Whitehall this grammarian the traditional terms indirect and direct objects replaced by inner and outer complements (words of position 3 and 4) consequently.
The passive voice from his point of view is the motion of the words opposition 3 and 4 to position one. The verb is transformed into a word-group introduced by parts of be, become, get and the original subject is hooked into the end of the sentence by means of the preposition by. [25,176] Different treatment of the problem is found in theoretical courses written by Russian grammarians. The most of them recognize the existence of the category of voice in present-day English. To this group of scientists we refer A. I. Smirnitsky (20), L. Barkhudarov, L. Steling.
Khaimovich and Rogovskaya’s according to their opinion there are two active and passive voices. But some others maintain that there are three voices in English. Besides the two mentioned they consider the reflexive voice which is expressed by the help of semantically weakened self-pronouns as in the sentence:He cut himself while shaving. B. A. Ilyish besides the three voices mentioned distinguishes two more. Besides passive and active constructions, there are also the so-called “medial” voice types, whose status is problematic: semantically, they are neither strictly passive nor active, though the verb used is formally active.
There are three “medial” voice types distinguished in English: “reflexive”, “reciprocal”, and “middle”. In reflexive constructions the action performed by the referent of the subject is not passed to any outer object, but to the referent itself, i. e. the subject of the action is the object of the action at the same time, e. g. : He dressed quickly. This meaning can be rendered explicitly by the reflexive “-self” pronouns, e. g. : He dressed himself; He washed himself; etc.
In reciprocal constructions the subject denotes a group of doers whose actions are directed towards each other; again, the subject of the action is its object at the same time, e. g. : They struggled; They quarreled; etc. This meaning can be rendered explicitly with the help of the reciprocal pronouns one another, each other, with one another, e. g. : They quarreled with each other. In middle constructions the subject combined with the otherwise transitive verb is neither the doer of the action nor its immediate object, the action is as if of its own accord, e. g.
: The door opened; The concert began; The book reads easily; The book sells like hot cakes. The same applies to the use of the active infinitive in the function of an attribute, cf. : She is pleasant to look at; The first thing to do is to write a letter. These constructions can be treated as a specific case of neutralization: the weak member of the opposition, the active voice form, when used instead of the strong member, the passive form, does not fully coincide with it in meaning, but denotes something intermediary – the state or the capacity of the referent as a result of some action.
Some of these construction are closer in their meaning to the passive voice meaning (The book sells…= The book is sold…; The first thing to do… = The first thing to be done…); others are closer to the active voice meaning (The concert began), but in general their meaning is between the two. [10;12;27]The problem is whether the “medial” voice functions can be treated as rendered by separate voice forms of the verbs (the reflexive, reciprocal, or middle verbal forms). In Russian the “medial” voice meanings (up to fifteen types) are rendered lexically by a special group of “reflexive” verbs, derived with the help of the suffix –ся/сь, e.
g. : брить – бриться, ругать – ругаться, начинать – начинаться, etc. In English the “medial” voice types can be seen as specific reflexive, reciprocal, and middle uses of the active voice, verbal forms which constitute the non-objective (intransitive) lexico-semantic variants of regularly objective verbs. We cannot but agree with arguments against these theories expressed by Khaimovich and Rogovskaya: “These theories do not carry much conviction, because:1) in cases like he washed himself it is not the verb that is reflexive but that pronoun
himself used as a direct object; 2) washed and himself are words belonging to different lexemes. They have different lexical and grammatical meanings; 3) if we regard washed himself as an analytical word, it is necessary to admit that the verb has the categories of gender, person, non-person (washed himself-washed itself), that the categories of number and person are expressed twice in the word-group washed himself; 4) similar objection can be raised against regarding washed each-other, washed one another as analytical forms of the reciprocal voice.
The difference between “each other” and “one another” would become a grammatical category of the verb; 5) A number of verbs express the reflexive meanings without the corresponding pronouns: He always washes in cold water. Kiss and be friends. The grammatical categories of voice are formed by the opposition of covert and overt morphemes. The active voice is formed by a zero marker: while the passive voice is formed by (be-ed).
So the active voice is the unmarked one and the passive-marked. To ask- to be askedThe morpheme of the marked form we may call a discontinuous morpheme. From the point of view of some grammarians O. Jespersen, O. Curme, G. Vorontsova verbs get/become + Participle II are passive constructions. Khaimovich and Rogovskaya seem to be right when they say that in such constructions get / become always retain lexical meanings.
Different opinions are observed as to the P II. G. V. Vorontsova, L. Barkhudarov and D. Steling the combination be + PII in all cases treat as a passive voice if PII is not adjectivized (if particles very, too and adverbs of degree more (most) do not precede PII on the ground that PII first and foremost, a verb, the idea of state not being an evident to this structure but resulting from the lexical meaning of the verb and the context it occurs in).
Khaimovich and Rogovskaya arguing against this conception write that in such cases as: His duty is fulfilled we deal with a link verb +PII since:1) it does not convey the idea of action, but that of state, the result of an action;2) the sentence correspond rather He has fulfilled his duty, as the perfective meaning of Participle II is particularly prominent. The problem of distinction between the homonymous use of participle II with the link verb to be in a compound nominal predicate and participle II with the auxiliary verb to be as a passive voice form, e.
g. : She is upset; The letter is written. In German there is a clear formal distinction between the two cases as two different functional verbs are used; werden and sein, cf. : Der Brief ist geschriben (the compound nominal predicate); Der Brief wird geschriben (the passive form). In English, the verb to be is used both as a link verb and as an auxiliary verb, which makes the two constructions homonymous.
The two cases can be distinguished on the basis of the categorial and functional properties of the participle: if processual passivity is meant (the participle denotes the action produced), the construction is passive; if the participle turns into an adjective (is adjectivized) and is used to describe the subject, it is a sentence with a compound nominal predicate. This can be stimulated or suppressed by the context; adverbial modifiers of degree or homogeneous predicatives can function as contextual “voice-suppressing”, “statalizing” stimulators, e. g.
: She was very much upset; I was cold but too excited to mind it; action-modifying adverbials and specific categorial forms of the verb in the passive (the future, the continuous, the perfect) function as “processualizing” voice stimulators, e. g. : Do what she wants, or she’ll be upset (you will upset her by your refusal); The door has been closed by the wind with a loud bang. Still, some cases remain ambiguous, with the status of the participle wholly neutralized, especially the past participle of limitive verbs, which combines the semantics of processual passive and resultative perfect, cf.
: I was impressed by his fluency; The job was finished at two o’clock; such constructions are sometimes defined as “semi-passive” or “pseudo-passive”. It is clear that the points of view of many scholars differ from each other when they talk about category of voice, because the problem of this category is also one of the controversial. 2. 2 The problem of category of mood The problem of the category of mood i. e. , the distinction, between the real and unreal expressed by the corresponding forms of the verb is one of the most controversial problems of English theoretical grammar.
The main theoretical difficulty is due: 1) to the coexistence in Modern English of both synthetical and analytical forms of the verb with the same grammatical meaning of unreality and 2) to the fact that there are verbal forms homonymous with the Past Indefinite and Past Perfect of the Indicative Mood which are employed to express unreality. Another difficulty consists in distinguishing the analytical forms of the subjunctive with the auxiliaries should, would, may (might) which are devoid of any lexical meaning.
The Category of Mood – the most controversial one shows the relation between the action and reality as represented by the speaker. Mood is only one of ways of expressing modality; other means: modal verbs, modal words, intonation). They distinguish from 2 (Blokh) to 16 moods (Deutschbein). Major difficulties: 1) same forms – different meanings; 2) same meaning – different forms > classifications based either on form or on meaning In traditional grammar 3 moods are distinguished: the indicative shows that the speaker represents the action as an actual real fact.
This mood is universally recognized. the imperative used to express the modal meaning of urge. In its formal characteristics it coincides with the infinitive stem. The emphatic (negative) forms are analytical: Do go there. The imperative has only 1st and 2nd person,, though Ilyish says we can’t speak of it as there is no opposition + it has no number, tense or aspect distinctions. Mostly used in 1-member sentences. Occasionally – in 2-member sentences: You mark my words. It has a general temporal meaning of future or immediate.
Not universally recognized as it has no specific morphological characteristics of its own. the subjunctive – there is not a single specific Subjunctive Mood form: all forms rendering a non-fact meaning, look like some Indicative Mood form (homonymy or polysemy? )Three types of Subjunctive forms: 1) the old subjunctive: – the base form of the verb (i. e. the bare infinitive) which is not common in British, not American, English (restricted to elevated prose, poetry and official documents).