viking478 (viking478) wrote in linguaphiles,
viking478
viking478
linguaphiles

Unusual English grammar question

Hi all.

This is an unusual question about the perception of grammar structures by native speakers of English. It is primarily (but by no means exclusively) intended for those who are more or less familiar with grammar terminology, which is essential for discussing things like this. However, whatever your knowledge of grammar, any comments are welcome, as long as you understand what is being discussed.

So, the question is: how do you perceive live, work, read in the following sentences:

1.a. Does he live in London?
2.a. He doesn't work in Glasgow.
3.a. I suggest that he read the latest book by this author.

In the sentences above, the verbal forms live, work are grammatically infinitives, and read is subjunctive mood, but do you actually perceive them as such? (e.g., do you perceive live in sentence 1.a. the same way as to live in He wants to live in London?)

Do you perceive these verbal forms as separate forms? Maybe you do not see them as separate, but rather you see does live and doesn't work as indivisible units?

PS: If you speak any foreign language where there is the infinitive, what would your radically literal translation of these sentences be? Would you translate live, and work as infinitves and read as a subjunctive mood form? (e.g. *Macht er leben in London? -- in German)

PS2: (for those who are not bored with this) Please, comment on the following sentences (what's your perception of these, is the meaning affected or just the grammar, etc).

1.b. *Does he lives in London?
2.b. *He doesn't works in Glasgow.
3.b. *I suggest that he reads the latest book by this author.

Thank you very much!
Tags: english
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