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VERBS, MOODS OF:-- SUBJUNCTIVE: replaced by indicative after "if," &c., where no doubt is expressed

The Subjunctive is replaced by the Indicative after "if," where there is no reference to futurity, and no doubt is expressed, as in "if thou lovest me."

“O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
Banish the cankers of ambitious thoughts.

An thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold

“Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.” 1 Hen. IV.
ii. 4. 312.

In the last example Falstaff is assuming the Prince's love as a present fact in order to procure the immediate cessation of ridicule. But in the following he asks the Prince to do him a favour regarded as future, and as somewhat more doubtful:--

“If thou love me, practise an answer.

Incredulity is expressed in “If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither.” Ib. iii. 1. 60.


“If thou dost nod thou break'st thy instrument,

the meaning is "you are sure to break," and the present indicative being used in the consequent, is also used in the antecedent. So in

“I am quickly ill and well
So (almost 'since') Antony loves.


“It (my purpose) is no more
But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Desires this ring,

the purpose is regarded graphically as a fact in the act of being completed. However, the indiscriminate use of the indicative and subjunctive at the beginning of the seventeenth century is illustrated by the A. V. St. Matt. v. 23:
Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest.

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