previous next

CONJUNCTIONS. And or an with the subjunctive

"And" with the subjunctive. The true explanation appears to be that the hypothesis, the if, is expressed not by the and, but by the subjunctive, and that and merely means with the addition of, plus, just as but means leaving out, or minus.

The hypothesis is expressed by the simple subjunctive thus:

Go not my horse the better
I must become a borrower of the night.

This sentence with and would become, "I must become a borrower of the night and my horse go not the better," i.e. "with, or on, the supposition that my horse go not the better." Similarly in the contrary sense, "but my horse go the better," would mean "without or excepting the supposition that my horse, &c." Thus Chaucer, Pardonere's Tale, 275:

It is no curtesye To speke unto an old man vilonye But he trespas.
So also Mandeville (Prologue):
Such fruyt, thorgh the which every man is saved, but it be his owne defaute.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: