Use of Subjunctive. Verb Conjugation.

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Is the following sentence grammatically correct, in the use of 'guide' ?

 

The next high tide would rip them from the shore and set them loose, to drift wherever God's mercy guide.

 

Thank you for any advice. Cormac

asked Nov 26 '12 at 14:53 Cormac New member

1 answer


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The subject of 'guide' is 'mercy', which is singular. 'Guides' would be the proper word, but I would put 'them' after it. The comma after 'loose' isn't necessary, but it places a nice pause in the sentence.

 

The next high tide would rip them from the shore and set them loose, to drift wherever God's mercy guides them.

link answered Nov 26 '12 at 15:10 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Dear Lewis, thanks for your answer. I am less sure than you seem to be, however, about the appropriate tense. Take the following variation on the sentence in question: "The next high tide would rip them from the shore and set them loose, to drift where they knew not." If I were to follow your suggestion and use the present indicative, this would be rendered as "... to drift where they didn't know.", which is patently wrong. Any thoughts?

CormacNov 26 '12 at 20:30

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