Чтобы (часть вторая)

by Don  

Consider the following two sentences in English:

1. I want to attend the university.
2. I want my daughter to attend the university.

Both sentences use an infinitive construction in the second part of the sentence. If the implied subject in the second part is the same as the subject in the first part, the subject is not repeated in the second part. If the subject in the second part is different from the subject in the first part, it is specified in the second part. Russian uses an infinitive construction for sentences like #1, but it uses чтобы + past tense for sentences like #2:

3. Я хочу учиться в университете.
4. Я хочу, чтобы моя дочка училась в университете.

This чтобы + past tense construction is sometimes referred to as the “subjunctive mood” because it is equivalent to similar subjunctive uses in Spanish, French, German, and some other languages. It is used not only with the verb хотеть “to want,” but also with many other verbs where one person asks/tells/orders another person to do something, especially просить/попросить to request/ask, говорить/сказать to tell, приказывать/приказать to order, and предлагать/предложить to suggest.

Учительница постоянно говорит, чтобы школьники вовремя сдавали домашние задания. The teacher is constantly telling her students to turn in the homework assignments on time.
Генерал приказал, чтобы солдаты окружили врага. The general order the soldiers to surround the enemy.
Милиционер попросил, чтобы иностранцы предъявили документы. The policemen asked the foreigners to present their documents.
Бабушка и дедушка предложили, чтобы мы съездили к ним на дачу. Grandma and Grandpa suggested that we come see them at the dacha.

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