January 24th, 2015 in Improve English
Use of the subjunctive
The subjunctive is a special kind of present tense which has no –s in the third person singular. It is very common in American English.
Our advice is that the company hire more technicians.
It is important that every child get an opportunity to learn.
It is important that Jane be present when we sign the papers.
Subjunctive structures are unusual in British English. In that-clauses, British people usually prefer should + infinitive.
Our advice is that the company should hire more technicians.
It is important that every child should get an opportunity to learn. OR It is important that every child gets an opportunity to learn.
It is important that he be told. (US)
It is important that he should be told. (GB)
Words ending in –ise and –ize
Many English words can be spelt with either –ise and –ize. In American English, the spelling with –ize is preferred. In British English, both forms are usually possible.
British English American English
Realize / realise Realize
Mechanize / mechanise Mechanize
Computerize / computerise Computerize
Baptize / baptise Baptize
Some words have –ise in both British and American English.
Surprise; revise; advise; comprise; despise; compromise; exercise; supervise; televise; advertise
In American English advertize is also sometimes possible.
Capsize has –ize in both British and American English.
If you are in doubt, remember that in British English the forms with –ise are almost always possible.