Whether “to continue” or “should continue” is used in the example provided?


An example of a pattern of sentence that regularly appears in the newspaper is as follows:

Kerala Chief Minister demanded the NITI (a new institution) continue the functions of the erstwhile Planning Commission.

In the above sentence, which form of the verb “continue” (“to continue” or “should continue”) is used?


Posted 2015-02-10T11:12:35.107

Reputation: 133

I think it's effectively a subjunctive. Thus *"The leader of the opposition party demanded [that] the NITI be disbanded"*. We don't use this form in speech very much, but if we do use it, we're likely to include *should* before the "subjunctive/infinitive" verb.

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2015-02-10T13:31:29.420



In formal writing, the quoted text is the only correct form. It is the subjunctive form of continue, being used to express wishes and demands.

It's more obvious with an example involving an irregular verb:

I ask that you be on time tomorrow.

However, since the subjunctive is gradually losing favour in English, especially spoken English, it is somewhat common to observe usages like what you suggested. I would consider them incorrect, but that is a prescriptivist judgement.


Posted 2015-02-10T11:12:35.107

Reputation: 7 829


It depends on the authority structure between the Kerala Chief Minister and NITI.
If NITI can be ordered to continue, and since it is a demand, continue (or perhaps shall continue) by itself is fine.

Otherwise, use should continue since we can't suppose what the outcome will be.


Posted 2015-02-10T11:12:35.107

Reputation: 29 679