What’s the correct form of the negative subjunctive?

It is essential that [some parameter] be not reset during the day. (1)

It is essential that [some parameter] not be reset during the day. (2)

Which one is the correct form? I do know the easy way out, that is:

It is essential that [some parameter] is not reset during the day. (3)

But which is the correct form provided I want to stick with the subjunctive?


As many proposed in comments, and given that we live many years after 1960, I would also say “not be”. 🙂

My response actually meant that people who use a language know what form to use intuitively. Language evolves and if at some point in time the majority of English speakers tend to say “not be” rather than “be not”, that’s what the grammar book will adopt.

The question regards the acceptable form of the negative subjunctive. Examples can be found e.g. here:


and here:


Both sources agree on “not be”.

Source : Link , Question Author : Armen Ծիրունյան , Answer Author : ppapakon

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