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Queli January 21, 2013 03:51 PM

"el hecho de que" and "la idea de que"
Hola compañeros--I'm confused about "el hecho de que" + subjunctive versus indicative. I believe that it's the little green grammar book on the subjunctive (Practice Makes Perfect) that says that you should always use subjunctive with it, although there is more acceptance of using the indicative (even though technically wrong). But I was also reading on a grammar site that you use it when the sentence has a value judgment in it and the indicative if not. Is that correct? I.e. is it

El hecho de que me mintieran me enojaba.

Finalmente, tuve que reconocer el hecho de que me mintieron.

So that's the first part of my concern--the second is, is it the same with "la idea de que"?

No puedo soportar la idea de ella confíe él.

El presidente reforzó la idea de que el crisis se está arreglando.

Is there a better way to think of all this than the "value judgment" idea?

Thanks for any insight!

Rusty January 21, 2013 04:35 PM

If the clause that follows the set phrase contains a known fact, the subjunctive mood is used. If it contains new information, the indicative is used.
Focus is the key here. When you place information that everybody knows after the set phrase, it isn't the focus. That's why it is cast in the subjunctive mood.
The stuff that matters appears in the indicative mood.

Queli January 21, 2013 08:32 PM

This is very helpful, thank you!

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