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-   -   Subjunctive with verbs of belief when asking a question.... (http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=10740)

laepelba April 16, 2011 05:58 AM

Subjunctive with verbs of belief when asking a question....
 
My workbook on the subjunctive gives the following examples:

- Tú crees que la fiesta es hoy.
- Nosotros dudamos que la fiesta sea hoy.
- ¿Crees tú que la fiesta vaya a empezar pronto?

It goes on to say that "more traditional experts in style recommend that the subjunctive be used in subordinated clauses introduced even by verbs of belief - when asking a question."

What is the practice in common usage?

aleCcowaN April 16, 2011 08:01 AM

Using indicative or subjunctive implies ideas, only exceptionally style.

In your list of examples the last is the only one that admits both moods and some consideration about style is appropriate. The educated manner is trying to avoid any appearance of one looking for some specific answer if you really don't mean that, besides it is considered stylish to hide our own expectations and feelings. Some questions call for an affirmative answer by using indicative, some others call for a negative one by using subjunctive. The safest way is using subjunctive because you can safely communicate -by intonation and wording- that you are not expecting a negative answer.

¿Crees que la fiesta va a empezar pronto? (we don't know but it looks like we're expecting so)
¿Crees que la fiesta vaya a comenzar pronto? (we're not expecting so / we don't know and we'd like to)

Tú crees que la fiesta es hoy. (that's what you think ---> believed )
Tú no crees que la fiesta sea hoy. (that's what you think ---> not believed)
no crees que la fiesta es hoy. (what you think opposes to what I know for sure)

Nosotros dudamos que la fiesta sea hoy
Nosotros no dudamos que la fiesta sea hoy
Nosotros no dudamos que la fiesta es hoy

chileno April 16, 2011 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aleCcowaN (Post 109243)
Using indicative or subjunctive implies ideas, only exceptionally style.

In your list of examples the last is the only one that admits both moods and some consideration about style is appropriate. The educated manner is trying to avoid any appearance of one looking for some specific answer if you really don't mean that, besides it is considered stylish to hide our own expectations and feelings. Some questions call for an affirmative answer by using indicative, some others call for a negative one by using subjunctive. The safest way is using subjunctive because you can safely communicate -by intonation and wording- that you are not expecting a negative answer.

¿Crees que la fiesta va a empezar pronto? (we don't know but it looks like we're expecting so)
¿Crees que la fiesta vaya a comenzar pronto? (we're not expecting so / we don't know and we'd like to)

Tú crees que la fiesta es hoy. (that's what you think ---> believed )
Tú no crees que la fiesta sea hoy. (that's what you think ---> not believed)
no crees que la fiesta es hoy. (what you think opposes to what I know for sure)

Nosotros dudamos que la fiesta sea hoy
Nosotros no dudamos que la fiesta sea hoy
Nosotros no dudamos que la fiesta es hoy


What about, "Tú crees que la fiesta sea hoy?"

aleCcowaN April 16, 2011 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chileno (Post 109244)
What about, "Tú crees que la fiesta sea hoy?"

The difference between grammar and pragmatics. From a pragmatic point of view we might hear or say sentences like that. For instance, with the proper intonation it could mean "how come you believe such a thing!". But if the question is "¿crees que la fiesta sea hoy?" is just another polite manner to ask "¿crees que la fiesta es hoy?" and that is 100% grammatical.

To someone this may seem unnecessary or confusing but adding the pronoun or not is not a free option most of the times. It changes the meaning of the sentences. On the other hand, in some regional language, including areas of Spain and the state of New Mexico, even the affirmative sentence "tú crees que la fiesta sea hoy" may be grammatical with different values -I don't gather some of them yet- from a local point of view.

Perikles April 16, 2011 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by laepelba (Post 109236)
"more traditional experts in style recommend that the subjunctive be used in subordinated clauses ...

OK, sort of off-topic, but maybe not. Did you notice that you used a subjunctive in a subordinate clause there, in English? :)

chileno April 16, 2011 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aleCcowaN (Post 109251)
The difference between grammar and pragmatics. From a pragmatic point of view we might hear or say sentences like that. For instance, with the proper intonation it could mean "how come you believe such a thing!". But if the question is "¿crees que la fiesta sea hoy?" is just another polite manner to ask "¿crees que la fiesta es hoy?" and that is 100% grammatical.

To someone this may seem unnecessary or confusing but adding the pronoun or not is not a free option most of the times. It changes the meaning of the sentences. On the other hand, in some regional language, including areas of Spain and the state of New Mexico, even the affirmative sentence "tú crees que la fiesta sea hoy" may be grammatical with different values -I don't gather some of them yet- from a local point of view.

Pragmatic, uh? :)

Anyway, thank you for the explanation.

aleCcowaN April 16, 2011 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chileno (Post 109254)
Pragmatic, uh? :)

Anyway, thank you for the explanation.

You're welcome! :)

Quote:

prag·mat·ics
noun
(used with a sing. verb)

1.
The study of language as it is used in a social context, including its effect on the interlocutors.
2. The branch of semiotics that deals with the relationship between signs, especially words and other elements of language, and their users.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

chileno April 16, 2011 03:49 PM

Lo entendí perfecto.

Al pan, pan, vino, vino. :)

Luna Azul April 17, 2011 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chileno (Post 109272)
Lo entendí perfecto.

Al pan, pan, vino, vino. :)

:D

Saludos chileno:applause:

chileno April 17, 2011 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luna Azul (Post 109291)
:D

Saludos chileno:applause:

:)

Thank you Ma'am

Saludos para ti también.

Y bueno, para todos los que leen. :)


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