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Old April 13, 2012, 05:56 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rparmst View Post

I said, "Cuando llegué, me sorprendió que las personas en el gimnasio no tuvieran cuadrito."
Your use of subjunctive is impeccable. Surprise, emotions and all that -absurd in my opinion- subjunctive trickery English speakers use in order to learn have nothing to do here. You can say it two ways:

"Cuando llegué, me sorprendió que las personas en el gimnasio no tuvieran cuadrito."

where subjunctive is used just to describe and refer what (the specific thing) surprised you when you arrived, or

"Cuando llegué, me sorprendió que las personas en el gimnasio no tenían cuadrito."

a more primitive approach where you describe yourself as a traveller that arrives and describes what he sees in real time -all referred to the past-. This last approach is more colloquial and it's almost the only approach people with little education use in such situations, specially those who are in contact with native languages that have no subjunctive and resort to tricks to convey those notions.
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