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Old April 18, 2011, 05:31 AM
vallero vallero is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: canada
Posts: 5
Native Language: english
vallero is on a distinguished road
Thank you aleCcowaN for your explanation

Your response to my question was very informative. Although I am a new member to this forum (I joined yesteday and this is my first post) I think that your insights to the mysteries of the subjunctive would be helpful to many people reading these posts because I don’t think I am the only one with confusion about the subjunctive tense.

For example, I was surprised that you may find it disturbing when someone refers to a subjunctive tense as one expressing doubt or unreality.

Obviously I have been on the wrong track trying to understand the use of the subjunctive because that has been my objective when composing sentences.

I live in small Canadian town, so my only significant learning materials for the Spanish language are books and the internet, and the occasional trip to a Spanish school in Mexico. A consistent theme from all of my learning sources has been either the uncertainty of the outcome of an action when the subjunctive is used, or an emotional response to the idea presented in the phrase.

For example this is from ‘Webster’s New World Spanish Grammar’

The subjunctive, which is used far more frequently in Spanish than in English, is a mood that expresses unreal, hypothetical, theoretical, imaginary, uncorroborated, or unconfirmed conditions or situations that result from doubts, emotions, wishes, wants, needs, desires, feelings, speculations, and suppositions.

That made perfect sense to me. Subordinate clauses with a different subject and preceded by a “weirdo” verb are subjunctive.” Deseo que llegues temprano esta noche.” (the outcome is unknown and therefore in doubt) The adjective clauses follow the same premise, “Busco para un coche que tenga un motor grande”. (its existence is unknown) or adverbial clauses such as “Cuando vaya a Argentina estoy feliz” (whenever I go is also vague and therefore possibly unreal)

So in response to your clarification of “Lo bueno es que no tengamos que estudiar en verano” If the person is offering his opinion about the subject and therefore uses the subjunctive tense isn’t that in line with the definition of the subjunctive as presented by Websters, because being the opinion of a person it opens up the possibility of speculation and personal feelings so may not represent reality.

Thanks again for your help
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