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Mastering conditional and subjunctive

 

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Old December 04, 2019, 01:37 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Mastering conditional and subjunctive

Hi,

How am I supposed to learn building subjunctive clauses in Spanish with confidence? On the surface, it's pretty much like English. However, I'm virtually helpless when it comes to making it on my own.

I can't say I don't understand what they are talking about in textbooks. I've been reading real world Spanish texts for a while, and I don't feel bad about it.

As I see it, the texts, and even textbooks, tell me how one can do it; somehow, I'm not getting a working idea about how to do it when cornered .

Links to the subject are very welcome. Especially those which make the real difference
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Old December 04, 2019, 11:25 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I don't think you will find a Spanish-teaching book with all subjunctive topics at once. This is a progressive task and one learns one aspect at a time. By studying one case after another, one learns to master one by one. The books present each case according to the student's acquired skills so learning will be more effective than getting all information at once.


Some examples on how some cases where the subjunctive is used are separated (I don't know if they're taught in this precise order):

- Expressing a wish:
· Que la fuerza te acompañe.
· Que te vaya bien.
· ¡Que no se muera mi perro!
· ¡Por favor, Dios, que no gane el otro equipo!
· ¡Que el maestro no venga!
· Que pases un muy buen día.


- Picturing a situation in the future using "cuando":
· Cuando seas grande, vas a ser millonario.
· Cuando hagas la tarea, podrás ver la televisión.
· Llámame cuando quieras.
· Regreso/regresaré cuando pueda.


- Expressing a demand, a want or a need with verbs like: "querer", "exigir", "demandar", "exigir", "necesitar", etc.
· Necesitamos que los políticos sean honestos.
· Los manifestantes quieren que los precios bajen.
· Te exijo que te vayas.
· Le pido que no me grite, señor.
· Te sugiero que compres un buen diccionario.
· Les digo que se callen y más gritan.
· Señora, le ruego que se siente.
· Le suplicamos que nos escuche, porque nadie nos hace caso.
· Requiero que firme este documento.
...


- Expressing a judgement or an opinion on what is right or wrong, what we like or dislike:
· Está mal que robes.
· Está muy bien que aprendas cosas nuevas.
· Me parece bien que hagas la tarea.
· Nos parece mal que quieras dejar la escuela.
· No es bueno que comas tanta sal.
· Es horrible que nunca limpies la casa.
· Es maravilloso que se vea el arcoiris.
· Me gusta que me digas que soy bonita.
· No me gusta que haya basura en la calle.
· Nos encanta que vengas a visitarnos.
· A mis padres les preocupa que me vaya a vivir lejos.
· Me aburre que leas en voz alta.
· ¡Es injusto que nos quiten nuestra casa!
· Es lógico que nadie te hable, si siempre tratas mal a las personas.
· Es importante que leas libros.
...

How complex the sentences should be is only determined by how the courses are designed. Certainly, this list is not exhaustive, but it may be a good start to recognize and practice some uses of the subjunctive and then progress to more difficult topics.
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Old December 07, 2019, 07:56 AM
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Aprendo Aprendo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
Hi,

How am I supposed to learn building subjunctive clauses in Spanish with confidence? On the surface, it's pretty much like English. However, I'm virtually helpless when it comes to making it on my own.

I can't say I don't understand what they are talking about in textbooks. I've been reading real world Spanish texts for a while, and I don't feel bad about it.

As I see it, the texts, and even textbooks, tell me how one can do it; somehow, I'm not getting a working idea about how to do it when cornered .

Links to the subject are very welcome. Especially those which make the real difference
Angelica is the best source but for me as a non-native Spanish speaker learner this helped me (it may or may not help you).

I learned the "triggers" or conditions/situations to use them:

I watched youtube videos that were helpful more than once.

I wrote sentences (over 200?) using all of their uses - and then had a teacher check to see if they were correct.

I recorded the corroborated as correct sentences into my small digital recorder

I listened to them once in a while while at the office or having a beer at a cafe with headphones.
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Old December 07, 2019, 10:29 AM
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If the main verb is in one of the past tenses or the conditional mood, the imperfect subjunctive is used.

No me gustó que hubiera basura en la calle.

¡Sería injusto que nos quitaran nuestra casa!
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Old December 09, 2019, 10:06 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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I've read carefully Angelica's suggestions.

Every sentence of hers has been made of Present + Present Subjunctive, if I am not mistaken.

Rusty suggests also Past + Imperfect Subjunctive.

Is it all? 98% will do .

How about lost opportunity (We would have met at the party if I hadn't left earlier)?


---
This one I don't understand:

Le suplicamos que nos escuche, porque nadie nos hace caso.
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Old December 09, 2019, 03:13 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
I've read carefully Angelica's suggestions.

Every sentence of hers has been made of Present + Present Subjunctive, if I am not mistaken.

Rusty suggests also Past + Imperfect Subjunctive.

Is it all? 98% will do .
As I said, the list was not exhaustive; they were just examples of how some courses introduce the topic, one use at a time. The grammar books for native Spanish speakers I've seen don't tackle all cases of subjunctive in only one chapter either.

Rusty did right in pointing out that there must be a tense agreement with the verbs conjugated in the past or conditional. This is also something that is taught in context, in more advanced courses.

Also, I think Aprendo's tips would be useful to study by yourself. Looking for the "triggers" is a really good start. I wouldn't be worried about going through 100 or even 98% of the cases. They will just come through study and in most cases one learns to "feel" when one tense or mood is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
How about lost opportunity (We would have met at the party if I hadn't left earlier)?
--> Nos habríamos encontrado en la fiesta si no me hubiera ido antes.
This is a construction with the "antepospretérito" (the third conditional) with an "antepretérito subjuntivo" (imperfect subjunctive).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
This one I don't understand:

Le suplicamos que nos escuche, porque nadie nos hace caso.
-->We beg you to listen to us, because nobody takes notice of us.
(The clause after the comma was just to give a context to the first sentence.)
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