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Old October 30, 2017, 11:33 PM
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Bobbert Bobbert is offline
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Te Dije Que...

When speaking to a child, I have heard my neighbor yell:

!Te dije que estés quieto!
!Te dije que te calles!
!Te dije que te pongas en paz!


My neighbor seems to use the present subjunctive after "te dije que..........."

Are those correct ways to say “I told you to be quiet”; “I told you to shut up”; “I told you to settle down”? Perhaps I am not hearing my neighbor correctly since I only hear her “yell” at her child from a distance.

If I had to say those sentences, I would have chosen to use the imperfect subjunctive:

!Te dije que estuvieras quieto!
!Te dije que te callaras!
!Te dije que te pusieras en paz!


Is it okay to use the present subjunctive after “te dije que…………..” ?
Is the imperfect subjunctive incorrect or not used in everyday speech after "te dije que........"?

Any input is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old October 31, 2017, 04:38 PM
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When you use the present subjunctive, the order hasn't been carried out and it still could be. When you use the past subjunctive, the order was never carried out and it's not time anymore to do it.

¡Te dije que estés quieto! (You probably have heard "te dije que te estés quieto". We normally use the pronominal form here.)
¡Te dije que te calles!
¡Te dije que te pongas en paz!
-> Keep still / shut up now! (It's not the first time I tell you to.)

¡Te dije que te estuvieras quieto!
¡Te dije que te callaras!
¡Te dije que te pusieras en paz!
-> I told you to keep still / shut up and you didn't listen, so now you're grounded.


*Margin note: I know it's not easy on many keyboards, but opening question/exclamation marks must not be replaced.
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Old October 31, 2017, 11:53 PM
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Thank you, Angelica. That makes perfect sense.

Thank you for the margin note. I'll be sure to utilize the pull-down menu from this site.
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