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Oraciones Sustantivas: Contradicción de las reglas gramaticales

 

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  #1  
Old September 20, 2012, 08:40 AM
JSK JSK is offline
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Oraciones Sustantivas: Contradicción de las reglas gramaticales

Hola a todos


since my Spanish profesor at the university wasn't able to help me because she didn't even understand what my question was (as always...) I've just registered for the forum. I hope that someone may help me out, I really don't understand this thing about Las Oraciones Sustantivas:


The second law of the first rule in our spanish book says => if the subject of verb 1 and the subject of verb 2 are not the same, the second verb has to be in subjunctive form. Example: Espero que nos veamos pronto.

Two subjects here, Subjunctive form needed, alright, easy thing.
Now on the next page is the second rule with the following laws:

=> If verb 1 is affirmative, verb 2 goes in Indicative form. Example:
Pienso que debemos irnos ahora.
=> If verb 1 is a negative question, verb 2 goes in Indicative form. Example: ¿ No comentaste que era fácil ?


It really irritates me because the two rules seemingly contradict each other. What am I supposed to write if I have a sentence with two subjects but the first verb being affirmative? Does one law outweigh the other one?


JSK

P.S.: My stupid teacher said about this: "Bueno, tienes que saber cuándo es necesario usar regla una y regla dos." Funny honey she is.... I'm not a spanish native and well, I DON'T know from instinct or something. Do you guys maybe have another idea how I can logically teach myself and see how and when to use which of the rules? There are many sentences in the exercise I stumble over, because I just don't notice a difference this is my very last grammar class in Spanish at the Uni and it gives me a pain in the ass. I have tons of questions, in fact, but this is the most basic one so let's start with this one first.
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  #2  
Old September 20, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
The second law of the first rule in our spanish book says => if the subject of verb 1 and the subject of verb 2 are not the same, the second verb has to be in subjunctive form. Example: Espero que nos veamos pronto. .
Hello Wait for an expert, but meanwhile I would say that the law I quote above is only half correct. It depends on the verb. Take esperar. It does take a subjunctive, as above. But other verbs don't: Pensé que iba a protestar.

I think that what the book means as a general rule is that if the outcome of the first verb is uncertain, the second takes a subjunctive mood. If certain, then indicative mood.

I think you must be quoting the above out of a restrictive context.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:04 AM
JSK JSK is offline
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Hi Perikles, thank you so far for your answer. That's definately something I can work with and in any case a lot more than my prof told me. But I'm not quite sure what you mean with outcome of the first verb being uncertain. Are you talking about the uncertainty on the speaker who expresses uncertainty with verbs like esperar, intentar, pretender, etc. or do you adress the uncertainty of a listener here?

Thank you so much anyways, you really helped a lot already!

Last edited by JSK; September 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM.
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  #4  
Old September 20, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
Hi Perikles, thank you so far for your answer. That's definately something I can work with and in any case a lot more than my prof told me. But I'm not quite sure what you mean with outcome of the first verb being uncertain. Are you talking about the uncertainty on the speaker who expresses uncertainty with verbs like esperar, intentar, pretender, etc. or do you adress the uncertainty of a listener here?

Thank you so much anyways, you really helped a lot already!
If you say 'I hope ...' then what will happen is uncertain, thus what follows is a possibility, thus not an indicative mood, but subjunctive.
If you say 'I know that...' then what follows is certain, thus indicative.
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  #5  
Old September 20, 2012, 11:42 AM
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Kunstliebhaber Kunstliebhaber is offline
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I am a native speaker and I don't understand what you mean, a language can be explained and it has its rules, but it's not a machine or a computer, provide real context and sentences. It's really hard to make a sentence just building it with "blocks" it's a big mistake when learning languages.

Answering your questions:

What am I supposed to write if I have a sentence with two subjects but the first verb being affirmative?

As a native speaker, I use the simple present in the second sentence, as in:

Yo creo que eres el asesino.
Ella piensa que tengo dinero para pagar la cuenta.
Nosotros suponemos que María es tu novia.

And if the first verb is negative, I use subjunctive in the second sentence:

No creo que SEAS el asesino.
Ella no piensa que TENGAS dinero para pagar la cuenta.
No imaginamos que María SEA tu novia.

Does one law outweigh the other one?

No idea... You might ask a purist orthodox of the Spanish grammar, maybe they perfectly understand what you mean.
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  #6  
Old September 20, 2012, 01:55 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Your question "What am I supposed to write if I have a sentence with two subjects but the first verb being affirmative" is answered by your first two rules. You only have to know how to differenciate the situations in which subjunctive is needed, for which, you need to know the rules of subjunctive. You can browse the forums for plenty of examples and post your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
if the subject of verb 1 and the subject of verb 2 are not the same, the second verb has to be in subjunctive form. Example: Espero que nos veamos pronto.
· Quiero que limpies tu cuarto. -> Verb 1 conjugated for "yo" - Verb 2 conjugated for "tú"
I want you to clean your room.
· Juan espera que lleguemos pronto. -> Verb 1 conjugated for "él" - Verb 2 conjugated for "nosotros"
Juan hopes we will arrive soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
=> If verb 1 is affirmative, verb 2 goes in Indicative form. Example: Pienso que debemos irnos ahora.
· Quiero limpiar mi cuarto. -> Verb 1 and verb 2 correspond to the same subject, and verb 2 takes an infinitive form.
I want to clean my room.
· Juan espera llegar pronto. -> Verb 1 and verb 2 correspond to the same subject, and verb 2 takes an infinitive form.
Juan hopes to arrive soon.
· Creemos que sabemos contar muy buenas historias. -> Verb 1 and verb 2 correspond to the same subject, and "cluster" of verb 2 takes an indicative + infinitive form.
I think that we know how to tell very good stories.
· Pensamos que deberían irse todos. -> Verb 1 conjugated for "nosotros" and verb 2 conjugated for "ellos" or "ustedes"; "cluster" of verb 2 takes an indicative + infinitive form.
We think that everyone should go.


Same need to know about subjunctive to review this one:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
=> If verb 1 is a negative question, verb 2 goes in Indicative form. Example: ¿ No comentaste que era fácil ?
· ¿No te parece que exageras? -> Verb 1 and verb 2 are conjugated for the same subject in indicative form, because the speaker intends to state a fact.
Don't you think you are exaggerating?
· ¿No dijo Juan que no iría a la fiesta? -> Verb 1 and verb 2 are conjugated for the same subject in indicative form, because the speaker is stating that Juan actually went to the party.
Didn't Juan say he would not go to the party?
· ¿No creen que sea difícil aprender otro idioma? -> Verb 1 is conjugated for "ustedes" and verb 2 is conjugated for "aprender otro idioma", and verb 2 is conjugated in subjunctive because the speaker is expressing the perception that there is a small possibility that learning a foreign language is hard.
Don't you think it would be hard to learn another language?
·¿No sabes si es difícil aprender otro idioma? -> Verb 1 is conjugated for "tú" and verb 2 is conjugated for "aprender otro idioma"; both are conjugated in indicative because the speaker considers the possibility that learning a foreign language is not too hard.
Don't you know whether it is difficult to learn another language?


Hope it helps.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; September 20, 2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Added colour.
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  #7  
Old September 20, 2012, 04:37 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Everything boils down to "in order to know subjunctive you need to already know subjunctive". It's also difficult to explain subjunctive from a native point of view. Kunstliebhaber took a special group of verbs and cast them as if they are the general rule you asked about.

You have to learn Spanish indicative first: unlike English and other languages, we can only use indicative with things that are happening (no matter when) or things that do exist, at least in an abstract level:

Creo que eres el asesino (the notion exist in my mind hence indicative)
No creo que seas el asesino (the notion doesn't exist in my mind hence subjunctive)

Espero que nos veamos pronto (the action is not happening, it is expected)
Confío en que nos veamos pronto (the action is not happening)
Confío en que nos veremos pronto (the action is happening, it's a token of certitude)

¿No comentaste que era fácil? ---> It is difficult, but you said otherwise (the action is happening ---> you said the wrong thing)
No comentaste que fuera fácil ---> It is easy, but you wouldn't say (the action is not happening)
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:22 AM
JSK JSK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
If you say 'I hope ...' then what will happen is uncertain, thus what follows is a possibility, thus not an indicative mood, but subjunctive. (...)
Makes sense to me. And if I consider "pensar" a verb that also expresses uncertainty (do you think else btw ?) the following thing confuses me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
Pensamos que deberían irse todos.
Why's that? There are two subjects in the sentence and the first verb suggests that the speaker expresses uncertainty. After the rules in the book that means that I have to use the subjunctive form. How would you write the sentence without the verb "deber" in the conditional form ? "Pensamos que deben irse todos" or "Pensamos que deban irse todos" ? I'm asking because I already suggested exactly that solution to my prof and she said we are not allowed to "take the easy way" with a conditional, but instead are supposed to learn to express uncertainty with the subjunctive.

Sorry for acting so stubborn, no offense meant In fact I also thank you very much for your explanations! Your second "package" of examples made totally sense to me. Hmm, thinking about those carefully now... I'm asking myself whether my question to you above (about the sentence with everyone's supposed to leave) isn't kind of dependent of the viewer's opinion.
I mean, for me, personally, it just doesn't feel like I'm expressing strongly that someone ought to leave if I use phrases like "you should", etc. If I want to make clear to a person that I want to be alone, I say it: "I think you have to go/leave now." (or simply "Please leave.")
-> Pienso que debes irte.
It's just that the Spanish version here asks me to better use subjunctive, because in front of my inner eye the rule appears that, no matter how much certainty I express, I have to use the subjunctive, because there are two subjects... and that's my problem. After what you guys are saying, this rule isn't even correct anymore.
The way I see it, the rule actually wants to state that what CAN BE a reason for subjunctive is the occurance of two subjects (but if this is the case it doesn't mean automatically that subjunctive is used forever and for always). What do you think ? Would you agree here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunstliebhaber View Post
No idea... You might ask a purist orthodox of the Spanish grammar, maybe they perfectly understand what you mean.
Well, we actually have this kind of super-pro at our University as well... he's mad with grammar and obsessed by it. Weird prof, he knows about everything about Spanish grammar. Anyways he was not able to answer the whole thing in a way that could satisfy me or gave me the feeling that I now understand the rule. Thanks for your help as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
¿No comentaste que era fácil? ---> It is difficult, but you said otherwise (the action is happening ---> you said the wrong thing)
No comentaste que fuera fácil ---> It is easy, but you wouldn't say (the action is not happening)
Hm, I thought that the first sentence means what you said for the second one . Can you translate the first sentence to English please? (The second one is translated "Didn't you think it was easy", right ??)
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSK View Post
Makes sense to me. And if I consider "pensar" a verb that also expresses uncertainty (do you think else btw ?) the following thing confuses me:
Ah, but grammatically, pensar does not express uncertainty, even if logically it does. That is because that which you think is a specific idea, even if the idea expresses uncertainty.

I'm not sure that your approach here is going to be helpful. You need to list all the situations where the subjunctive is required (e.g. in certain constructions), then those where it is optional. You should then get a feel for when the subjunctive is appropriate. Being acutely aware that mood in English also helps. The rules are not that rigid or consistent that they can be understood logically (just my opinion).
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Old September 21, 2012, 09:57 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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@JSK: I think everyone has given you the same advice here: check your subjunctive. You will be much less confused.

As for these translations: check Alec's explanations on the meaning of those sentences. You should be able to see the translation through them...
¿No comentaste que era fácil? ---> Didn't you say it was easy?
No comentaste que fuera fácil ---> You didn't say it was easy.
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