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Why both correct? Indicative & Imp Subj

 

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  #1  
Old December 26, 2019, 07:59 AM
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Why both correct? Indicative & Imp Subj

Today my Spanish teacher from Mexico and I were talking about corn tortillas and naturally made ones being healthier than the processed ones outside of MX and places far away.

The processed corn tortillas (or say, any processed foods)


No están saludable como pareciera


She also said using the indicative is also OK.


No están saludable como parece.


I asked why but she's not into these matters.

If the subjunctive is OK, why not the present subjuntive?

How does using the indicative and subjunctive change the meaning?


Thanks, if anyone can answer.
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  #2  
Old December 26, 2019, 11:16 AM
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The sentence should be "No son tan saludables como parecen."
The indicative mood is warranted; the subject matter is real. There's no hint of doubt, denial, disbelief, probability, desire, or strong emotion. I don't see why the subjunctive would be warranted in such a statement.

Usually, the imperfect subjunctive is warranted only when a past tense or a conditional mood verb appears in the main clause.

Last edited by Rusty; December 26, 2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old December 26, 2019, 11:38 AM
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Might the difference between the two be:not as healthy as they seem/not as healthy as they may seem?
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Old December 26, 2019, 07:27 PM
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I think it just depends on what the speaker has in mind:

- No son tan sanas como parece.
They're not as healthy as it seems. -> The speaker is certain that I think they are healthy, so they state a warning that this is a wrong idea.

- No son tan sanas como pareciera.
They aren't as healthy as it may seem. -> The speaker is more cautious or may not be certain I think they're healthy.


Side note: In principle I agree with Rusty on using "parecen"/"parecieran", for the sake of the agreement with the subject. Yet, I'm keeping "parece" and "pareciera", because the speaker may have in mind the situation rather than the tortillas themselves, so it's a valid construction for me.
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Old December 26, 2019, 10:58 PM
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Based on Angelica's explication and side note, and revisiting the original post, it just dawned on me that 'están' should have been 'es tan' in the OP's sentence. And, since that introduces a singular subject, the statement is about the situation rather than the tortillas.

No es tan saludable/sana como parece/pareciera.

I'm also aware that the imperfect subjunctive can be used with a present tense main verb in certain situations.
When used this way, 'may seem' in the English translation could also be 'may have seemed' or 'might seem' ('might' being used as the past tense of 'may').
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Old December 27, 2019, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for all of your replies.

She's not a certified teacher but a very avid reader and very knowledgeable.

Interesting she didn't use "ser --> son" or "tan" but instead used "estar."


But I recall a teacher telling me that with food:

estar is the taste

ser is the quality - therefore "ser" or as Rusty noted "tan" should be used.



Thanks again.
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