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Conditional vs. Past Subjunctive

 

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Old August 15, 2012, 05:06 PM
kc9qii kc9qii is offline
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Conditional vs. Past Subjunctive

One thing Iv been wondering about lately is when I should use the conditional or past subjunctive. I see both used when "would" is appropriate in English such as quisiera when you want to say I would like why wouldnt you use querría. Iv also seen it with plenty of other verbs but I cant recall another example of one I saw at the moment.
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Old August 15, 2012, 05:18 PM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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Quisiera saber cuál es tu pregunta exacta.
Querría que la aclarases, para poderla responder.

I'd like to know what is your exact question.
I'd like you to clarify it, so as to be able to answer it.
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Old August 15, 2012, 05:44 PM
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It is as JPablo explains. You should consider that this means "quiero" -exactly like in English- but politeness demands a certain degree of hesitation or a mild approach that vanishes any hint that evokes a command. You have two ways in Spanish: using imperfect subjunctive makes it uncertain and using conditional makes it hypothetical*, and both cases give the other person the possibility of refusing to provide what they're asked, hence it is polite.

* This is an oversimplification: subjunctive makes it "label of an action" and not the action itself -as Spanish indicative (very different to English indicative) is-, while conditional places it in a separate branch of reality -a speculative branch-.
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Old August 16, 2012, 06:52 PM
kc9qii kc9qii is offline
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Thank you, this answered my question pretty well. Next time I see it I'll take note so I have more examples if I'm still confused in the future.
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Old August 16, 2012, 07:55 PM
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Great!
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