Ask a Question

(Create a thread)
Go Back   Spanish language learning forums > Spanish & English Languages > Grammar


Si clauses with multiple verbs.

 

This is the place for questions about conjugations, verb tenses, adverbs, adjectives, word order, syntax and other grammar questions for English or Spanish.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 24, 2017, 01:34 AM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 93
dupond is on a distinguished road
Si clauses with multiple verbs.

Hi everyone

When translating si clauses dealing with counterfactuals, what happens when there is more than one verb in the si clause? Do all the verbs take the past subjunctive?

For example, I translated the following sentence with Google:

This story would be easier to write if there were some clear event that made John realise he was wrong.

Esta historia sería más fácil de escribir si hubiera algún evento claro que hiciera que Juan se diera cuenta de que estaba equivocado.

It sounds about right, although I'm not entirely sure if it should be "estaba" or "estuviera".

I changed one word in that sentence and got a different mood in the Google translation.

Esta historia sería más fácil de decir si había algún evento claro que hizo Juan darse cuenta de que estaba equivocado.

I'd say that that all the verbs in the si clause are in the wrong mood, except maybe "estaba" but I'm not sure. I'd only ever seen si clauses with one verb.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
   
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
  #2  
Old September 24, 2017, 11:21 PM
JPablo's Avatar
JPablo JPablo is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,531
Native Language: Spanish (Castilian, peninsular)
JPablo is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by dupond View Post
Esta historia sería más fácil de escribir si hubiera algún evento claro que hiciera que John se diera cuenta de que estaba equivocado.
The translation above seems right to my ear.

I would not translate "John" to "Juan", otherwise, it seems totally correct to me.

Not sure if I can explain why or how, but that's the way I would say it as a native speaker.
__________________
Lo propio de la verdad es que se basta a sí misma, aquel que la posee no intenta convencer a nadie.
"An enemy is somebody who flatters you. A friend is somebody who criticizes the living daylights out of you."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old September 25, 2017, 01:35 AM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 93
dupond is on a distinguished road
Thanks. Would it be fair to say that "estaba" is used because "se diera" already establishes the indicative mood? Whereas "diciera" is necessary because "hiciera que" makes the subjunctive necessary?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old September 25, 2017, 01:34 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,116
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
Google translate mostly works for set phrases or for very common uses of language. So, the first one is correct because it's a sentence without pieces of language that don't go normally together. The second one failed, I think, because in Spanish, for "telling a story", we use don't use "decir una historia", but "contar", "narrar", "relatar". ;(

In "...que hiciera que John se diera cuenta...", both verbs are conjugated in the same mood because the situation is still the same: there hasn't happened anything yet to make John realise he's wrong. But since the speaker does know John was wrong, and the sentence is being told in the past, then the imperfect takes place. So, there is no "estuviera equivocado", but "estaba".

In the present, the sentence would have been "Esta historia sería más fácil de escribir/contar/narrar si hubiera algún evento claro que haga que John se dé cuenta de que está equivocado". (He hasn't realised yet that he is wrong, but we know.)
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:09 PM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 93
dupond is on a distinguished road
Thanks Angelica
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmark this thread at:

Tags
si clauses

 

Link to this thread
URL: 
HTML Link: 
BB Code: 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Site Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Subjunctive in adverb clauses vs. infinitive Tuamiga5 Grammar 2 March 25, 2013 06:10 PM
Si clauses, subjunctive mood or otherwise LearningSpanish Translations 5 July 25, 2012 02:50 PM
Spanish in adjective clauses laepelba Grammar 20 May 04, 2011 07:02 PM
Subordinated noun clauses with the subjunctive laepelba Practice & Homework 3 April 16, 2011 07:47 AM
Si Clauses - Indicative DeterminadoAprender Grammar 11 April 13, 2009 02:00 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 PM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

X