Ask a Question

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


Podría ser que / podría ser mejor si

 

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 04, 2017, 09:39 PM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 46
dupond is on a distinguished road
Podría ser que / podría ser mejor si

What does it mean when "podría ser que" is used with the indicative?

I've been looking at examples of the phrase here: http://context.reverso.net/translati...podria+ser+que

Most of the examples use the subjunctive, which makes sense since "podría ser que" seems to be a phrase of doubt. However, the indicative is used in "Podría ser que está preocupado por usted," and "Podría ser que hemos localizado la obstrucción a tiempo." How does this change the meaning from when the subjunctive is used?

Also, I've been looking at examples of the use of "podría ser mejor si" here: http://context.reverso.net/translati...a+ser+mejor+si

This phrase is followed by either the indicative or the imperfect subjunctive, which makes sense because of the presence of "si".

Would it be correct to say that when using "podría ser mejor si," si + the imperfect subjunctive is not posing a counterfactual?

"De todos modos, podría ser mejor si no montaras aquí hoy," is translated as
"All the same, it might be best if you didn't saddle up here today."

If I wanted to say, "It would have been better had you not saddled up," would the translation be "Podria haber sido mejo si no montaras"?

If that's the case, is it fair to say there's very little difference between using the indicative and subjunctive after "podría ser mejor si"? That is, the indicative would say, "It might be better if you don't saddle up," whereas the subjunctive would say, "It might be better if you didn't saddle up"?


Thanks
Reply With Quote
   
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
  #2  
Old September 05, 2017, 03:26 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is online now
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,068
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
Podría ser que + past subjunctive => Hypothesis of something that happened in the past.

- Podría ser que Juan estuviera planeando una maldad.
It could be that Juan was planning to do something wrong.
- Podría ser que los niños tuvieran hambre.
It could be that the children were hungry.
- Podría ser que el teléfono estuviera descompuesto.
It could be that the phone was broken.


Podría ser que + present indicative => Guessing that something will happen in the future (or present, depending on the context).
- Podría ser que Juan esté planeando una maldad.
It could be that Juan is planning to do something wrong.
- Podría ser que los niños tengan hambre.
It could be that children are hungry.
- Podría ser que el teléfono esté descompuesto.
It could be that the phone is broken.


Since there is not much context of those examples with "podría ser mejor si", some sound strange, but mostly, the difference between the usage of past subjunctive and present indicative, is in how possible the speaker believes things will improve if something happens; the present indicative is for situations more likely to happen than the past subjunctive. And sometimes, it just feels more polite to use the past subjunctive, like in your saddling example than using the present indicative.

- Podría ser mejor si no montas aquí. -> This could be felt slightly rude, so the speaker prefers a more polite "si no montaras".
- Podría ser mejor si regresara otro día. -> I might come back, but it's not likely. Yet if I say "si regreso otro día", I will come back and try being more opportune.
- Podría ser mejor si vienen a vivir con nosotros. -> More like an invitation, as it is with "si vinieran", it feels rather like an imposition.
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old September 05, 2017, 07:18 PM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 46
dupond is on a distinguished road
Would the difference between podría ser que + present indicative and podría ser que + present subjunctive be the degree of certainty you have in the guess? I.e. Podría ser que los niños tienen hambre expresses more confidence in the guess than podría ser que los niños tengan hambre.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old September 05, 2017, 08:24 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is online now
Obsidiana
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,068
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
More or less, yes. In the case of the indicative, something in the behavior of the children makes me think they're hungry; and, in the case of the present subjunctive, I'm only guessing --maybe because it's late and they haven't eaten yet...
__________________
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old September 05, 2017, 10:52 PM
dupond dupond is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 46
dupond is on a distinguished road
Thanks. It's all making sense now.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmark this thread at:

Tags
subjunctive

 

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
Podía ser - podría ser BobRitter Grammar 1 August 15, 2015 10:50 PM
Podria o podia? jellybabe Translations 1 October 15, 2013 08:11 AM
Cuentan,y podría raji Translations 6 December 20, 2009 10:03 PM
Hola podria ayudarme quela Introductions 4 August 25, 2008 10:43 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

X