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Why is "llevaran" used in this sentence?


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Old December 24, 2021, 10:19 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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Why is "llevaran" used in this sentence?

The sentence is:

"Parece que los pingüinos penacho amarillo llevaran un sombrero gracioso".

I'm guessing the subjunctive is used because they are not actually wearing funny hats, but why is it "llevaran" instead of "lleven"?

For context, this is from a short story where people are looking at penguins at a zoo and talking about them, so the "wearing" is happening and being observed at the present moment.
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Old December 25, 2021, 06:20 AM
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Your assumption that the speaker's opinion is that the penguins are not actually wearing funny hats is correct.

Whether the subjunctive is used or not depends on the speaker's perception. If the speaker is of the opinion that something is not what it seems, this is expressed by switching the mood to the subjunctive AND using the imperfect subjunctive conjugation for the verb in the subjunctive clause.

To our English-wired brain, the imperfect subjunctive conjugation seems out of place, but the Spanish-wired brain is thinking about how it 'would' seem instead of how it 'does' seem.
We can also use the subjunctive mood to express a conditional opinion; it 'could' be (may be/may not be) true.
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