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Imperfect Subjunctive

 

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  #1  
Old May 05, 2010, 10:47 PM
betsysimpkins betsysimpkins is offline
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Imperfect Subjunctive

Ayudenme por favor!

We are testing on imperfect subjunctive and I'm trying to decide which of the following is MORE correct and...why?

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustaba bailar.

vs.

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustara bailar.
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  #2  
Old May 05, 2010, 11:55 PM
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CrOtALiTo CrOtALiTo is offline
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Hello I hope that my help can help you.
Perhaps I don't be good with the Spanish, but anyway I will try.

I believe that in the first choice is more correct that the second ones.

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustaba bailar.

I hope that someone more experimented can help you with your doubt.
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Old May 06, 2010, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betsysimpkins View Post
Ayudenme por favor!

We are testing on imperfect subjunctive and I'm trying to decide which of the following is MORE correct and...why?

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustaba bailar.

vs.

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustara bailar.
Creo que la primera oración es mejor.

Quizás en algo así se debe usar el subjuntivo imperfecto,

Me gustaba que le gustara bailar a ella.
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  #4  
Old May 06, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betsysimpkins View Post
Yo no sabia que a ella le gustaba bailar.

vs.

Yo no sabia que a ella le gustara bailar.
My dictionary suggests that both are possible, with

no sabía que + indicative or subjunctive.

The subjunctive is used with negative expressions of thinking or saying: no pensaba que fuera tan impulso, so perhaps this could also include saber.
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Old May 06, 2010, 04:30 AM
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Hi Betsy, good question.

Both sentences are correct, but with a difference in nuance. If you use "gustaba", you are explicitly declaring to your listener that the person in question liked to dance. You'll use "gustara" if you don't want or need to declare that; for example if your listener already knows it.

If this is part of a test, and one alternative is said to be "more correct", I'm afraid the author of the test just didn't know about these differences.

Good luck!
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Old May 06, 2010, 05:21 AM
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welcome and good luck
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Old May 06, 2010, 05:23 AM
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Thanks for pointing out the nuance. Is there a way to express an equivalent in English?

I didn't know she liked dancing
I didn't know that she might like dancing

Would you say these reflect the same difference?
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Old May 06, 2010, 06:39 AM
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I wouldn't say that the difference is equivalent, though you could probably make it work in some contexts. The "non-declarative" quality of the Spanish subjunctive is often difficult to express in English.
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Old May 06, 2010, 08:34 AM
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I think those sentences in principle are interchangeable, but I agree there can be a slight nuance in meaning:

Yo no sabía que a ella le gustara bailar. -> This is basically a surprise.
I've known her for some time, but didn't know that she actually likes to dance. (Maybe things can change from now on, like going to dance together or something like that.)

Yo no sabía que a ella le gustaba bailar. -> This is basically a regret. I knew someone in the past and I never knew she liked to dance. (Maybe if I had known, things would have been different.)


@Betsy: Please only one thread per topic.
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Old May 06, 2010, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
I think those sentences in principle are interchangeable, but I agree there can be a slight nuance in meaning:

Yo no sabía que a ella le gustara bailar. -> This is basically a surprise.
I've known her for some time, but didn't know that she actually likes to dance. (Maybe things can change from now on, like going to dance together or something like that.)

Yo no sabía que a ella le gustaba bailar. -> This is basically a regret. I knew someone in the past and I never knew she liked to dance. (Maybe if I had known, things would have been different.)


@Betsy: Please only one thread per topic.
Hmm to me both could denote surprise.

What I didn't know the second phrase was in subjunctive...

Last edited by chileno; May 06, 2010 at 08:53 AM.
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