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Present main verb with past subjunctive

 

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Old February 07, 2012, 01:49 PM
rparmst rparmst is offline
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Present main verb with past subjunctive

In several grammar books I have seen that the present subjunctive is used when the verb in the main clause is in the present, future, present perfect or command form and that the past subjunctive is used when the main verb is in the imperfect or preterite tense.

My question is whether you can use the past tense of the subjunctive when the main verb is in the present. I have been told conflicting things by several native speakers. Here are a few examples that would take subjunctive ordinarily if the main verb were in the past (I think...)

1) with verbs of emotion
If I were to say "I was glad that you worked so much.". --> "Me alegraba que trabajaras tanto."
But if I wanted to say "I AM glad you worked so much." "Me alegra que trabajaras tanto." -- or is it trabajaste?

2) reflexive verbs
If I were to say, "Were you surprised that they didn't like the party?" --> "?Te sorprendabas de que no les gustaran la fiesta?"
But if I wanted to say "?ARE you surprised that they didn't like the party?" --> "?Te sorprendes de que no les gustara la fiesta?" -- or is it gustó?

3) impersonal expressions
If I were to say, "It was a shame that you arrived late and couldn't see the movie." --> "Fue una lástima que llegaras tarde y no pudieras la película."
But if I wanted to say, "It IS a shame that you arrived late and couldn't see the movie." --> "Es una lástima que no llegaras tarde y no pudieras la película.". -- or is it llegaste and pudiste

4) with doubt
"I doubted that everyone liked your friends.". --> "Dudé que a todos no les gustaran tus amigos."
But "I DOUBT that everyone liked your friends" --> "Dudo que a todos les gustaran tus amigos." -- or is it gustaron?

5) indefinite antecedent
Similarly-- "I don't know of anyone who came here while it was raining." --> "No sé de nadie que viniera aquí cuando estaba lloviendo." --or is it vino?

Last edited by rparmst; February 07, 2012 at 01:52 PM.
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