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The conditional used to communicate probability or conjecture

 

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Old March 22, 2010, 05:37 AM
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Question The conditional used to communicate probability or conjecture

I am working on a section in my workbook about the Spanish conditional. One of the comments is that conditional can be used to communicate probability or conjecture when referring to a past time or activity with verbs like decir, estar, haber, ser and tener. The following examples are given:
- Estaríamos ocupados cuando llamaste. (We were probably busy when you called.)
- Habría unos veinte autos. (There were approximately twenty cars.)
- ¿Cuánto costaría el traje que compró Ricardo? (I wonder how much the suit Ricardo bought cost.)

Can you please provide me with some examples with verbs like decir and tener? And some others, if you care to? Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old March 22, 2010, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Can you please provide me with some examples with verbs like decir and tener? And some others, if you care to? Thanks!!
Here is one for tener, with an imperfect indicative as comparison:

En aquel tiempo yo tenía doce años
At that time I was twelve

En aquel tiempo yo tendría doce años
At that time I must have been twelve
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Old March 22, 2010, 07:22 AM
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el año pasado lo he dicho- last year I said that
el año pasado lo habría dicho- last year I probably/must´ve said that
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Old March 22, 2010, 07:32 AM
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Yo diría que el chico que trajo el paquete era pariente tuyo.
¿Dirías que me queda bien este bolso con este vestido?

Tendría veinte años cuando te conocí.
Tendría en cuenta otros factores antes de decidir.

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Old March 22, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Using Perikles example with "decir"

Digo que tiene doce años - I'm saying he's twelve years old.
Diría que tiene doce años - I'd say he's twelve/he's probably twelve/he must be twelve
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Old March 22, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
Yo diría que el chico que trajo el paquete era pariente tuyo.
¿Dirías que me queda bien este bolso con este vestido?

Tendría veinte años cuando te conocí.
Tendría en cuenta otros factores antes de decidir.

I honestly thought that the conditional should be accompanied by the
past subjunctive. So I would say: Tendría veinte añps cuando te conociera?
Am I wrong?
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Old March 22, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Some others, as requested.


Serían las cuatro cuando sucedió el accidente.
The accident must have happened at four.

¿Qué querría el señor que tocó a la puerta? Cuando abrí, se echó a correr.
I wonder what the man who knocked on the door? He ran away when I opened it .

¿Por qué Juan no me hablaría? ¿Estará enojado?
Why wouldn't Juan talk to me? I wonder if he's angry.

-- ¿Qué cantaría Gian Marco en el concierto? (I wonder what Gian Marco would have sung in the concert.)
-- Yo creo que cantaría canciones de su último disco. (I think he sang songs from his last album.)

A los niños les enseñarían mal a resolver estas ecuaciones. Es la única explicación que encuentro a que ninguno entienda lo que les explico ahora.
Children must have been taught bad to solve these equations. That's the only explanation I find to the fact that no one understands what I'm explaining now to them.



@Poli: Subjunctive doesn't fit all the cases when conditional is used.
"Tendría veinte años cuando te conocí" is something that did happen in the past, but I'm not sure about when exactly, so I make an approximation of the age I had back then.


Some cases with conditional-subjunctive:

Querría que me dijeras qué te molesta.
I'd like you to tell me what bothers you.

Disculpe, ¿podría decirle al mesero que me traiga la cuenta?
Excuse me, could you tell the waiter to bring me the check?

Mi mamá ha comprado tantos billetes de lotería que me gustaría que un día se la ganara.
My mother has bought that many lotto tickets, that I would like her to win some time.

Haría lo que fuera para que mis hijos se coman las verduras.
I would do anything so my children would eat the vegetables.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; March 22, 2010 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Added an answer to Poli.
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Old March 22, 2010, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
¿Qué querría el señor que tocó a la puerta? Cuando abrí, se echó a correr.
I wonder what the man wanted who knocked on the door. He ran away when I opened it.

-- Yo creo que cantaría canciones de su último disco. (I think he would have sung songs from his last album.)

A los niños les enseñarían mal a resolver estas ecuaciones. Es la única explicación que encuentro a que ninguno entienda lo que les explico ahora.
Children must have been taught to solve these equations incorrectly. That's the only explanation I can find why no one understands what I'm explaining to them now.

Mi mamá ha comprado tantos billetes de lotería que me gustaría que un día se la ganara.
My mother has bought so many lotto tickets, that I would like her to win some time.

Haría lo que fuera para que mis hijos se coman las verduras.
I would do anything to get my children to eat their vegetables.
A little correction and more colloquial wording above.
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Old March 22, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Thank you, Rusty!
I'll try to stay more attentive at the word order.
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Old March 23, 2010, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
I honestly thought that the conditional should be accompanied by the
past subjunctive. So I would say: Tendría veinte añps cuando te conociera?
Am I wrong?
Just in conditional sentences ("if" sentences):

Si tuviera veinte años, me iría a dar la vuelta al mundo.
Si hubiera estudiado más, tendría más oportunidades en el mundo laboral.

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