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Tenses in the Subjunctive

 

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  #1  
Old July 18, 2016, 11:55 AM
yevrah yevrah is offline
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Cool Tenses in the Subjunctive

Hello to all!

Reading about the sparsely used future subjunctive in Spanish, I started to wonder about how you would translate the following sentences into Spanish and what tenses you would use. Do you fancy giving them your best shot?

"I doubt that he finished his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he was finishing his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt the he has (ever) finished his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he would have finished his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he (ever) finishes his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he would finish his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he will finish his homework before sunrise."
"I doubt that he will have finished his homework before sunrise."

Any thoughts / attempts gratefully received.

Yevrah
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Old July 18, 2016, 01:07 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is online now
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Please post your own attempts first and then we will help you with corrections if needed.
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Old July 18, 2016, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
Reading about the sparsely used future subjunctive in Spanish ...
That's an understatement. No-one uses it at all in "real life". The only places you'll find it are in old texts and consciously antiquated texts (e.g. in the prologue of a ley orgánica).
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Old July 18, 2016, 03:53 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
Reading about the sparsely used future subjunctive in Spanish...
In practical terms, just in law and contracts, which require absolute precision and don't tolerate the ambiguity of present subjunctive that might arise debate over technicalities and allow loopholes.

«..el que matare ... recibirá una pena de 8 años y 4 meses a 25 años de prisión...»

Quote:
Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
"I doubt that he would finish his homework before sunrise."
In which context would you use this sentence? I have no trouble parsing "I doubted he would finish his homework before sunrise", but in present tense...

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Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
"I doubt that he will have finished his homework before sunrise."
Two different sentences apply to this context depending on where's the focus on:

Dudo que haya terminado sus tareas para el amanecer.
Dudo que haya de terminar sus tareas antes del amanecer.
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Old July 19, 2016, 12:49 AM
yevrah yevrah is offline
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"I doubt that he would finish his homework before sunrise."

To me the "would" gives a general and therefore less likely condition.

"Whilst all the other students are likely to get it done, I really doubt that he would [be the kind of person to] finish his homework before dawn."

It's awkward in this context but would work fine in the following "Do you think he'll retaliate?" "I doubt that he would do that."

Make any sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post

Two different sentences apply to this context depending on where's the focus on:

Dudo que haya terminado sus tareas para el amanecer.
Dudo que haya de terminar sus tareas antes del amanecer.
My understanding was that "haber de" + inf suggests obligation in a similar (if more formal) way to "tener que". But "I doubt that he will have finished his homework..." doesn't suggest any obligation (On the other hand "I doubt that he will have to finish..." does).

"Dudo que haya terminado" is what confuses me as it seems to mean both "I doubt he has (ever) finished" (past), or "I doubt he will have finished" (future perfect). Am I right that it is ambiguous?

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Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
Please post your own attempts first and then we will help you with corrections if needed.
The trouble is that I have no idea about which subjunctive tenses to use! But here goes:

"I doubt that he finished his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que terminara sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt that he was finishing his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que terminara sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt the he has (ever) finished his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que haya terminado sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt that he would have finished his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que haya terminado sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt that he (ever) finishes his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que termine sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt that he would finish his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que termine sus deberes antes de la madrugada

"I doubt that he will finish his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que termine sus deberes para la madrugada.

"I doubt that he will have finished his homework before sunrise."
Dudo que haya terminado sus deberes para la madrugada.

[I realise "madrugada" is more "early hours" that "dawn/sunrise"]

Last edited by Rusty; July 19, 2016 at 04:24 AM. Reason: merged back-to-back posts
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Old July 19, 2016, 03:41 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
My understanding was that "haber de" + inf suggests obligation in a similar (if more formal) way to "tener que". But "I doubt that he will have finished his homework..." doesn't suggest any obligation (On the other hand "I doubt that he will have to finish..." does).
"haya de terminar" doesn't imply any obligation here; you are thinking of "ha de terminar" said before the completion of that task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yevrah View Post
"Dudo que haya terminado" is what confuses me as it seems to mean both "I doubt he has (ever) finished" (past), or "I doubt he will have finished" (future perfect). Am I right that it is ambiguous?
It depends on the time the speaker is mentally standing while saying the sentence. In this case, it's sunrise time for him and the speaker is about to confirm their doubts or be surprised by the outcome:

Me sorprendería que haya terminado antes del amanecer ¿Cómo? ¿Terminó? ¡Vaya, vaya!

With "haya de terminar" the conditional doesn't work -in fact, it's agramatical- because this structure is progressive: the speaker is comfortably standing at the moment he speaks and expressing his doubt about the completion of that process.

Some examples from CREA and CORDE

«En cualquier caso, la tónica financiero-monetaria con que haya de terminar la semana, depende, por todo y para todo, de la incógnita convenio-no convenio presupuestario.»

«144. Todo procesado cuya causa haya de terminar por sentencia del Consejo de guerra ó del supremo de Guerra y Marina, tiene derecho á elegir defensor.» (this text is from 1890, hence the stress mark in one-syllable words) Here, haya de terminar doesn't mean they have to, but they end up doing it by whatever valid reason.
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