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. 7
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± There™s enough room for the books on the
shelf i.e. The books ¬t
Este armario no cabe por la puerta This wardrobe won™t go through the door
No cabemos en el coche There is not enough room for us in the car
¿Quepo aqu´?
± Is there room for me here?

ii Caber It also has the more impersonal meaning of to be possible, may:

Cabe preguntar si es su¬ciente It is possible to ask if it is suf¬cient
Cabe suponer que cometieron un error It is possible to suppose that they made an
error

iii Soler to be accustomed to

Suelo venir aqu´ los martes
± I usually come here on Tuesdays
Estos melones sol´an ser muy buenos
± These melons used to be very good



2.5 Uses of bastar, faltar, quedar, sobrar
i Bastar to be suf¬cient

Basta (con) marcar el pre¬jo y el n´ mero
u All you have to do is dial the code and
number
Bastaba (con) decirle que no podemos ir It was enough to tell her we can™t come

ii Faltar to be lacking, to remain

Falta el postre There remains the dessert
Aqu´ faltan tres tenedores
± Three forks are missing here
Todav´a me faltan dos horas para terminar el
± I still need a couple of hours to ¬nish the
ejercicio exercise
S´lo falta(n) un par de horas para llegar
o There™s just a couple of hours before we
arrive

iii Quedar to remain, to be over

Quedan tres manzanas There remain three apples / Three apples
are left over
Quedan por barrer la salita y el despacho There just remains the living room and the
of¬ce to sweep
Queda por decir que est´ prohibido entrar ahora
a It remains to say that it is forbidden to go in
now


125
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




iv Sobrar to be in excess, to be over

Una vez hecho el vestido me sobraron tres metros de Once I had made the dress I had three
tela meters of fabric left over
Parece que sobrar´ n camas
a It looks as though we™ll have too many
beds


2.6 More on haber and hacer
i The use of hay extends to all tenses

Hab´a una casa / dos casas
± There was one/a house / were two houses
Hubo una explosi´n / varias explosiones
o There was an explosion / were several
explosions
Habr´ una ¬esta / dos ¬estas
a There will be a party / two parties
Habr´a un invitado / varios invitados
± There would be a guest / several guests
Es posible que haya un doctor (M) / dos doctores It is possible that there will be a/one
physician/doctor / two physicians/
doctors
Era probable que hubiera un accidente / varios It was probable that there would be an
accidentes accident / several accidents
ii The conditional corresponds to “ought”:

Habr´a que salir ahora
± I/You/We, etc., ought to leave now



2.7 Use of haber + debido = ought and ought to have
The imperfect subjunctive of haber + debido + in¬nitive is frequently used with the
idea of “ought to have.” It has the same meaning but less weight than tener que above
(see level 2.3)
Yo hubiera debido decirle que . . . I ought to have told him that . . .
Hubi´ramos debido ir
e We ought to have gone
An alternative form of the above is:
deb´a + haber + past participle
±
(Yo) deb´a haberle dicho que . . .
± I ought to have told her/him that . . .



2.8 Verbs in past tenses with hacer = ago

Los cuates (M) / amigos salieron hace media hora The friends left half an hour ago
Visit´ Madrid hace un a˜ o
e n I visited Madrid a year ago
Hac´a diez a˜ os que hab´a ido a Espa˜ a
± n ± n It was ten years ago when I had been to
Spain


126
15 Impersonal verbs



2.9 Desde = since
Desde hace varios siglos los arabes han colaborado
´ For centuries the Arabs have collaborated
con los cristianos with the Christians
Desde hac´a muchas horas el ni˜ o no hab´a comido
± n ± The child had not eaten for hours

Hacer also expresses the length of time between two points:

Hace diez a˜ os que fui a Espa˜ a
n n It was ten years ago that I went to Spain

Exercises Level 2
i Rellena los blancos / Llena los espacios (M) con un verbo impersonal. Hay mas de una
´
posibilidad en varios casos:

Ejemplo
El domingo ( ) ir a la alberca (M) / piscina > El domingo me gustar´a ir a . . .
±
a En verano ( ) muy temprano
b En invierno ( ) muy temprano
c ¿Te ( ) ir al cine?
d No s´ si ( ) arreglar el asunto hoy
e
e Nos ( ) ir a la opera
´
f ¿Les (M) / os ( ) aprender a coser?
g No me ( ) manejar (M) / conducir toda la noche
h Me ( ) que es de origen azteca
i Estaba ( ) toda la noche cuando fui por los ni˜ os
n

ii Haz frases con las siguientes expresiones:

Ejemplo
es natural > Es natural beber cuando hace mucho calor
es una pena, es (una) l´ stima, es importante, es esencial, es l´ gico, es natural, es inevitable,
a o
es mejor, es posible, es imposible
iii Completa las siguientes frases con uno de estos verbos. Pon los verbos en singular o
plural segun convenga. En algunos casos, hay mas de una solucion:
´ ´ ´
caber, quedar, sobrar, faltar, bastar, tener que, haber de, poder, saber, deber, querer
a ¿( ) ir conmigo?
b ( ) de equivocarse
c ( ) de trabajar duro porque hay que ganar dinero
d ¿( ) m´ s sillas aqu´? Si no, nos sentamos por el suelo
a ±
e Aqu´ ( ) cuchillos pero hay m´ s en la cocina
± a
f ( ) nadar correctamente
g ( ) que corregir tus errores
h Despu´ s del incendio s´ lo ( ) tres muros
e o
i ( ) nadar m´ s de un kil´ metro
a o
j ( ) tocar la guitarra
k ( ) tenedores. Ponlos en el caj´ n
o
l ( ) media docena de huevos. Los otros los pones en el frigor´¬co
±

127
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




iv Actividad en parejas
Objetivo “ Distinguir entre el uso de saber y conocer
M´ todo “ A le hace a B diez preguntas conteniendo saber y conocer, y las siguientes
e
palabras:
1 ciudad 2 hablar portugu´ s 3 a Teresa 4 un restaurante bueno 5 la verdad
e
6 tocar el piano 7 un poco de italiano 8 Chile y Colombia 9 a tu madre
10 algo de japon´ s
e
Ejemplos
Par´s
± P R E G U N TA : ¿Conoces a Par´s?±
R E S P U E S TA : Conozco a Par´s muy, muy bien
±
Est´ Juan
a P R E G U N TA : ¿Sabes d´ nde est´ Juan?
o a
R E S P U E S TA : No s´ donde est´ (Juan)
e a
Despu´ s, se re´ ne todo el mundo, y el profesor le hace preguntas a toda la clase, variando
e u
las diez palabras/expresiones. Por ejemplo, en vez de usar ciudad, puede usar pueblo
o pueblito (M) / pueblecito. En vez de tocar el piano puede usar tocar la guitarra. El profesor
puede variar tambi´ n los pronombres (t´ , Uds., ´l/ella o ¡yo!). Pueden descubrir as´ talentos
u e
e ±
ocultos de su profesor.




128
Unit 16 (Unidad 16)
Subjunctive (El subjuntivo)


Don™t allow the term subjunctive to put you off. It may have all but disappeared in
English though we still use it on occasions (“If I were you”), and is slowly slipping away
in French, but it is still very much a mood to be reckoned with in Spanish, both in Spain
and Spanish America. So it is a very necessary tool for correct expression in Spanish.
Much as it is in Italian, in fact.
Before we embark on the subjunctive in Spanish, it is a good idea to see how compli-
cated it is to express the subjunctive in English. You can be comforted by the fact that
in Spanish the rules are logical whereas in English they are not. Examples in English: I
want him to go / I wish he would go / It is necessary that he go / I am happy that he does it
tomorrow.
Whereas the indicative (see unit 4) relates to clear knowledge and certainty, the sub-
junctive is linked to doubt, commands, uncertainty, desire, aspiration, risk, and danger.
The indicative appears in both main and subordinate clauses but the subjunctive appears
nearly always in subordinate ones. If we take the two following examples:
i Te he dicho que voy al cine I (have) told you I™m going to the movies
ii Te he dicho que vayas al cine I (have) told you to go to the movies
In the ¬rst sentence, we have a main clause (he dicho) and a subordinate clause (voy),
both in the indicative. The subordinate clause is what amounts to a statement of fact.
However, in the second case, we have a main clause in the indicative (he dicho) and
then a subjunctive (vayas) which is determined by a command.
Two more examples will make this difference clearer.
1. (a) Pienso que viene mi hermano I think that my brother is coming
(b) No pienso que venga mi hermano I don™t think my brother is coming
2. (a) Es seguro que arregla el problema It™s certain that he™s sorting out the problem
(b) No es seguro que arregle el problema It™s not certain he™s sorting out the problem
In 1(a) and 2(a) the probability is that the brother is coming and that the problem is being
solved. However, in 1(b) and 2(b), it is far from certain that the brother is coming and that
the problem is being solved, hence the use of the subjunctive in these two cases. Once
you have grasped this essential difference between (a) and (b), you are well on the way to
understanding the most important feature of the subjunctive. Now for the forms of the
present subjunctive of the three model verbs:
comprar “ to buy vender “ to sell
yo compre yo venda
t´ compres
u t´ vendas
u
Ella quiere que . . . ´l/ella/Ud. compre
e ´l/ella/Ud. venda
e
nosotros/as compremos nosotros/as vendamos
She wants . . . to . . .
´
vosotros/as compr´ is vosotros/as vendais
e
ellos/ellas/Uds. compren ellos/ellas/Uds. vendan

129
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




vivir “ to live
yo viva en M´xico
e
t´ vivas en M.
u
Mi hija quiere que . . . ´l/ella/Ud. viva en M.
e
nosotros/as vivamos en M.
My daughter wants . . . to . . .
´
vosotros/as vivais en M.
ellos/ellas/Uds. vivan en M.

Irregular verbs offer more dif¬culty but they generally follow the irregularity of the
indicative.
d´e des d´e demos deis den
dar (to give)
diga digas diga digamos dig´ is
a digan
decir (say)
est´e est´s
e est´e estemos est´is
e est´n
e
estar (be)
haya hayas haya hayamos hay´ is
a hayan
haber (have)
haga hagas haga hagamos hag´ is
a hagan
hacer (make)
vaya vayas vaya vayamos vay´ is
a vayan
ir (go)
quiera quieras quiera queramos quer´ is
a quieran
querer (want)
salga salgas salga salgamos salg´ is
a salgan
salir (go out)
sea seas sea seamos se´ is
a sean
ser (be)
tenga tengas tenga tengamos teng´ is
a tengan
tener (have)
venga vengas venga vengamos veng´ is
a vengan
venir (come)

Radical changing verbs are conjugated as follows:
vuelva vuelvas vuelva volvamos volv´ is
a vuelvan
volver (o“ue) (to return)
cierre cierres cierre cerremos cerr´is
e cierren
cerrar (e“ie) (to shut)
pida pidas pida pidamos pid´ is
a pidan
pedir (e“i) (to ask for)



How to use the subjunctive
The use of the subjunctive falls into ¬fteen broad categories, six of which are treated in
level 1, and nine in level 2. The ¬rst three categories in level 1 are broken down into
a number of sub-categories, while the remainder are smaller, self-contained categories.
These are all treated in the context of the present subjunctive, while the nine categories
in level 2 are treated in the context of the present and perfect subjunctives, and the
imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives.
The categories in level 1 are as follows:

Level 1
1.1 In¬‚uence or causation (In¬‚uencia o causalidad)
1.1.1 Command or order (Orden)
´
1.1.2 Request (Peticion)
1.1.3 Proposal and suggestion (Propuesta o sugerencia)
´ ´
1.1.4 Permission, prohibition, hindrance (Permiso, prohibicion, oposicion)
´
1.2 Emotion (Emocion)
´
1.2.1 After expressions of feeling (Tras expresiones de emocion)

130
16 Subjunctive



´
1.2.2 After verbs of imagining and wishing (Tras verbos que expresan imaginacion
o deseo)
1.3 Doubt (Duda)
1.3.1 After expressions of doubt, denial and negation (Tras expresiones de duda,
´ ´
denegacion y negacion)
1.3.2 After expressions of possibility, probability, risk and danger (Tras expresiones
de posibilidad, probabilidad, riesgo y peligro)
1.4 Certain impersonal verbs and expressions (Ciertos verbos y expresiones
impersonales)
1.5 The verbs ser and estar used impersonally (Cuando se usan de modo
impersonal los verbos ser y estar)
1.6 After conjunctive expressions (Tras expresiones conjuntivas)


1.1 In¬‚uence or causation
1.1.1 Command or order
(See also the imperative “ unit 11.)
i The principal use of the subjunctive is after verbs expressing an action calculated to
cause a person or thing to act. The force of the governing verb varies from an
authoritative command to a simple request or wish. This also applies to verbs of
opposite effect which involve preventing or hindering someone or something from
doing something. All these verbs fall into the general category of In¬‚uence. We will
¬rst of all deal with commands or orders

Examples
El o¬cial ordena que montemos guardia en el cami´n / que subamos al cami´n
o o
The of¬cer orders us to be on guard in the truck/lorry / to get into the truck/lorry
Mi madre me dice que regrese/vuelva/vaya temprano
My mother tells me to return/go early
El Ayuntamiento dispone que no se circule por el centro de la ciudad
The City/Town Hall decrees that no one should drive downtown / through the center
of the town

ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
decidir, decretar, establecer, exigir, insistir, mandar, necesitar, presionar (para), reclamar, recomendar, urgir,
velar (por) = to see to it that . . .
iii Remarks
Some of the above verbs (mandar, ordenar, recomendar) may take an in¬nitive,
instead of a subjunctive. Regrettably, there is no rule for this alternative. It is a question
of usage. The possibility of an in¬nitive also occurs in other categories, so watch out for
it.
Examples
El capit´ n manda fusilar a los prisioneros The captain orders the prisoners to be shot
a
Manda llamar al m´dico / al doctor (M) Send for the physician/doctor
e
Le ordena salir inmediatamente del restaurante He/She orders her/him to leave the
restaurant immediately

131
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




Te recomiendo acostarte temprano I recommend you go to bed early
Note. If you were looking for a difference between the use, in these cases, of the in¬nitive,
and the subjunctive, it could be broadly said that the in¬nitive is easier to manipulate
(it™s not all bad news) but is not necessarily more typical of the spoken language or even
written language. These comments also apply to the verbs in 1.1.3.iii and 1.1.4.iii. (See
2.10 for a small table offering an analysis of some of the verbs in this unit, with reference
to the in¬nitive or the subjunctive.)
Needless to say, there are some cases where the in¬nitive would certainly not be
used. In the case of, for instance, Le pido/digo que venga conmigo (I ask/tell her/him to come
with me), venir could not replace venga, as would be the case in French (demander/dire
a quelqu™un de venir) and Italian (chiedere/dire a qualcuno di venire), and in English for that
`
matter.

1.1.2 Request
i
Examples
Te pido que te acuestes a las nueve / que lo pagues ahora mismo / ahorita (M) / que no
hagas ruido
I ask you to go to bed at nine / to pay for it right now / not to make a noise
Le suplico que me d´ un poco de comida
e
I beg you to give me a little food
La direcci´n del hotel ruega a los se˜ ores turistas que no malgasten el agua
o n
The hotel management requests clients not to waste water
ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
conseguir, lograr, necesitar, preferir
iii Remarks
a If the subject is the same for the main verb and the complement, an in¬nitive is used:
Examples
El empleado pide hablar con el patron The employee asks to see the boss
Consigo ocultar mis prop´sitos
o I succeed in hiding my intentions
Logran batir el r´cord
e They succeed in beating the record
Pre¬ero comer m´ s temprano
a I prefer to eat earlier
b Rogar may take an in¬nitive when the subjects are different. The following
examples are very common: Se ruega no fumar / Se ruega a los se˜ ores clientes dejar el
n
cuarto (M) / la habitaci´n antes de las once
o

1.1.3 Proposal and suggestion
i
Examples
Juan nos propone que vayamos todos al cine Juan suggests we all go to the movies
Te aconsejo que vuelvas/regreses (second verb more common in M) antes de que
oscurezca I advise you to return before it gets dark
¿Por qu´ sugieres que compremos fruta ahora? Why do you suggest we buy fruit now?
e
El comit´ presiona para que acuda todo el mundo a la reuni´n The committee presses for
e o
everyone to attend the meeting

132
16 Subjunctive



ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
agradecer, animar, bastar, convencer, invitar, m´ s vale (que)
a
iii Remarks
Aconsejar, agradecer, animar, invitar, proponer and sugerir may take a follow-
ing in¬nitive if the subjects are different. (See remark [iii] above under “Command or
order.”)
Examples
Le aconsejo no continuar el viaje I advise him/her not to continue the journey
Te agradezco comprarme el billete / boleto (M) I thank you for buying the ticket for me
Mi mam´ (M) / madre me anima a participar en el concurso My mother encourages me to
a
take part in the competition
Nos invitan a cenar en el restaurante They invite us to dine in the restaurant
Les propongo salir con nosotros I suggest they come out with us

1.1.4 Permission, prohibition, hindrance
i
Examples
El profesor permite que entreguemos los deberes la semana pr´xima The professor/
o
teacher lets us hand in the homework next week
El m´dico me proh´be que beba vino The physician/doctor forbids me to drink wine
e ±
Este carro (M) / coche nos impide que salgamos del estacionamiento (M) / aparcamiento
This car prevents us from getting out of the parking lot / car park
No permito que regres´ is a las diez I cannot allow you to come home at ten
e
ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way
consentir, dejar, oponerse a
iii Remarks
Dejar, impedir, permitir and prohibir may also be followed by an in¬nitive if the
subjects are different. (See remark [iii] under “Command or order.”)
Examples
Mi padre me deja ver la televisi´n My father lets me see television
o
El m´dico no le permite fumar The physician/doctor does not let him smoke
e
¿Por qu´ me proh´bes ir a la pachanga (M) / ¬esta? Why do you forbid me to go to the
e ±
bash?

1.2 Emotion
1.2.1 After expressions of feeling
i
Examples
Me alegro de que los otros chicos puedan venir I am happy that the other boys can come
Conf´o en que apruebe sus ex´ menes I trust that (s)he will get through her/his
a
±
examinations
˜
Me extrana que no lleguen It surprises me that they are not arriving
(Me) temo que Pilar no llegue a tiempo I fear that Pilar won™t arrive in time
Siento que est´ s obligada a irte tan pronto I™m sorry you have to leave so soon
e

133
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
celebrar, encantar, gustar, molestar, tener miedo
iii Remarks
If the subject is the same in the main clause and the complement verb then use an
in¬nitive
Examples
Me encanta ir a la opera I am delighted to be going to the opera
´
No me gusta nadar despu´s de comer tanto I don™t like swimming after eating so much
e
Siento fastidiarte I am sorry to upset you
Me da miedo entrar solo en una casa tan oscura I am frightened to go into such a dark
house all alone

1.2.2 After verbs expressing imagining and wishing
i
Examples
Me ¬guro que lleguen tarde I imagine they will arrive late
Me imagino que sepas/sepais/sepan (M = familiar form) el camino I imagine you
´
know the way
Note also the very common expression ¡Ojala! = Oh that / I wish that. This expression
´
comes from the Arabic Inshallah! (If Allah wills it)
´
¡Ojala (que) se vayan pronto! I wish they™d go soon!
ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
desear, esperar, prever, querer
iii Remarks
Imaginarse and ¬gurarse may also be followed by the indicative, depending upon
the degree of certainty. It is most likely, however, that they would be followed by the
subjunctive if they were in the negative
Example
Me imagino que llega esta tarde but No me imagino que llegue esta tarde
iv If the subject is the same for both the verb of the main clause and of the complement
an in¬nitive is used. In the following examples, the subjunctive would not be
used

Examples
Deseo/espero/quiero ir I want/hope/wish to go
Preveo/tengo previsto salir esta noche I plan to go out tonight


1.3 Doubt
1.3.1 After expressions of denial and doubt or stating a negative idea
i When the main or leading verb expresses denial, uncertainty, doubt or disbelief about
the action of another person or thing, the verb expressing that action is in the
subjunctive:


134
16 Subjunctive



Examples
Niego que mi amigo/cuate (M) sea culpable I deny my friend is guilty
Dudo que tenga raz´n I doubt (s)he is right
o
Apenas puedo creer que diga tal cosa I can hardly believe that (s)he would say such a
thing
No creo que siga viviendo en Nueva York I don™t believe (s)he still lives in New York
¿Puede ser verdad que intente enga˜ arnos? Can it be true (s)he is trying to trick us?
n
No me imagino que ´l cometa un error tan garrafal I can™t imagine that he would make
e
such a colossal error
¿Cree Ud. que quiera rechazar mi oferta? Do you think that (s)he wants to refuse my offer?
No es cierto/seguro que regresen hoy It™s not certain they™ll return today
ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
descartar, desmentir, no decir, no querer decir, no ser
iii Remarks
Certain expressions may be followed by si and the indicative
Examples
Es dudoso / Dudo si puede venir It is doubtful / I doubt if (s)he can come
Ignoro si es correcta la respuesta I don™t know if the reply is right
No es seguro si el cami´n (M) llegar´ a tiempo It is not certain whether the bus will arrive
o a
on time
iv One important point of usage in Mexico: when the future is implied with a degree
of uncertainty, No se si tengan razon is standard usage. In Iberian Spanish this would
´ ´
be: No se si tienen razon
´ ´

1.3.2 After expressions of possibility and probability, risk and danger
i
acaso perhaps
quiz´ (s)
a perhaps
tal vez perhaps
posiblemente possibly
es posible que it is possible that
puede ser que perhaps
(se) puede que perhaps
probablemente probably
es probable que it is probable that

Examples
´
Quiza(s) venga ma˜ ana Perhaps (s)he™ll come tomorrow
n
Tal vez vaya en enero Perhaps I™ll/(s)he™ll go in January
Posiblemente est´ enferma, no s´ She™s possibly sick/ill, I don™t know
e
e
Probablemente tus amigos vayan al cine Your pals/friends are probably going to the
movies
Se puede que tu mam´ (M) / madre tenga prisa Your mother may be in a hurry
a
Se corre el riesgo de que pierdan el tren si no les doy el horario They risk missing the
train if I don™t give them the schedule/timetable

135
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




Si bajamos por aqu´ correremos el peligro de que los ni˜ os se caigan If we go down
± n
this way there™s the danger that the children will fall
Lo peligroso es que se extienda la infecci´n
o
The danger is that the infection will spread
ii Note also: que yo sepa (as far as I know), que yo recuerde (as far as I remember)
iii Remark
If the expressions occur after the verb the indicative is normally used:
Examples
´
Vienen esta tarde, posiblemente / quiza(s) / tal vez / probablemente


1.4 After certain impersonal verbs and expressions
(This often involves value judgments.)
i
Examples
Conviene que Ud. se lo avise It is wise/sensible you warn him about it
Importa que tomen (M) / cojan el tren de las cinco It is important they catch the ¬ve
o™clock train
Basta que yo diga una cosa para que ella me lleve la contraria I only have to say one thing for
her to say the opposite
ii Other verbs functioning in a similar way:
Hace falta, es una pena, precisar
iii Remarks
When the subject of the main verb is not properly de¬ned, an in¬nitive may be used
Examples
Basta (con) meter la comida en el horno You only have to put the meal in the oven
No me conviene ¬rmar el contrato It does not suit me to sign the contract
Importa in¬‚ar las ruedas It is important to pump up the tires


1.5 When ser and estar are used impersonally, and are
followed by an adjective or an adverb
i
Examples
Es necesario/preciso que estemos listos It is important we be ready
´
Es inutil que trabajes tanto It is pointless working so hard
Es rar´simo que llegue tan tarde It™s very rare for her/him to arrive so late
±
Es dudoso que venga / tenga cuarenta a˜ os It™s doubtful that (s)he will come / is forty
n
years old
´
No esta bien que hagas tus deberes tan de prisa It™s not good for you to do your homework
so quickly
Es triste que sufra tanto It™s sad (s)he is suffering so much

136
16 Subjunctive



ii Other adjectives and expressions that function in the same way:

Es
bueno/imperativo/importante/incre´ble/inevitable/justo/l´ stima/l´gico/mejor/natural/normal/
± a o
previsible
But:
´
Esta previsto
Examples
´
Es lastima que no vengas It™s a pity you can™t come
Es incre´ble que corra los cien metros en nueve segundos coma cinco
±
It™s incredible she can run the hundred meters in nine point ¬ve seconds
´
Esta previsto que salga el tren a las tres
The train is due to leave at three o™clock
iii Remarks
These expressions may be followed by an in¬nitive if there is no properly de¬ned subject:
Examples
Es mejor telefonear ahorita (M) / ahora It™s better to phone now
Es imperativo consultar al doctor (M) / m´dico It is imperative to consult the
e
physician/doctor
´
No es logico ponerte sandalias si llueve It™s not logical to put on sandals if it™s raining
No es bueno pasar tanto tiempo al sol It™s not good to spend so much time in the sun


1.6 After conjunctive expressions
i The subjunctive follows many conjunctions and conjunctive expressions. They usually
involve supposition, purpose and concession:

a ¬n de que como
in order that if
de manera que como si
so that as if
de modo que con tal que
so that provided that
para que / por que en caso de que
in order that in case
a condici´n (de) que
o siempre que
on condition that whenever
a no ser que supuesto que
unless supposing that
aun cuando sin que
even if without
aunque a menos que
although except
bien que excepto que
although except

Examples
Cierran las ventanas a ¬n de que no se oigan los ruidos de la calle
They close the windows so that you can™t hear the noise from the street
Alza la voz de manera que todos te oigan bien Speak more loudly so that everyone can
hear you properly
Deja el libro aqu´ de manera / de modo que yo pueda leerlo Leave the book here so I
±
can read it
Ll´vame a la estaci´n para que yo compre un peri´dico Take me to the station so that I can
e o o
buy a newspaper

137
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




Cierro la puerta por que nadie escuche lo que hablamos I close the door so that no one can
hear what we are saying
´
Te ayudo a condicion de que me reembolses I™ll help you on condition you reimburse
me
Como no vengan a las seis no puedo salir If they don™t come / you don™t come (M) at six,
I™ll not be able to go out
En caso de que no pueda acudir, te aviso In case / If I can™t come, I™ll let you know
ii Remarks
When the subjects of the main and subordinate clauses are the same an in¬nitive is used
in the subordinate clause
A ¬n de terminar pronto el equipaje, lo meto todo en una maleta
In order to ¬nish the packing soon, I™ll put it all in one suitcase
Me quedo aqu´ todo el d´a para concluir el asunto
± ±
I™ll stay here all day to complete the deal
iii Aunque. When meaning even if, aunque is followed by the subjunctive, but when it
means although, implying certainty, it is followed by the indicative
aunque pague el viaje even if (s)he pays for the journey
aunque paga el viaje although (s)he pays for the journey
iv Como does not always take the subjunctive. When it means as or since or how, it is
followed by the indicative:

¿C´mo lo haces?
o How do you do it?
Como llueve, es mejor no salir As it™s raining, it™s best not to go out

Exercises Level 1
i Change the in¬nitive into the correct form of the subjunctive:

Examples
Su mam´ (M) / madre le dice que comer el bocadillo > . . . que coma el . . .
a
El profesor les recomienda que hacer sus deberes inmediatamente > . . . que hagan
sus . . .
a Mi padre me dice que hacer mis deberes enseguida
b Dile que volver a casa
c El sargento manda a las tropas que retirarse
d El primer ministro presiona para que su gabinete aceptar su juicio
e Te recomiendo que ir a ver la pel´cula
±
f Urge que (all personal pronouns) comprar los boletos (M) / billetes
g El entrenador ordena que descansar su equipo
h Su madre decide que estudiar en casa todos los hijos
i El padre vela por que los ni˜ os acostarse temprano
n
ii Translate the following sentences into Spanish. Careful, since not all these sentences
need a subjunctive.
a The teacher orders the students to remain quiet
b The boss demands that we work harder
c It is urgent we take her to hospital
d I decide to do all my homework right now

138
16 Subjunctive



e I need you to help me
f The law decrees that we all do military service
g They always insist we pay for the tickets
iii Rewrite the following jumbled sentences in the correct word order, and put the
appropriate verb in the subjunctive “ if required, for it is not always necessary
Example
t´ pre¬ero carro (M) otro comprar que > Pre¬ero que (t´ ) compres otro carro
u u
a venir le que pido
b mi Ud. petici´ n a ruego a atender que le
o
c ahora t´ que pre¬ero a yo casa regresar
u
d carro (M) manejar consigue el ella yo siempre que
e que siempre el profesor ex´ menes alumnos aprobar logra sus los
a
f diez cien correr logra metros segundos en el los
´
g esconder mi consigo intenci´ n
o
h enfadarse suplico no que os
iv Translate into Spanish:
a She always encourages me to work harder (2 ways)
b We invite our friends to have an evening meal with us (2 ways)
c May I suggest that we all go together?
d We sometimes advise our clients to take a vacation/holiday in Mexico (2 ways)
e It is best for you to cut the grass now
f Our parents always press us into taking lots of physical exercise
g It is suf¬cient for you to read just these three books
h I must persuade you to eat less sugar and fat, and more fruit
v Write out six sentences, using the verbs proponer and sugerir in the main clause,
and then followed by a subjunctive in the subordinate clause. Try also to make up
two sentences where these two verbs may be followed by an in¬nitive.
Examples
Su amigo nos propone que vayamos al parque / Su amigo nos propone ir al parque
Me sugiere que cambie de trabajo / Me sugiere cambiar de trabajo
vi Put the correct form of the subjunctive in the following sentences:
Examples
Les impide salir a la calle > Les impide que salgan a la calle
Mi pap´ (M) / padre me permite andar en bicicleta > . . . me permite que ande en . . .
a
Note. In both these cases an in¬nitive may be used. In other words, the
original sentences may stand as they are
Les impide salir a la calle Mi pap´ me permite andar en bicicleta
a
a Te proh´bo que ver la televisi´ n a esta hora
± o
b El tap´ n impide que salir el agua
o
c No puedo permitir que los ni˜ os jugar con fuegos arti¬ciales
n
d El l´der se opone a que se hacer declaraciones a los periodistas
±
vii Write a short passage of four lines using the subjunctive mood dependent on dejar,
impedir, permitir and prohibir.


139
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




viii Unravel the following jumbled sentences, and put the appropriate verb into the
correct form of the subjunctive or indicative. There may be a case where the
subjunctive is not necessarily required. On the other hand, if you are smart
enough, you may be able to use a subjunctive in every sentence
Example
casa ser cara extra˜ a la que me > Me extra˜ a que la casa sea cara
n n
a el triste que tan lamentar mucho estar yo
´
b t´ sentir no poder venir yo que
u
c que acompa˜ ar Uds. (M) / vosotros encantar nos nos
n
d miedo que decir la tener verdad yo el de
´
e hacer molestar ruido me tanto chicos los que
f ser alegrarse as´ que de
±
g la todos celebrar venir boda a que
h no no venir Navidades me para extra˜ ar que ellos
n
i desear juntos ella ir nosotros que
j ¬n llover de esperar este semana que no
jugar ellos (al) f´ tbol yo querer tarde (que) esta (no al in Mexico)
k u
l previsto hacer semana sol est´ esta toda que
a

ix You meet a friend you have not seen for a long time. Write a small dialogue, using
the subjunctive wherever you can, not forgetting that indicatives are possible too

x Here you have a puzzle. Find the verbs in the subjunctive. There are ten: ¬ve
irregular verbs, one verb with a stem change, and four regular verbs. What are the
in¬nitives of these verbs?

O E C H E N
D E I S S A
I S E A T D
G T R L A E
A I R G L M
N R E A L O
P E S T E S


xi Complete the sentence by adding the correct form of the indicative leading to the
subjunctive which is already in the sentence. In some cases, more than one verb, or
expression, is possible
Example
( ) que llegue a tiempo > No creo / Es posible / No es posible/probable que llegue a
tiempo
a ( ) que sepa hablar japon´ s
e
b ¿( ) que corra el riesgo de perder todo su dinero?
c ( ) que quiera ir con nosotros
d ( ) que su madre lo sepa
e ( ) la posibilidad de que puedan ayudarnos
f ( ) que sean colombianos
g ( ) que me vaya a devolver los veinte d´ lares que le prest´ ayer
o e

140
16 Subjunctive



xii You are in a restaurant, with a friend. You try to persuade your friend to agree with
your choices. Write a small dialogue, using the following verbs or expressions
which lead to the subjunctive.
Querer, preferir, pedir, dudar, es raro, sugerir, es una pena, proponer
xiii Using the words or expressions in 1.3.2 (from acaso), ¬ll in the gaps in the
following sentences, bearing in mind that a number of these expressions are
interchangeable:

a ( ) se vayan todos
b ( ) sean hermanos
xiv Translate the following sentences into Spanish

a It is better that you remain here
b It is predicted that all the shares will go up
c I think it is natural that children make a lot of noise
d It™s incredible that they are enjoying themselves
e Why do you say that it is logical they don™t want to come?
f It is always important you do your best in the examination
g She™s hurt herself, so it™s important we take her to hospital
h It is imperative you learn to drive safely
i It is suf¬cient that you work thirty-¬ve hours a week
j It is sad they cannot come before next week
k It™s not normal to drink gallons of water
l It is to be hoped that the business will/may soon be sorted out
xv Fill in the gaps at the end of the sentences with conjunctive expressions and a
subordinate clause in the subjunctive. It is possible that more than one expression
will suit the meaning of the sentence
Example
Puedo sacar los billetes ahora ( ) > Puedo sacar los billetes ahora con tal que / a
condici´ n de que me des el dinero
o
a Preparo la cena ahora ( )
b Te doy dinero ( )
c No me muevo de aqu´ ( )
±
d Vamos a Madrid pasado ma˜ ana ( )
n
e Hay que sacar unos cheques de viaje ( )
f Estoy dispuesta a coger / tomar (M) el taxi ( )
g ¿Me puedes llevar a la estaci´ n de ferrocarril ( )
o
h El obrero sale de la o¬cina cada d´a ( )
±
i No puedo ir al cine ( )
j Le compro botas de agua al peque˜ o ( )
n
xvi Paired activity
Objective “ To use the subjunctive following negative statements
Method “ A offers ten sentences/opinions with the main verb in the af¬rmative. B
then uses the same main verb, but in the negative. A™s subordinate clause will be in the
indicative but B™s subordinate clause will be in the subjunctive mood.

141
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




Example

A: Pienso (main clause) que llegan (subordinate clause) esta tarde
B: No pienso que lleguen esta tarde

A can use the following verbs/expressions: pensar, creer, decir, estar seguro, es cierto,
imaginarse, querer decir, ¬gurarse, considerar, prever, a¬rmar, con¬rmar, asegurar
You can then reverse the order. B makes a negative statement with the same verbs/
expressions above involving the subjunctive, and A removes the negative in the main
clause and puts the main clause in the indicative mood.
Level 2
2.1 Noun clauses (Oraciones con nombres)
2.2 Impersonal expressions of passive value made up of ser + de + in¬nitive +
que . . . (Expresiones impersonales de valor pasivo: ser + de + in¬nitivo +
que . . .)
2.3 After certain relative and imprecise pronouns. Similarly, after a relative when
the preceding clause is negative, restrictive or interrogative (Tras ciertos
pronombres relativos que no son precisos. Tras un pronombre relativo cuando
´
la oracion anterior es negativa, restrictiva o interrogativa)
2.4 After inde¬nite expressions formed by quiera, suggesting (what)ever (Tras
expresiones inde¬nidas formadas por quiera)
2.5 Following the construction por (muy) . . . que = however (Tras la construccion
´
por [muy] . . . que)
2.6 Perfect subjunctive (Subjuntivo perfecto)
2.7 Imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives (Subjuntivos imperfecto y
pluscuamperfecto)
2.8 Imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives with conditional sentences
´
(Subjuntivos imperfecto y pluscuamperfecto / antecopreterito [M] con frases
en condicional)
2.9 Temporal clauses (Oraciones temporales)
2.10 Use of the subjunctive or in¬nitive after the main clause (Uso del subjuntivo
´ ´
o in¬nitivo despues de la oracion principal)



2.1 Noun clauses
The subjunctive is used in noun clauses which correspond to uses, notably connected to
verbs, described at various points in level 1.
Ejemplos
el deseo que lo haga the wish that (s)he do it
la necesidad de que salgamos ahora the need that we go out now
la esperanza de que lea el libro the hope that (s)he™ll read the book
la duda de que lo sepa the doubt whether (s)he knows
la posibilidad de que no haya agua the possibility that there is no water
la incertidumbre de que apruebe el examen the uncertainty whether (s)he™ll get
through the examination

142
16 Subjunctive




2.2 The impersonal expressions of passive value,
composed of ser connected with a following
in¬nitive by de
These constructions are of a slightly higher register value.
Ejemplos
Es de esperar que llegue el tren a tiempo It is to be hoped the train will arrive on time
Es de temer(se) que los gastos excedan a los ingresos It is to be feared that expenses will
exceed income
Es de desear que llueva despu´s de una sequ´a tan prolongada It is to be hoped that it will
e ±
rain after such a prolonged drought


2.3 After a relative pronoun or adverb
This involves time, place or manner when this is de¬nitely not known. Similarly, after
a relative when the clause preceding it is negative, restrictive or interrogative. The real
question here is uncertainty. Numerous examples are provided here for clari¬cation of
what is a more dif¬cult area.
i
Ejemplos
Me hace falta un gu´a que hable portugu´s I need a guide who speaks Portuguese
± e
Notice here that if you said Me hace falta el gu´a . . . , the rest of the sentence would
±
be que habla portugu´ s. The indicative habla re¬‚ects the certainty of el gu´a as
e ±
opposed to un gu´a (i.e. any guide).
±
No tardaremos en encontrar alguien que conozca el camino It™ll not be long before we
¬nd someone who knows the way
El profesor ha prometido un regalo al primero que termine correctamente el ejercicio The
professor/teacher has promised a present for the ¬rst one who gets the exercise right
Si quieres un televisor que sea de alta calidad, elige ´ste If you want a television set which is
e
of high quality, choose this one
Me quedar´ aqu´ hasta que regresen mis pap´ s (M) / padres I™ll stay here until my
± a
e
parents come back
´
Iremos al teatro despu´ s de que comais / coman (M) We™ll go to the theater after
e
you have eaten
Tuerce para la derecha cuando llegues al sem´ foro Turn to the right when you get to the
a
stop lights / traf¬c lights
¿Me puedes llamar cuando regreses a casa? Can you call me when you get home?
Har´ el trabajo cuando quieras I™ll do the work when you want
e
Yo podr´a organizar la ¬esta como quieras I could organize the party as you like
±
No conozco a nadie que sea capaz de . . . I know no one capable of . . .
´
No hallo (M) / encuentro ningun plomero (M) / fontanero que pueda arreglar esta llave
(M) / este grifo I can™t ¬nd a single plumber who can repair this faucet/tap
Aqu´ no hay nada que me interese There is nothing here that interests me
±
Son tan parecidos en todo que no hay quien los distinga They are so similar in every way
that no one can distinguish between them
Evita que los ni˜ os no lo / lo molesten Make sure the children don™t trouble him
n

143
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




ii Note
The expression independientemente de lo que may be suitably dealt with here.

Ejemplos
Independientemente de lo que hayas hecho / de lo que pienses / de lo que
crea yo . . .
Quite apart from what you have done / of what you think / of what I believe . . .
iii Remarks
A very common alternative to the subjunctive in the subordinate clause is the use of
al + in¬nitive.

Ejemplos
Tuerce para la derecha al llegar al sem´ foro Turn right when you reach the stop lights /
a
traf¬c lights
Al terminar mi trabajo ir´ contigo When I ¬nish my work I™ll come with you
e
Al lograr la victoria disfrutaron de una excelente comida When they won they enjoyed an
excellent evening meal
iv Note also the idiomatic use of al when the subject is different in the main and
subordinate clause. You would logically expect the subjunctive to be used here.

Ejemplos
´
Al llegar yo, (i.e. Cuando llegue yo) podras tocar el piano
¿Puedes darme (M) / echarme una mano al volver yo (i.e. cuando vuelva / regrese [M]
yo) esta tarde?


2.4 The subjunctive follows the inde¬nite expressions
formed by adding quiera to relative pronouns
and adverbs
This corresponds to the idea of “-ever.”
Ejemplos
quienquiera que sea whoever (s)he/you may be
dondequiera que se encuentre Ud. wherever you are
cuandoquiera que vuelvan whenever they return
comoquiera que trabajes however you work
cualquiera disculpa que ofrezca whatever excuse he offers
There are a number of other expressions which may suitably be mentioned here:
digas lo que digas whatever you say
*dijera lo que dijera whatever (s)he/you said
venga de donde venga wherever you/(s)he come(s) from
*viniera de donde viniera wherever she came from
sea como sea be that as it may
*See the imperfect subjunctive later in this level


144
16 Subjunctive




2.5 The subjunctive is also followed by the construction
por (muy) . . . que, the interval being ¬lled by an
adjective or an adverb
Ejemplos
por (muy) listos que sean however smart/intelligent they are
por (muy) atrevida que sea however daring she is
por mucho que insistas however much you insist


2.6 Perfect subjunctive
The perfect subjunctive follows a main verb in the present or future tense. It represents
an action which is completed. It is less used than the present or the imperfect subjunctive.
It is made up of the present subjunctive of haber and the past participle of the verb in
question
Ejemplos
Es un milagro que no se haya roto la pierna It™s a miracle (s)he hasn™t broken her/his leg
Cuando lo hayas le´do, devu´lveme el libro When you™ve read it, return the book to me
e
±


2.7 Imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives
i With the present and perfect subjunctives, we have seen the main cases where the
subjunctive mood is required. All the illustrations have been con¬ned to the
present and perfect tenses. As far as the imperfect subjunctive is concerned, we only
have to consider which tenses to use. For example, para que is followed by the
present subjunctive or the imperfect subjunctive, depending on whether reference is
to the present or the past. Consider the two following cases in which para que is
used.
Me da la carta para que la eche al buz´n (S)he gives me the letter so that I™ll mail/post
o
it
Me dio la carta para que la echara al buz´n (S)he gave me the letter so that I would
o
mail/post it
In the ¬rst case, eche is the present subjunctive because the main verb da is in the
present tense. In the second case, echara is the imperfect subjunctive because the
main verb dio is in the past or preterit tense.

ii Before we consider all the endings of the imperfect subjunctive, it should be pointed
out that there are basically two forms, -ara and -ase. Take, for instance, the verb
hablar:
Era necesario que la madre hablara con su hijo
Era necesario que la madre hablase con su hijo

For all normal purposes, the two forms are used in a similar way, but see
remark 2 below.

145
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




iii Forms of the imperfect subjunctive with regular verbs

hablar vender vivir
hablara/hablase vendiera/vendiese viviera/viviese
hablaras/hablases vendieras/vendieses vivieras/vivieses
hablara/hablase vendiera/vendiese viviera/viviese
´ ´
hablaramos/hablasemos vendi´ ramos/vendi´ semos vivi´ ramos/vivi´ semos
e e e e
hablarais/hablaseis vendierais/vendieseis vivierais/vivieseis
hablaran/hablasen vendieran/vendiesen vivieran/viviesen

iv Remarks
1 The two forms of the imperfect subjunctive are used after a main verb in the
present or imperfect tense that refers to an action that is wholly past.
2 The -ase form is less used in Peninsular Spanish while in Mexico it is little used, if
at all. Indeed, Mexicans do not use it in speech, only the -ara form.

Ejemplos
Hay/Hab´a gente que duda/dudaba que el mismo autor escribiera/escribiese todos estos libros
±
There are/were people who doubt(ed) whether the same author wrote all these books
No creo/cre´a que fuera/fuese culpable I don™t/didn™t think he was guilty
±
A mi me extra˜ a/extra˜ aba que viviera/viviese treinta a˜ os en Los Angeles I am/was
n n n
surprised (s)he lived in Los Angeles for thirty years
Siento/Sent´a que se enfadara/enfadase tanto I am/was sorry she got so angry
±
Es/Era muy triste que pasara/pasase toda su vida en condiciones tan dif´ciles It is/was very
±
sad that (s)he spent her/his whole life in such dif¬cult conditions
v There are occasions when an imperfect tense could be followed by a subjunctive in
the present tense. In other words, the sequence of tenses may be broken. Take the
two following cases:
´
Nego (past) que existiera/exista (universal principle) una relaci´n directa entre la comida y
o
la salud She denied there was a direct relationship between food and health
´
Se le pidio (past) al Presidente que buscara/busque (he hasn™t done it yet) una soluci´no
The president was asked to ¬nd a solution
vi Here is a sample of the imperfect subjunctive forms of some irregular verbs. It is
helpful to remember that the imperfect subjunctive -ara form comes from the root
of the third person plural of the preterit, e.g. dieron > diera, dijeron > dijera

diera dieras diera di´ ramos dierais dieran
dar e
diese dieses diese di´ semos dieseis diesen
(give) e
dijera dijeras dijera dij´ ramos dijerais dijeran
decir e
dijese dijeses dijese dij´ semos dijeseis dijesen
(say) e
estuviera estuvieras estuviera estuvi´ ramos estuvierais estuvieran
estar e
estuviese estuvieses estuviese estuvi´ semos estuvieseis estuviesen
(be) e
hubiera hubieras hubiera hubi´ ramos hubierais hubieran
haber e
hubiese hubieses hubiese hubi´ semos hubieseis hubiesen
(have) e
hiciera hicieras hiciera hici´ ramos hicierais hicieran
hacer e
hiciese hicieses hiciese hici´ semos hicieseis hiciesen
(make) e
fuera fueras fuera fu´ ramos fuerais fueran
ir e
fuese fueses fuese fu´ semos fueseis fuesen
(go) e

146
16 Subjunctive



quisiera quisieras quisiera quisi´ ramos quisierais quisieran
querer e
quisiese quisieses quisiese quisi´ semos quisieseis quisiesen
(wish) e
ser SAME AS IR
(be)
tuviera tuvieras tuviera tuvi´ ramos tuvierais tuvieran
tener e
tuviese tuvieses tuviese tuvi´ semos tuvieseis tuviesen
(have) e
vii Imperfect subjunctive of two radical changing verbs

dormir pedir
durmiera/durmiese pidiera/pidiese
durmieras/durmieses pidieras/pidieses
durmiera/durmiese pidiera/pidiese
durmi´ ramos/durmi´ semos pidi´ ramos/pidi´ semos
e e e e
durmierais/durmieseis pidierais/pidieseis
durmieran/durmiesen pidieran/pidiesen


2.8 Imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives with
conditional sentences
i The imperfect subjunctive or pluperfect subjunctive (but never the present
subjunctive) is used after si when the condition is improbable or impossible. Por si =
in case is also used in this way. It should be pointed out that por si is followed by the
´
indicative in the present tense: e.g., Por si viene lo hare In case she comes I™ll do it

ii The pluperfect subjunctive is largely con¬ned to si clauses, involving the imperfect
subjunctive of the verb haber and a past participle. The pattern is:
a Si + imperfect subjunctive with the conditional in the second non-si clause
b Si + pluperfect subjunctive with pluperfect subjunctive or conditional in the past in
the second non-si clause

Ejemplos
Si tuvieras/tuvieses un mill´n de d´lares, ¿qu´ har´as? If you had a million dollars,
o o e ±
what would you do?
Si tu padre pagara/pagase el viaje, ¿vendr´as conmigo? If your father paid for the
±
journey would you come with me?
Si yo viniera ma˜ ana se lo dir´a If I came tomorrow I™d tell her/him
n ±
Por si hiciera fr´o me llev´ el abrigo In case it was cold I took my coat
± e
Por si llegara temprano, saqu´ el carro del garage (M) / de la cochera (M) / coche del garaje para
e
ir al teatro en seguida In case (s)he arrived early I got the car out of the garage to go
straight to the theater
Si yo lo hubiera/hubiese sabido no habr´a/hubiera/hubiese ido If I had
±
known, I would not have gone
Si ella hubiera/hubiese tenido bastante dinero se habr´a/hubiera/hubiese
±
comprado una casa If she had had enough money she would have bought a house
Si hubi´ ramos/hubi´ semos ido a M´xico habr´amos/hubi´ ramos/
e
e e ± e
hubi´ semos podido visitar a nuestros amigos/cuates (M) If we had gone to Mexico we
e
could have visited our friends

147
A STUDENT GRAMMAR OF SPANISH




iii Remarks
Since the subjunctive is used in all temporal clauses referring to the future, an imperfect
subjunctive is used in the following cases. The imperfect subjunctive is not used with a
si clause when the future is not referred to but rather something occurring in the past.
See the last two separated examples below.
iv
Ejemplos
Prometi´ llamarnos cuando llegara / hubiera llegado (pluperfect of subjunctive “ see
o
level 2.8) a casa
(S)he promised to call us when she (had) arrived home
Me compromet´ a ayudarlos mientras estuviera en Chihuahua
±
I committed myself to helping them when I was in Chihuahua
Les dijo que les ofrecer´a una cena cuando estuvieran en San Crist´bal de las Casas
± o
(S)he told them that (s)he would offer them an evening meal when they were in . . .
Me coment´ que lo m´ s f´ cil ser´a que ´l nos visitara cuando se encontrara en la zona
o aa ± e
(S)he told me that the easiest thing to do was for him to visit us when he was in the area
Yo jugaba todo el d´a si mi mam´ (M) / madre se quedaba en casa
± a
I played all day long if my mother was at home
Si mi marido trabajaba en el jard´n yo lo/le ayudaba
±
If my husband worked in the garden I would help him


2.9 Temporal clauses
i After the following conjunctive expressions of time, the subjunctive is required when
uncertainty is implied. This often implies a future idea (see unit 6 for the future)

a medida que luego que
while as soon as
antes de que mientras que
before while
despu´s de que
e siempre que
after whenever
en cuanto ya que
as far as as soon as
cuando hasta que
when until
una vez que (esperar/aguardar) a que
once (to wait) until
a los pocos d´as de que
± a las pocas horas de que
a few days after a few hours after
desde que since

Ejemplos
Hay que volver a casa antes de que llueva We ought to go home before it rains
Te llamar´ despu´ s de que mi mam´ haga la compra I™ll call you after mom/mum has
e a
e
done the shopping
Cuando llegues prepara la comida When you arrive get the meal ready
Luego que termine el trabajo ir´ al cine As soon as I™ve ¬nished work I™ll go to the movies
e
Qu´date aqu´ hasta que vuelva mi amigo / regrese mi cuate (M) Stay here until my pal
e ±
comes back
Espero en casa a que vuelvas I™ll wait at home until you come back
ii It must be emphasized that when the conjunctive expressions of time refer to the
future and therefore imply uncertainty, the subjunctive is necessary, as seen in the

148
16 Subjunctive



examples, but, when most of these expressions refer speci¬cally to the past, an
indicative is required.

Ejemplos
Mientras que ella le´a el peri´dico yo cocinaba While she read the newspaper I cooked
± o
A medida que pasaba el tiempo se volv´a m´ s desagradable As time passed he became more and
±a

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