ASK A QUESTION Subjunctive/Indicative mood usage in cuando-clause
I have read in several articles that in a cuando-clause, use present subjunctive if the event has not taken place yet, otherwise, use indicative. This article is one of the references: http://spanish.about.com/od/verbmoods/a ... nctive.htm
So, I want to better understand the reason behind such mood choice.
What's the "logic" behind the above usage convention?
Here is my guess:
If something has not happened yet, no one can declare it, in other words, the event in the cuando-clause has not been materialized yet, so it cannot belong to anyone yet.
The logic behind this convention is a condition or fact that exists. The condition is, ie: "cuando llueve, los arboles se mojan " ... "when it rains, the trees become wet."
The same is true with "If clauses," ie ..... "Si llueve, no trabajamos" ... "If it rains, we don't work."
With these types of sentences we are not indicating any particular mood, but in other types where a nuance can be created by the speaker, subjunctive may or may not be chosen over indicative, so there are many times that relying on so-called "triggers" of subjunctive can produce a mood that you have not intended.
They way I understand the subjunctive with "cuando" is. If the event has already happened then you declare it. If the event is yet to happen, then you obviously can't declare it, as it might never happen!
Cuando regresé a la casa, ya habia salido mi mujer.
When I returned home, my wife had already left. ie I am declaring a fact
Cuando regrese a la casa quiero ver la televisión.
When I return home I want to watch tv. ie here I use the subjunctive because I can't declare with certainty that I actually will get home!
This is just my understanding lol, it may be waaaaaaaaaay wrong, so please take it with a pinch of salt!!
With these types of sentences we are not indicating any particular mood
I like this statement, it shines some new light onto the indicative/subjunctive usages. Can you elaborate?
This comment might exceed the length that can be put in the comment field so I am putting it in as a reply. "Cuando regrese a la casa quiero ver la televisión." I do not think that this is quite the way it works. The "cuano" in the main clause introduces doubt (even though you may be pretty sure that you are going home.) That doubt results in the use of the subjunctive in the subordinate clause "... quiera ver la televisión." I think that is what mi amigo nuevo, JulianChivi was driving at. I am drifting off the the subject a little now but "cuando" when talking about something that happened often invlolves the use of the imperfect tense. "Estaba (imperect) leyendo un libro cuando sonó el teléfono." because the stage is being set for what happened.