HomeQ&A"Quería asegurarme de que ella lo comprendía/comprendiera"

"Quería asegurarme de que ella lo comprendía/comprendiera"

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Hola a todos de nuevo. En la frase arriba (de arriba'), ¿se tiene que usar el imperfecto del indicativo o el del subjuntivo? Creo que el del subjuntivo es lo correcto, porque no se puede declarar que la persona lo comprenda, sólo se trata de asegurarse de eso. Pero, no estoy seguro.

Y, como siempre, por favor corrígeme algunos errores que ves en este mensaje. (Jeje, creo que hice unos errores, especialmente en la frase que empieza con "sólo se trataba de asegurarse...)

Saludos grin

8978 views
updated AGO 7, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina

18 Answers

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Where did the quote button go? Never mind.

Nick Cortina said, in an unnumbered post somewhere up there:

Can this also work with "(no) querer, (no) permitir, etc." in the past? For example in "Quiero que limpies el baño" you can not declare that the person will clean the bathroom. But can you say "Quería que limpiaste el baño" to mean "I wanted you to clean the bathroom (and you did)"?

No, it can't, because those are verbs of influence. My quote earlier was about verbs of perception "física o mental", as they're labeled in the book, and in the negative form. They behave differently. Your verbs above go with the subjunctive.

If you're so inclined, you can shoehorn this into a very creative understanding about what's known when etc., but you don't have to. I've found it easier to understand the different ways unrelated types of verbs behave, and they gray areas between them. Those gray areas are a never-ending source of more or less interesting discussion, by the way.

Saludos smile

updated AGO 7, 2009
edited by Vikingo
posted by Vikingo
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Don't apologize, Nick. These things help all of us. And since language is a complicated subject, sometimes answers to questions breed more questions, in the form of affirmation, clarification, or exception.

I think all of your sentences/reasoning are correct, except for the last one. I'll let Lazarus (or someone else) explain why, but I think you need the imperfect subjunctive there. (I wanted you to cleaned the bathroom. '? I wanted that you cleaned the bathroom. '') Maybe you could use the imperfect indicative here, but I think a separate clause would be necessary to indicate if he cleaned it or not. Anyway, lets see what the experts say.

updated AGO 5, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Wow - I feel like all of these discussions are turning everything I thought I knew about th subjunctive on its head, haha! So, basically, you can use the indicative with "no creer, no saber, no ver, etc." in the past if you want to declare that the event/situation you are talking about happened, but you did not think/know it at the time.

I'm going to write a couple of examples, and try to justify their use of the indicative. Please tell me if my reasoning is off:

No creía que él estaba allí. (I didn't think that he was there [but I am declaring that he was, in fact, there].
No sabía que ella limpió el baño. (I didn't know that she cleaned the bathroom [I didn't know at the time, but now I do, so I am declaring that she did clean it).
No vi que había una tormenta (I didn't see that there was a storm. [I did t see it at the time, but I now know that there was indeed a storm.]

Can this also work with "(no) querer, (no) permitir, etc." in the past? For example in "Quiero que limpies el baño" you can not declare that the person will clean the bathroom. But can you say "Quería que limpiaste el baño" to mean "I wanted you to clean the bathroom (and you did)"?

Am I on the right track with my examples? Sorry for the long post and millions of questions, I just want to make sure I fully understand this. grin

updated AGO 5, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
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"No sabía que vinieron a la fiesta." = I didn't know (that) they came to the party. (preterite indicative)

"No sabía que vinieran a la fiesta." = I didn't know that they would come/might come to the party. (I'm not sure about this one Nick. I'm not sure about the proper use of the mood, or the nuance if it is correct with the subjunctive mood. Let's wait for a native to answer here.)

The second one is a bit strange, because "viniera" would only be in atemporal and non declarative way, ie, when you can't (or don't want to) declare whether they've come and/or they will come. You can say "No sabía que vienieran a las fiestas"

"No sabía que vendrían a la fiesta" = I didn't know that they would (e.g., be willing to) come to the party.

"No sabía que venían a la fiesta." = I didn't know (that) they were coming to the party. (imperfect indicative)

The first looks, from a past perspective, at a future event (vendrán a la fiesta), and the second one, at a possibility that initially preceded that moment, but whose limit is not marked (ie. they were coming).

"No sabía si venían a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they were coming to the party.

"No sabía si vendrían a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they would come to the party.

These sentences are typical "si" = "wether" ones. You didn't know which one, between two possible outcomes, was the correct one.

"No sabía si vinieran a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they would (be willing/able to) come to the party. (This one I'm not 100% sure about either, Nick.)

Typical "si/whether" sentences are about choosing between two mutually exclusive options (where one is the real one and the other is not), and although there are some unusual (nearly obsolete) cases with present subjunctive, it doesn't seem to make much sense to use the imperfect subjunctive: when you say "no saber si", your lack the facts on whether it is one outcome or the opposite, but what's the point in declaring that you don't know whether the hypothetical outcome is a hypothetical one or the opposite of a hypothetical one? Too much, I think.

updated AGO 5, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Does that rule also work with "no saber" in the past? For example...

No sabía que vinieran a la fiesta vs. No sabía que vinieron a la fiesta?

Can you use the indicative to declare that they did indeed come to the party, but at the time you did not know it?

Sure. Let me quote a bit from a book that's already on your wish list for your birthday, J. Borrego et al, "El subjuntivo: valores y usos":

(1) a. Juan no vio que venían los aviones.

b. Juan no vio que vinieran los aviones.

(2) a. Juan no sabía que era fiesta.

b. Juan no sabía que fuera fiesta.

(3) a. Juan no cree que hay un peligro inminente.

b. Juan no cree que haya un peligro inminente.

La diferencia que en general se percibe entre a y b es que con a el hablante da a entender al oyente que venían los aviones, que era fiesta o que hay un peligro inminente, pero que Juan no lo vio, no lo sabía o no lo cree. Con b, en cambio, se dice también que Juan no vio, no sabía *o *no cree, pero el hablante no se manifiesta sobre la verdad de lo que sigue, bien porque no sabe si es o no verdad, bien porque su interlocutor ya lo sabe, bien porque no considere necesario manifestarse.

They go into depth on the subject in the following 4 pages, and note that (3) is in the present tense.

Saludos smile

updated AGO 5, 2009
posted by Vikingo
0
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Does that rule also work with "no saber" in the past? For example...

No sabía que vinieran a la fiesta vs. No sabía que vinieron a la fiesta?

Can you use the indicative to declare that they did indeed come to the party, but at the time you did not know it?

I don't think it is quite the same as with creer. If I say, "I didn't know that (que) they were coming," that implies that they did (or at least, were attempting to). If I say, "I didn't know if (si) they were coming," then it is not specified if they did or not.

If I understand it correctly:

"No sabía que vinieron a la fiesta." = I didn't know (that) they came to the party. (preterite indicative)

"No sabía que vinieran a la fiesta." = I didn't know that they would come/might come to the party. (I'm not sure about this one Nick. I'm not sure about the proper use of the mood, or the nuance if it is correct with the subjunctive mood. Let's wait for a native to answer here.)

"No sabía que vendrían a la fiesta" = I didn't know that they would (e.g., be willing to) come to the party.

"No sabía que venían a la fiesta." = I didn't know (that) they were coming to the party. (imperfect indicative)

"No sabía si venían a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they were coming to the party.

"No sabía si vendrían a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they would come to the party.

"No sabía si vinieran a la fiesta." = I didn't know if they would (be willing/able to) come to the party. (This one I'm not 100% sure about either, Nick.)

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
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Does that rule also work with "no saber" in the past? For example...

No sabía que vinieran a la fiesta vs. No sabía que vinieron a la fiesta?
Can you use the indicative to declare that they did indeed come to the party, but at the time you did not know it'

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
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I think the point in this and the other examples, Nick, is that when you use the subjunctive in these sentences, you are telling the person to "see to it that ..." (not declare), whereas with the indicative, you are telling the person to see (observe) that it is. (declare)

I am very tired, and I haven't read all latests posts, but the quote above sounds like something I wish I had said. I'll try tomorrow again... after a good rest.

Unsure to which of these interesting posts I should insert this additional comment, I chose this one after having had a good rest too.

May I start with expressing how grateful I was to be able to follow even before the good rest. Thanks to you all who question, write, explain, elaborate, etc., so clearly. Of course I nonetheless had to look up words in my dictionary in order to follow; and of course I looked up the pronominal' verb "asegurarse", too. In fact, I first looked over its conjugation here on the conjugation site so I wouldn't get too confused while reading the posts.

The dictionary provides sense devisions, "divisiones correspondientes a las distintas acepciones" (I understood the English label better once I read the Spanish onegrin One of these is "to insure oneself", (Com, Fin)-- i.e., in the parlance of "comercio" or "finanzas" - not of interest here.

Los otros dos acepciones se corresponden con lo que estabais escribiendo.

asegurarse v proneuter [sic']
1.
a.(cerciorarse) to make sure; Asegúrate de que no falta nada. Make sure there's nothing missing.
b.(garantizarse, procurarse): Con ese gol se aseguraron el triunfo. By scoring that goal they guaranteed themselves victory.

Qué interesante ver/descubrir/encontrar como en dos oraciones casi, casi idénticas - sólo otro modo modifica la acepción completamente.

'@hhmdirocco, Thank you for pointing out that this description of the verb, "proneuter", is probably incorrect.

@Lazarus, after a good night's sleep I woke up to remember that in a long ago thread you had once mentioned to me, too, that you had never heard of a "proneuter" form.

I will hope to find an updated version of this little online helper that hovers in my title bar and in the meantime stick to the hardcover edition when uncertainty arises. Oh yes, ps, I did check the asegurarse entries with those in the book.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

Oh Nick..your invitation led me astraygrin

Janice, there is no error at all; the sentence is perfect, and it sounds natural. In his sentence, 'sólo? = 'solamente', which makes perfect sense.

Lazarus, un millón de gracias. Me consuelo sólo pensando que "sólo" es también un adverbio. En efecto he tenido que consultar mi diccionario:

solo(3)adverb en solitario
Of course that is hardly the meaning we wantgrin But my dictionary goes on:

o

only;

Sólo quería ayudarte. I only wanted to help, I was only o just trying to help;

Sólo quiero que me lo expliques. I just want you to explain it to me;

Es sólo un momento. It will only take a moment;

¡Pero si es sólo un niño! But he's just o only a child!;

Sólo de pensarlo me dan escalofríos. Just o merely thinking about it makes me shudder;

No sólo estudia sino que también trabaja. She isn't just studying, she's working as well;

Sólo con mencionar su nombre me dejaron pasar. I only had to mention his name and they let me through;

Podríamos ir sólo que no tengo coche. We could go except that I don't have a car

y también:

sólo * adverbio* [La ortografía acentuada sigue siendo la normal aunque la Real Academia recomienda la

forma solo]

Desculpame, Nick. Fue lo primero que me vino a la cabeza. Otra vez no adivinaré sin leer.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Janice
0
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I think the point in this and the other examples, Nick, is that when you use the subjunctive in these sentences, you are telling the person to "see to it that ..." (not declare), whereas with the indicative, you are telling the person to see (observe) that it is. (declare)

I am very tired, and I haven't read all latests posts, but the quote above sounds like something I wish I had said. I'll try tomorrow again... after a good rest.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Not quite. In the first example, you didn't think that you needed more, and you don't declare whether you needed more after all. In the second one, you didn't think that you needed more, but now that it is over, you do declare that you needed more indeed.
So how would you say it if you didn't think that you needed more, but now that it is over, you do declare that you, in fact, did not need more. (Yes, this is a serious question.)

Asegúrate de que la Tierra es redonda = Make sure (by verifying) that the Earth is round.

Asegúrate de que la Tierra sea redonda = Make sure (by forcing the outcome) that the Earth is round.
Notwithstanding ... there is a large and growing group today that believe they have proof that the earth is flat. cheese

Sorry, couldn't help it. I just love to stir the stew every once in a while. cool grin

I think the point in this and the other examples, Nick, is that when you use the subjunctive in these sentences, you are telling the person to "see to it that ...", whereas with the indicative, you are telling the person to see (observe) that it is.

In the example with the door, with the indicative, you are telling the person to make sure the door is closed (to have a look to remove all doubt). With the subjunctive, you are telling the person to make sure/see to it that the door is closed--to check on it, and if it is not, then close it.

In the example with the rain, with the indicative, you are telling the person to make sure that it is not raining (like, before starting off on a hike). With the subjunctive, you would be telling the person to make sure it's not raining, and if it is, see to it that it is not--in other words, make it so that it is not (which is impossible, and thus, Lazarus's obvious example).

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
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Thank you very much! Now... Just 2 more questions/clarifications (I'm getting to be such a bother tongue laugh ). Can that always work with "no creer" in the past? I mean... can you always use the indicative if you want to say that you didn't think you needed something, but actually did? And can you always use the subjunctive if you don't want to imply whether or not you actually needed something?

And... "asegurarse de que + indicative" = "to make sure by checking/verifying" while "asegurarse de que + subjunctive" = "to make sure by forcing something/to see to it that something gets done"? How does that fit into the whole declaration vs. non-declaration rule?

Wow, I guess that was a lot more than 2 questions. Sorry for being such a bother tongue laugh

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
votes

(Yo) No creía que necesitáramos más

(Yo) No creía que necesitábamos más[/i]

**So... in the first example, you aren't declaring whether or not they needed more, and in the second, you are declaring that you did need more, but at the time you did not think so?

**

Not quite. In the first example, you didn't think that you needed more, and you don't declare whether you needed more after all. In the second one, you didn't think that you needed more, but now that it is over, you do declare that you needed more indeed.

Asegúrate de que está cerrado.

Asegúrate de que esté cerrado.

Asegúrate de que no está lloviendo.

Asegúrate de que no esté lloviendo.

**Can you explain the differences between those pairs again, please? I sort of understand, but I think reading it again (in English tongue laugh) would help me fully understand it.

**

Asegúrate de que la Tierra es redonda = Make sure (by verifying) that the Earth is round.
Asegúrate de que la Tierra sea redonda = Make sure (by forcing the outcome) that the Earth is round.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

(Yo) No creía que necesitáramos más

(Yo) No creía que necesitábamos más[/i]

**So... in the first example, you aren't declaring whether or not they needed more, and in the second, you are declaring that you did need more, but at the time you did not think so?

**

Asegúrate de que está cerrado.

Asegúrate de que esté cerrado.

Asegúrate de que no está lloviendo.

Asegúrate de que no esté lloviendo.

**Can you explain the differences between those pairs again, please? I sort of understand, but I think reading it again (in English tongue laugh) would help me fully understand it.

**

Thank you! grin

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
votes

Hola a todos de nuevo. En la frase arriba (de arriba? [b]Sí[/b]), ¿se tiene que usar el imperfecto del indicativo o el del subjuntivo? Creo que el del subjuntivo es lo correcto, porque no se puede declarar que la persona lo comprenda, sólo se trata de asegurarse de eso. Pero, no estoy seguro.

Y, como siempre, por favor corrígeme algunos errores que ves en este mensaje. (Jeje, creo que cometí unos errores, especialmente en la frase que empieza con "sólo se trataba de asegurarse...) No, está bien.

Al hablar en pasado se puede usar el subjuntivo en situaciones en las que no se podría en presente, ya que en el momento que ocurrió lo que se cuenta no se podía haber declarado algo, pero desde una perspectiva presente, ya que todo ha terminado y uno sabe el resultado, se puede declarar si se quiere.

(Yo) No creía que necesitáramos más
(Yo) No creía que necesitábamos más

En la primera, no se aclara si necesitaban más o no. En la segunda sí, pero en el pasado no lo creía.

Por otro lado, "asegurarse de (que)" se puede interpretar de dos maneras, y el modo determina la interpretación:

Asegúrate de que está cerrado.

En este caso, lo único que hacemos es comprobar que, en efecto, está cerrado; todo lo que hacemos es observar de manera pasiva. Aunque casi se sobreentiende que uno lo comprueba para cerrarlo si lo encuentra abierto, esto es implícito solo, ya que puede decirse "Asegúrate de que está cerrado, pero no lo toques si está abierto.

Asegúrate de que esté cerrado.

En este caso, le estás pidiendo que vaya a cerrarlo por si está abierto; uno tiene un papel activo. Aquí no tendría mucho sentido decir "... pero no lo toques".

Aunque la diferencia parezca muy sutil, es bastante grande. Más ejemplos:

Asegúrate de que no está lloviendo.

Aquí todo lo que hacemos es observar si llueve antes de hacer otra cosa, pero en lo que concierne a la lluvia, somos puros observadores. Sin embargo, en:

Asegúrate de que no esté lloviendo.

le estamos pidiendo que pare la lluvia si se la encuentra, como si de un dios se tratara. Esta frase no se usa, a menos que de verdad esperemos que controle el tiempo.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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