Do I use subjunctive when something confuses me?

1
vote

Hi everyone,

I need help with writing the phrase "It confused me that Juan hated himself during his stay in the sanitarium." (Weird sentence...for a literary analysis of "El Sur" by Borges.) I know to start with "Me confundió que..." But my problem is when I finish the sentence.

I don't know if I should use an indicative or subjunctive verb. Here are the options I'm considering:

"Me confundió que Juan se odió a sí mismo durante su estancia en el sanitario." (pretérito)

"Me confundió que Juan se odiara a sí mismo durante su estancia en el sanitario." (subjuntivo pretérito)

Basically, when something confuses me, do I describe it in subjunctive or indicative terms? To me it seems right to use subjunctive since I'm expressing a personal reaction. But am I right? How would you translate that sentence into Spanish?

Thanks for any help and sorry for the length of my question!

1824 views
updated MAY 26, 2010
edited by StillLearning
posted by StillLearning
My final choice: "Me confundió que Juan se odiara a sí mismo durante su estadía en el sanitario."

5 Answers

2
votes

Yes, you are expressing emotion when you begin with "Me confundió que..." so the subjunctive is totally acceptable. But even though it is a verb in the past tense that normally would be in the preterite, you call it the imperfect subjunctive. : )

updated MAY 25, 2010
posted by mcdavis99
I'm voting you up to get you reply above mine since mine did nothing to answer the original question.
0
votes

Basically, when something confuses me, do I describe it in subjunctive or indicative terms?

Now, I'm a bit confused.

Does everyone agree that it's the subjunctive here and that the preterit is used?

updated MAY 26, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
Yeah, I think everyone is agreed, but people kind of made the post more confusing with the topic of what to call the verb tense. =)
0
votes

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your answers.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that the term "subjuntivo preterito" seemed unacceptable. I'm now wondering about this, since I found that phrase on the Real Academia Española website, which shows for that verb form under the heading subjuntivo "Pretérito imperfecto o Pretérito." It seemed to me that both are appropriate.

Meanwhile, thanks for all the help. I will use the subjunctive, as instinctively it seems right to me.

Gracias

updated MAY 25, 2010
posted by StillLearning
0
votes

Because I am from a part of the Spanish-speaking world where estancia is used to mean a cattle ranch, I would use the word estadía in its place. But I do understand that for other regions, estancia conveys the intended meaning.

updated MAY 25, 2010
posted by waltico
Next you'll want us all dancing the tango. lol.
Thanks for that; now that I remember, this story actually does allude to estancia as a cattle ranch. =)
0
votes

Aside:

I wouldn't use the term subjuntivo préterito for this tense. When we start using translated English terms (past subjunctive) we usually end up confusing others about which tense that we are actually discussing. This particular tense is normally termed imperfect subjunctive in English and Imperfecto de subjuntivo in Spanish.

Even that term is sometimes confusing, because when you form the tense you start with the 3rd person, plural of the preterite (pretérito perfecto simple). Go figure.

[Neither would I use the word pretérito for preterite as you did. (Pretérito just means past) Preterite (simple past tense) is pretérito perfecto simple to distinguish it from pretérito prefecto compuesto (Present Perfect) and préterito imperfecto. (imperfect past).]

updated MAY 24, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
I appreciate your contribution, though it didn't really answer my question.
That is why I labelled it an "aside". It had little to do with your question.
El que me confundió fué.... another possible wording.