HomeQ&A"La que" and "que"

"La que" and "que"

4
votes

In the book The Martian by Andy Weir, the main character states:

It was a ridiculous sequence of events that led to me almost dying, and an even more ridiculous sequence that led to me surviving.

In the Spanish translation, El marciano, he states:

Fue una ridícula secuencia de hechos la que me llevó al borde de la muerte, y una secuencia aún más ridícula la que propició que sobreviviera.

Why is it "la que" instead of "que"? I'm not sure I see what the difference is.

(Also, I'm not sure why that's "sobreviviera" and not "sobrevivía". I understand that "sobreviviera" is subjunctive, but why are we using the subjunctive there?)

1343 views
updated Dec 28, 2015
posted by columbus8myhw
I also submitted this question here: http://spanish.stackexchange.com/q/15655/11591 - columbus8myhw, Dec 28, 2015

3 Answers

1
vote

la que/lo que is more that which than que. So the la que is referring back to the ridiculous circumstances (ridícula secuencia) which is feminine. "que' by itself is just a connector word, while 'la/lo que' refer to something that came before.

At least that is my meager understanding.

updated Dec 28, 2015
edited by Jubilado
posted by gringojrf
I changed your "hat" to "that". Pardon my boldness. - Jubilado, Dec 28, 2015
Not at all. Thank you. - gringojrf, Dec 28, 2015
0
votes

You could use either la que or que here. It´s similar to that which and that. In this sentence, however, la que is a better option because of "de hechos" which separates secuencia from que and the same reasoning in the second clause.

Subjunctive is used sobreviviera because it says that the ridiculous sequence is what would allow the writer to survive. It looks ahead to the future while the action is in the past.

updated Dec 28, 2015
posted by JulianChivi
You might want to look at this: http://spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/15655/la-que-and-que/15656#comment18286_15656 - columbus8myhw, Dec 28, 2015
Gender and plurality of "de hechos" has nothing to do with the choice between "la que" and "que". It´s the physical distance between "secuencia" and "que" in the sentence, similar to why we use "aquello(a) in other structures - JulianChivi, Dec 28, 2015
0
votes

Fue una ridícula secuencia de hechos la que me llevó al borde de la muerte, y una secuencia aún más ridícula la que propició que sobreviviera.

Why is it "la que" instead of "que"? I'm not sure I see what the difference is.

(Also, I'm not sure why that's "sobreviviera" and not "sobrevivía". I understand that "sobreviviera" is subjunctive, but why are we using the subjunctive there?)

You use la que instead of que, to indicate that the phrase that follows refers to secuencia and not hechos, you do so when there are things intervening between the noun and que. I would agree that in casual speech it may not be included, but for correct and proper literary grammar I think it is technically correct.

See here: read specifically que and el que:

http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/COURSES/relpron1.htm

Propiciar is a verb of influence, like hacer, permitir, and causar, it requires subjunctive.

See here for more info:

http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/SUBJNOUN.HTM

updated Dec 28, 2015
edited by bosquederoble
posted by bosquederoble
You might want to look at this: http://spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/15655/la-que-and-que/15656#comment18286_15656 - columbus8myhw, Dec 28, 2015
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