No creo que se dice/diga

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Help resolve a dispute between my friend and me. Which is correct?

No creo que se dice...
No creo que se diga...

11277 views
updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by 00bacfba

23 Answers

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the correct way to say that is as follows..

No creo que se diga....

It is subjunctive and falls under the category of Doubt/Denial.
Any kind of remarks that express doubt or denial will be subjunctive.. i don't think that.. i'm not sure that... so on and so forth...

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by Kimberly-Neal
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the correct way to say that is as follows..

No creo que se diga....

It is subjunctive and falls under the category of Doubt/Denial.
Any kind of remarks that express doubt or denial will be subjunctive.. i don't think that.. i'm not sure that... so on and so forth...

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by Kimberly-Neal
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Worrying about the bark on the trees, rather than enjoying the forest. But it IS fun to try and unravel these little grammar mysteries....

Well, it is, and I do. The reason I decided to learn a language is that I'm in my 40's and decided that I ought to do it for no reason in particular. With the Columbian connection at work I selected Spanish (as well as a few other reasons) but at the moment it is still a diversion for me rather than anything else.

The bark on the trees can be important too though -as mentioned elsewhere I've had a problem with the particle 'se' in all it's forms and have done a little work in that direction lately; reading a few pages of my novel tonight I feel that it's paid off. If I know 10% of that pronominal stuff rather than 5%, well it has made reading 5% more enjoyable.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by tad
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True. These rules and nuances are useful... if you can design activities where people can practice them while trying to communicate, which is normally the main point of learning a language. Memorizing the rules alone can be fun, but it is not useful.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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The subtext of what I was saying is that if a native speaker doesn't get the intricacies, then maybe I ought to spend less time on technical stuff like this and more on actually trying at have a conversation.

Good point. I fall into that trap myself. Worrying about the bark on the trees, rather than enjoying the forest. But it IS fun to try and unravel these little grammar mysteries, and I think your questions were very good.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Tad, when it comes to profound grammar questions such as these, I suggest you trust Lazarus over your friends. As he says, most natives have never analyzed their own language enough to be able to answer such questions.

James, the only reason I mentioned this was the fact that an ordinary Columbian was having difficulty with it. I am well aware in my short time here of the extent of Lazarus' knowledge!
The subtext of what I was saying is that if a native speaker doesn't get the intricacies, then maybe I ought to spend less time on technical stuff like this and more on actually trying at have a conversation grin

Thanks for any corrections: from time to time I will break into my bad Spanish. wink

Lazarus, thanks for your help.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by tad
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Thanks, lazarus for your answer.
After I read your answer above, my understanding is that "se" doesn't mean anything here, but it's just a functional word. Have to use it in order to make the sentence... I don't know how to use English words to explain it, just like other languages, need to use some words in sentences that don't mean anything and make the sentences as same as the way people normally and usually say and write. I don't know if my explanation makes sense for you and my understanding is correct.

Marco

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by Marco-T
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James is right: I don't know why I changed "piensa" to "piensan". Sorry.

And "colombianas" is in lower case, yes.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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A propósito una de la Colombianas en la fábrica donde trabajo piensan que...

Lazarus, you corrected Tad's sentence by changing piensa to piensan, but I don't think that is warranted, since the subject is "una (colombiana)." (And, BTW, nationalities are not capitalized, right') Is there some reason for your change?

Tad, when it comes to profound grammar questions such as these, I suggest you trust Lazarus over your friends. As he says, most natives have never analyzed their own language enough to be able to answer such questions.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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*(3)No creo que va a llover está noche X
(4)No creo que llueva está noche V(sorry I'm trying to make a tick)

A propósito una de la Colombianas en la fábrica donde trabajo piensan que no hay ningún problema con (3) y que (2) con 'es', sonó mejor que (1) con 'sea', pero no supo el porqué.*

The third option is unacceptable in any formal or academic Spanish, and it would be a wrong answer if you took any test. Options (1) and (2) are both correct, and the difference is just the attitude of the speaker towards the truth of the statement.

Asking most natives why this or that is so in their own language is often a waste of time. I have studied these things in specialized books; otherwise I probably wouldn't know.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Muchos gracias amo, o sea.....

(1)Rafa no cree que Roger sea inteligente
would tell us what Rafa thought.

If tad says to lazarus:
(2)Rafa no cree que Roger es inteligente

...in that one sentence it is implied then that:
A)Rafa doesn't think that Roger is intelligent
and B)Tad thinks that Roger is intelligent. ?

and:

(3)No creo que va a llover está noche X
(4)No creo que llueva está noche V(sorry I'm trying to make a tick)

(En londres ha llovido a mares toda el día :-( )

A propósito una de la Colombianas en la fábrica donde trabajo piensa que no hubo ningún problema con (3) y que (2) con 'es', sonó mejor que (1) con 'sea', pero no supo el porqué.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by tad
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*Is it that:
"(ÿl) no cree que es inteligente" implies that you agree with the statement that he (el) made, whereas with:

"(ÿl) no cree que sea inteligente" you are just reporting what he (el)said without adding any shade of your own opinion'*

1) The declaration is "es inteligente" (the subordinate after 'que'), which comes from the speaker. However, HE (the other guy) doesn't believe that that person is intelligent.

2) The speaker does not declare, nor deny that "es inteligente", because he is using subjunctive ("sea"). On top of that, HE (the other guy) doesn't believe that that person is intelligent.

Most declarations in subordinates can often said in isolation without any change in the meaning of the original sentence, even in English:

Declaring that "va a llover":
Creo que va a llover - Va llover, creo.
I think it is going to rain. It is going to rain, I think.

Not declaring that "va a llover"
No creo que va a llover ''? Va a llover, no creo. ''?
I don't think it is going to rain. It is going to rain, I don't think ''?

If you can't do this inversion in English, you should have used the subjunctive in Spanish.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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However, if you use the 2nd or 3rd person, you can say "(ÿl) no cree que es inteligente", because YOU declare it, even though HE doesn't believe it. That's why the article says that the declaration of speaker and the statement in the main sentence must belong to different people. Of course, you can say "(ÿl) no cree que sea inteligente" if you just prefer to avoid making any declaration, which is the most common option.

Something to clarify for me too; what is it you mean by making a declaration here?

Is it that:
"(ÿl) no cree que es inteligente" implies that you agree with the statement that he (el) made, whereas with:

"(ÿl) no cree que sea inteligente" you are just reporting what he (el)said without adding any shade of your own opinion'

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by tad
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Conjugation? Mmmm...

The verb is "decir", and this "se" is normally interpreted as a mark for passive reflexive structures (se dice = it is said that...). The only way you can conjugate the verb with this structure is in the third person, like this:

Se dice [una cosa]
Se dicen [varias cosas]

The grammatical subject of the sentence is "una/varias cosa(s)", as this structure is used to deliverately hide the responsible of the action, like in impersonal constructions.

Of course, you can use this "se" for any tense:

Se decía una cosa
Se dirá una cosa
Se ha dicho una cosa
Etc.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I have a question here. What's the conjugation tense for "se" here? What's the original verb?

Thanks, lazarus and James.

Marco

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by Marco-T