HomeQ&A"hacer que" + el subjuntivo

"hacer que" + el subjuntivo

1
vote

I was reading to my son from a children's Bible story book (about Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt) and came across this sentence:

Hizo que las ruedas de sus carros se salieran y que los caballos tropezaran.

Here it is in the English version of the same book:

He made the wheels of the chariots fall off and the horses lose their footing.

My question is this: why does "hizo que" take the subjunctive? Of course, we could memorize a rule that "hizo que" always takes the subjunctive, but I would like to interpret this in terms of Lazarus' "declare / not declare" framework. It sounds to me that we are declaring that the wheels fell off and the horses stumbled.

What do all of you think? How would I "know" to use the subjunctive here'

34377 views
updated MAY 18, 2013
posted by Natasha

6 Answers

3
votes

He made the wheels of the chariots fall off and the horses lose their footing.

Just so you know, this sentence takes the subjunctive in English, as well. Morphologically, the only way that you would be able to tell the difference, however, would be if you were to change the subjects in the following clauses to singular (wheels --> wheel; horses --> horse). In the third person singular the indicative will carry the /z/ morpheme (falls/loses); whereas, in the subjunctive the verb form is invariable (fall/lose). For example:


In the indicative

The wheel falls off; The horse loses its footing [declarations]

so the full sentence would be:

"He made the wheel falls off and the horse loses its footing

As you can see this would not make sense in the indicative. However, if you were to make this change in number, but use the subjunctive verb form, you would not have this problem:

In the subjunctive

The wheel fall; The horse lose its footing [non-declarations]

so the full sentence would be:

"He made the wheel fall off and the horse lose its footing"


As far as the declaration/non-declaration, I agree with James that this can best be taken as an informal command or at the very least a recommendation/suggestion/permission/requirement/wish.

He wished that the wheel fall off [subjunctive], and the wheel fell off [indicative]

In any case you can tell (in English) that "the wheel fall/the horse lose its footing" is not a declaration; whereas, "the wheel falls off/the horse loses its footing" is.

updated ENE 4, 2011
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Excellent reasoning. - 0074b507, OCT 29, 2009
1
vote

Here is a link to a very long discussion/thread that I started a couple of months ago about the use of the subjunctive with causative constructions like "hacer/producir/causar que, etc". It goes really in depth and features wonderful explanations by Lazarus... and lots of questions by me tongue laugh

Subjunctive with "Hacer que", etc.

updated OCT 29, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
great thread Nick - Izanoni1, OCT 29, 2009
1
vote

A simple declaration that the wheels fell off would be "Las ruedas de sus carros se salieron y los caballos tropezaron." This is indicative because it is just telling us what happened. When you introduce "Hizo que," however, the sentence is now telling us that the subject caused the event to happen, so it isn't just a declaration anymore.

updated OCT 29, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

"make someone/something do something"

Here do is also subjunctive so it makes sense to me that it's the same way.

"hacer que alguien haga algo"

updated MAY 18, 2013
posted by gokcemutlu
So few people know that subjunctives exist in English too! - Expatobserver, MAY 18, 2013
0
votes

James Santiago said:

A simple declaration that the wheels fell off would be "Las ruedas de sus carros se salieron y los caballos tropezaron." This is indicative because it is just telling us what happened. When you introduce "Hizo que," however, the sentence is now telling us that the subject caused the event to happen, so it isn't just a declaration anymore.

Bueno, tiene sentido.

updated SEP 9, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

This use is the same as "decir que + subjunctive," that is, it is a kind of indirect command. The subject is causing something to happen, not just declaring that it happened or will happen.

Me dijo que no va a ir.
He told me that he isn't going to go.
Me dijo que no vaya.
He told me not to go.

updated SEP 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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