HomeQ&Asubjuntivo and using it in other places

subjuntivo and using it in other places

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i understand subjuntivo but sometimes i hear some of the words in diferent places for example:
tenga miedo .... why we used tenga instead of tengo or tiene'

8810 views
updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by PUNISHER

36 Answers

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that what one of the teacher from Peru told me ofcourse after i gave her troubles by asking her some questions that she couldnt find a clear answer, but its true that sometimes the brain just gets the rule without knowing what is the rule, my native language is arabic and sometimes when i hear wrong sentenses i know its wrong but i dont know why.
my way of learning languages or accent is by listening first, just like a song, u cant sing it before u listen to it,
in my country we dont hear many people speake spanish, it might be hard for me but im trying my best

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
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punisher said:

im a pain in the .... for all of the teachers there cuz i look for complicated things to ask about,

Maybe your teachers don't know enough grammar, or the grammar they know is useless.

I've have re-learn many "rules" that I learnt in grammar books many many times in my life because of people like you. Any teacher should enjoy the challenge, and should be open new perspectives, and be read to throw away all he thought it was right, and learn it from scratch using a different approach. I have lost the count of how many grammars I have studied, and I ended up realizing that, even though what they say can be useful for a grammarian or a teacher to know, most of it is useless when it comes to teaching, because it is hard to understand for students, because their "rules" are saturated with exceptions, and they are likely to be misunderstood.

When I began teaching, I knew my "rules" very well, but it didn't take long before someone asked me: if that is so... why is this sentence not following the rule? Or why is this sentence wrong, if I am following the rule? It is hard for a teacher (and even more discouraging for a student) to accept that those rules... don't work! Books and teachers have been following a traditional approach that has tried to summarize all the mechanisms of a language using a limited number of rules... separated form any context, as if it was Maths. Few rules at first, and then more "advanced rules", needed to patch up the so-called exceptions that the main rules didn't seem to cover. No matter how many of these you memorize, there are always new traps out there seemingly willing to laugh at these rules.

So, what's wrong with the rules? And how come native speakers don't ever make mistakes with ser/estar, preterit/imperfect or subjunctive? Have they memorized a 63000 words list to decide when to use ser and estar? (one for each adjective or calificative noun). Have they memorized over 150 patterns for each of the over 10000 verbs in the language for indicative and subjunctive? How is it possible, then, that they can use correctly an adjective that they've just learnt today? How come that when makes a mistake with subjunctive, they don't say "you violated the patten 17 for verb correr", but "that doesn't feel right; you sound as if you are saying that you do, but you don't"? It appears, not that they have rules in their brains, but they seem to be able to "visualize", to interpret words in context, and make somehow some sense out of them. And more importantly: how come no native can explain how they do it, and find all these grammar rules in their own language so hard to understand themselves?

Certain people have been wondering about this, and their obvious conclusion was that the brain doesn't work like a grammar book; far from it. Another important point, and this premise is absent in most grammars, is that the words don't represent the world, but the way speakers perceive the world, and they don't necessarily have to match all the time. You need to be able to see things from a native's perspective, and use the language's available tools to express things the best you can with them, not using conversion rules from one traditional grammar to the other, between languages that use different approaches for expressing ideas. You need to learn to think like them, and not memorize endless useless rules that only work in set exercises designed to work for that rule in the classroom,... but to fail in real life.

The new grammars that have been written with all this in mind are still largely unknown in many places, but their emphasis is on communication, and their premise is that you can't teach correctly without a context, and whatever grammar you learn, it must be... (NO MORE SPACE)

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I doubt that you're being a pain. The best way to learn something is to try to teach it. Most teachers enjoy challenging questions because it helps them improve their own skills. And everyone enjoys the acknowledgement that someone was actually paying attention to what they were saying. Anyway, keep them honest. Make them earn their pay. And share what you learn. Ask and answer questions here. Those of us that don't know much Spanish appreciate the help from those that do.

punisher said:

thanx, i really apreciate your help all of you, i hope im not giving headaches like the headache im giving my teacher wink and ofcourse i hope that my questions are making sense at least for a begginer,i was tennis player and i went to spain couple of times for tournaments and learned a bit of spanish there and now im learning in a school called Berlitz and now im at level 3, and believe me im a pain in the .... for all of the teachers there cuz i look for complicated things to ask about,

Quentin said:

I'd print out Lazarus' replies and refer back to them once you feel more practiced with the topic. His explanations were excellent, although as Natasha and he, himself, admitted, they may not be the rules a non-native needs to hear at first. Find a grammar book that covers the topic and you find rules for independent and dependent clauses according to if the subject changes from the main independent clause...etc, Very heady stuff. And your original question covered the subjunctive use in its entirety. Just be glad your examples narrowed the discussion down to the imperative use.If you find it confusing...welcome to a large club.

punisher said:

that is possible, i think im getting to the point slowly but as everyone said (there are no rules sometime it just comes with practice)

>

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by 0074b507
0
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thanx, i really apreciate your help all of you, i hope im not giving headaches like the headache im giving my teacher wink and ofcourse i hope that my questions are making sense at least for a begginer,

i was tennis player and i went to spain couple of times for tournaments and learned a bit of spanish there and now im learning in a school called Berlitz and now im at level 3, and believe me im a pain in the .... for all of the teachers there cuz i look for complicated things to ask about,

Quentin said:

I'd print out Lazarus' replies and refer back to them once you feel more practiced with the topic. His explanations were excellent, although as Natasha and he, himself, admitted, they may not be the rules a non-native needs to hear at first. Find a grammar book that covers the topic and you find rules for independent and dependent clauses according to if the subject changes from the main independent clause...etc, Very heady stuff. And your original question covered the subjunctive use in its entirety. Just be glad your examples narrowed the discussion down to the imperative use.If you find it confusing...welcome to a large club.

punisher said:

that is possible, i think im getting to the point slowly but as everyone said (there are no rules sometime it just comes with practice)

>

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
0
votes

I'd print out Lazarus' replies and refer back to them once you feel more practiced with the topic. His explanations were excellent, although as Natasha and he, himself, admitted, they may not be the rules a non-native needs to hear at first. Find a grammar book that covers the topic and you find rules for independent and dependent clauses according to if the subject changes from the main independent clause...etc, Very heady stuff. And your original question covered the subjunctive use in its entirety. Just be glad your examples narrowed the discussion down to the imperative use.

If you find it confusing...welcome to a large club.

punisher said:

that is possible, i think im getting to the point slowly but as everyone said (there are no rules sometime it just comes with practice)

>

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by 0074b507
0
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that is possible, i think im getting to the point slowly but as everyone said (there are no rules sometime it just comes with practice)

updated OCT 12, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
0
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I don't wish to confuse you any further on a very complex topic, but I just wanted to suggest something that your teacher may have been referring to when she said que cerrar la ventana. It is the indirect command. It uses the form que+ present subjuctive to imply a command similar to the let's form of indirect command (1st person plural,present subjunctive) or vamos a + indicative infinitive.

Clipped from grammar article (below)
And, of course, in English we use "let" to form first-personal plural commands, as in "let's leave" or "let's sing." In Spanish, that meaning is expressed in a special verb form (the same as the first-person plural subjunctive), as in salgamos and cantemos, respectively.

Finally, Spanish sometimes uses que followed by a verb in the subjunctive to form an indirect command that can be translated using "let," depending on the context. Example: Que vaya él a la oficina. (Have him go to the office, or let him go to the office.)

Of course, the sentence you quoted doesn't exactly fit as written, but it may have been what your teacher was referring to.

punisher said:

thanx, its clear now, the other example that i gave when my teacher gave me an example(tengas cerrar or que cerrar la ventana) i got a response from james saying that it doesnt sound correct, well i doesnt sound right to me aswel, but why my teacher gave me that example? (i cant get clear explaination from her becuase she doesnt speek good english), what i understood from her is that example is given when you want to tell someone that he or she has to do it, i really dont know if i got it right or if she gave me the right example'im sorry if im mixing things up, im just a beginner and i apreciate your help

>

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by 0074b507
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punisher said:

===> for example wink

lazarus1907 said:

Natasha said:

I don't know why you would tell someone that, but there you go.

It would be a good sentence for the evil guy of a cartoon. wink


Wasn't there some comic book super-hero who was advertised as "Striking fear into the hearts of evil-doers everywhere"'

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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===> for example wink

lazarus1907 said:

Natasha said:

I don't know why you would tell someone that, but there you go.

It would be a good sentence for the evil guy of a cartoon. wink

>

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
0
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Natasha said:

I don't know why you would tell someone that, but there you go.

It would be a good sentence for the evil guy of a cartoon. wink

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
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punisher said:

great i think im about to get it, so.... when i say (no tengas miedo) =imprative, im ok with that

BUT when i say (ten miedo) is it like saying i want you to be afraid'= (quiero que ten miedo) as a wish but we drop (quiero que)? for example,,,,

if what i wrote above is right then i got the idea,

what do you think?

(quiero que ten miedo) as a wish but we drop (quiero que)?

The point of the foregoing discussion is that you cannot say this, not this way. You could say:

Quiero que tengas miedo. (using the subjunctive form for tengas)

The imerative command (affirmative) is different.

Ten miedo.

I don't know why you would tell someone that, but there you go.

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
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great i think im about to get it,

so.... when i say (no tengas miedo) =imprative, im ok with that

BUT when i say (ten miedo) is it like saying i want you to be afraid'= (quiero que ten miedo) as a wish but we drop (quiero que)? for example,,,,

if what i wrote above is right then i got the idea,

what do you think'

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
0
votes

Eddy said:

I always thought a negative command in the "usted" form took the tense of the second person singular, ie Don't speak English - No hableS inglés
You can argue about whether a "negative command" is in the subjunctive or it's just that the implied dependent clause of a prohibition would be couched in the subjunctive (and, therefor, not a special case) but I think it's safe to say that at no time (and under no circumstances) can you switch between the 2nd person familiar and formal (or vice versa).
In fact, that's my suggestion (for today) for a "rule without exception" about Spanish (which are few and far between [as is the case for most languages]).

updated OCT 10, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

:

I always thought a negative command in the "usted" form took the tense of the second person singular, ie Don't speak English - No hableS inglésOK, back to basics, can someone please clarify which is the correct version?

(Te ordeno a ti que) No hables inglés
(Le ordeno a usted que) No hable inglés

updated OCT 10, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Eddy said:

Natasha said:

punisher said:

mmmmmmm i think what my teacher means is tengas que cerrar la ventana (as a wish) i understood the example in a wrong way, but still that ddnt solve my problem, when u want to give an order for the verb HABLAR you say (habla ingles) but if u want to say dont speek english do u say (no hable or no hables ingles)? if the answer is yes, then my question will be why we changed the form of the verb ? -habla no hable o no hables . also, tengas miedo (be afraid), no tengas miedo (dont be afraid) but when we say tengas que cerrar... its wrong.

i really dont know if im making sence,

shy smile

Good try with hablar.

Tú form:

¡Habla inglés!

¡No hables inglés!

Usted form:

¡Hable inglés!

¡No hable inglés!

Ustedes form:

¡Hablen inglés!

¡No hablen inglés!

We'll leave someone else to do the vosotros form.

I always thought a negative command in the "usted" form took the tense of the second person singular, ie

Don't speak English - No hableS inglés

OK, back to basics, can someone please clarify which is the correct version'

updated OCT 10, 2008
posted by Natasha
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