HomeQ&AThis weeks lesson 2.13 Subjunctive Tense.

This weeks lesson 2.13 Subjunctive Tense.

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Here are 5 sentences I have translated using what I believe would be in the subjunctive tense. Please review and comment. Thank you so much.

  1. I don't know, but I hope they will come.
    (No sé, pero espero de que vayan.)

  2. Well the mail is here. You have to open the envelope to see if you passed the test.
    (Bueno, el correo es aquí. Necesitas abras el sobre de que veas si aprobado la examen.)

  3. I will grill the steaks when the get here.
    (Aso los besteques cuando los lleguen.)

  4. Man, I don't think you can climb that rope up the cliff.
    (Hombe, me no parezco de que escales la cuerda arriba la acantilado.)

  5. I want you to take this package to the office, pick John up at school and get a pizza from Pizza Hut.
    (Quiero lleves este paquete a la oficina, recoja a Juan en la escuela y consiga una pizza de Pizza Hut.)

2776 views
updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by Daniel

6 Answers

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Traditionally, 'subjunctive' is usually considered to be a 'mood' rather than a 'tense', although the two notions aren't always terribly well defined. The essential idea is that:
- 'tense' is the grammaticalisation of TIME
- 'mood' is the grammaticalisation of MODALITY, or notions of probability/obligation (and potentially other related notions)

Usually, it's argued that forms that we refer to as 'subjunctive' serve to grammaticalise modality rather than time. Things aren't actually so clear-cut, because most verb forms tend to encode notions of both time and modality to some extent or other. (For example, what in Spanish we often call the 'present subjunctive' form tends to at least encode the notion of "not past"; the 'future' verb forms often indicate notions such as probability, tentativeness.) So sometimes, instead of getting too bogged down in a time/modality distinction which doesn't necessarily exist and doesn't necessarily buy you very much anyway, it's simpler just to use the label "tenses" to refer to "the inventory of verb forms", and from that point of view, you could well refer to the "subjunctive tense". But you can also avoid the argument by just referring to e.g. "the subjunctive form".

In modern syntactic analysis, it's common to think of things such as 'subjunctive' as being "just a feature" (in this case, one that grammaticalises "lack of assertive force") and avoid some of the traditional categorisations that (a) don't work very well, and (b) don't explain very much.

Another source of confusion is that descriptions of some languages, notably English, tend to confuse the terms mood and modality (we probably don't want to count English "should" as (subjunctive) mood, just as we probably don't want to count "yesterday" as (past) tense').

Janice said:

I am new to grammar, Daniel - I do remember diagramming sentences back in ...was it grade school? ...it was so long ago. But I am learning grammar now as I learn Spanish and I believe that the subjunctive is not referred to as a "tense" (of which there is more than one for the subjunctive, at least one of which I have still to learn) but rather a "mood". I think I have even seen the term "voice". Doesn't it help to understand it altogether when it is presented as a mood rather than a tense?

That said, I am not competent to check your sentences, which is what you have really asked.grin ...but it looks like that has been taken care of, and I have learned from your question, too. Thanks.

>

updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
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samdie said:

Janice said:

I am new to grammar, Daniel - I do remember diagramming sentences back in ...was it grade school? ...it was so long ago. But I am learning grammar now as I learn Spanish and I believe that the subjunctive is not referred to as a "tense" (of which there is more than one for the subjunctive, at least one of which I have still to learn) but rather a "mood". I think I have even seen the term "voice". Doesn't it help to understand it altogether when it is presented as a mood rather than a tense? That said, I am not competent to check your sentences, which is what you have really asked.grin ...but it looks like that has been taken care of, and I have learned from your question, too. Thanks.

Since you're new to grammar, (using English terminology): indicative and subjunctive are moods, active and passive are voices and present, past, imperfect and future (plus the X perfect versions) are tenses.


The essence of tense is when; of voice it's actor/acted-upon and, of mood, it's reality/unreality (or, for Lazarus, assertion/non-assertion).

updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by samdie
0
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Thank you Janice, I believe that Subjuctive is called a tense -- in this case I was using "Present Subjuctive". It is explained when learning (like I am) as a "mood". But of course I could be completely wrong.

updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by Daniel
0
votes

Janice said:

I am new to grammar, Daniel - I do remember diagramming sentences back in ...was it grade school? ...it was so long ago. But I am learning grammar now as I learn Spanish and I believe that the subjunctive is not referred to as a "tense" (of which there is more than one for the subjunctive, at least one of which I have still to learn) but rather a "mood". I think I have even seen the term "voice". Doesn't it help to understand it altogether when it is presented as a mood rather than a tense?

That said, I am not competent to check your sentences, which is what you have really asked.grin ...but it looks like that has been taken care of, and I have learned from your question, too. Thanks.


Since you're new to grammar, (using English terminology): indicative and subjunctive are moods, active and passive are voices and present, past, imperfect and future (plus the X perfect versions) are tenses.

updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by samdie
0
votes

I am new to grammar, Daniel - I do remember diagramming sentences back in ...was it grade school? ...it was so long ago. But I am learning grammar now as I learn Spanish and I believe that the subjunctive is not referred to as a "tense" (of which there is more than one for the subjunctive, at least one of which I have still to learn) but rather a "mood". I think I have even seen the term "voice".

Doesn't it help to understand it altogether when it is presented as a mood rather than a tense?

That said, I am not competent to check your sentences, which is what you have really asked.grin ...but it looks like that has been taken care of, and I have learned from your question, too. Thanks.

updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

:

  1. I don't know, but I hope they will come. (No sé, pero espero de que vayan.)

Hard to tell whether it is correct or not. In Spanish, "ir" is generally incompatible "here" or "with me", so maybe you want to say "...espero que vengan".

:

  1. Well the mail is here. You have to open the envelope to see if you passed the test. (Bueno, el correo es aquí. Necesitas abras el sobre de que veas si aprobado la examen.))

"El correo es aquí" can only be interpreted as some important place or event called "correo" being here". You probably mean to say "está aquí".

:

  1. I will grill the steaks when the get here. (Aso los besteques cuando los lleguen.)

If you want the English word, "bistec". Si no, filete de ternera.

:

  1. Man, I don't think you can climb that rope up the cliff. (Hombe, me no parezco de que escales la cuerda arriba la acantilado.)

"No creo que puedas trepar por la cuerda el acantilado".

:

  1. I want you to take this package to the office, pick John up at school and get a pizza from Pizza Hut. (Quiero lleves este paquete a la oficina, que recojas a Juan en la escuela y que consiga una pizza de Pizza Hut.)
updated FEB 6, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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