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English translation

ShirleyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

English translation

Hice lo que pude ________ no llegáramos tarde. I did what I could so that we wouldn't be late.(HINT: ¿Porqué o por queHola, just wondering about the conditional tense used in the English translation, whereas llegáramos is the future tense. Muchas gracias, Shirley.  
Asked 1 week ago
MarcosC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Actually llegáramos is the subjunctive imperfect, which is why it is translated with “would”. The future tense would be “llegaremos”.  Although I would have used “para que” so I’m a bit confused here.

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Marcos

You can also say "para que no llegáramos tarde" - the nuance is slightly different between por que... and para que... With para que... the subordinate clause is a "purpose one", so you did what you could in order not to be late. With por que... the subordinate clause is more of a "causal one", so you did what you could because you didn't want to be late, i.e the reason why you did all you could was that: not being late. The "so that..." translation could be taken either way. 

This is maybe seen more clearly with more simple examples. For example, you can say:

Me fui de casa para ser independiente.

I left home to be independent. (purpose)

Me fui de casa por ser independiente.  (reason: the motivation was to be independent, that's "why" I left)

Maybe without the "...que.." the message is clearer?

I hope it clarifies it.

Saludos

MarcosC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Inma,

At this point, I'm realizing how differently Spanish and English speakers think in some situations. :-) I would have translated "Me fui de casa por ser independiente." as "I left home because I was an independent person."  

But I have noticed that "por que" is used with the subjunctive so that is a clue that it expresses intention.  So now I think of the structure like this: "Hice lo que pude por que no legáramos tarde" could be "Hice lo que pude por que no quisiera llegar tarde".  In other words, we use "para que" to express an intention, and we use "por que" because we have an intention.

I often use these rules of thumb until I understand certain structures better.  Hope it's not too far off.

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Marcos

Yes, I think your conclusion is correct, but bear something in mind: you don't use the subjunctive here and that por que should be together:  

Hice lo que pude por que no quisiera llegar tarde -> Hice lo que pude porque no quería llegar tarde

Think about it as: "hacer algo por una razón" (to do something for a reason) = hacer algo por algo = hacer algo por no estar aburrido (the motivation/reason to do something is because if I don't I will be bored) = hacer algo por ayudar a los demás (the motivation/reason to do something is because I want to help others) - it's a bit easy to see it with por + infinitive, but it's the same effect if the subordinate is por que ... where the subordinate after "que..." (e.g. que no llegáramos tarde) is that "algo" in "hacer algo por algo". I think in English, to get that nuance you'd have to periphrase it, it's not that straight forward. 

Saludos de nuevo

English translation

Hice lo que pude ________ no llegáramos tarde. I did what I could so that we wouldn't be late.(HINT: ¿Porqué o por queHola, just wondering about the conditional tense used in the English translation, whereas llegáramos is the future tense. Muchas gracias, Shirley.  

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