Explaining the Subjunctive

JohnC1Kwiziq community member

Explaining the Subjunctive

I had searched for “Subjunctive” and came across something entitled “It’s complicated explaining the Subjunctive”. It seemed to be what I was looking for, so I clicked on it. However, I was taken to a lesson on facíl/difícil. Can you correct the link? Basically, I’m trying to mover beyond the long list of situations requiring the mood, and understand the underlying principle(s). Somewhere I saw an article making a distinction between the informational and the intentional. Would you have any references covering this question?   Thanks very much.  John Nolan

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola John

There is the very general concept of "declaring information" (indicative) vs "not declaring information" (subjunctive)  (or factual vs non factual) - for example, if I say "María tiene un trabajo nuevo." (Maria has a new job.) I am simply declaring something, some fact. However, if I say "Me alegra que María tenga un trabajo nuevo." (I'm happy that Maria has a new job.) I am now not declaring this information but I'm saying how I feel about this bit of information (hence the subjunctive). 

However, this general concept is quite abstract and it won't give you an answer as to why we use the subjunctive in other cases because the concept of declaring or not declaring is not clear. 

Under the "non declaring" block you find contexts like "uncertainty and doubt" (Dudo que María tenga un trabajo nuevo), "expressing emotions"(Me gusta que María tenga un trabajo nuevo.), "impersonal statements" (Es bueno que María tenga un trabajo nuevo." etc.

As you progress with your learning you will start to see the subjunctive in lots of different sentences and contexts. It's often difficult to see how it relates to a declaration or not; for this reason we recommend to study the subjunctive in different "blocks":  situations, subordinate clauses, different triggers, etc, because within each group, you also see some exceptions. The more you practise with each group of sentences the more you'll get the idea of the indicative vs the subjunctive. 

Un saludo

 

 

MarcosC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi John,

I hear ya.  It helps to start to study "clauses" and learn the different types of clauses.  This is because the use of the subjunctive is often determined by which types of clauses we are using.

For example, there was one lesson in which Inma was talking about "manner clauses".  I realized that I didn't know what manner clauses were.  So I knew that I needed to study the different types of clauses.  This was a big light bulb for me.

Cheers,

Marcos

Explaining the Subjunctive

I had searched for “Subjunctive” and came across something entitled “It’s complicated explaining the Subjunctive”. It seemed to be what I was looking for, so I clicked on it. However, I was taken to a lesson on facíl/difícil. Can you correct the link? Basically, I’m trying to mover beyond the long list of situations requiring the mood, and understand the underlying principle(s). Somewhere I saw an article making a distinction between the informational and the intentional. Would you have any references covering this question?   Thanks very much.  John Nolan

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