The subjunctive is one of the most fun things to me about Spanish. I'm interested what I can do with it, and how it can work for me!
Is it right to assume that the meaning of pretty much the same conditional sentence in English can be switched from 'likely' to 'unlikely' in Spanish simply by applying the subjunctive? For instance......
LIKELY?: Si nos tomamos unas vacaciones, podríamos ir a España = If we took some holiday, we could go to Spain
UNLIKELY?: Si nos tomáramos unas vacaciones, podríamos ir a España = If we took some holiday, we could go to Spain (but that's just wishful thinking!)
I mean, am I right that the second sentence in Spanish would suggest that actually getting some time off from work is highly unlikely?
...... es un poco dificil pero, si supiéramos utilizar el subjuntivo, podríamos expresarnos mucho mejor en español! ¿Verdad?
It's great to hear your positive comment about the subjunctive!
Lots of learners find it very difficult (we totally understand that) and try to go round it so they express more or less the same idea with the infinitive or the indicative but it doesn't work most of the time.
You will hear the subjunctive daily in every sort of conversation, in set expressions, etc - I really like it too as it makes our language a lot richer and interesting.
With regards to your sentences, yes, indeed, the si clauses use different tenses depending on the probability (how possible or impossible we consider the action in the si clause to be), so your second sentence will convey a lower probability.
In case you haven't seen all our lessons on the conditional clauses with "si", here they are:
si + present indicative
si + present indicative (2)
si + imperfect subjunctive
si + pluperfect subjunctive
Thanks Inma, a very useful reply.
BTW A lot of the love I have for the subjunctive and Spanish in general comes from what I've learned here on Kwiziq. So thanks to you and the team 😉
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