Subjunctive for facts?

RC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Subjunctive for facts?

On the quiz, there was the statement "El hecho de que yo quiera ir al concierto contigo no nos hace pareja." I thought hechos (facts) were expressed in the indicative? 

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola A, R and Alan,

yes, Alan guessed well. This sentence is expressing something that is already known by the speakers. The intention of the speaker here is not to "inform/declare" that but to "have an opinion" about something. 

Bear in mind, though, that this intention is seen as such when "El hecho de que..." is at the beginning:

El hecho de que yo quiera ir al concierto contigo no nos hace pareja.

The fact that I want to go to the concert with you doesn't make us a couple.

But we could also have "el hecho que..." as a second clause, in which case, the intention is then usually seen as "new information/declaration" - here we will find the indicative instead:

Debemos tener en cuenta para el proceso de selección el hecho de que dos de los candidatos hablan inglés a la perfección.

We must take into account for the selection process the fact that two of the candidates can speak English perfectly.

This choice between the indicative or the subjunctive is very similar to what happens with concessive clauses, like aunque: indicative for something declared for the first time, subjunctive for background information that is known by speakers.

I hope this has helped to clarify it.

Saludos a todos,

Inma

AC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I recently saw this for the first time somewhere else, and also as an example w/o an explanation. I think it either has to do with with its being a cause, or its being shared information that is already known to both parties, and using the subjunctive captures its quality of being an opinion statement. Like, we’re not telling whomever this as a scientific statement, we’re sharing opinion about something we both already know happened. I was looking for a specific lesson on here that might back that up, but I couldn’t find it. Would also love to know!

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I wonder if Inma meant that A guessed well, rather than me. It doesn't seem from the explanation that the fact has to be in opposition to the other part of the sentence.

Subjunctive for facts?

On the quiz, there was the statement "El hecho de que yo quiera ir al concierto contigo no nos hace pareja." I thought hechos (facts) were expressed in the indicative? 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
How has your day been?