Translation:If I were rich, I would have a lot of cars and houses.
Because in hypothetical conditional sentences, Spanish uses subjunctive in the if part and conditional in the result part.
In fact in the conditional sentence "I were rich, I would .... ", it could be argued that English is doing the same. But apart from a very few exceptionz, subjunctive is now rare in English.
The subjunctive is definitely more prominent in Spanish. But it is less that English does not have a subjunctive or that it is dying out and more than the subjunctive mood affects the conjugation of most verbs. So this English sentence is definitely subjunctive as are all the if clauses of these contrary to fact if then statements. When you have the verb to be, you can see it. If I were is always subjunctive. The past tense that goes with I is was. So too, therefore is if he were, as the past tense of he is also was. Verbs like wish always take the subjunctive in English as well. But since most verbs don't change, to some extent its just a conceptual subjunctive, not a grammatical one. But even the conceptual rules are different in English.
In the modern teaching of English as a foreign language and in modern reference grammars, counterfactual conditionals are simply seen as using past tenses ("the unreal past" or "irrealis"), and the word subjunctive isn't really used in connection with "were", being reserved for present subjunctive. The use of "were" instead of "was" here is seen simply as an optional exception, elegant perhaps, but optional, with "if I was rich" being seen as equally correct.
The use of "were" with "wish" is in fact rather less common than with "if", even in books. Some years ago there was an advertising campaign in the UK with the slogan, "I wish I was in Egypt", which I don't think raised many eyebrows.
Interestingly, the idea that subjunctive is used for unreal conditionals and indicative for real conditionals seems to be relatively modern. Up to about the 17th century, many "if" clauses in factual conditionals also appear to have been followed by a subjunctive. Then as now, the difference was not expressed so much by mood as by tense, unreal conditionals using the barely noticeable past subjunctive, and real conditionals using the rather more obvious present subjunctive (eg. "If music be the food of love, play on"). Eighteenth century commentators such as Samuel Johnson and Joseph Priestley noticed that this practice of using what they called the conjunctive was disappearing, and we are now simply left with "were" as a vestigial trace of a time when it appears to have been the practice to use subjunctive with both counterfactual and factual conditionals.
There is much more subjunctive in English than the "were".
If you want to learn more, see these references:
http://www.grammaring.com/would-rather-would-sooner-clause-with-the-past-perfect-subjunctive http://www.grammaring.com/present-subjunctive http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm https://zourpri.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/the-american-heritage-guide-to-contemporary-usage-and-style-2005.pdf
Note that, today, the subjunctive is typically expressed using "would" "may" , "might"
You don't have to argue that the sentence is subjunctive in English, it is as anyone who knows English grammar will tell you. The problem is few people even remember the word subjunctive from English class. English does have a subjunctive, although much more rudimentary than Spanish. The biggest problem is there are no verb forms that are unique to it. But "If I were" is subjunctive because it is the only time you see were with I. Of course because we don't learn it well, people have stopped using it as much, so you hear a lot of if I was.
See these references:
http://www.grammaring.com/would-rather-would-sooner-clause-with-the-past-perfect-subjunctive http://www.grammaring.com/present-subjunctive http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm https://zourpri.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/the-american-heritage-guide-to-contemporary-usage-and-style-2005.pdf Note that, today, the subjunctive is typically expressed using "would" "may" , "might"
I think that each section needs a video lesson to help get started. My advice from what I've been learning is to first watch a video tutorial from youtube/spanishdict, and then try to apply it here. Below is a video link I used to help understand this section.
I don't always trust charities, so maybe I'd find a way to use my wealth to help the people who I interact with on a daily basis.
...or maybe I'd just be a Scrooge and swim in my pool of gold coins...alone (and love every second of it).
I guess I'll never know until I get there.
Overdosing on lessons here and rarely on the computer where I can follow the thread of discussion (app is not so good for that). Wow on the feedback, thank you everyone for your feedback and yes, the references to fiddler on the roof, which are now stuck permanently in me noggin, more so when I get that particular sentence. Sitting at 670 points away from Level 20 with 64% fluency, living in the Dominican Republic and still am barely able to say a few words, though following a discussion is getting easier. BTW, I like the word "freaking" as on a public forum, is much better then the other F word, so please to anyone who takes offence, place your language monitor on your own thread and stop policing mine... Taking a break from my Spanish tonight and immersion has now included how to don a tubi to my crazy blond hair that flies everywhere! Hoping to get some sleep tonight without rolling on the lengths... which reminds me... I talk in my sleep and now apparently, I talk in English and Spanish! Perhaps I should spend my days sleeping while socializing lol Hasta la vista Baby :)
It is a construction that Spanish, and English for that matter, both follow:
Si + Imperfect Subjunctive + blah blah blah + Conditional + blah blah blah.
If I were rich, I would have a new house. Si fuera rico, tendría una casa nueva.
If we were together, I would kiss you. Si estuviéramos juntos, te besaría. (not really)
If I ate an apple, I would no longer be hungry. Si comiera una manzana, ya no tendría hambre.
It can be an easy sentence:
If I had more money, I would buy a car. Si tuviera más dinero, compraría un coche.
Or a more complicated sentence using the Past Perfect Subjunctive (and it still follows the same construction):
If I had bought a new car a month ago, I would have less money now. Si hubiera comprado un coche nuevo hace un mes, tendría menos dinero ahora.
Each of those sentences has a subjuntive part: fuera, estuviéramos, comiera, tuviera, hubiera... and a conditional part: tendría, besaría, tendría, compraría, tendría.
Well, think for a moment why you use the Imperfect Subjunctive in those sentences. It's because they are hypothetical and never happened. I'm not rich. We aren't together. I didn't eat an apple. Etc. In fact, if any of those things actually happened, why would you even make those comments?
So, now to the present with things that CAN happen. If I do it... If I eat an apple... If I buy a car... These things can all happen, so you do not use the Present Subjunctive. You use the Present. And what follows is the Future tense. Sometimes, especially in Spain, the Present follows.
With the future:
If I eat an apple, I will not be hungry. Si como una manzana, no tendré hambre.
If I buy a car, I will be happy. Si compro un coche, estaré feliz.
With the present:
If I have time this afternoon, I will help you. Si tengo tiempo esta tarde, te ayudo.
If it does not rain, I will come by your house later. Si no llueve, me paso luego por tu casa.
Carro is not really Spanglish. It is definitely the preferred word in México but I think it is widely used. I have always wondered why Duo teaches mostly coche since in general the vocabulary they teach seems to line up with Mexican Spanish. That makes sense because Mexico has the most Spanish speakers in the world, followed as of 2015 by the US. But it is common for languages to use a term related to the language which introduced that thing into the region. English has imported many words from Spanish as well. The obvious ones are names of places and foods or things directly related to Spanish/latin culture in other ways like Matador or macho. But the words embargo, mosquito, guerilla, breeze and cargo all come from Spanish. And thee are even more words that came through Spanish but were from some of the indigenous languages in the America's and the Caribbean. These include words like chocolate, tomato and canoe. All this is a normal language process.
Have a lingot on me for the very interesting information.
Your comment made me research the number of Spanish/Castilian Speakers (SCS) by country:
- 1 - Mexico - 123 million (22% of all SCS)
- 2 - United States - 58 million (11%)
- 3 - Colombia - 49 million (9%)
- 4 - Spain - 46 million (8%)
- 5 - Argentina - 44 million (8%)
- Rest of the World - 225 million (41%)
- World Total: 460 million
Interesting bits that made me think:
- The five countries listed above share ⅗ of all SCS
- MEX is by far the country with more SCS
- The US has more Spanish speakers than Spain
- Spain has only 8% of all SCS
- Spanish has almost a half billion native speakers (English has 0.37 billion native speakers; Mandarin Chinese has 0.90 billion native speakers)
- My native Brazil has less than half million proficient SCS (only 0.2% of the population, 0.08% of all SCS)
- 30 countries have more than (or almost) a million SCS
Yes. I was initially surprised when I did the same research. But it makes sense when you think about it. When you remove Brazil from the mix because they speak Portuguese and then discount México, Colombia and Argentina you are talking about quite a few rather small countries making up most of that remaining 40%. The US, of course, has received a massive influx of Spanish speakers since the 2nd half of the 20th Century, especially from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba, but including people from all of Latin America. California, where I now live, now has more hispanic people than any other ethnic group. And the retention of Spanish at least bilingually, is quite high.
I was also surprised to learn that Brazil had such a small number of Spanish speakers. My understanding, however, is that Spanish influences are one of the reasons for the diversity of pronunciation in Brazil. I am struggling to learn Portuguese here on Duo. The pronunciation surprised me quite a bit. I was especially surprised to learn how a native of Rio de Janeiro would pronounce the name of his city. I don't think I have ever heard it pronounced that way. But I understand that the r and d sounds which can be quite different are pronounced more like Spanish in some regions. Am I wrong to assume that Spanish had some influence there?
And the retention of Spanish at least bilingually, is quite high.
I really like reading that. I think that a world with more bilingual people can be a little more open to discussion and to other ideas.
Spanish language in Brazil
To be complete, I should had posted the full numbers for Spanish speakers in Brazil:
(460 018 hablantes nativos + 96 000 competencia limitada + 6 120 000 estudiantes).
5 500 000 pueden mantener una conversación
I hadn't posted these 5.5 million because the term "can maintain a conversation" is tricky. Lots of those people are usually speaking Portuñol, a semi-ad hoc non-"standardized" mix of Portuguese and Spanish, or simply trying to communicate using some of the words they know in the other language. (I think comparing to Spanglish wouldn't be fair because Portuguese and Spanish a lot more closely related than English and Spanish).
Videos speak more than 1000 words
The two interesting videos bellow show some Brazilian tourists being interviewed in Uruguay. Some of them don't speak Spanish at all (the first interviewer is from Argentina and can speak some Portuguese), but still they can "keep a conversation":
- https://youtu.be/2bqR6eCwwKs?t=5m45s (from 5:45 to 9:25) (note also: there is an interesting use of vos (equivalent of tu or usted) of the español rioplatense at 10:25)
- https://youtu.be/lC9k6cbv5ZA?t=2m32s (from 2:32 to 5:50) (note also: use of "(vos) sos" and the pecular pronunciation of "llamas", with a sound closer to "sh", at 6:05)
They are surely communicating, but, IMHO, saying they speak Spanish is a long run. So I think a lot more than 5 million Brazilians can communicate/"maintain a conversation" in Spanish-speaking countries, and even more can read it, but I grieve when I see the term "keep a conversation". (I know I would barely keep a conversation in Spanish or English, although I can read well.)
I'm looking forward to more up to date numbers. In the last years Brazil has received many immigrants and increased the number of students abroad.
Influence of the Spanish language in Brazil
I think this influence (and from Portuguese to Spanish) is stronger in the south, thanks to the proximity of higher density areas with Uruguay and Argentina. There is strong influence in other regions too, but the densities of these areas are a lot lower. Long distances from one major city to another and rain-forests basically isolate us from neighbours like Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.
These regions in the Brazilian south use the traditional/classical "R" (the same of Spanish, European Portuguese, Russian etc.) and several other language features that are closer to the European Portuguese and to the Spanish language.
And let's not forget that Portuguese and Spanish are sister languages born in the Iberian Peninsula, so the influences are from birth.
About "Rio de Janeiro"
The single "R" in Brazil is a beauty: depending on where you are, it can sound even similar to English. See this link with the three main variations. Unfortunately, Forvo only has the pronunciation of Rio de Janeiro with one of these R's by now. (But they have interesting pronunciations of Rio).
The "D" in Brazilian Portuguese is usually closer to the Italian or French languages, the Spanish version being just similar. To sum up to the problem, Brazilians should be writing "di" (like in Italian) and not "de" (like in Spanish). Our orthography is being obsoleted by the way we actually pronounce the letters. And our "e" ("and") should be replaced by "y" like in Spanish: they mean the same, they sound the same, but our orthography is lost somewhere in the 19th century.
The "J" in Portuguese and in Spanish are quite different, but at least it has a consistent sound in both languages. The Spanish language has one beauty: once you learn one letter, it will usually sound the same always (inside the language variant). In Portuguese, by the other hand, the sounds of one letter can change a lot even inside the same word (see "Teste" at Forvo). Like in the French language, only experience can help you here. :(
The good thing is: once you get the hand in Portuguese, with lots of different sounds and inconsistent letters, you will understand any Portuguese variant, a lot of Spanish and even a bit of Italian. The opposite is not always true: mutual intelligibility is not a two way street... sometimes.
If you have some doubt, ask me! If I can help, I will. The problem is that sometimes I write a lot. I wish I knew when to stop. :P
I am the same way. But your writing belies your claim that you could barely maintain a conversation in English. I know that speaking and understanding spoken speech can be difficult, but I know collège educated native speakers who can't write English as well as you can, so I wouldn't worry about that.
I just discovered there are several new bilingual public schools in my area (now that my kids are much to old to attend) When I first moved to California from Massachusetts people kept trying to have me sign petitions to make English our national language. We actually don't have an official national language, but I could never see how naming English the official language would help an English speaker, but I was sure it would hinder a non English speaker. I would have said we were getting better until last November when we elected a President who fosters fear, hate and has childish tantrums on Twitter for the World to see. As if that would make America great again.
I will check out those videos. I have been surprised at how much easier I find speaking Italian from Spanish than Portuguese. I mostly have the sounds down, al least in the accent that Duo uses which matches most of what II have found on most Internet sites. I have gotten so I can read and know how it will sound, but I can't yet know what I am hearing. The r which people tell me sounds like an h, although that's not really how I hear it the de and te sounds that sound somewhat in between a soft ch and the j in jean, and the final m that sounds like a terminal n in French and the final l which sounds to me almost like the ão sound cause me problèms. But I am forever amazed at the similarities and differences between the four major Western European Romance languages. My biggest mystery is the butterfly. While the words for ant, bee, spider and fly show similar roots, the word for butterfly is completely different but quite pretty in each language, much prettier than the English word butterfly not that it isn't pretty too.
Now I have talked too much lol. Tudo de bom.
Yes I agree. I had completed the tree about three or four years before they came out with the crown system and had already reached level 25, but the crown system just put me at about a level 3 on most units. Now I am over halfway up the tree completing level 5. I started Duo speaking Spanish to some extent. I doubt I have learned even half a dozen words from Duo. But understanding and translating random sentences correctly every day is definitely a good way to stay sharp for people who don't live in a Spanish speaking country or have people to regularly speak with.
More to the point of this statement is the word "if". Use of "if" puts this statement into the subjunctive case. In the subjunctive case the correct statement would be: "If I were rich..." If, instead, you said "If I was rich..." you would be understood by an English speaker but it would not be grammatically correct.
The English subjunctive is never mandatory in if statements. I don't think modern grammarians care which mood you use. I think the subjunctive does sound more proper in a formal setting when it's an option, though.
I'm referring to the "second conditional," which works the same in English and Spanish, except that in English the subjunctive mood is optional:
This second type of si clause is contrary to fact in the present. The consequence is thus seen as impossible. Note that in Spanish, the imperfect (past) subjunctive is used in the si clause, never the conditional.
I should also note that in English the subjunctive is only used in the second conditional with the verb to be. Otherwise, you simply use the simple past tense.
Certain verbs require the subjunctive as mandatory in a subordinate clause, such as demand, insist, suggest, etc... (especially when the verb in the subordinate clause is "to be")
Huang, the easy way to remember the difference is, if it is preceded by "I wish..." or "If" then it takes "were": If not, it takes "was." "I wish I were a doctor." (But alas, I am a janitor.) "I was a doctor." (But then I moved to another country that didn't accept my license.) "If I were sleepy, I'd sleep in your arms." "I was sleepy, so I went to bed early." Best wishes!
Note there are some cases when you do use I with was after if, when it is not subjunctive:
Was- I am- I was. Apart from in this type of subjunctive- conditional/hypothetical phrase where 'were' is used. If I were you. If I were rich. If I were President etc. However as has been mentioned many times elsewhere, 'was' is now often used (to the annoyance of the purists!!) even though technically it should be were. Similar I guess to how people use Who instead of Whom etc.
You see the 'were' here has nothing to do with past tense. Subjunctive gets out of the past/present/future way of thinking and talks about situations that are hypothetical, desired, emotional, counter-factual. These don't fit into the usual tenses so it makes sense that English marks them in a way to make it clear they're different. That's why English uses 'were' for the past subjunctive.
Porque es el modo subjuntivo de inglés.
I were = fuera
I was = estaba/estuve/era/fui
If you typed "If I were rich, I would have a lot of cars and houses" and you were counted as incorrect, then it is your duty to report this to Duolingo so people of the future don't encounter the same frustration.
However, you might check your response, because it seems to be working fine for almost everyone else. There is one other person with your same complaint, "tbrabeck," so if this becomes a trend, we will see.
Next time try copying and pasting your exact answer here into the forum.
They're called irreversible binomials. "Houses and cars" sounds better to me too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_twins_(linguistics) Also, If the answer is "I went to the movies yesterday." or "Yesterday I went to the movies." they accept either answer.
Mucho is singular so the noun it modifies would not be in plural. Using plural or singular, at least were I live can alter the meaning, for example you are eating a soup and you say "quiero mucho ajo" to say that you want more garlic (powdered for example), if you say at that moment "quiero muchos ajos" it would be weird as it you would be asking for the whole thing, unless you are weird, your hosts are weird and you are eating a soup made entirely of whole garlic xD. In the case of "muchos coches y casas" you are talking about a number of coches and casas, singular doesn't make sense here. For "mucho coche" and "mucha casa" I can only think about this stupid examples: "tío, es mucho coche pa' ti" (~man, that's a lot of car for you, ie: probably a powerful and expensive car. Also pa' is a very informal way to say para, you might hear it in Spain and dont evere write it like that, it is just an oral thing), "wow, esto es mucha casa" (I don't really know how I would translate this into English, but basically this guy saw an impresive house xD). Keep in mind there are cases where it can only be singular ex.: "hay mucha gente" "tienes mucha suerte"... And sorry for the extras :P
fuera does mean out or outside but it is also one of the forms the imperfect subjunctive of ser (were) and ir (were to go).
The imperfect subjunctive follows pretty standard verb conjugation so fuera is for yo, él, ella and usted, fueras is for tú, fuéramos is for nosotros/nosotras and fueran is for ellos/ellas/ustedes.
This is the English subjunctive. Not only is the subjunctive mood used lime what ess frequently in English than in Spanish, as this article explains, it is almost always invisible, because most forms are the same as the indicative. The verb to be however, is the verb most altered by the subjunctive mood
I am not sure what your problem is. Autos and homes does not meet Duo's original convention of common for common. Which means I don't believe it should be accepted. But Duo has been accepting more and more translations. I fear they are bowing to pressure, but it is more confusing to those students who need the most help, and has had some of the other system issues I anticipated.
Well the prevailing schools on grammar and Linguistics are descriptionist not perscriptionist. By that standard was has probably reached the usage threshold to be deemed correct. But I agree it is sad, and especially so for people learning another language. The subjunctive was always rather invisible in English, but it makes it even more difficult to learn if you don't know how it worked in English. There are so many grammar points that are easier for those who know the old rules of English.
If that is the problem, always report it using the flag icon. I always use the android app on my phone, and I find the same question has multiple form which appear during different exercises. I have found exercises where the building blocks were set to construct a somewhat different translation than the one normally preferred. That is a way for Duo to make you use a different construction than you would routinely use. But in this case, I don't know how they could have avoided the if.
No. Actually, the verb to be is the one verb that reflects the subjunctive in English best. Most other verbs only show the subjunctive in the third person present or not at all. If I were is exactly parallel to the Spanish here. Were is the past subjunctive in English. If you aren't old enough to remember it, look up the song from the musical Fiddler on the Roof entitled If I Were a Rich Man. While it is true that this is also changing as language changes, but reinforcing those elements that are similar to what you are learning is helpful.
There is nothing wrong with that translation. I haven't had this exercise in a long time, so I don't remember whether Duo just missed the "many" option. I always prefer to use much or many in English if they sound OK, because it is more parallel to most other languages. This idea of "a lot of" that works with both countable or uncountable nouns is not used in any other language I know. But Duo seems to prefer it. On the other hand it could be just a Duo glitch which happens randomly and is idiopathic. Either way, I always report it.
I agree. I used to be hesitant to report things. I do sometimes read through the comments before deciding to report it before going to the next question. Buy when in doubt now I report it. I recognize that people reporting things that aren't errors is one reason it takes so long to get changes made, but my few mistakes in reporting are not going to affect that much.
If you actually wrote "i if were rich i would have many cars and houses" then that would definitely be wrong. However, if that's a typographical error and you actually wrote "If I were rich I would have many cars and houses" (even if you did not use any capital letters) then it would be correct and Duo ought to accept it. I'm fairly certain that in this question it now accepts both "a lot of" and "many" though originally, much to my irritation, it insisted on "a lot of"
ahhh. thanks. I did miss that typo.
the thing with difficult lessons is that you repeat the same things over and over again and it is hard to stay focused -- especially on the ones you know.
I had been working on this lesson for more than an hour by the time i made that mistake. Guess i was overdue for a break.
I need to save this response somewhere so I can copy and paste it everywhere since Duo doesn't teach this well. Spanish NEVER requires subject pronouns. This is even true when the sentence is ambiguous without them, although obviously people will use them to be clear. But what is required to be clear is more situational/context driven than related to grammar. Conversely they are never not allowed, except in modern Spanish for "it". The it subject pronoun, ello, is essentially archaic and not taught. But all the subject pronouns you know çan be used at any and all times, although your Spanish speaking friends may consider quite an emphatic person if you do. In real life contexts even the verb forms that could refer to different subject pronouns are after sufficiently clear based on the conversation. So subject pronouns are mostly omitted. But as a language program, it is natural that you will see them in exercises more than you will hear on the street. But if Duo does not accept the sentence both with and without the subject pronoun they are always wrong. So you should always report it.
I think that is probably too informal for Duo. I say lots of all the time, but I don't write it. Duo does often concentrate more on the common spoken forms, but they also like to match the tone of the Spanish, which doesn't have a different, less formal way to say muchas, at least that Duo teaches. I suspect if they do it would vary regionally.