https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

Defeated by Spanish Subjunctive.

Although I try to stay optimistic I think the Spanish Subjunctive has beaten me. If I were to decide never to use it - how would that sound to a Spanish speaker ? Would I be understood ? Does anyone else speak without using it?
To have to decide on a verb conjugation with 'opposite' endings which depends on the underlying emotion of an earlier part of each sentence just seems impossible. How do 5 year old Spanish speaking children cope with that ? When they are first taught to read and write is the Subjunctive used straight away or is it added when they are older ? Any advice would be appreciated.

3 years ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/matfran2001
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Spanish children learn it later on, and also just by imitation and repetition. They start to use it when they are a bit older (4-6 years old, I guess) just because the Subjunctive implies more complex sentences.

I think you shouldn't "study" it, you will just "get used to it" the more you hear it and the more you read it, and after a while, you'll also use it just by imitation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

It is the final phase of language acquisition for many. If you don't use it you'll sound like a child, but people will understand you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/d100
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Do you know this post (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8828180) I think it is pretty good.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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Duo doesn't teach much on the Subjunctive mood. It addresses the present tense and the imperfect (past) tense a little. It doesn't cover the two compound tenses at all (present perfect and past perfect). You could try Senor Jordan https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3I2scc15jBct61vlxt3zcw He only has videos on the Present subjunctive. The imperfect/Past can get more complicated because it can be used with different combinations. There is not a future or future perfect that is used in modern Spanish, but it is found in literature. Also there are some other videos on youtube which address the four tenses of the Subjunctive mood, but I only have found Senor Jordan and Professor Jason to be really good.https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS0Z_G7-cH5RDhBZqoZqRbNnvAknNep4i

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

Thank you - I hadn't tried any of those sources so they could be a great help. Plenty to do !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
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What other resources have you used to help with subjunctive? The textbook for the class I took taught WEIRDO, and once I had internalized that and got used to seeing the triggers, it made a lot more sense.

Another thing that has helped is reading, particularly well written dialogue. That has helped me get a feel for how people speak. Sometimes I come across a use of subjunctive that is mystifying, but a lot of language is just hearing and seeing things repeatedly then imitating those things.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

Yes - Weirdo is a help but I need to get past the thinking stage. I think you are right it's going to have to be imitation eventually.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

Thanks so much for everyone's advice. Yes that post by adamyoung97 is really useful but it still seems a lot to think about for each sentence - so I just hope I 'get used to it' . Maybe one day !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
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We use the subjunctive to some extent in English. For example, "My father wishes that I was a better example to my brother" or "If I were smarter, this would be easier.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

It's interesting that the subjunctive in English is almost non existent - in fact I think there would be many English speakers who would get the examples you gave wrong, and that's in their own language ! Puzzling as to why it is used so much in Spanish because without it the meaning wouldn't really change. Are there other languages which use the subjunctive a lot ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matfran2001
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Italian. They use it even more.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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Hi no.name.42, would not your first sentence be correct if you were to use the English subjunctive: My father wishes that I were a better example to my brother. At least that is the way I would say it. I grew up speaking English taught from text books, but the English subjunctive has been dying out even a century ago or longer.

Take for example; English subjunctive: It is important that John be at the meeting apposed to (not English subjunctive). It is important that John is at the meeting. The English subjunctive uses the infinitive ,' be'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virgilio931

I am native, we could understand you but it would be strange eg: saying "cuando el viene lo sabra", instead of "cuando el venga lo sabra" even you will sound worse than a child,

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vinca6

Thank you - I will keep trying !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virgilio931

that's great, don't give up! greetings

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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Well, we have to start somewhere, don't we? Would you please translate your sentences into English. I ran them through 4 translators and got weird English translations. Thank you. Always good to hear from the native speakers of Spanish. It is a big help to us other English native speakers (or, other languages as well).

Oh, I got something like 'When the comes the sabra'. I know these machine translators can be bad.

3 years ago
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