https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy

Why is this subjunctive?

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I was watching one of my favorite TV shows, and the tip, "Una de las claves de esta receta es que el corte sea regular," popped up on screen. This seems to be one of those sentences where the use of subjunctive seems almost random. I understand the WEIRDO system pretty well, but it takes quite a bit of mental effort to shoehorn this sentence into it. So what gives? Anyone have insight?

(As a side note, when I think about it, the subjunctive sounds fine in this sentence in English even though its use is very rare.)

2 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DuoFaber
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That sentence needs the subjunctive because it's not about a certain event, it's about something that may or may not happen. We don't know if the cut is going to be regular or not (and I mean any cut, by anyone who might be following the recipe at any given time), all we know is that that's how it should be. Once it's done, one might say "el corte es regular" or "no es regular", but until then there's only uncertainty and wishful thinking. And even if it was the easiest recipe in the world, it would still need the subjunctive :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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A fantastic question, and a fantastic answer! :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

"even if it WERE the easiest recipe in the world, it would need the subjunctive." Pretty much the same in English. :-)

Otherwise, a good answer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoFaber
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Sometimes I forget English has a subjunctive mood too, as you've probably guessed it's not my first language :) Thank you for the correction!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
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Thank you. This is very helpful. I have to remember the overall concept and not get bogged down with rules.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alezzzix
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That sentence could use indicative mood or subjunctive mood, it all depends on the message you're trying to convey, the sentence "Una de las claves de esta receta es que el corte sea regular" makes sense considering that it is a tip you're giving to somebody so they can nail the recipe (when they make it), so obviously the cut has not been made yet. If you change that to "Una de las claves de esta receta es que el corte es regular", you could use it to explain how you make the dish, remember that when you use indicative mood you are talking about real information.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
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Thank you. Irreal future things. I have to remember those!

2 years ago
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