1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Es importante que ella viva."

"Es importante que ella viva."

Translation:It is important that she lives.

May 24, 2017



Now I know what to say during my next hostage situation...


"It is important that she live," would be the proper way to say this, no?



Yes. DL tends to use the English indicative, rather than the English subjunctive, unfortunately. Thanks for making your observation.

The English subjunctive (present) uses the "base form" of the verb. The "base form" is the infinitive, without the "to". Thus "live", 'be" ("important that she live"; "let it be"; "I want that she go...".

Notice that, just as in Spanish, imperatives in English are the subjunctive: "Come here" "Stop" "Leave"



Good link with interesting information about other aspects of verbs I was trying to explain to someone recently.

I would also definitely use the subjunctive here and in the examples given in both the source you cite and in the bbc reference mentioned above, though as they point out, many people use the "regular" indicative (or the verb with should, particularly in the UK), except probably in fixed phrases, such as so be it, God save the queen, etc.
Though I use the subjunctive after adjectives like important and verbs like request, insist, or suggest, I definitely do not use it after "want." I would, for example, insist on rephrasing "I want that she go" as "I want her to go." I have seen many similarly questionable translations in Duo for at least a few languages. While objecting to such translations as bad English (at least in my NE US dialect), I nonetheless recognize their utility as a kind of pedagogical halfway house. They reinforce the structure found in the target language and make it easy for us and non-native speakers of English using English Duo to come up with an easy "acceptable" translation. However, more fluent translations should also be accepted, and non-native speakers run the risk of being misled into thinking the direct translation is always good English.



I like your observations/comment very much. I agree very much about the usefulness of correct subjunctive as a pedagogical tool.

I also recognize that I often don't use a correct subjunctive when I could. Your example of "I want that she go" is a clear instance where I would not use the English subjunctive. I agree that a "direct translation" of the Spanish subjunctive may (might) often not be the best.

However, since I have begun Duolingo and have been paying attention to the subjunctive, I do hear it (from English speakers) much more than I previously realized. I don't believe it is as dead as some might think (seem to claim).

Some references I have seen say that "might" and "should" are forms of (indicators of ) the subjunctive.

BTW, I have lived in Maine, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and have relatives/family/close friends in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, New Jersey-- So I am familiar with many varieties of U.S. English.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Saludos.


Gracias para sus comentarios también. From what I have read, the subjunctive is in greater use at this point in American English than British. However, even the most formal English grammar calls for the subjunctive in far fewer grammatical contexts than Spanish or several other European languages. So we just have to work at it a little harder than speakers of languages than have more in common with Spanish in this regard.


I agree. However, I find the reasons for the Spanish subjunctive and for the English subjunctive to be pretty much the same.

See this reference on English subjunctive. http://grammarist.com/grammar/subjunctive-mood/


I didn't see a link to reply to your latest comment, so I'm replying to the earlier one. I found a link to a Spanish Subjunctive Guide put together by adamyoung97: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8828180 In it there are many examples in several categories of specific words or phrases in Spanish, often called triggers, that (may) require the subjunctive. One may also note, that in the majority of cases, the appropriate English translation is not in the subjunctive.


Thanks for the Duolingo link. I discovered it about a year or so ago. Also, in my researches on the subjunctive, I came across the original he took it from.

I also have a pretty complete list of subjunctive "triggers".

For any who are interested in learning more about subjunctive "triggers", here are two references. They are very helpful.

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/subj1.htm http://spanishplus.tripod.com/VerbsWithSubjunctive.htm

Gracias y Saludos


My natural tendency is to use ''should'' - it is important that she should live. It has the benefit of expressing the meaning clearly and unambiguously.


I am certainly of the same mind as to the use of the subjunctive in English and DL should accept it.


Interesting link. While I would use the subjunctive with vital, essential etc., I wouldn't with "important". However, I have added "live" to the list of acceptable answers.


It seems consistent to use the subjunctive in English when translating the same mood in Spanish to capture the true meaning, that she may live, not that she is living, as implied by the indicative.


I think using the subjunctive is correct. For example, which of the following is correct? "It's important he be there." "It's important he is there." The first is subjunctive and I believe it is correct.


Yes. The first is a good subjunctive.


"It's important that she live" is the only grammatical choice here, and including the "that" is important too.


Actually, the "that" is good/ better and probably more common, but not necessary.


Yes., it is correct. "That she live" is a good example of the English subjunctive.


Yes. And it is accepted.


Yes, if you want that subjunctive mood


Su nombre es Sarah Connor


Where is subjuntive/imperative in this sentence?


A simple Acronym for the subjunctive is WEIRDO. Use the subjunctive for 1) "Wishes, Desires, Imperatives 2) Emotion; 3) Impersonal observations; 4) Recommendations; 5) Doubt, Denial, Disbelief.

The sentence above is subjunctive because it is expressing a Wish or desire. http://www.drlemon.com/Grammar/Subjunctive/subjunctiveWeirdo.html


Very catchy and helpful mnemonic! I shared this link with the leader of a Spanish conversation group at a local library, who shared it with all participants. They all got a kick out of it. ¡Gracias otra vez!


It can also be used in place of the conditional when the if-clause is in the subjunctive mood (I discovered that elsewhere here on Duo).


Es una valoración; a value judgment.


Okay someone needs to make a story using all of Duo's sentences. I think it'd be quite interesting.


They talking about RBG?


El subjuntivo en ingles casi ha desaparecido, no


No. I hear it a lot. One just has to recognize it when it occurs. If people were more attuned to it, they would hear and see it more.


Three years latter, I still hear the subjunctive a lot. It's still just a matter of being attuned to it.

If only others might listen for it [subjunctive].


How do you remove a language you don't want to do anymore? no links please.


Go to your username in the top right and on the drop-down menu click 'Settings'. At the settings menu, click 'Learning Language' on the side-bar. On that page, click 'Reset or Remove language' (it's a light gray link under the list of languages). Choose your language and remove it. I hope this helps. :)


I heard "beba" NOT "viva". Maybe we shouldn't do audio on these type of exercises.


"V" is pronounced very much like a soft "b" in Spanish.
This is very evident when my Mexican friend talks about getting in his "ban" to drive it. By the way, the male voice above sounded correct to me.


This is off subject, but how do you get Spanish punctuation on your keyboard?


I understand that you can create a Spanish keyboard. What I have one is put the Spanish accented letters into a Word Doc, and simply copy and paste from them.

Just copy these into the Word doc. Á á É é Í í Ó ó á Ú ú ñ ¿ ú

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.