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Spanish: Subjunctive Question

I have a question about the Spanish Subjunctive.

As I understand it, the Indicative Mood is used to express truth/perceived truth, and the Subjunctive Mood is used to express the hypothetical/doubted/unreal.

This definition holds true most of the time, but what's troubling me is the use of Past Subjunctive with Emotional/Impersonal clauses. For example:

"Es genial que ellos finalmente compraran/comprasen una casa." = "It's great that they finally bought a house." "Estoy enojada que nuestro equipo perdiera/perdiese anoche." = "I'm mad that our team lost last night." "Es extra├▒o que ella no llamara/llamase." = "It's weird that she didn't call."

As I understand it, these emotional/impersonal phrases should trigger the use of Subjunctive. What confuses me is that "they bought a house", "our team lost", and "she didn't call" are all factual...so why are they conjugated in the Subjunctive? Or should they be in the Indicative?

Thank you!

April 6, 2019



There is a good explanation at: https://www.clozemaster.com/blog/spanish-imperfect-subjunctive/

It's great that they finally buy the house "It's great" expresses feelings/emotions..so use pres.subj in dependent clause

It's great that they finally bought the house "It's great" expresses feelings/emotions..so use past.subj in dependent clause

April 6, 2019


Thanks for this, so finally it only depends on the emotion and we have take care about the tense "only" :)

April 7, 2019


Nice question, just my point of view (any native speakers help pls:)) : The "factual" might be misleading as they were hypothetical/doubted in the past, that's why the trigger should be still fine. Get a lingot for that question :) (For me the subjunctivo is still a nightmare ;))

April 6, 2019

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