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"Yo quisiera que fueras a la universidad."

Translation:I would like you to go to college.

August 11, 2013



Both Quisiera and Fueras are PAST subjunctive, so should this be "I would like you to have gone to university"? The translation given seems to be present tense?


A friend of mine explained this kind of thing to me not that long ago. He gave me the sentence "Juan Diego me dijo que yo FUERA a Chihuahua." (English translation: "Juan Diego told me to go to Chihuahua") and said the reason the past subjunctive is used for the "to go" is because the first clause is past tense, but in English, we don't really have to have that kind of arrangement so "to go" is good.

EDIT: I found a page on another site that explains this futher. (http://spanish.about.com/od/verbmoods/a/subjunctive_tenses.htm)

  • "If the main verb is in the preterite, imperfect [which quisiera is], past perfect or conditional tense, and the dependent (subjunctive) verb [fueras] refers to action that takes place (whether in actuality or not) at the same time or after the action of the main verb, then the imperfect subjunctive is used. Example: Esperé que comieras. (I expected you to eat.)"

So if we translate the first part to be "I would (currently) like", which is perfectly legit, then the fueras can mean 'to go' either immediately or at a later time. "I would like you to go to college." And that encompasses both the present, "I would like you to go to college...now.", and a future time, "I would like you to go to college...next year."


Quisiera is not the imperfect. It is the past subjunctive. That is what is odd about the sentence. In this formulation, the "quisiera" needs to indicate uncertainty in the past, such as "perhaps I wanted...", although adding "quizas" would clarify. I know that some commenters say that quisiera is meant to convey politeness, but in virtually every conversation I have partaken, the conditional (querria) is used to convey politeness. I am having a difficult time understanding how this sentence is correct, that is, how the verb in the main clause is past subjunctive.


Quisiera is imperfect as well as subjunctive. So I thought that when the site mentioned imperfect, that included in both the indicative and subjunctive moods (because it doesn't specify either).


Maybe it's cultural, where different places use querría more often and others use quisiera.


Quisiera is imperfect subjunctive. It's commonly used in some areas of the Spanish-speaking world to mean "would like." I've heard that it's not commonly used in Spain.

In other areas, me gustaría or querría are used.


Yes, quisiera is imperfect subjunctive.

I think "Me gustaría que tú fueras a la universidad." is a better sentence. A conditional verb works with an imperfect subjunctive verb.


I don't think I've ever heard "Me gustaría que..." I've heard "Me gustaría si..."


"Me gustaría si..." sounds like a calque from English. "Me gustaría que..." is perfectly fine; the clause introduced by que functions as the grammatical subject for gustar.


I put "I would like it if you would go to the university," which means exactly the same thing, but it was marked wrong.


, if you went to Uni. -- is real English, no idea if it's DuoLingoly correct


El mismo para mi, pero no me acuedo


Thanks for the reminder.


Great explanation...thanks!


But why do we translate the first part present tense if it is past? And why is it wrong if you don't?


The translation above is "I would like you to go to college.", but "I would like you to go to the university." is also accepted. Perhaps they had a different sentence listed above when you asked this? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would


It accepted "I would like it if you went to college." I prefer that English translation to the indicated answer, "I would like you to go to college," because even though it is not a one-to-one translation (e.g., "que" is not typically used for "if"), it captures the fact that even in English we sometimes use past tenses (here, "went") in relation to stuff that may or may not happen in the future.


Actually, the "went" is an example of subjunctive use in English, not past.


Like "If I were you. . ."


I think thr present subjunctive is "you go" not "you went"


Someone with grammar!


I would think, "I wish that you were going to college." would be more correct


This is what I suggested months ago. After all, one perfectly legitimate rendering of the imperfect subjunctive fueras would be 'were going' and it complies with the condition noted by Elizabeth0 above: "[fueras] refers to action that takes place (whether in actuality or not) at the same time or after the action of the main verb.

For example: "I wish you were going now" or "I wish you were going this coming semester.

No takers, though, nor even musings as to why not..


maybe it requires a few more rounds


I think the problem is with "I wish". I wish = deseo, and I'm not sure if that is a valid translation for quisiera.


Quisiera can indeed mean I wish, but Duolingo doesn't seem to like it for some reason.

Yo quisiera que estuvieras aquí = I wish that you were here.


Gracias, no lo había sabido.


I think that "to have gone" would require the use of the past perfect subjunctive. The past perfect subjunctive suggests that going to college is no longer possible for you anymore.

"I would have liked you to have gone to university" or "I wish you had gone to college= Me hubiera gustado que hubieras ido a la universidad

If going to college is still a possibility (no matter how unlikely), imperfect subjunctive is used. Quisiera in imperfect subjunctive means I wish (Practice Makes Perfect Verb Tenses)

"Yo quisiera tener un millón de dólares = I wish that I had a million dollars."

In both the English and the Spanish, you still wish that you a million dollars. It doesn't mean that you wish you had a million dollars in the past, but you don't wish it anymore.


I think they screwed up the English. "I would like it if you went to Uni" sounds like proper English, though subjunctive is neglected by many dialects


So... quisiera is a past subjunctive, but it's being used here to form a polite request?


Yep. Quisiera is the most polite way to say "I would like." A bit more polite than Me gustaria and more polite than quiero


Isn't that more like the future I "would like". I'm not disputing what you say just trying to understand. I could just memorize it, but it's better if I understand


I do not think of it a future so much as conditional. E.g., consider the sentence: " If you were any taller, you would be able to touch the ceiling." This is not future tense expressing what will happen when conditions change; it is subjunctive mood indicating what would be true right now under different conditions.


Yes, but colloquially the "want" meaning is common.


Shouldn't this be something more like: "I would have liked that you went to college"?


Or, I would have liked for you to have gone to college, if we wanted to go out of our way to preserve both clauses in subjunctive English (which is a decreasingly common practice).


I passed the AP Spanish exam, years ago, after taking Spanish for 5 years in high school and middle school. I've gotten so rusty at it, but Duo has been great at helping me re-learn it. One thing I have very clear memories of is that this mood/tense was pretty much learned right at the end of my fifth year and only because we'd probably need to know it for the AP test. It was by far the hardest of all the verb forms, and I wasn't sure that I was still remembering it correctly.

Most literally, I believe it would be translated as something like: "I wanted that you went to college" or "I expected that you went to college." But "wanted that" is VERY awkward in English and "expected that you went" doesn't necessarily convey the subjunctive mood. It just sounds like a fact in English ("I expected that you went, so you did").

So we end up inserting all kinds of helping verbs like, "I expected that you WOULD HAVE GONE..." or "I WOULD HAVE WANTED for you to go..." to make sure it's clearly understood that the wish/hope/desire was unfulfilled. The problem with this is that it makes the verbs seem to be in the conditional tense when they're really not.

A similar thing can occur when translating the imperfect past: for example, "miraba" could be translated as "I saw", "I used to see", "I was seeing", or even "I would see", in the sense of e.g., "I would see my grandparents every Sunday when I was a child." It's not conditional tense even though it might look like it.


I largely agree. How the rest of best translated, it would seem to me, is chiefly predicated on whether one assumes quisiera to be subjunctive literally in the past (back then, I wanted you to go..) or is merely the polite form of saying ¨I would like¨ (now) that you would have done some thing (in the past).

Tricky, and I think subject to that first interpretation of quisiera


I see what you're saying. At this point, I don't even remember which sense of meaning I had in mind when I made my original post. Maybe an easier way to differentiate between the two forms you bring up would be: "I wish you would have gone to college" vs "I wished you would have gone to college".

Re-reading my first post now, it seems obvious that I originally meant something more like the first. But these past few days I've been thinking of it as the second. Very tricky indeed.


If I am sitting in a restaurant, thirsty for a beer, I would probably say to the waiter "Quisiera una cerveza." But in the vein of this discussion, would I say "Quisiera que me traiga una cerveza," or "Quisiera que me trajera una cerveza?" The first one sounds right to me, but maybe it should be the second?


You're definitely right... But I put ''I wanted you to go to the university'' and got it wrong.


"wanted" is the indicative past and not subjunctive. We just don't have past subjunctive, instead we use the modal verb "would". Also , "quisiera" like "would" is not necessarily referring to the past. http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/quisiera/forced http://www.englishpage.com/minitutorials/subjunctive.html


I mean you could use the present subjunctive and say "I want that you go to the university." , but we do kind of notice that the tense doesn't match so we use timeless versions "I would like you to go to the university."


Yes. Best answer here yet. Sometimes, one has to translate somewhat idiomatically, and not so directly. And tense and perfect vs imperfect can not always be preserved. Good answer!


I was just helping my friend do this. Apart from Spanish being my first language, I have plenty of experience teaching it to English speakers. NONE of the "correct answers" duolingo offers to this sentence are actually correct. The correct answer is rather marked as wrong. "I wish you would go to college" is the right translation


Ha ha Ha I live in Nicaragua and my friends almost NEVER correct me when I mess up with the subjunctive mood. Here's a Lingot for giving me a healthier outlook.


That should be accepted. Did you report it? Of course, in English we often use the infinitive instead of the subjunctive, but they are both correct, as well as "I would like that you go to college."


Why is fueras being used if it is present tense? Wouldn't you use present subjunctive for the second verb (vaya), Yo quisiera que tu vaya a la Universidad (sorry, no accents)


junevilleco: If the primary clause is in the past, you must use past subjunctive in the secondary clause. After "quisiera" (past subjunctive of "querer") you must use past subjunctive in the second clause; therefore "vaya" would not work -- that is present subjunctive.


junvilleco: Just a further point: Just because you use past subjunctive in the second clause, does not mean that it necessarily would be translated in the past in English (like this current sentence).


I am still confused. It the translation is "I would like for you...." how is that past subjunctive? The entire sentence is in the present, why isn't it all present subjunctive?


june: First of all, eliminate the word "for" from your English translation. There is nothing in the Spanish that would indicate "for". .......It is a rule: If the primary clause is in any past tense and uses a word that calls for subjunctive, then the secondary clause must be past subjunctive. .......so......If we use "Quisiera" (past subjunctive) in the primary clause, we must also then use past subjunctive ("fueras") in the secondary clause..................so...........technically, the translation would be "I wanted that you went to the university", but that doesn't sound right, so we say: "I would like you to go to the university (or to college)".


OK, thanks; I understand the importance of agreement with dependent and independent clause.


Okay, I'm going to submit that the translation of this sentence should be, with fueras is in its ir form:

  • I [would like / wish] (that) you were going to the university.

(Rendering the preposition "a" as needed by the English collocation: we say "at the university" or "going to" the university.)


that makes more sense to me. Thanks.


Go to college and go to the university. Why not *go to university"?!


I raised this, and "go to university" is now accepted.


Isn't "quisiera" from the verb "querer," meaning "want"? Why isn't "wanted" or "would want" accepted?


Because in English we don't really have a past subjunctive form for "want". The closest is "I would like".

Translating subjunctives into English is always a bit tricky.


My Spanish teacher likes us to use quisiera as it is polite and educated but if I use it when I'm with Spanish friends they think it's "cursi"!

  • 1965

At last, some Spanish I can really use. Gringos immersed in Spanish are cursi. We feel like we're walking on thin ice.


What do your friends want you to use?


Depends where we are and what we are asking for. If I am in a place where I know the staff I would just say "ponme una cerveza por fa" - probably sounds abrupt to some but here in Andalucia it's fine. Me gustaría is better for more formal occasions and not as "cursi" as quisiera LOL.


When I was traveling through Andalucia, I read a guide book on Spain that said that Andalucianos are very curt in their speech. This is true of the speech but by and large they are also very friendly.


Right, so because Quisiera is being used in the present sense of "I would like" but is technically a past subjunctive, the other clause in the sentence also has to use the past subjunctive to represent the present. So while the sentence technically means something like: "I wanted that you wented to university" It idiomatically means "I would like you to go to university" Am I right?


I think the whole "would like" translation is iffy. If you think of "would like" as present conditional, then the past-tense form of it is "would have liked". Would, should, could, might, and all those other helping verbs' past forms are would have, should have, could have, etc. This is doubly confusing because "would" seems to suggest the conditional tense and "have" suggests the present perfect tense. In actuality, we're dealing with the past subjunctive. So it can all get very confusing very fast.

1) "I would like you to go to college" is really just simple present (subjunctive). "I want you to go to college." "I want that you go to college." It's all essentially the same.

2) It's different than "I would have liked you to go to college" ("I wanted you to go to college" or "I wanted that you went to college"), which is its past tense form.

What nobody seems to know is which one of those two this sentence means. If it means "I want you to go to college", then how do you say, "I would have wanted for you to go college"?


Please remember that "to go" is an infinitive which has no tense. It is timeless. It can be used for any tense, because he may or may not go now or in the future or even in the past he may or may not have gone, but we wish in the past, present or future.

There is no past subjunctive in English "went" is not used unless it is indicative. "wanted" is not in past subjunctive mood either. The alternate for 1 would be "I would like that you go to college."

The perfect subjunctive exists in Spanish and that is where you would use the first sentence from 2, but the second sentence is not in subjunctive at all. It's alternate would be "I would have liked you to have gone to college." or "I would have liked that you go to college." The last "go" is not present indicative. It is subjunctive.


Well expressed analysis. Thanks for contributing. :-)

Cheers, Andy.


Check the definition of "would" it isn't just for the present. It is a lot like "quisiera" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would


BenTurner93: Looks good to me.


"I would have liked you to have gone to the university." Why is this not accepted? "fueras" is imperfect subjunctive. How can it be translated "to go"? Alternatively, "I would have liked that you had gone to the university."


Both of your sentences are in perfect tense, but the Spanish sentence is not. That would need to be something like "Yo habría querido que fueras a la universidad."

The fact that "fueras" is in the imperfect has nothing to do with its real tense. It is only in the imperfect tense because the main verb, quisiera, is. The actual tense, or rather time, of fueras could be at the same time as the quisiera is taking place or afterward as this site (http://spanish.about.com/od/verbmoods/a/subjunctive_tenses.htm) tells us:

  • "If the main verb is in the preterite, imperfect [which quisiera is], past perfect or conditional tense, and the dependent (subjunctive) verb [fueras] refers to action that takes place (whether in actuality or not) at the same time or after the action of the main verb, then the imperfect subjunctive is used. Example: Esperé que comieras. (I expected you to eat.)"

Now, quisiera can mean a wanting in the present, it's technically in imperfect tense, but it is still used to politely express a present action (and "would like" is the more polite way we say it in English even though we don't actually mean it to be conditional on anything). Therefore, since that quisiera can be describing a current want, that means that fueras (which either takes place at the same time or after the action of the main verb, a current wanting) is also in the present tense or something you want to happen at a later time. So if we translate the first part to be "I would (currently) like", which is perfectly legit, then the fueras means 'to go' either immediately or at a later time. "I would like you to go to college." And that encompasses both the present, "I would like you to go to college...now.", and a future time, "I would like you to go to college...next year."


In the above analysis I can see where you could accept the "to go" as Duolingo has, however, I am at a loss as to why the "were going" or "gone" would be rejected.


There are a ton more past subjunctive tenses to learn including past perfect versions. "to go" is not a present tense. It is the infinitive which is timeless. http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-go.html http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-spanish-verb-ir.html


I would translate the sentence: "I would like it if you were going to college" or, "I would like it if you were attending university". What meaning is lost from the spanish in either of these translations. Does this type of exercise work well for the subjunctive?


I think that may lose the possibility of meaning going to college in the future. Those two sentences are just talking about going to college in the present (wishing they were already there attending college), but according to the site I quoted at the top, I think the Spanish includes both the possibility of present and future.

Maybe if you said something like, "I would like it if you were to go to college" that might be accurate (but probably not accepted by Duolingo).


No, actually it does not lose the possibility of meaning an occurrence in the future. The given construct covers both instances, depending on context, understanding or explicit expression:

"I would like it if you were going to college right now."

"I would like it if you were going to college this coming semester."


Doesn't "que tu fueras" mean "that you went"??? "I would like that you went to university" was marked wrong...any ideas why????


No. I think you're thinking of "fue" and "fuiste."

But "fueras" is subjunctive, not past tense. It doesn't translate into English easily. "I would like that you went...." is not good English.


"Fueras" is subjunctive AND past tense. As such, "que tu fueras" literally does mean "that you went" or perhaps "that you were going." "Went", after all, is commonly used in a subjunctive sense rather than as past tense: "It would be better if you went to the doctor about this now, rather than wait until next week."

That doesn't necessarily mean that "I would like that you went to university" is the best translation into modern colloquial English, because forms of "want" or "would like" are normally followed on by infinitive clauses instead of relative "that" clauses. But it's not necessarily "bad" English either.


"I would like that you went to the university" was accepted even though it is tortured English.


I always use word "if," which is sometimes and indicator of the subjunctive in English, as well as the placeholder "it" in subjunctive sentences like these. "I would like it if you went to the university." I always get marked as right. Just remember, it doesn't work the same way when translating back to Spanish. ;)


I tried the natural, but non-literal "I wanted you to go to college", without success.


After thinking (and referencing) this a bit, I think that would be, "Quise que tú fueras a la universidad."
Using the preterit here, we make the wanting a completed task.



No need for this post. Corrected.


I believe that the "que" is part of what makes it subjunctive in Spanish.

  • 1965

"I want you to go to the university" worked.


which just seems wrong to me


"Quisiera" and "would like" can be used to request in the present as well as indicate the past.


Would not, "I wish that you were going to college." be more correct as past subjunctive?


Thought this might be asking the bleeding obvious, but after reading through this discussion it seems nobody else has asked it yet: Would it be Ok to use the present subjunctive, "quiera," instead of "quisiera?" I'm guessing the "to go" would also have to match tense, so maybe "Yo quiera [que] tú vayas a la universidad." If this is incorrect, then when is the present subjunctive used?


I think the purpose of this particular exercise is to introduce the imperfect subjunctive of Querer. The imperfect subjunctive of querer and poder operate a bit differently than might seem by direct translation. Querer in the imperfect subjunctive translates as a much more polite way to ask if someone wants something. It moves from "I want a cup of coffee", certainly direct and clear, to I would like a cup of coffee" My text indicates it is used to be more courteous.
Similarly, if you ask a person "Can you wash the windows" Puede limpiar las ventanas" it is clear and direct, but it is much more courteous to ask "Could you wash the windows? (or, more exactly, if you could, would you wash the windows". Less direct, but a far more gallant way to ask for help. Si quisieras, limpiarías las ventanas", which actually translates as "Could you wash the windows"


Gracias, but I understand the usage of "quisiera" here. What I was wondering is can the present subjunctive "quiera" be used similarly. And if not, in what situations would it be used?


The present subjunctive would not translate as I would like, that would be more like the conditional tense, querría. Querer is not so much used IN the subjunctive (though it is, and when it is, it translates as the present tense) as it sets up the condition to USE the subjunctive.


So how does "quiera" translate and when is it used?


Like all present subjunctive, it translates the same as the present tense...it is just telling you there is a "mood" that is different.


It's not used all that much, but when it is, a common usage would equate to our English "ever" suffix. You can do it whenever -- cuando quiera. Or whereever - donde quiera.. Or in any situation indicating present subjunctive, like verbs of influence or suggestion. As Cheap Trick might say, I want you to want me. Quiero que me quieras.


this is a mood, something that is Irreal or impossible. for sure the translation is wrong in english. but grammar wise, an imperfect subjunctive tense always go with an imperfect subjunctive tense...


This is amazing


Why not: "I would want you to go to the university"? I'm not a native english speaker and i don't know what is wrong with this translation... thanks!


I think that would use the conditional tense "querría".


I have seen some texts where they translate "I would like" as "yo quisiera"... this made me think i could use it in that way :s whatever... something more that I've learnt (perdón si tuve muchos errores al escribir) Thanks!


"I would like" is fine, but "I would want" changes the meaning to the conditional in English. For example: "I would like some cake" is just a polite way of saying "I want some cake" whereas "I would want some cake ..." requires a condition "... if it were chocolate."

What's confusing is that we commonly say things like "I would like some cake if it's chocolate" which is kind of a polite conditional hybrid that mixes tenses and conditionals and grammarians probably hate it, but it sounds very natural.

Anyway, to clarify the main point:
"Would like" = polite "want."
"Would want" = conditional "want."


"I would like you to go to college" is accepted but "I would like you to go to university" is not because with the latter they say you need the word "the" before the word "university". If they will accept "I would like you to go to college" then they should accept "I would like you to go to university". The difference adding the word "the" before the noun "college" or "university" is that you are specifying a specific institution rather than the concept.


My translation "I would like you to go to university". Wrong! Correct solutions "I would like you to go to THE university" or "I would like you to go to college." Why is the definite article required for one but not the other?


It's a problem many have had. I think it stems from American English (DL's default) treating "university" as a concrete noun only. That is, they refer to it as something physical, but not conceptual. I'm from NZ, but we share the British English usage of "university," which can be concrete or abstract (the former requiring an article, but the latter not). Keep reporting it. DL will update the answer database eventually.


I'm Canadian, and I would say "go to university." I don't think people from the U.S.A. would say "the university" either (although they would probably say "go to college," which is not the same thing here.) To me, if you say "the university," you're referring to a specific one, like maybe the only one in the country. Or, "I would like you to go to the university to register," as opposed to, "I would like you to go to university, so you can get a degree."


Throughout all the lessons of Duolingo's Spanish tree, Querer has always been translated as To Want. But all of a sudden in this question Querer is translated as To Like. It's so confusing. How should we know where to use which?


It's the English that's confusing. "Would like" equals "want" in this context, so the Spanish hasn't changed, only the English.


You are right of course, thanks.


Is there a reason that "I wish you were going to college" isn't accepted.

According to Practice Makes Perfect Verb tenses, "quisiera que" means "I wish that."

Yo quisiera que estuverias aquí = I wish that you were here.


If you translate the English translation back to Spanish, you would use vayas instead of fueras.


Are we sure about that?


The normal sequence of tenses applies, so when quisiera is followed by a conjugated verb, the following verb must be in an imperfect subjunctive form.

  • Quisiera que salieras. (I would like you to leave.)


Yes, I am. Quisiera que sepas que loro en silencio From "Me Vuelvo un Cobarde" sung by Cristian Daniel.

Or take this example. -Quisiera un vaso de agua por favor. -?Perdón? -Quisiera que me traiga un vaso de agua. -Sí, se lo traiga en seguida.


Okay, so you are certain. I would be happy to have your thesis confirmed, and perhaps your examples show some use of present subjunctive (vayas instead of fueras). But if "vayas" is what you "should" use rather than what some "might" use, why do so many Spanish grammar authorities consistently indicate the following:

(With reference to: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/sequence.htm)

When the governing (main clause) verb in a “past time” tense, i.e., if the governing verb is in one of these tenses:

  • imperfect indicative
  • preterit indicative
  • conditional
  • conditional perfect
  • imperfect subjunctive (as is "quisiera")
  • past perfect subjunctive

Use one of these tenses when the subjunctive is required:

  • imperfect subjunctive [for a simultaneous or future state/action]
  • OR
  • past perfect subjunctive [for a prior state or action]


This is interesting, and confusing. I also thought I knew the "rules", but I've just been on Contexto-Reverse and had a look at real world examples. 8 or 9 out of 10 follow "quisiera" with the imperfect subjunctive as you'd expect, but the others follow it with the present subjunctive.

Testing "quisiera que fueras" versus "quisiera que vayas" the former returned 4 times as many Google hits, but this result would be skewed by "I would like you to be" versions. "Quisiera que sepas" returned 6 times as many hits as "quisiera que supieras", suggesting that with "saber" at least the present subjunctive after "quisiera" is actually far more common. Native input would be good.


Jellonz, the problem is both your and Tejano's results are biased by the fact that quisiera que fueras is the only possible construction when used in a 'proper subjunctive' scenario like a conditional sentence: si quisiera que fueras a la universidad, te pagaría un profesor particular.

Here, we are using quisiera in place of querría to make a positive statement (or a polite request, depending on your interpretation). In that context, it is probably more likely to use present subjunctive in the subordinate clause.


Great point. All of the constructions below have similar meanings, but different nuance:

Yo quiero que tú vayas a la universidad Yo quisiera que tú vayas a la universidad Yo quiero que tú fueras a la universidad Yo quisiera que tú fueras a la universidad


Good to know, thanks FerEtayoRguez.


I'm sure the immigrants I have served and worked with will be quite willing to only use quisiera with the past subjunctive once they've been been corrected. These are the people I have learned Spanish with for more years than I 'd care to admit.


What about 'I wish you'd go to college'?


I think that would make it conditional instead of subjunctive?


No, conditional would have an if statement. Try reporting it. diego.z


Duolingo says "I would like you to go to college" is an acceptable translation, yet when I put "I would like you to go to the university" it's wrong?? Wtf


it accepted "I would like that you go to the university"


I think it is accepted now.


"I want you to go to the university" was accepted in spite of the fact that the nglish translation uses two present tense verbs. ??


Even though neither of the verbs is in the present tense, it's still referring to a "present" idea. I think Spanish uses the conditional/past subjunctive combo more often than in English, but it is used in English too. Think of the sentence "If I were hungry, I would eat." Were, a past tense verb, is the English subjunctive, and would eat is the conditional. But it is still an idea that's referring to the present.


Actually, "were" in your example only looks like past (i.e. it has the same form as simple past). It is actually present subjunctive. The subjunctive here just means that the statement is contrary-to-fact (you are not hungry, which is why you are not eating).


I think DL should drop this tortured example entirely. Clearly there is no accepted English translation that sounds remotely good to anyone with a grasp of the English language. And even Spanish-speaking folks here seem to differ on what it's trying to get across.

Perhaps the subjunctive/past is a topic too far for a site such as this. I know that for me as a Spanish language neophyte, it's a serious hindrance to the fulfillment of what was, until I hit this point, a really rewarding experience.


"Clearly there is no accepted English translation that sounds remotely good to anyone with a grasp of the English language."

What is wrong with their main accepted translation of "I would like you to go to college."? That sounds like perfectly fine English to me...


Because it's more of an interpretation than it is a translation and quite a step away from the phraseology used in the Spanish example.

I believe it requires a higher level of competence in Spanish than I for one possess, so I question its utility for this beginners' programme.

Perhaps you're a quicker study than I am?

Cheers, Andy.


Ok, I see what you mean. I agree that they don't give enough for at least most people to be able to understand this and actually learn what they're trying to teach with this sentence. But...I think that's when this discussion section comes in handy because people who don't understand can ask about the concept and those who are further advanced in Spanish can help, so that does the teaching job for them. Plus at this point in the tree, its immensely helpful to use other resources along with this site to actually understand the concepts in the lessons you're currently doing and use Duolingo more as practice.

When I was doing this section, I was glad to come across this sentence because it reaffirmed what I had learned from other places (that quisiera, although past subjunctive, can be used as a polite way to say you currently want something, and that fueras is used because it is something you want, therefore subjunctive, and is only past tense in Spanish because the first clause is past tense [but since that doesn't hold in English, "to go" is a good translation for it]), and it gave me practice with the concept.


Yeah, I can understand how you might well get more from the example if you've already been exposed to subjunctive concepts in Spanish before encountering it in this lesson. Unfortunately, I'm learning all my Spanish grammar here so haven't reached the level of understanding you clearly have.

In order to progress with this topic (and I only just scraped through after about a dozen tries :-) I will need to commit a significant amount of time to it, but that time will be better spent polishing up all the other areas of weakness DL gleefully informs me that I have. (sigh)

Right now V:S:P will have to wait for me to get quite a lot better at Spanish. :-)

Thanks for your comments - this site is really good for finding knowledgeable folks to put oneself straight.

Cheers, Andy.


Yes, gild your other lessons with gold before coming back to this one. :) When you do come back to this one, I would recommend reading these two lessons:



Also, this site http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugation is really helpful for finding a specific conjugation of a verb or for making sure you know which one Duolingo is using in a certain sentence. I use that site all the time. :)


I don't know crap about whether the translation is good, but yeah it's obvious that this lesson is bad. It's a confusing topic to learn about, and so it needs good explanation and lots of practice on the learner's part--but instead they just whiz right past it. I don't know why they even put it in, if they were only going to barely touch it like this. It just feels like somebody's trying to make sure they get through some checklist of "important topics" before the school year is up, so to speak, rather than actually trying to teach. Which, yeah, is especially weird because of how good nearly all the preceding lessons felt.


Why isn't "I wanted you to go to college." accepted as a translation?


There are a lot of comments here, but I was mainly confused about the use of the subjunctive in the first clause "quisiera" - it's nice to know this is a common way to say "I would want" - kind of like "ojalá" for I hope


"I wanted you to go to the university" should also be scored as correct.


So, when I was doing this on Sept 3, 2014, this was the first answer given":I want that you went the university.. Really??? I want that you went the university????? Not "to" mind you...just went the


Out of curiosity, I used their translation noted above (I want that you went the university.) and it accepted it...just too weird for words


This should be reported as wrong.


What is this section called? It says subjunctive p. On my phone. I assumed p meant past tense but none of these sentences seem to be past tense to me


Querer and poder operate in a different way in the imperfect subjunctive. "Quisiera" , imperfect subjective, translates most closely into "would like" In this instance since the verb querer, to want, is used, it calls for the subjunctive in the next verb.


It is the same in English; technically, "would" is past tense but is also used for present and future requests. It is commonly used in subjunctive just like "quisiera". The infinitive "to go" is also not a present tense. It is an infinitive which is timeless. Also, English does not have tenses to match all the Spanish subjunctive tenses. We prefer to use modal verbs and infinitives. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would


Definitely very confusing. Quisieras can mean multiple things.


Why if and not that?


Above I see "that" can be used and not " if " which is used more in the conditional. Even more often we use the infinitive which is the current sentence above.


So 'que' now means 'if.' Even though 'that' makes a perfect translation in English.


Why is it 'quisiera' and not 'gustaría'?


I got this wrong for using British English (which does not use an article, i.e., it is "go to university"). Also, college and university are not synonyms in either country.


DL accepts "I would like you to go to college" but it doesn't accept "I would like you to go to university", but it does accept "I would like you to go to the university". Adding "the" before university in that context means a specific university, not university in general.


"I would like if you went to university." It gaves me the correct answer as "I would like if you went to THE university", is the article so necessary here?


What is wrong with "I would like you to go to university"? Duolingo thinks I need the definite article before "university". Wrong!


Seems like it should be, " I would like that you went to college


Why couldn't it be "I would want you to go to the university".?


"Quisiera" means "would like," "querría" means "would want."


How about "I would like that you went to the university."


I don't know, but "I would like that if you went to the university." and "I would like it if you went to the university." both have the same meaning to me. Duolingo rejected the first sentence, and suggested the second. Why?


It is not possible to give a grammatically correct english answer to this AND get it marked correct. At least for me!


Every now and then my "501 Spanish Verbs" offers enlightenment. I had written at the bottom of the "querer" page this explanation for the imperfecto de subjunctivo: "to be polite, technically not correct." So....we want to be polite, right? I can offer no context as I have probably owned the book 20 years through my start and stop quest to learn Spanish. Further enlightenment would be lovely. BTW, it is March 5th and snowing hard in Minnesota.


Impossible to get these right


I cannot see any reason why - I would 'want' you to - is wrong as it is the verb 'querer' and not 'gustar'. Anyone?


Where did the "If" come from?


I reversed the translation on Google to Spanish... The answer does not equate to DL! "Me gustaría que fueras a la universidad."


duo uses quisiera as “i wanted” elsewhere in this lesson and marks “i would like” as incorrect, but not in this case. why?


I wrote, "I would like that you went to university" and it was marked wrong. Anyone know why?


I translated this as "I would like that you go to college". Is this incorrect? Or is it just not one of the pre-programmed acceptable answers? Anyone?


i would want you to go the the university

not accepted


"I wanted that you go to University." I would use "me gustaría"...


"I would like that you went to the university" is not only a perfect translation, it was marked wrong!!! WTF !!! LOL


It is not a good translation, and it is not good English. It should be marked wrong. See my reply to your last comment.

"Fueras" does not mean "went."


"Fueras" does not mean "went?" Never? So then, how would you translate these statements?

  • Sería bueno que fueras a Salem.
  • Y es algo bueno que fueras al dentista.
  • Y luego... sería bueno que fueras a casa.
  • Es bueno que fueras a la universidad.


1. It would have been nice if you had gone to Salem. 2. And it’s a good thing you went to the dentist. 3. And afterward, it would have been a good idea for you to have gone home. 4. It was a good thing that you went to university.

Comments: In the first and third sentences, the subjunctive is used because the events in question never happened. (This is clear from the use of the conditional in the in the independent clause of both sentences.)

In the second and fourth examples, use of the subjunctive mood is triggered by the qualitative evaluation of the person making the utterance as regards events that actually occurred.


Interesting, but I'm curious as to why you used the present perfect in the main clause of the first and third cases? Why past tense in the fourth case? Anyway, the point – made to the OP – was simply to address the notion that "fueras" does not mean "went," when, of course, it does, and can be translated as such in each of those sentences.

-Sería bueno que fueras a Salem. (It would be good if you went to Salem.) -Y es algo bueno que fueras al dentista. (And it's a good thing you went to the dentist.) -Y luego... sería bueno que fueras a casa. ( And then... it would be good if you went home.) -Es bueno que fueras a la universidad. ( It is a good thing that you went to the university.)


My point wasn't that it can never mean "went," but that it doesn't always mean "went."

I should have been more specific, but the point is it doesn't mean "went" in this sentence.

Context is important.


Duolingo does not accept proper English subjunctive format for these exercises. The following should be accepted (The second verb goes in bare infinitive in English subjunctive. Past tense is carried in the main verb [here the first one]):

I wanted that you go to the university.

(Reported, May 3, 2020)


Why is the main verb in the imperfect subjunctive (quisiera) and not in the conditional (querria-accent on i)?


Conditional would be correct as well, querer is just an oddball for which this subjunctive past form has evolved to be equivalent to the conditional in everyday use. But I don't know of antibody who would say deseara que or me gustara que. With any other verb we'd use the conditional.


This is one of the few verbs used in imperfect subjunctive in the main sentence and it is used for make very polite requests. It could have been imperfect indicative (imperfecto de cortesía) or conditional (condicional de cortesía) but imperfect subjunctive is considered a level above in politeness.

Here are 4 episodes of SpanishPodcast.org that deal with quería, querría and quisiera.


(Quisiera is covered in the last one but listen/read all 4 episodes if you can)


Personally, I think that the usual way to state a wish for someone is to add "for" before the wish.

For example: "I would like for you to go to college."


Error on right spelling a bit much fir kearning a language

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