Translation:Come on Tuesday, if it is possible.
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The answer "Come on Tuesday, if possible" was accepted, so would the simpler "Venha na terça-feira, se possível" be acceptable in Portuguese?
can someone explain to me where the future perfect here is? plus, what do the "for" and "estiver" forms mean? thanks in advance
This sentence is one of Duolingo's few examples of the future subjunctive ("for" and "estiver" are the 1st+3rd person singular conjugations of "ser" and "estar" in this tense) not the future perfect.
I think it's a mistake to include "for" and "estiver" in this section of future perfect indicative tenses.
Hopefully, future subjunctive will have its own section since it is used a lot.
This sentence really doesn't have to be here, but it's very common to associate the future subjunctive with the future perfect. Always a match like "what will have happened" provided the "future possibilities come true".
Sorry, not very productive post, I just wanted to express my joy and exitement about all the discussions to this one topic! Amazing! Have learnt so much about both languages here! Thanks guys! !!
After reading almost 50 comments (mostly very wise and helpful!) I got somewhat dizzy. So I will "Just memorize some things, if it is possible".
Just to make sure... "se for possível" here can also mean "if it will be possible?" Going along with the fact that "for" is a future form.
In English one of the few translations of subjective is "If it were...." as in: "if it were possible." And few people bother.
I understand that the subjunctive use is more flexible in the UK ( "if I was"...being considered a form of informal English) but I haven't hear anyone with a decent level of education using "was" in lieu of "were" here. It's still not considered acceptable in standard American English.
I can't speak for Britain since I've only spent a week there in my 64 years, but having spent the vast majority of my life speaking and listening to the North-American version I can attest to the fact that almost nobody bothers to use were in lieu of was except after the third person plural pronoun. Sad but true. But that's not the point. The tense is alive and well in Portuguese, and that is what we are learning. So BRING IT ON. If I "will have survived" the unit on future perfect, I will somehow manage the subjunctive. So let's play!!
• "He demanded that we be on time." Subjunctive: base infinitive of "be".
• "It is important that John leave before dawn." Subjunctive. (no "s" for the third person singular verb).
• "She recommended that he not go. " - Subjunctive. No "s" for 3rd person singular, no use of do/does auxiliaries to negate the verb.
Like Portuguese, we use subjunctive with impersonal statements of urgency and some verbs of requests, followed by "that". It's the "mandative subjunctive." It is used in hypothetical situations and after "wish": "I wish I were..."
I bow to your greater knowledge. I had no idea that any of those examples were examples of the subjunctive in current usage.. That is a function of my using the language without questioning the why of it. Thank you for straightening me out.
Sentences #2 and #3 are standard American uses of the subjunctive.
Your suggestions: "John leaves" and "he shouldn't go" is standard UK which, until recently, had allowed the subjunctive to fall into discuss in favor of the modal "should".
Current usage (aside from formal grammar rules): around here, I would expect the 2nd and 3rd sentence to come out as "It is important that John leaves before dawn" and "She recommended that he shouldn't go" (or "She recommended (for) him not to go") respectively. Ambivalent about the 1st one: it sounds okay to me, whereas my SO feels it sounds acceptable but weird (would not use it).
I admire and applaud your tenacity in the use of the subjunctive, and hope that you are not fighting a losing battle. Do you regard its use after 'until' as, any longer tenable, contrary to most authorities? viz, 'until he come'.
John: Do you mean that you don't hear people say "If I were you..." (first person singular?) I think it's standard opening language for giving advice.
good point, well made. Of course I do hear that. I simply failed to realize that it was the subjunctive. Pretty minor incidence though given an entire language. Is this the exception that proves the rule?
It seems to me that "if it were possible" doesn't match the future tense.
- Come on Tuesday, if it happens to be possible - is what I would say if I really wanted to explicit the future subjunctive idea here.
If you are talking about something is likely/possible in the present/future, then DL's sentence is correct. It may be translated as "subjuntivo futuro" em português", but it is indicative in English.
- "Come on Tuesday if it is possible" or 2. "If it is possible, come on Tuesday."
I'm sure you're right (another nail in the coffin of the English subjunctive!), although there may be a few die-hards still using "If it be possible, come on Tuesday".
Dan, "if it were possible" is correct English; it flows better in English that "If it happens to be possible." :)
Eu acho que sim. Tem o mesmo significado. Se eu estou errada, alguém pode me corrigir. :)
In Portuguese, we couldn't use "se fosse", because the present tense of the first sentence.
The options are:
- Venha na terça, se for possível = Come tuesday if (it is / turns out to be) possible
- Ele viria na terça se fosse possível = He would come tuesday if it were possible.
We often use the "se + future subjunctive" for a present condition too.
So this can mean "if it's possible" and "if it's possible in the future".
But I'm not sure (lack of English knowledge) if "it will be possible" is a good thing. It really doesn't sound to have the same meaning.
Being a believer in simplicity, I would say "come on tuesday, if possible."
'If it might/may be possible' conveys the uncertainty of the subjunctive in English which has no future subjunctive form.
So, if "for" is future, why does it not accept "'if it will be possible"? I know it isn't typical English, but it is not wrong.
"If" is tricky and, generally, we don't use it in future "if-clauses". Normally we use the present tense.
Example: I'll telephone you if I have time. NOT "...if I will have time."
However, we can use "if....will" when we are talking about later results rather than immediate conditions with the inclusion of the word "it".
Contrast these two examples:
I'll give you a hundred dollars if you stop smoking. (Stopping smoking is the condition of getting the money. )
I'll give you a hundred dollars if it will help you to stop smoking. (The help is the result - it follows the gift of money (it). It's a "cleft sentence."
A bit complicated....but that's the difference.
It's the Portuguese "se" that asks for a subjunctive, but it doesn't match the present subjunctive for some reason. So we use the future subjunctive, even if it has a present meaning.
Another word would be "caso", but in this case, it would use the present subjunctive:
- Venha, caso seja possível
- Venha, se for possível
The one way to avoid using a future subjunctive in this case is using the simple present, but only when it's known that it's actually possible.
- Uma viagem para o Brasil é possível, de fato (A trip to Brazil is possible indeed)
- Bem, se é possível, então venha! (Well, since it is actually possible, then come).
Out of curiosity:
1 = Eu te darei cem dólares se você parar de fumar (caso você pare)
2 = Eu te darei cem dólares se (isso/isto) (for) te ajudar a parar de fumar
Does your second sentence work like this? Eu te darei cem dólares se isso te ajudar a parar de fumar. Where do you put the "for"?
Yes, it works. In this case the subjunctive can work for present and future as well.
Both "isso/isto" and "for" are optional and go in that order:
- Se te ajudar
- Se isso te ajudar
- Se for te ajudar
- Se isso for te ajudar
By the way, just to stress that future is a "se" thing, you can use caso:
- Caso te ajude
- Caso isso te ajude
- Caso vá te ajudar
- Caso isso vá te ajudar
Personally, I prefer the second option in both lists.
Here is the trick:
- Se for te ajudar (ajudar is infinitive here)
- Se te ajudar (but here ajudar is future subjunctive already)
Quite a comparison bewteen "vai ajudar" and "ajudará", but in subjunctive.
Dan: Answering your qs: you can't combine "will" with "if it were".
1st conditional - reality: future
• If you ask me, I will tell you the answer.
2nd conditional - hypothetical: present/future
• If you asked me, I would tell you the answer. (it's unlikely that you'll ask)
3rd conditional - hypothetical: past
• If you had asked me, I would have told you the answer. (but you didn't ask)
Both mean the same. I use both.
I would say the second option is formally correct. But since I'm not a grammar expert, I say nothing about the one with "for", except that it's daily language.
It would be perfect if someone were actually "going" to help.
Perhaps it's like the difference between "if it helps" and "if it were to help", the second being less likely than the first to take place.
Can you combine "will" with "were"?
- I will give you ... if it were to....
Feels better with "would", in which case I'd say "te daria...se fosse ajudar".
I don't think the "for ajudar" x "adudar" or the "fosse ajudar" x "ajudasse" add more uncertainty.
Actually the mandative subjunctive - which had fallen into disuse in BrE - is making a comeback under the influence of American media. BrE substituted the subjunctive form with the modal verb "should" plus the base verb. (Murphy's "English Grammar in Use)
"Sylvia Chalker, E. S. C. Weiner: "This subjunctive has made a considerable comeback in British English in recent years, probably under American influence." Oxford English Dictionary
One of the great advantages and delights of English is a non-prescriptive, fairly light-touch grammar. As Grammar School boys we were taught grammar by the Latin master in the Third Form.The following year we reverted to being taught Modern English Usage, a great relief, the word 'usage' being much less prescriptive than grammar. Historically, English has the great advantage of having developed from an Anglo-Saxon that lost its strict German grammar in the centuries following 1066. Much grammar nowadays results from Latin grammar foisted onto English by would-be academicians from the 15th century onwards. The subjunctive in British English is hardly used in common speech and even where used it is usually not recognised. I myself do say "if it were me" or even better "if I were King" but it took many years before I realised this was an example of the subjunctive still occasionally used in English. No-one would notice the complete demise of this verbal mood in English even if it sounds rather more poetical than the Indicative. Therefore, I think we should stick to trying to learn its intricacies in Portuguese and thank heaven for its near absence from English. Sorry if that sounds a bit pompous.
Interesting. Regarding the history of language and especially irregular verbs, it reminds me of a discussion (here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5291658 ) about how the past tense forms of "ir" and "ser" became the same; Davu suggested that it may have something to do with the similarity of the concepts. Well, here in this case we see that "for" is also the same word for the conjuntivo (subjunctive) future form of both "ir" and "ser".
As i learned from an American English professor in the 1970s, there is no Subjunctive in our English. We use the Conditional. If it were possible is Conditional. I'm just saying...
"If it were possible" uses the subjunctive form of "to be" to express a hypothetical situation.
The subjunctive is no longer considered a tense. In the Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer it is described as a "mood" which utilizes the past, perfect or pluperfect tenses of the verb. This is very strange, considering that most languages have a subjunctive tense. In American English, especially, even the "mood" form is very rarely used, leaving it to old literature. In spoken American English, it sounds very stilted.
In AmE, the subjunctive is used more often than in BrE which substituted the mandative subjunctive by the modal "should" + base infinitive. According to some linguists, the subjunctive is making a comeback in Britain. This paper is available on the internet: The mandative subjunctive in British English seems to be alive and kicking... Is this due to the influence of American English? author: Noëlle Serpollet - Lancaster University, UK.
As in Portuguese, we use the "mandative subjunctive" after verbs of request or demand. The form is slightly different from the indicative mood. The third person singular subjunctive omits "s" on the verb, the verb "to be" is always in its base form, and the negative subjunctive doesn't use "do/does". Also, the conjunction "that" is required for clauses after subjunctive trigger verbs like demand, insist, recommend, advise, propose, require, etc.
• It is important that Joe arrive on time. (no "s" on verb).
• It was urgent that Bill call home immediately.
• It is recommended that you not swim immediately after eating. (no use of auxiliary "do")
•The boss demanded that Jack be on time today. (be = base verb).
• Congress requested that the president reconsider the policy.
It is also used in "irreais" situations: in conditional sentences, after "wish" and for advice: ex: "If I were you..."
Knowing how the subjunctive works help to understand the Portuguese subjunctive. Sometimes the subjunctive forms mirror each other.
• Grammar Dimensions #4 - Heine & Heine Publishers
As a native (mid-west) US English speaker I find it interesting that while in most cases I would not know that I was using the subjunctive, I can imagine using each of Emeyr's examples and I know I have used most of them. They all sound perfectly normal to my ear. Of course, other regions might use the subjunctive less often than the mid-west.
"If it were to be possible" expresses the uncertainty implicit in the use of the subjunctive, even in British English, but the form is seldom used. This slightly different from the conditional that expresses an action contingent upon another defined circumstance, being, therefore, less indefinite than the less well defined subjunctive situation. Does that make any sense?