Brendan, it is true that some verbs require the subjunctive 'only' when used in the negative, uncertain, or doubtful. However, decir is not one of these. Decir always requires the subjunctive 'when' there is a dependent clause with a subject that is different than that of the main clause.
Correct. To clarify if someone doesnt understand, when you say I told her not to go you are relating either a request or command. To be a bit cutesy with my language it is not indicative as to whether she did or did not (will or will not) go. At the time of the telling this is always true, so whether or not she actually went does not affect that clause
No, gmalcolm77, decir definitely doesn't require the subjunctive when followed by que. What someone says is normally indicative Decir with que represents reported or indirect speech. This is obviously self reported speech, but the grammar is the same. This is definitely indicative What was said is a fact. Here is a link that explains the tenses and moods possible.
It is definitely possible to use the subjunctive with these sentences In the past tense that would generally indicates a contrary to fact statement If someone is not at a party that you are at, you might say Me dijo que viniera. If decir is in the past and the statement is about the future than you'll have the conditional after the que But if decir is in the present and the statement is about the future then you may have the subjunctive to indicate uncertainty
http://lema.rae.es/dpd/apendices/apendice1.html#n37 Dile(Tú)/ dígale( Usted) ( a él a ella) que no se vaya. ( Presente). Le dije que no se fuera o fuese( Pasado)
@ lynettemcw: Close, but let me be picky. .The present example may be self-reported speech but it is not indicative Though it's not as clearly expressed as it should be, I believe If you check the chart on the page you linked, you'll see that reported/indirect speech involving the imperative does, in fact, require the imperfect subjunctive.
So indirectly reporting that I told him, "Don't do it ("No lo hagas") requires that i say" Le dije que no lo hiciera." even though it is a fact that I said it.
tejano, I don't generally give much creedence to individual translation engines. But when confronted with this sort of discussion, I do take my cue from the totality of the four engines that I use Google, Microsoft, SDL and Prompt Google and Microsoft both gave essentially this translation when I entered the Spanish (except they said him) When I entered the English they did it perfectly. Only one of the other engines gave me a subjunctive as translation for the English and that was deje The other was irse Their translations of the Spanish sentence were different as well. As I say, I am not a fan of translation engines, but when the two major ones give me the same answer, it does suggest to me that it is not grammatically incorrect
Help. Im completely new to this. Learning on my own. Got to 52 percent on duolingo ok, but I have no idea what a subjunctive is if I fell over it. As for all these tenses all you clever folks mention ... arghh. Im totally muddled now. All I want to do is talk to my neighbours. Has anyone got a recommendation for a course that sticks with perhaps only four tenses so at least I can have a go. Ill worry about grammatical correctness when I have understood the basics. I seem to be learning how to split the atom and I dont yet understand how to wire a plug.
Wow You know, all these clever folks out here know exactly what your frustration must be when it come to the subjunctive. Most have shared it. But this is not splitting-the-atom kind of hard and wiring a plug is not really all that easy either, since you've got to know where to put that black wire and where to put the white and green ones, not to mention where the breaker box is. And that's more what this is about -- learning how to wire your sentences with the right words.
Doubt you'll find a course that sticks with only 4 tenses because Spanish itself just doesn't do that. Instead, why not give yourself more time and look for online resources on that can help you get a handle on the subjunctive?
For example, first check out a little about the English subjunctive (it does exist) => http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000031.htm
. . . then, resources discussing the Spanish subjunctive, such as this from SpanishDict => https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/spanish-subjunctive
and this from Duolingo discussions => https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8828180/Spanish-Subjunctive-Guide
Also, look for explanations from StudySpanish and Youtube.
In other words, don't abandon DL just yet, supplement it That was always the idea, I think. Good Luck!
Don't sweat over advanced conjugations!
I supplement Duolingo with a spaced repetition software system, in my case Anki. I have two collections of authentic spanish sentences, 1000 sentences using common words that prompts me in English (when it's too hard, I modify the prompt with the first letters of the Spanish, or just a template distinguishing verbs from from "linkers" (articles, of, and, or, to) or other parts of speech.
The other set of sentences prompts me with a cloze form in Spanish, I just have to fill in one word. It has 9000 sentences and will keep me busy for a while. Both sets have native speaker audio.
I figure that this exposes me to a range of sentences, including the occasional advanced tense (I only know present past and, recently, imperfect, plus gerunds and participles) for me to remember in a fixed usage. Even if I usually don't know why those strange conjugations are being used (altho I will occasionally look things up in Duo's dictionary), I figure it is good exposure and worth learning with my surface brain. That way, when I eventually learn the advanced tenses, I have a base of experience with some forms (of common verbs) so that the rules will make more sense.
I figure that most native speakers of Spanish in history were illiterate or at least knew nothing about grammatical explanations. If they learned to speak fluently, so can I. With or without explanations, I figure that at some point my deeper brain will start to distinguish the patterns, so I eventually I will understand the patterns automatically and even start to use some of them.
Of course, I am an adult learner, so reading the grammatical explanations and understanding some rules can be helpful in small doses. I have found explanations of ser vs. estar forms to be valuable, and the different contexts for using past and imperfect. But I don't plan to worry about advanced conjugations until I need to, and since I'm not trying to write I don't expect to need them much anytime soon. Spanish is the sixth language I am seriously trying to learn and retain, and this attitude or philosophy about language learning has developed gradually, and has served me well enough. And in two months, I can read and listen-comprehend more Spanish that I can handle Chinese after years of study (that has to do with my background, plus for me learning to read Chinese is a higher priority than listening-comprehending)
As for exposure to controlled (not too advanced) but natural speech (and writing), Duo's stories and podcasts are great! I hope other Duolingo languages will be able to develop similar resources.
Another useful resource is Say Something in Spanish, I came across it when I had a passing interest in Welsh!
ChrisDavie19: "As for all these tenses ... arghh. Im totally muddled now"
The main reason you are muddled is because you did not learn the basics of grammar. Perhaps you do not know English grammar either, which will make it more difficult. I was lucky enough to be interested in English grammar and to have studied Latin at school, so all the fancy grammar terminology is just normal for me.
You need to get a good old book-based course that teaches Spanish grammar at the same time as it teaches Spanish. All these internet sites promise "easy" learning but there is no way around it: if you do not grasp the basics of the grammar, you will have to end up learning set phrases by heart without really knowing why they mean what they mean. That never worked for anybody. Here is an old classic familiar to many here. If you can get hold of a secondhand copy you won't be sorry. Read the user review, it is very informative: https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Yourself-Spanish-Scarlyn-Wilson/dp/B000GLXED8
As you do the excercises in the book the Spanish here on Duolingo will start to make a hell of a lot more sense. Trust me, it is actually the quickest and easiest way to do it. So, do more Spanish grammar in books or online. There are loads of tutorials online. Don't forget that Youtube is also a great resource for Spanish learning.
I would also recommend the free version of Memrise's Spanish course. Get the app for your phone, too. The Memrise course is waaay better at getting words and phrases into your noggin through sheer repetition. DuoLingo's approach is to present you with surprises, things you've never seen before, and prompts you with the same word but that has different meanings, which is confusing and frustrating to a novice. So, Memrise: https://www.memrise.com/
Do not peek at prompts and hints. Try figure out, or guess the correct answer. Rather click "continue" and know you are going to get it wrong than look at the hints. Looking at hints will extend your learning time significantly. Mistakes get you to pay attention. If you MUST get everything right, then rather than hints, "cheat" and look up the word at SpanishDict.com, read a few examples of how it's used, do some learning. Then come back and try again.
Always vocalize the Spanish. Go over the pronunciation guides again and again. Get to the point where you can hear your own pronunciation errors. Your brain needs to learn the sound of Spanish, particularly your own sound. When you speak out loud you are training a different part of your brain. If you do not speak out loud your spoken Spanish will never take off.
Look away from the screen or page when speaking. Visualize the sentence, try understand its meaning and the purpose of every word, and then speak it while looking away and "understanding" the entire sentence as you say it. You will find this a little more difficult. Again, you train your "speaking" brain more effectively if you do not read the words at the same time.
Rote learn the verb conjugations until you can recite them backwards! I need to do better at this myself. Even if you understand the grammar, if you can't recall the correct conjugation, you're still bound for only one place: destination @ü^*èð!
In summary, grammar, grammar, grammar. You do not want to learn stock phrases you don't really understand. Grammar and verb conjugations may seem like a slog but they will soon speed your learning. Nothing beats a bit of book learning. Try Memrise: you'll soon be speaking full sentences. Take the hit like a boss, make mistakes, learn from them. They will become less frequent. Taking hints slows learning down. Instead of a hint, google. Take in a short grammar lesson on the word you don't know, look it up on SpanishDict.com and read through some examples of how it is used in real Spanish. This is far more useful than a dropdown hint, and in the long run you will learn Spanish much quicker. ¡Buena suerte!
Hi...I speak spanisha and I have to learn english when I was studyig...at the begining it was so hard (now,I think is dificult, but it is a little easier than that time). It is hard because I have to remember so many words and structures ...it was like a nightmare (sorry I don't remember the word), but, one day my english teacher told me, Ruth is easier if you try to watch movies or series without subtitles, or you can to try to read it (poems or novels, songs or something like that)...so I do that and now, I can to read english better than the begining...right now I am listening documentaries in english for hours and hours and I can understand almost everything...it is hard for me to write(correctly) and to speak english
Hmm...not exactly....HER is the indirect object all right, in the main clause. " no se fuera" is the dependent clause connected to the main clause by the conjunction QUE, which literally means, " that she doesn't take herself away ".( GO ). The subject of the dependent clause is the implicit (SHE) and the direct object is HERSELF. The dependent clause is in the subjunctive because DECIR is a verb of wish, desire, command, advise, permission, etc. that requires the subjunctive when the subject of the main clause and dependent clause are DIFFERENT.
According to this http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discurso_directo_e_indirecto, because the original statement was imperative (don't go) when changing it to estilo indirecto it has to be subjunctive. Tricky stuff.
I still don't quite feel comfortable with this sentence.
I dont understand why "irse" is "to leave". "partir" is "to leave"; "irse" (or in this case "se fuera") is "to go oneself", or also I believe 'se' invokes passive voice so it is "is gone". When I read it aloud without any help, the first thing I thought was "I told him/her not to be gone"... which doesnt quite translate so I kinda stopped there without a full understanding.
?'Se' has a ton of uses in Spanish and is a fairly advanced topic to get into all the specifics. Try not to think about it too hard as you're learning. All there is to know here is that
irse means to go out (leave a place). If you try to reason the reflexive aspect into it you're just going to make your head hurt.
thanks. I'm actually pretty advanced in spanish. I read the news every morning in spanish and portuguese, and am using duolingo to get a certification of my skills. My spoken/listening skills are much worse, and irse is more conversational...
so anyway, my head hurts for trying to find the phrasal meaning of something that literally means another thing — it's the other way around! :)
"Decir que" is a frequent trigger for the subjunctive because you have more than one clause, and usually a subject change.
If you are saying "I told you that I'm hungry" - you don't use the subjunctive because you are expressing a fact.
In this example, "I told her not to go" - telling someone not to go is a desire/wish, so the subjunctive is required.
When the first clause (With the WEIRDOS verb) is in the preterite, the resulting subjunctive clause is in the past subjunctive. It is just the "matching" tense. From this sentence we do not know when the going or not going would happen. It could be (I told her not to go) but she went anyway, or but she is there right now, or but she says she is going. (Obviously she also could not be going, but the time line is clearer this way)
I don't know if you had any background in Spanish before you began Duolingo, but I think that learning a new language from scratch here is difficult. But I would recommend you get a resource for verb congugations and grammar rules. Spanishdict.com will definitely do at least a little of both. But there are definitely other resources on the web that may explain the grammar rules more extensively but Duo is a great place to practice what you learn. Believe it or not, I have been able to google answers to questions in languages where I have virtually no background (unlike Spanish) and appear more expert in those discussions. While it no doubt feeds my ego to do so, I find looking for answers to questions and condensing and presenting them does help my own understanding. Just googling imperfect versus preterite in Spanish or whatever specific issue you are wondering about will bring up more information than you can imagine. Don't be discouraged. Duo can both direct your questions and drill the answers once you find them, even if it doesn't always provide the answers themselves in a format that helps you.
I think doing it your way is going to require a vastly bigger memory (for all the possible combinations of verbs and objects you already know) and won't help you when faced with something unfamiliar. However, if you know some of the rules the language 'plays by' you will be able to make some sense of an unknown expression, learn some patterns that can be applied elsewhere, spot your mistakes etc. Good luck with your studies - this Spanish course seems to have many very helpful and knowledgeable contributors for all of us learners.
You split the infinitive which is still considered wrong. While you can have other words in the middle of some verb phrases, it is still not grammatically correct to have any word between the "to"and the verb in the infinitive, especially the negation. It must be not to go and not to not go.
lynettemcw: "You split the infinitive which is still considered wrong ... it is still not grammatically correct"
In formal writing, sure. Try avoid it. Restructure your written sentence, and all that. But it is in fact a bogus rule made up by 17th century snobs who were trying to bend English to the rules of Latin, which like Spanish, has an infinitive that is one word and so can never be split. Not so the case for English, and why adhere in all cases to arbitrary strictures that are only truly relevant to a different language? Anyway, in this example I would personally prefer by far, "not to go," not because it is somehow magically forbidden to split the infinitive, but because it sounds better to my ear.
The classic example, though, of when to split an infinitive is, "You have to really watch him." If you "correct" that to, "You really have to watch him," you completely lose the sense of the original sentence.
Split infinitives have been around for centuries and will never disappear because English is too malleable and they can provide nuances of meaning and a smooth flow of spoken English that we would be poorer for having lost.
Anyway, here is a great little entry on the subject from Oxford English Dictionaries, whom I consider to the the final, nuanced word on the subject: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/split-infinitives
I am still unable to follow ir vs irse usage because I see no difference between go and leave in many examples. Even Spanish sites discussing this stress the difference lies in going toward somewhere vs. leaving from somewhere. But in the sense of movement away from I see no difference between "I am going now"/"I am leaving now" or "I told her not to go"/"I told her not to leave". Is "ir" used exclusively as "movement toward" and never as "movement away"?
I think that ir is transitive, meaning it needs a destination, though irse can be used alone. As for movement away, you use irse as well.
Me voy de mi casa (I'm leaving my house)
Voy a la playa (I am going to the beach)
You can also use irse with a destination - me voy a la playa (I am leaving for the beach)
The once instance in which ir can be used with a place of origin is saying from to.
Voy de Madrid a Barcelona (I am going from Madrid to Barcelona)
If you're saying "tell someone to" in Spanish, you have to use decir + que. Decir alone means to tell.
Also see the difference between 'dije que él es gordo' I said that he is fat and 'dije que él dejara de ser gordo' I told him to stop being fat
Bear in mind that you can't use the indirect object pronouns (te, me, le) to express this kind of command, since they're not subjects and can't take a verb.
Not really. That would be "I tell myself that (she) not leave" First of all if you have decir in the present, you wouldn't have the past subjunctive. But to use yourself as the indirect object of decir in this sense would be unusual. I am not sure what you were trying to say, though.
bdevin--No, the 'le' in this sentence is an indirect object pronoun and cannot be 'la' as that is a direct object pronoun. The gender is indeterminate with third person indirect object pronouns. The way to specify gender is to add an 'a ella' or 'a el'. As in this sentence would be: Le dije a ella que no se fuera. In any case, the subjunctive part is what follows the 'que'.
La and lo are direct object pronoun. Le is the indirect object pronoun for él, ella, and usted. When both indirect and direct object pronouns are used, the le becomes se. Le dije is I told him (or other appropriate pronouns), lo dije is I said it (or told it), but se lo dije I told him it.
I am not sure if you are talking about the voice or the word. Dije is the first person preterite of decir. While the verb is quite irregular, the only variations in conjugation across the Spanish speaking countries that I am aware of is the use of vosotros in Spain and vos in Argentina and other places in Latin America. As for the accent I have no clear cut idea of an Argentine accent, but Duo does teach Latin American Spanish. I have always equated it more to Mexican based on the comments about word usage like departamento for apartment. But it is definitely Latin American. I did read a comment from a Spanish person that they found the pronunciation. But the verb form is standard.
Le is the indirect object pronoun. It does not change with gender like the direct object pronoun does. With the verb decir what you say is the direct object and who you say it to is the indirect object pronoun. Duo doesn't seem to teach much about combining direct and indirect object pronouns, but when you have both an indirect and direct object pronoun, the le changes to se. Se lo dije. Remember that the indirect object pronoun is required in Spanish whether or not the indirect object is specified, so it would also be le dije a María or se lo dije a Maria.
Yes. Le is the indirect object pronoun for him, her, formal you (usted) and it. It matches all the third person singular verb conjugations. Les is for they, both Ellos and ellas and you plural ustedes. But it gets even worse. If you have a both a third person form direct object (lo, la, los, or las} and a third person indirect object pronoun in the same sentence, then both the le and the les become se, which is even less specific as it doesn't even show singular or plural. This is why you will often see the a Ella or a ustedes phrase in addition. Duo and most educational sites will tell you that the indirect object pronoun is required whether or not the indirect object is required. But I did see a couple of native speakers on Duo who said it was normally used, but not absolutely required. That's when I researched and found some sites that did support that. I assume it is a rule that is in the process of fading out, as so many English grammar rules. But on Duo they mostly require it, and you will find it included in real world speech most of the time.
When there is a pronunciation issue on the recording, you should generally report it via the flag. Duo now often has different voices used for the same sentence so the users may not agree with you, but your comments to Duo are traced to the form of the exercise you had. The pronunciation of dije in this comments section seems fine to me. I was curious as to why you wrote dice/dije as the pronunciation of the present tense dice is markedly different from the pronunciation of the preterite dije.
You can tell that from the conjugation. The verb here is Decir in the preterite.
Yo dije Tú dijiste Él/ella/usted dijo Nosotros dijimos Ellos/ellas/ustedes dijeron
Decir is a very irregular verb and most irregular preterite forms don't have the accents over the ending, but despite the fact that the endings seem somewhat reversed, the forms are distinct enough to recognize without the accent.
Primarily I would say that is not something that is natural to say. But this sentence has the subjunctive mood, and your sentence would be present indicative. The indicative mood is used to talk about facts and things we know or believe to be true. The subjunctive mood is used to talk about things you don't know are true or contrary to fact statements. Spanish uses the subjunctive mood more often than English and the English subjunctive mood is not always recognizable because our verbs are not as inflected. In Spanish the subjunctive is used in two clause sentences with two subjects and two verbs. The first verb is a WEIRDO verb expressing a Wish Emotion Impersonal expression Request Doubt or Ojalá. Here you have reported speech which can be treated like a request, although not always. When it is, it indicates that the speaker is either unsure of whether the request was followed or knew it was not. This sentence is likely the response to two different scenarios
¿Está Juan en casa? No sé. Pero le dije no se fuera (Personally I think leave is the better translation for irse)
Juan no está en casa. Le dije no se fuera.
Obviously these are made up scenarios, but it is the grammar that tells me this either I told him not to go but he did, or I don't know if he did. Of course if you translate this as I told you (Usted) not to go, it would be an I told you so, although not as likely as I think most people restrict their told you so's to people they address with Tú
I am very grateful for your explanation. Thank you so much!
In Spanish this sentence can be interpreted, as you say, as a request or suggestion (reported speech ) with an initial imperative.
Can also be a negative order, if we change the verb:" to say" for another: " to command", or to order, it becomes clear that we are giving an order.
So that we can differentiate the present from the past, which would be your translation
-Le digo que no se vaya ( de la casa) Presente de Subjuntivo)
-Le digo que no se vaya ( a la ciudad) Presente de Subjuntivo)
-Le dije que no se fuera ( de la casa) Pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo
-Le dije que no se fuera ( a la ciudad) Pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo
Thank you so much!, Sorry for my English. I'm learning.
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Le is the third person indirect object pronoun which can mean him, her or formal you
Dije is the first person preterite of the verb decir. With an indirect object it would be translated as I told.
Que is the subordinating conjunction that.
No here would be not.
Se fuera is the past subjunctive of the verb irse to leave. When you are talking about what you said in the past and you don't know whether the advice was taken or you know that it wasn't taken, that requires the subjunctive. But that situation generally means that the indirect object pronoun would not be you. That would take the doubt out of the equation.
So put together you have a construction not generally said in English with two clauses, but that's required for this subjunctive construction. Literally it would be I told her that she not leave, but that doesn't work in English and tempts us to say that she should not go, but deber is not there. It really translates as I told her not to leave.
La is the feminine direct object pronoun. Its masculine counterpart is lo, not le. Le is the indirect object pronoun. It is used for him, her or you formal. Les is used for them (masculine or feminine) or you plural (ustedes, not the familiar you plural vosotros used in Spain) . When you translate decir as tell you potentially have both a direct and indirect object. Dije la verdad means I told the truth. The truth is the direct object. Le dije la verdad. I told him/her/you formal the truth. But there is a further complication which I don't remember being demonstrated at all on Duo, although there may be an example or two. When the direct object pronoun is lo or la, both the indirect object pronouns le and les become se, which then looks like a reflexive pronoun. So le dije la verdad becomes Se la dije. I told her it.
I would call you sexist, but I do understand that it is just a lack of knowledge. The indirect object pronoun le can be used for el, ella, usted, ellos, ellas or ustedes. The verb form limits the options to the singular. But the rule for adding a prepositional phrase for identifying who it is talking about does NOT in any way define any particular option as the default. There is no default. Either the referent for the pronoun is clear from the context, or you must specify it using the prepositional phrase. Of course, Duo almost never has the applicable context, so all options not excluded by conjugation or other context clues should be accepted here. Duo generally provides a set translation for a specific exercise as an example, but that isn't meant to indicate that it is any better than the others. And among the various exercises on Duo, all possible translations are shown.
I am not sure what type of exercise you had, or whether you are asking if it HAS to be irse, or just asking why. The issue is what you think this sentence means or would be used for. If you were standing in the room and about to leave, I might say in English Don't leave or Don't go. But they are talking about the same action. In Spanish, I would HAVE TO say No se fuera(s). But if you were talking about talking a trip that I didn't want you to take, I would always say No vaya(s). In this case both the Spanish and English would use go all the time. This sentence is like my first case. We might say either word in English, but Spanish would define the act as leaving. But obviously I told her not to leave is a valid translation as well. I suspect this sentence was sort of meant to illustrate that, although it wasn't very clear, obviously.
O.K., I get what you mean now. But in this usage LE is an INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN(Le dije-I told(to) him. ). In English, the SINGULAR THEY, is used as a POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE because there is no possessive adjective of indeterminate gender to use. In Spanish there is and it is SU or SUS.
In English: Everybody eats THEIR eggs. In Spanish: Todos comen SUS huevos. Sus is PLURAL and agrees with the plural HUEVOS because it is a pronoun.
All this doesn't have to do with Duo's sentence LE DIJE. LE is an indirect object and can ONLY mean you/he /she/or it.
There is no singular they in English or in any other language. More than one person is the definition of they. The use of they and their instead of he and his certainly became more common when using male pronouns as a default became less politically correct, along with words like mailman. But it has never been grammatically correct nor should it be.
lynett--Yes, grammar buffs have been arguing about this for a long time and of course one could say "Everyone eats 'his' or 'her' eggs", but this seems clumsy in everyday usage. To say "Everyone eats 'their' eggs" is very common now and becoming accepted now even by some that have rejected it in the past. Just My2cts.
A singular their most assuredly is recognized by Oxford Dictionaries to exist in the English language:
1 Belonging to or associated with the people or things previously mentioned or easily identified. ‘Parents keen to help their children’
1.1 Belonging to or associated with a person of unspecified sex.
‘She heard someone blow their nose loudly’
More example sentences
‘The winner with the most votes gets to spend an hour in the stocks for their humility.’
‘I am once again reminded, how wrong it is to judge a person by the colour of their skin.’
‘If your mum clicked with their mum then you would have a new friend whether you liked it or not!’
‘Anyone who wants to voice their displeasure over that lot has to do a lot of voicing.’
‘Why would anyone for the sake of their ego want to change the structure of what is going on?’
‘Everybody goes to have a look before making up their own mind where they want to shop.’