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raferguson


Nov 23, 2009, 11:55 PM

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Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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I was writing a note to a friend of mine, and I wanted to express the idea that sometime in the future, we might return to the Festival Cervantino.

This put me up against one of the areas of Spanish in which I am weak, the subjunctive. I assume that when I use Tal vez it would make sense to use the subjunctive.

Regresaremos is the future tense, which sort of makes sense in that I am talking about some future year when we might go back. Tal vez regresaremos.

One site says

Quote
the future subjunctive is becoming obsolete. You are unlikely to ever hear it, as in spoken Spanish it tends to be replaced by the present subjunctive.

This would argue that I should use the present subjunctive, so Tal vez regresemos.

But then how do I express the idea of a future date? Or does the subjunctive always imply future, in that it is referring to possibilities? I would think that occasionally the subjunctive would be used in the past tense, as in the example, "Maybe he went to the store", which is clearly past tense. (In this example, we are talking about someone who is not here, and speculating on where he might have gone.)

Here is where I would profit from taking a 300 level Spanish class at the university. :-(

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com



Peter


Nov 24, 2009, 5:58 AM

Post #2 of 12 (13845 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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How about the conditional? Tal vez regresaríamos.


esperanza

Nov 24, 2009, 9:59 AM

Post #3 of 12 (13830 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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Richard, try this construction: Regresamos algún día de estos. We'll be back one of these days.

Remember that the present tense is used to indicate a near-future event. Your sentence, if constructed as I suggest, implies hope for a return in the near future both by the verb tense and the 'one of these days'--and you don't need the subjunctive.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









La Isla


Nov 25, 2009, 7:58 PM

Post #4 of 12 (13801 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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Future subjunctive? It hasn't been a part of the language for many, many years. When I was a Spanish major in college back in the 1960s and early 1970s, I think it was mentioned once in a grammar text, just so we could recognize it if we encountered it in older literature.

When studying the subjunctive, I seem to remember a rule with tal vez that said, if it comes first in the sentence, you should probably use subjunctive to indicate uncertainty (Tal vez venga mas tarde.), but, if it comes at the end, the indicative suffices (Viene mas tarde tal vez.) In both cases the future is indicated by the use of mas tarde.


ken_in_dfw

Nov 30, 2009, 9:47 PM

Post #5 of 12 (13744 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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Future subjunctive? It hasn't been a part of the language for many, many years. When I was a Spanish major in college back in the 1960s and early 1970s, I think it was mentioned once in a grammar text, just so we could recognize it if we encountered it in older literature.

When studying the subjunctive, I seem to remember a rule with tal vez that said, if it comes first in the sentence, you should probably use subjunctive to indicate uncertainty (Tal vez venga mas tarde.), but, if it comes at the end, the indicative suffices (Viene mas tarde tal vez.) In both cases the future is indicated by the use of mas tarde.


Yup, La Isla, that's what my Jesuit professors taught some 20 years ago at La Universidad de San Luís. "Quizás" is another example that requires the present subjunctive when introducing the sentence.


ken_in_dfw

Nov 30, 2009, 10:01 PM

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Red-faced

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Shamefacedly, I must admit that I told a lie previously. It was THIRTY years ago this autumn that I began classes at St. Louis University. Sigh.

Time does fly whether or not you're having fun. Can someone please just drop me off at El Repollo Rojo in Puerto Vallarta and drown me in a plate of mole so I can at least die happy?


zaragemca

Dec 12, 2009, 11:05 AM

Post #7 of 12 (13644 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] Red-faced

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those were verbal forms used sometime ago to denote actions which were subjected to something. Not only 'Tal vez', but also, 'Quizas' were used. Also two verbs, 'regresar' y 'volver', were used. But they were replaced by the, 'Imperfect Future', and the verbs, 'poder' and 'querer'. With 'poder'...'algun dia podriamos regresar' and.... with 'querer', 'algun dia quisieramos regresar'. Gerry Zaragemca
International Club of Percussionists

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Apr 12, 2012, 8:05 AM)


sergiogomez / Moderator

Dec 14, 2009, 11:16 AM

Post #8 of 12 (13606 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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To jump right to the middle, subjunctive does not always imply future. For instance, when referring to emotions:

No creo que sea cierto. I don't think it's/that's true.

But it can imply future action when expressing possibility:

Puede ser que vayamos a Puerto Vallarta algún día. It's possible that/Maybe we will go to Puerto Vallarta some day.

Or not:

Es posible que (él) tenga algún problema con la computadora. It's possible that he's having problems with the computer (right now).

So, how to express the idea of something happening in the future? There are a million different ways to do that. Okay, maybe
not a million, but a lot.

One of the simplest ways is to use the present tense. Technically, this is only supposed to refer to something that is going to happen in the very near future, like tomorrow:

Voy a Nueva York (mañana). I'm going to New York (tomorrow).

But the future is often informally used to refer to things that might (or might not) happen at some unknown time in the future:

Tal vez regresamos. Maybe we will go back (one day).

In a case like this, using the subjunctive along with "maybe" (tal vez regresemos) expresses double uncertainty: once with tal vez, and again with regresemos. Even when it's used to refer to something that could happen in the future, the subjunctive carries a certain flavor of uncertainty. By no means does this imply that it's never correct to say tal vez regresemos or quizás volvamos or anything like that. On the contrary, it can express exactly what you want to say, like when you're talking to a friend about the trip you took to Switzerland when you were young and unattached, and you say tal vez regrese because you'd really like to go back but it might not ever happen because you don't have the money, or the free time you used to.

On the other hand, if you want to express to someone that you enjoyed the time you spent in their city and would like to return someday, it would be better to ditch the subjunctive to avoid sounding too uncertain, as in, "I'm saying this just to be polite, but I really hated the pollution and I hope I never have to go back." In this case, you could work in algún día or un día de estos, which are always useful when talking about what might happen in the future. And you can almost always fall back on a simple, "I liked it and I want to do it again" approach. As in "Me gustó el festival y tengo ganas de volver/ir otra vez" or "Me gustaría ir otra vez." Or something like that. It's simple, easy to say, and the feeling behind it is readily understood.


Zarcero

Dec 20, 2009, 7:00 AM

Post #9 of 12 (13541 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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Good grief! Future tense is used all the time in Mexico and all the other Spanish-speaking countries. Spoken and written.

1.) I know it's popular to say it doesn't exist anymore, but I only hear this on English websites populated by teachers of Spanish for which Spanish isn't their native language.

2.) Travelers, expats, Gringos, etc., need to get out more and talk to folks other than their maids and waitstaff at public places like hotels and restuarants, etc.

3.) Read some current literature. It's there also.


mazbook1


Dec 20, 2009, 11:17 AM

Post #10 of 12 (13523 views)

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Re: [Zarcero] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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As a non-native, i.e., bad, Spanish speaker, I don't use the future tense much, if at all. Since it's somewhat instinctive for an English speaker to use the "going to +stripped infinitive" form I nearly always use the "voy a infinitive" form in Spanish, but that doesn't make it correct. ONE of the reasons I don't often use the true future tense is that I don't often know exactly when it is appropriate (instead of the other more-or-less "future" forms available to a Spanish speaker).

However, I agree absolutely with Zarcero, the future tense is alive and well and commonly used by native Spanish speakers in México. I can always recognize it when I hear it, and I hear it often.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Dec 20, 2009, 11:18 AM)


sergiogomez / Moderator

Dec 24, 2009, 5:40 AM

Post #11 of 12 (13452 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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As a non-native, i.e., bad, Spanish speaker, I don't use the future tense much, if at all.

Aw, you deserve more credit than that!


mazbook1


Dec 24, 2009, 11:09 AM

Post #12 of 12 (13434 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Tal vez regresemos. - Subjunctive?

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Not MUCH more, sergio! I'm just at the point where if someone asks me, «¿Habla español?», I can honestly answer, «¡Me defiendo!»
 
 
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