select the correct form for the verb escribir. 1. Dudaba que el principe___
cuentos para ninos. My answer escribia b. escribe c. escribiera d. escribio

2. Elena___ a una conferencia anoches.
a. asistio my answer b. asistia c. asiste d. ha asistido

3. Dudaba que el principe___cuentos para ninos. a. escribia my answer b. escribe c. escribio d. escribiera

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asked by Kay
  1. Oh, oh! You have entered the realm of the Subjunctive! It may be dying out in English, but it is alive and well (or SHOULD be) in Spanish ! First of all, you must categorize the main verb, for the dependent verb is totally dependent on that main verb. If you have 2 separate subjects (one in the dependent clause and a different one in the independent clause), see if the main verb is one of 3 kinds.
    1) imposition of will. One person wants another person to do something. Since you can NOT see into the cloudy crystal ball, you can't know IF it will happen or not. THIS dependent verb must be in the Subjunctive.

    Now, if you aren't sure how to FORM the present and/or the Imperfect or Past Subjunctive, ASK. Only pretty much in newspapers will you see the Future Subjunctive, so don't worry about it.

    2. Is the main verb one of emotion = one person is angry, sad, glad, etc. about something someone else MAY or MIGHT do, the dependent verb will be in the Subjunctive (in other words the main verb is "subjective" you might say)

    3. Is the main verb one of doubt, uncertainty about another event? Then the dependent verb also is in the Subjunctive.

    Next item of business: The main verb is in the present, future the Subjunctive is the Present. BUT if the main verb is in the past: Imperfect, Preterit, Conditional, the Subjunctive is in the PAST or Imperfect Subjunctive.

    (present with present BUT past with past)

    Now the Subjunctive is what I call "the thinking person's tense" so see if you can classify the main verb as 1, 2, or 3 and the sequence of tense as present or past.

    1. Dudaba = 3) a verb of coubt in the past tense. You are looking for the Past or Imperfect Subjunctive (escribiera)

    2. Indicative here - no Subjunctive. a) asistió = Preterit, DID attend, b) asistía = Imperfect, WAS attendING or c) asiste = Present, IS attendING or d) ha asistido - Present Perfect, HAS attendED. Hopefully you selected a?

    3. Main verb is 3) one of doubt and it is past tense so hunt for the Past/Imperfect Subjunctive. (there are 2 forms - the -se form which is pretty, flowery but harder to pronounce and the -ra form which is easier to say so most often for orally (as opposed to literary). I can not tell WHAT you selected, but the answer is d.

    Now, feel free to ask any questions whatsoever! In addition to what I have explained here for you, there are MANY adverbs of "time" which require the Subjunctive. There are 5 you can memorize and then you will get a feeling for the others.

    Imagine the crystal ball. Can you clearly see that it IS happening, HAS happened, WILL happen for sure, used to happen, etc. = Indicative (no Subjunctive at all). If it is CLOUDY and you can not tell for certain whether it MIGHT (past subjunctive) or MAY (present subjunctive.

    Another difficulty in translating from Spanish to English is that the Subjunctive can sound like: an infinitive, the present tense, the perfect tense, the past, future, conditional, etc. BUT THE RULES ARE THE RULES!


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