Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Grammar Tal vez and quizás using the subjunctive

Tal vez and quizás using the subjunctive

Steven-W15

In Travelogue 8.1 In the cloud, there are the following two phrases:
- O tal vez pueda comprar una memoria USB
- Or maybe (I) can buy a flash drive

- ¿qué marca es su cámara? Quizás la tenemos.
- what brand is your camera? Maybe we have it.

I am curious as to why the first takes the subjunctive but not the second. Is it based on the relative certainty of the outcome?
 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola Steven-W15!

Indeed, you're on exactly the right track here.

Both quizás and tal vez can be followed by the subjunctive OR the indicative, depending on the kind of nuance you want to give your sentence. If you want to sound more certain, or like what you're saying is probable, then you can use the indicative. If, on the other hand, you want to express more doubt and indicate that what you're saying is unlikely, then you can use the subjunctive. So that is the slight difference in meaning being given to each of these sentences.

I hope that this helps to make everything clear about these two words. If you are still unsure or have any more questions on this, do let me know!

Saludos,

Liss

Steven-W15

- de manera que no tengamos que volver a esta región en particular.
- so (we) don't have to come back to this particular region.
 
- De esa forma no tendremos que cruzar la parte este otra vez.
- That way (we) won't have to cross over to the eastern part again.

From Lesson 8.3 A New Itinerary. Same principle I bet. Cases where you can use or not the subjunctive is what makes it so interesting. Thanks, Liss!
 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola Steven-W15!

¡De nada! :)

Indeed, the case in the example with de manera que is similar; however, de esa forma isn't likely to be an indicators of the subjunctive - let's look at this a bit more closely.

A closer translation of de esa forma would be "in that way," and it's an explanatory phrase similar to "because of that": what comes after is simply a plain old result. It's a fact, and there is no doubt about it. Because of that, you likely won't ever see the subjunctive used after de esa forma. However, you may be thinking of the phrase de forma que, which, like de manera que or de modo que, can be translated as "in such a way that" or "so that," and these phrases CAN be followed by the subjunctive. (The presence of que can be a good thing to watch out for - it is often present in phrases that can trigger the subjunctive, and missing in those that can't trigger it.)

With de forma que / de manera que / de modo que, it is as you say: the principle is similar to what we've already discussed. If they are used to introduce something factual and to talk about an actual, known result, then they are followed by the indicative. (For example: Hablan de modo que los entiende "(They) speak in such a way that (he) understands them." They speak in a certain way, and as a result, he understands what they mean.) However, if they are used more to to talk about someone's intention in undertaking an action (and therefore not about a concrete, factual result), then they are followed by the subjunctive. In these cases, it's easier to think of the phrases as meaning "so that" or "in order that" - the intention or purpose aspect is clear. It is the point of the sentence; whether or not the outcome actually happens is unknown or unimportant. (For example: Hablan de modo que los entienda "(They) speak so that (he) (might) understand them." They speak in a certain way with the intention that he understand what them - we don't know if he actually does understand them or not.)

I hope that this helps! Let me know if it's unclear!

Saludos,

Liss

Steven-W15

Terrific. As soon as you mentioned "in that way", "así" came to mind which I would never confuse with the subjunctive. Excellent explanation as always, Liss!
 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡De nada, Steven-W15! I'm glad it was helpful! :)

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .