Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Grammar Una vez más, es siempre importante, siempre que estén cocinando...

Una vez más, es siempre importante, siempre que estén cocinando...


- Once again, it's always important, always when you cook...

I thought that when it comes to something habitual, you don't use the subjunctive. Is the difference here that "que" is used here instead of "cuando" (interesting: it seems to translate to the same thing in English).


¡Hola Steven-W15!

You're right, habitual actions don't take the subjunctive. This sentence brings up a few interesting points that we need to break apart to find out why there is a subjunctive here.

We should start by noting that siempre que is often used to mean "every time that," but it can also be used to mean "provided that." When it is used in the sense of "every time that," then we are talking about a habitual action, and it should take the indicative. However, if it is used in the sense of "provided that," then it is being used to talk about a possibility, and so it takes the subjunctive.

This particular sentence is tricky because it was broken up as someone spoke. Without knowing the rest of the sentence (it does not seem to be from one of the lessons?), I would guess that the siempre que here is probably referring to a habitual action - "every time that" you cook. So I would say that it is in the subjunctive not because of the siempre que, but because of the importante. A complete version of this person's train of thought would probably be somewhere along the lines of: es siempre importante [que, cuando] estén cocinando... Since importante is an emotion and it is in the construction es ... que, the verb that follows after must be in the subjunctive.

I hope that helps to clear everything up!

Hasta la próxima,



Thanks, Liss! The phrase comes from a Colombian cooking video. I have seen phrases similar to this in the Travelogue course (where the subjunctive is used in the context of what appears to be an habitual action). I was looking forward to asking you this question but impatiently didn't wait until I came across the examples again in the course. :)  When I do and your explication doesn't apply to those phrases, I'll ask again. Excellent explanation. ¡Muchas gracias!


¡De nada Steven-W15! I'm glad that this was helpful. Do please come back with those other sentences in the Travelogue if they still don't make sense!


"When I do and your explication doesn't apply to those phrases, I'll ask again.""

Creo que cuando se usa una palabra español en una oración ingles, es un buena señal que la lengua es en su cabeza.


Jajaja. No me di cuenta para nada. Efectivamente quizás sea una buena señal. Gracias, amigo.

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