Subjunctive Adjective Clauses (also ch. 5 in general) Flashcards Preview

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Subjunctive in Relative Clauses (Adjective Clauses)

modify nouns as and adjective would. They are most commonly introduced by the relative pronoun que. Relative clauses take either the indicative or the subjunctive according to specific criteria.


Subjunctive is used in relative clauses introduced by que when the antecedent is hypothetical, nonexistent, or unknown to the speaker.

Quiero comprar un automóvil que consuma poca gasolina. I want to buy a car that uses little gas. (The speaker is not referring to any specific car.)


No encontrarás aquí a nadie que esté de acuerdo contigo.

you won't find anyone here who agrees with you. (The speaker is denying the existence of the person.)


Hay alguien en esta clase que haya estado en el Perú?

Is there anyone in this class who has been to Peru? (The speaker does not know whether the person exists)


Tengo un automóvil que consume poca gasolina.

I have a car that uses little gas.


Te equivocas, aquí hay varias personas que están de acuerdo conmigo.

You are wrong; there are several persons here who agree with me.


En esta clase hay dos estudiantes que han estado en el Perú.

There are two students in this class who have been to Peru.


When the verb in the relative clause expresses an action or state that refers to the future or whose outcome is not known to the speaker, the subj. is used.

Él hará lo que le digas. He will do what you tell him (to do). (you haven't given him any orders yet.)


Le pediré dinero al primer amigo que me encuentre.

I will ask for money from the first friend (whoever he may be) that I run into.


Juan David esaba dispuesto a pagar lo que le pideiran por los cigarillos.

Juan David was willing to pay whatever price they asked for the cigarettes. (They hadn't told him the price yet.)


Coma todo el pollo que quiera por cinco dólares.

Eat all the chicken you want for five dollars. (The amount of chicken the person may want is unknown to the speaker.)


Él hizo lo que le dijiste.

He did what you told him to do.


Le pedí dinero al primer amigo que me encontré.

I asked for money from the first friend I ran into.


Juan David siempre está dispuesto a pagar lo que le piden por los cigarillos.

Juan David is always willing to pay what they ask for the cigarettes. (a customary action)


Comió todo el pollo que quiso por cinco dólares.

He ate all the chicken he wanted for five dollars.


Indeterminate expressions take the subj. when they refer to a hypothesis or possibility; they take the indicative if the user makes a statement of fact or reality.

cualquiera que, cualquier + noun + que, comoquiera que, dondequiera que


Cualquiera que nos ayude será recompensado.

Anyone who may help us will be rewarded.


Él comerá cualquier comida que le sirvan.

He will eat whatever good they may serve him.


Dondequiera que Ud. vaya encontrará pobreza.

Wherever you may go, you will find poverty.


Comoquiera que lo haga, lo hará bien.

however he may do it, he will do it well.


Cualquiera que nos ayudara era recompensado.

Anyone who helped us was rewarded.


Él siempre come culaquier comida que le sirven.

He always eats whatever food they serve him.


Dondequiera que fui, encontré pobreza.

Wherever I went, I found poverty.


Comoquiera que lo hace, lo hace bien.

However he does it, he does it well.


Some proportionate comparisons use the first verb in the subj. when the speaker is referring to what is hypothetical or future; otherwise, the indicative is used.

Mientras más estudien, más aprenderán. the more they study the more they will learn


Mientras menos comas, más adelgazarás.

The less you eat, the more weight you will lose.


Mientras menos se toque Ud. la herida, mejor.

The less you touch your wound, the better.


Meintras más cerezas comas, más querrás comer.

The more cherries you eat, the more you will want to eat.


Meintras más estudian, más aprenden.

The more they study, the more they learn.


Por supuesto, mientras menos comía, más adelgazaba.

Of course, the less I ate, the more weight I lost.


El problema de las cerezas es que mientras más comes, más quieres comer.

The problem with cherries is that the more you eat, the more you want to eat.


Por + adj. or adv. + que (No matter now + adj. or adv.) is followed by the subj. when the speaker does not accept the thought expressed by the verb as a fact.

Por bonita que ella sea, no la elegirán reina. No matter how pretty she may be, they won't select her as queen.


Por mucho que te apresures, no terminarás a tiempo.

No matter how much you may hurry, you will not finish on time.


Que yo sepa (que sepamos), que digamos, and que diga are common idiomatic expressions in the subj.

Que yo sepa (que sepamos) = as far as (I) we know


Que digamos

is used to stress a preceding negative statement and it is difficult to translate since its meaning will vary with the context


Que diga

I mean, in the sense of "I meant to say or that is"


El Dr. jordán no ha llegado todavía, que yo sepa.

Dr. Jordán hasn't arrived yet, as far as I know.


Que sepamos, no han puesto todavía las notas en la pared.

As far as we know, they haven't posted the grades on the wall yet.


No coopera Ud. mucho conmigo que digamos.

You are not exactly cooperating with me.


No nos queda mucho dinero que digamos.

We don't actually have much money left.


Él salió a las ocho, que diga, a las seis.

He left at eight , I mean, six o clock.


Some diomatic formulas always take the subj.

cueste lo cueste: no matter how much it may cost (only used in third person singular)
pase lo que pase (whatever happens (only used in third-person singular)
puedas o no (puedas) whether you can or not (used in any person)
quieras o no (quieras) whether you be willing or not (used in any person)


These formulas can be used in the past as well:

costara lo que costara, pasara lo que pasara, pudieras o no, quisieras o no


Nuestro país ganará la guerra, cueste lo que cueste

Our country will win the war, no matter how much it may cost


Pase lo que pase, no cederé.

Whatever happens, I will not give up.


Pudiéramos o no, nuestro jefe nos hacía trabajar excesivamente.

Whether we could or not, our boss made us work excessively.