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Thread: sea lo que sea

  1. #1
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    sea lo que sea

    He encontrado esta traducción de la expresión popular en íngles 'it is what it is'. Mi pregunta es eso; ¿porque se usa la forma subjuntivo en lugar del indicitivo? ¿Qué añade el uso del subjuntivo al sentido de la expresión en este caso? ¿Sea significaría algo parecido a "could be" o "might be" en este ejemplo? Lo agredecería mucho algunas sugerencias. Gracias de antemano.
    Not all those who wander are lost. -Tolkien

  2. #2
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    Well, "sea lo que sea" would be better translated as "let it be whatever it might be" to be literal, and in usage would probably be just "whatever it/that might be."
    I don't agree with that as a translation for "it is what it is", regardless of where you might have found it.

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    Re: sea lo que sea

    Quote Originally Posted by TurbidTongue View Post
    Well, "sea lo que sea" would be better translated as "let it be whatever it might be" to be literal, and in usage would probably be just "whatever it/that might be."
    I don't agree with that as a translation for "it is what it is", regardless of where you might have found it.
    Thanks but this seems to be the most accepted translation for it is what it is. Can any native speakers tell me why that is and what the subjunctive verb tense adds in this case?
    Not all those who wander are lost. -Tolkien

  4. #4
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    I suggest you google sentences with both phrases and paste them here as examples. I haven't heard one phrase used in one language as the other phrase is used in the other language.

  5. #5
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    Sea lo que sea does not mean "it is what it is". That would indeed use the indicative.
    Sea lo que sea means "whatever it is", "be that as it may", or "anyway".

  6. #6
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    As a native speaker of Spanish, I would agree with TurbidTongue: "sea lo que sea" is not a good translation of "it is what it is". "Sea lo que sea" means "whatever that is/might be", and I think you can see the reason for the use of the subjunctive in this case (it's expressing a mere possibility).
    "It is what it is" would be better translated into Spanish as "La cosa es así", "Así es la cosa" or simply "Así es". These expressions, as statements of fact, use the indicative and not the subjunctive.

  7. #7
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    Thanks for all the responses. It seems that I received a bad translation, however I wanted to be sure. Your responses have been very helpful..

    Take care.

    -Mike
    Not all those who wander are lost. -Tolkien

  8. #8
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    I think that "sea lo sea" would be best translated as "be that as it may"

  9. #9
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    Re: sea lo que sea

    La traducción de 'it is what it is' es "lo que es, es", o "así es la cosa" que en presente de indicativo se refiere a la realidad que con esta fórmula lingüística se acepta resignadamente.
    "Sea lo que sea" tiene varios sentidos: se dice cuando no se quiere entrar a discutir un concepto; también se puede significar "pase lo que pase", "resulte como resulte", "que sea lo que dios quiera", siempre en subjuntivo de posibilidad (sin pronunciarse sobre su cumpimiento)

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