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Thread: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

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    All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Hello, everyone!

    I would be very interested to know in which languages does this mood still exist, and in which ones it has already become extinct or has never existed in the first place.

    Also, I also wonder if we use it in Russian? According to my dictionary it translates as : сослагательное наклонение What confuses me slightly, is that from my knowledge of French and Spanish, I know that certain verbs or expressions (usually followed by que) take the subjunctive after them. For example, in French, 'Je veux que tu saches' and the verb 'savoir' has to then be in the subjunctive.
    But do we do it in Russian?
    Я хочу что бы ты знал(а)..
    Знала = the imperfect tense.
    Or perhaps we don't use it in this example, but there are others where it's needed?
    Anyway, I will be very interested to know about your native language and it's use of this aspect of grammar!
    Thank you very much in advance for any response!

    Crescent

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    Also, I also wonder if we use it in Russian?
    Yes, but as far as I know, it's a lot less used than in, say French.

    [COLOR=DarkOrchid]Я хочу что бы ты знал(а)..
    Знала [COLOR=Black]= the imperfect tense.
    First of all, I haven't learned about it yet, so I can't give you a detailed answer. However, I know that you express the conjunctive in Russian with бы, so your above sentence is indeed in the conjective mood.

    When our professor told us about the conjunctive, saying we only needed to throw the word бы anywhere we wanted in the sentence, I was very relieved (from looking over it, it seems he was exaggerating a little, but still - it's a lot easier than in French)
    Любовь — это слово из четырёх букв

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Croatian doesn't have subjunctive.

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Thank you very much for your reply! Yay! It's my first one..
    And yay! We do have the subjunctive! I always thought Russian was just..the richest language in the world! I would actually really like to know about at least one example where the subjunctive is used in Russian, and how it is used.
    It's not used in English much either. The only example I can think of, is: The doctor suggested that my sister drink 3 spoons of medicine a day.'' and even that sounds slightly archaic to me.
    Also, ''Is it necessary that we be here?'' sounds like a good example.

    The problem is that even thought the subjuctive is used in English, it's form of the verbs is identical to that of the indicative, and therefore native speakers make no distinction between the two..
    I wonder if that's the case in Russian, too...?

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    I would actually really like to know about at least one example where the subjunctive is used in Russian, and how it is used.
    I can give you a couple of example from my text book:

    1) Я пошёл бы в театре
    2) Ты бы бросил курить

    I can't tell you much about its usage, but it seems it's mostly used to express wishes/desires (like 1) and requests (like 2).

    The problem is that even thought the subjuctive is used in English, it's form of the verbs is identical to that of the indicative, and therefore native speakers make no distinction between the two..
    If I were rich, I'd buy a house in Provence

    It's also used in some sentences like that in Russian, though I don\t know the rules for it yet.
    Любовь — это слово из четырёх букв

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    As I learn Spanish, I find that the easiest way to figure out whether or not a subjunctive is needed is to translate the phrase from Russian. Whenever in Russian an imperfect tense is used, Spanish will require a subjuntive. I haven't found any mistakes with such reasoning yet. So I think calling subjunctive сослагательным наклонением is wrong: the two are used for different purposes, and have closer analogies with other grammatical structures in the other language.

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Lemminkäinen's post is a case in point for what I said above:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post

    1) Я пошёл бы в театре
    2) Ты бы бросил курить
    It seems that to translate this into Spanish you want to use Conditional Tense, not Subjunctive:

    1) Yo iria al teatro = I would go to the theater.
    2) Ty dejarias a fumar = You would quit smoking.

    In the next phrase, however, subjunctive is used, exactly where in Russian one uses the imperfect tense:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post

    If I were rich, I'd buy a house in Provence
    Si yo fuera rico, compraria una casa en Provancia = Если б я был богат, то купил бы дом в Провансе.

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by dima_david View Post
    Whenever in Russian an imperfect tense is used, Spanish will require a subjuntive. I haven't found any mistakes with such reasoning yet. So I think calling subjunctive сослагательным наклонением is wrong: the two are used for different purposes, and have closer analogies with other grammatical structures in the other language.
    Hello there! Thank you for offering your very interesting response to us.
    I found it really fascinating how you decided whether an expression is followed by the subjunctive or not in Spanish, by comparing it to the Russian one and seeing if that uses the imperfect!.. I think I may try that too sometimes!

    But I've come across an example where I'm afraid (I think) your wonderful theory fails. When you want to say in Spanish: I'm sorry / it's a pity that you couldn't come yesterday, the expressions: Siento que(o lamento que)/ es pena (o lástima) does indeed require the subjunctive after it, no?
    So the phrase will be (and please do correct me if I am mistaken): Siento que/es lástima que no pudiera venir ayer. (o que no hayas podido venir ayer?)
    However in Russian, this sentence would simply translate as: Мне жаль,что ты не смог придти вчера.
    So how do we fix this one?

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    Re: All slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by dima_david View Post
    Lemminkäinen's post is a case in point for what I said above:



    It seems that to translate this into Spanish you want to use Conditional Tense, not Subjunctive:

    1) Yo iría al teatro = I would go to the theater.
    2) Tú dejarías a fumar = You would quit smoking.
    Yes!! Exactamente! I noticed that too! I think that romance language would probably use the условное наклонение in this case, and doesn't the бы in Russian signify that the conditional is used here also?
    Я бы пошел в кино, если бы у меня хватило денег на билет. - example of a conditional (I would go..etc.) followed by an imperfect, no?

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Czech doesn't have the subjunctive and I am next to certain that neither do other Slavic languages.
    Like others said, the uses of the subjunctive in Romance languages are mostly covered by the conditional.

    Jana
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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jana337 View Post
    Czech doesn't have the subjunctive and I am next to certain that neither do other Slavic languages.
    Like others said, the uses of the subjunctive in Romance languages are mostly covered by the conditional.

    Jana
    Thank you, Jana!
    It doesn't exist then? That's awfully sad.. The subjunctive is my favourite mood! It is used to express emotions, feelings, fears and doubts, and it's just so useful for an emotional person like me.

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Czech doesn't have the subjunctive and I am next to certain that neither do other Slavic languages.
    Like others said, the uses of the subjunctive in Romance languages are mostly covered by the conditional.

    Jana
    I agree with Jana, as usual. Slavic languages don't have the subjunctive as a separate mode (or mood) as we do: present, imperfect and future (for Spanish and Portuguese) subjunctive. The constructions with бы/by are close in meaning to some of the instances of the subjunctive, but are not equivalent in all cases.
    Jazyk

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jana337 View Post
    Czech doesn't have the subjunctive and I am next to certain that neither do other Slavic languages.
    Like others said, the uses of the subjunctive in Romance languages are mostly covered by the conditional.
    Are you sure about it in Russian though? My grammar book as a whole chapter devoted to the conjunctive (with some of the examples given above). Plus, there's sites like this that seem to say the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    The subjunctive is my favourite mood! It is used to express emotions, feelings, fears and doubts, and it's just so useful for an emotional person like me.
    The Russian conjunctive (or whatever you want to call it ) doesn't seem to be as broad as the Romance languages, and seems to mostly deal with uncertainty and doubt. But now I'm getting confused, so I'll see if someone who actually knows this language might elaborate

    Edit: I see jazyk already gave a nice explanation - that helped for my confusion, thanks
    Любовь — это слово из четырёх букв

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    Thank you, Jana!
    It doesn't exist then? That's awfully sad.. The subjunctive is my favourite mood! It is used to express emotions, feelings, fears and doubts, and it's just so useful for an emotional person like me.
    Come on! We do not have that particular mood but we still can express as many emotions as we want: Think of the unrivalled way we form diminutives. Not to mention our ability to reshuffle the word order in many ways to convey exactly the feeling we want. Where else can you find it?

    Jana
    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    Are you sure about it in Russian though? My grammar book as a whole chapter devoted to the conjunctive (with some of the examples given above). Plus, there's sites like this that seem to say the same.



    The Russian conjunctive (or whatever you want to call it ) doesn't seem to be as broad as the Romance languages, and seems to mostly deal with uncertainty and doubt. But now I'm getting confused, so I'll see if someone who actually knows this language might elaborate

    Edit: I see jazyk already gave a nice explanation - that helped for my confusion, thanks
    As I said in my last but one post, we certainly can express the subjunctive but the point is that we miss a separate grammatical mood. Look at this example from the webpage you quoted:
    Я бы пошёл в кино, если бы у меня был билет.
    I would have gone to the movie, if I had had a ticket.

    In both parts of the Russian sentence, you have a conditional. If some people call it conjuctive, I think they are only creating confusion in the heads of learners: It would be infinitely easier to say that you just need two conditionals in the if-clauses.

    Jana
    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    The Russian conjunctive (or whatever you want to call it ) doesn't seem to be as broad as the Romance languages, and seems to mostly deal with uncertainty and doubt. But now I'm getting confused, so I'll see if someone who actually knows this language might elaborate
    Lemmi, are you sure you're not confusing it with someone else entirely? Because isn't the conjunctive a totally different mood from the subjunctive?

    What confuses me the most, if how come there is about an arm-long list (if not a leg-long ) of expressions in Romance languages (French and Spanish certainly) which are followed by the subjunctive, and absolutely no such thing in Slavic languages.
    For example, do any Slavic languages at all employ either the conditional or the subjunctive or the conjunctive (I've totally lost myself now.. ) after phrases such as: It is possible that, I want you to, I regret that, I am happy that, on the condition that, unless, etc.?

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Jana, thanks for explaining Yes, I guess it would be simpler to put it like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    Because isn't the conjunctive a totally different mood from the subjunctive?
    No, the conjunctive is the same as the subjunctive. It's only that in Norwegian it's called konjunktiv, so that's what I usually use
    Любовь — это слово из четырёх букв

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent View Post
    Lemmi, are you sure you're not confusing it with someone else entirely? Because isn't the conjunctive a totally different mood from the subjunctive?
    Click.
    Spanish - subjuntivo, Italian - congiuntivo. Two names for the same thing. The etymology is enlightening but I am afraid there's not more to it.
    What confuses me the most, if how come there is about an arm-long list (if not a leg-long ) of expressions in Romance languages (French and Spanish certainly) which are followed by the subjunctive, and absolutely no such thing in Slavic languages.
    For example, do any Slavic languages at all employ either the conditional or the subjunctive or the conjunctive (I've totally lost myself now.. ) after phrases such as: It is possible that, I want you to, I regret that, I am happy that, on the condition that, unless, etc.?
    We employ either the indicative (past, present or future) or the conditional.

    Jana
    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    No, the conjunctive is the same as the subjunctive. It's only that in Norwegian it's called konjunktiv, so that's what I usually use
    How interesting. In Serbian we say exactly the same: konjuktiv (коњуктив).

    I second what Lemminkäinen and Jana said. It is basically the same.

    But, subjunctive is the correct word in English .


    PS: And no, Serbian doesn't have it at all. But we still manage to be VERY expressive and sensual if we really want .
    "Parad el mundo, que me bajo. " Groucho Marx

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    Re: All Slavic languages: the subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by natasha2000 View Post
    But, subjunctive is the correct word in English .
    "Subjunctive" is the most commonly used term, but I think "conjunctive" is also right.
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