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Dio gracias a Dios que eran/fueron

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by phasting, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. phasting New Member

    Vancouver
    English
    In the following sentence, which would be correct:

    Reconoció la voz de su compañera y dio gracias a Dios que eran/fueron sus tres compañeras de cuarto.

    Just in case context makes a difference, this is the final sentence in a narrative, where the protagonist has been worried about an intruder.
     
  2. Jerzon

    Jerzon Senior Member

    Colombia
    Español-Colombia
    Are you sure it's "fueron"? I think it's "fueran".
     
  3. phasting New Member

    Vancouver
    English
    You may be correct about the subjunctive, however the intent of the exercise is to choose correctly between the imperfect and the preterite.
     
  4. Jerzon

    Jerzon Senior Member

    Colombia
    Español-Colombia
    I'd still choose fueran.
     
  5. KirkandRafer

    KirkandRafer Senior Member

    Español (Murcia, España)
    Is that the whole sentence? It looks like there is something missing.

    Reconoció la voz de su compañera y dio gracias a Dios al ver que eran sus tres compañeras de cuarto.
     
  6. Julvenzor

    Julvenzor Senior Member

    Sevilla
    Español propio (Andalucía, España)
    I, as native speaker from Spain, would use an imperfect subjunctive. I don't agree with the options, not even I'm able to decide...

    Note: In addition, that textbook has a mistake:

    Reconoció la voz de su compañera y dio gracias a Dios de que ¿fueran? sus tres compañeras de cuarto.


    Cheers!
     
  7. Jerzon

    Jerzon Senior Member

    Colombia
    Español-Colombia
    Esta es mi suposición:

    Cuando la protagonista escuchó la voz de su compañera (supongo yo que en la historia ella y otras dos andaban juntas) dio gracias a Dios de que fueran sus tres compañeras de cuarto y no otra cosa.
     
  8. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi,
    Yes, it's imperfect, indicative or subjunctive; imperfect because the subordinate action wasn't completed (their being his/her mates) even after s/he had thanked.

    Using "dio gracias a Dios que" sounds too queísta to me. Anyway...

    In order to share subjective/emotional sense (even before s/he had plainly confirmed it), you can use imperfect subjuntive with "de que":
    "...dio gracias a Dios de que fueran sus compañeras." <—I think this refers to the origin of his/her feelings of gratitude and relief.

    You could use imperfect indicative after a "porque" in a more objective description:
    "...dio gracias a Dios porque eran sus compañeras." <—I think this describes the reason of his/her thanking.

    Or you could use imperfect indicative after a colon:
    "...dio gracias a Dios: Eran sus compañeras." <—I think this brings some suspense and focus in his/her relief.

    Bear in mind I may be nuts a bit.

    Could you give us the sentence in English?
     
  9. juan082937 Senior Member

    español
    Es una oración compuesta con el mismo sujeto, donde dió gracias a Dios de que eran sus tres compañeras de cuarto.
    Uso el pretérito imperfecto de indicativo pues dar gracias es sobre un hecho palpario pues reconoció la voz de una de sus compañeras de cuarto, que reafirma la realidad o compromiso de la verdad sobre la construcción compuesta.
     
  10. phasting New Member

    Vancouver
    English
    The story is about a girl whose roommates went out and left her alone in the house. She was hearing strange noises and imagining all kinds of things, especially that it was an intruder trying to get into the house. Finally on the other side of the door she heard a voice. "She recognized the voice of her friend and thanked God that it was her three roommates." (at the door and not an intruder). That is the end of the story.
     
  11. Xyfobik New Member

    León
    Spanish-Spain
    Reconoció la voz de su compañera y dio gracias a Dios DE que FUERAN / FUESEN sus tres compañeras de cuarto.

    I think it's the most natural way to say that sentence
     
  12. phasting New Member

    Vancouver
    English
    I don't understand the use of the subjunctive here as there is no doubt, hope or uncertainty about the statement. She is grateful about the fact that it is her roommates. Also, the exercise is entitled ¿Preterito o imperfecto?
     
  13. Jerzon

    Jerzon Senior Member

    Colombia
    Español-Colombia
    I think it does express hope.
     
  14. Xyfobik New Member

    León
    Spanish-Spain
    We use the subjunctive, because it expresses some uncertainty. She is grateful about the fact that it is her roommates, but if it had been a thief, she would not be grateful.
    At the same time her hopes are fulfilled.
    I do not really know how to explain why you should use the subjunctive. But it is the most usual and natural.
    You can use "eran" if you only have those two options. This could be well understood
     
  15. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    It's because of their being her roommates as seen from a subjective/emotional angle. The reasons that arise emotions are mostly expressed in subjunctive when in a subordinate clause. (Estoy feliz de que vengas, le da rabia que le mienta, me asustaba que ese perro me mirase, celebré que hubieran ganado, etc.)
    Regards,
    ;)
     
  16. phasting New Member

    Vancouver
    English
    Thanks to all for your thoughtful explanations.
     

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