Please feel free to contact me should...

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by esl student, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. esl student Senior Member

    Mexico
    Spanish-Mexico
    Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.

    Hace poco vi esta oracion y quiero sabes si el should esta bien aqui.

    Gracias por adelantado.
     
  2. nzaballa Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish - Argentina
    Si, es una construcción formal para no usar el "if you have any further questions" pero significa lo mismo.
     
  3. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Nzaballa is correct, and this "should" is actually the past subjunctive of shall (future tense), and is used for conditionality or contingency.

    If you should see him = (literally) Si lo vieras

    Of course, in Spanish we often translate this as if it were the simple present: Si lo ves. Other times, the subjunctive is retained: If I should die, what would you do? = Si me muriera, ¿qué harías?
     
  4. nzaballa Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish - Argentina
    Very interesting....I would have automatically translated "if you should see him" as "si lo ves" without even thinking that it was a bigger improbability. Also, since it's usually so hard to explain the subjunctive to foreigners I think this example will help a lot. Thank you!!!
     
  5. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Don't bet on it. In my experience, most native English speakers have no idea what the subjunctive is in their own language, or how to use it. When they do use it, it is merely by intuition. That is why so many people mistakenly say "If I was a millionaire, I would buy a Ferrari," for example. They don't understand how to use the subjunctive in English, let alone Spanish.
     
  6. nzaballa Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish - Argentina
    yeah I know...I use that was/were thing to open a window, so they can at least peek what's coming and where I am going with the explanation. Yours is better though. I usually pay a lot of attention to the subtleties of the language but that one caught me off guard!
     
  7. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru
    Sí, es correcto. :thumbsup:
     
  8. la_machy

    la_machy Senior Member

    Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
    Español de Sonora
    Realmente tengo interés en saber la respuesta correcta a esto. ¿Sería If I were a millionaire...?
    Porque muchas veces lo veo cómo tu dices (If I was) y me confunde mucho.

    Saludos
     
  9. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru

    Gramaticamente correcto es "were" pero si dices "was", igual te van a entender.
     
  10. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Yes, you're correct. This construction seems to be dying out from English, and it is rare to hear someone use it correctly in speech (although it's still common in edited writing). My sons, however, are forced by me to say it correctly! :D
     
  11. la_machy

    la_machy Senior Member

    Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
    Español de Sonora
    Sabes? un día quise abrir un hilo refiriendome a esto pero me lo cancelaron, quiza por que probablemente generaría muchas opiniones personales y lo entiendo. Sin embargo, despues de algunos meses en este foro, y de mis clases de inglés, todavía no acepto que se diga I was para el subjuntivo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  12. la_machy

    la_machy Senior Member

    Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
    Español de Sonora
    Pues qué bien por tus pequeños, por que yo, solo de pensar en lo mucho que me esforcé por comprender ese uso y que no se use...no juegues!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  13. scorpio1984 Senior Member

    Venezia
    catalan and spanish
    excuse me, but I disagree. According to the Cambridge Grammar book both are correct. For instance:

    If I were you, I wouldn't buy that coat.
    If I was you, I wouldn't buy that coat.


    Does any native speaker agree?
     
  14. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru
    The thing is, textbook English, obviously grammatically correct tells you how it should be, but in the real world, people use the language differently. Have you ever heard people saying "he don't" when they should say "he doesn't"? Same thing.
     
  15. Dario de Kansas

    Dario de Kansas Senior Member

    Kansas, USA
    American English
    I agree. :)

    If I were you :tick:
    If I was you :cross:

    SDLX, you really freak me out with your knowledge of English, even all the nuances. Did you spend some time in the States?
     
  16. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Yo no podría estar menos de acuerdo.

    There are some lexicologists (dictionary writers) who insist that any part of language that is in use by native speakers must be correct. There are others who insist that while language is indeed alive and constantly changing, there are still rules that educated writers will observe.

    What I can tell you for certain is this: If you use the second form above, a large proportion of native English speakers will not notice anything wrong, and will understand you perfectly, but another significant proportion will notice that it is an error, and will judge your education accordingly.
     
  17. gringo-de-la-mancha

    gringo-de-la-mancha Senior Member

    San Antonio, TX
    USA English
    I agree completely. I especially notice it (the incorrect usage) when the speaker has a foreign accent. My first thought is that the speaker has trouble with the English subjunctive. When native speakers say it, it sounds to me like they're from the country, or that they didn't finish high school. Kids and teenagers say it all the time, however, so it's beginning to be less noticeable as an error.

    I'll be honest. As you stated before, most Americans don't know what the subjunctive is, and neither did I until I started studying Spanish. Now I am very aware of it. I have always used it though, but never questioned why. It's probably because my father was an English major, and he speaks correctly. Some scholars are suggesting that English do away with the subjunctive altogether, but it's too engrained in common speech. How can they get rid of something that most people don't know is there?

    Here are some sentences that are more noticeable when used incorrectly:
    If she were to...:tick:
    If she was to....:cross:

    Not as noticeable:
    I recommend he eat... :tick:
    I recommend he eats....:cross:

    I wish I were there. :tick:
    I wish I was there. :cross:

    @Scorpio:
    I don't agree. "If I were you" is hypothetical, so the subjunctive is used.
     
  18. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    The same goes for me. Native speakers of all languages absorb the rules of their language without analyzing them, and we only begin to analyze when we study a foreign language. That is one reason why everyone should learn a foreign language, in my opinion; it helps you speak your native language better.

    This failure to use the subjunctive is so widespread that even my sons' school teachers do it. I have to correct my sons at home, so that they will at least know the difference. It's a shame to lose the subjunctive, because it adds useful information. For example:

    If Jesus was the son of God...
    If Jesus were the son of God...

    Both of these are correct, but the meanings are different. But I suppose this is a losing battle.
     
  19. Dario de Kansas

    Dario de Kansas Senior Member

    Kansas, USA
    American English
    Yep. I was chatting with a Spanish-speaker the other day who asked me about what my biggest challenges were in learning Spanish. When I mentioned the subjunctive, she had no idea what I was talking about.
     

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