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por qué es importante que + subjuntivo

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by spanglish_fan, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. spanglish_fan New Member

    English - England
    Quiero saber si el subjuntivo es necesario en este frase:

    "quiero descubrir por qué es importante que estas medidas existan y por qué es necesario que sean eficaces"
  2. fran_lv1 Junior Member

    Peruvian Spanish
    Hola, en este caso si es necesario que uses el subjuntivo ya que estás dando una opinión con expresiones impersonales (es importante que, es necesario que, es mejor que, etc.), y después de éstas siempre se usa subjuntivo.
  3. spanglish_fan New Member

    English - England
    Muchas gracias por su ayuda
  4. cubaMania Senior Member

    It's actually the same in English for recommendation, resolution, necessity or demand:
    I want to discover why it is necessary that these measures be effective.
    It is important that you be on time.
    It is necessary that she arrive on time.
  5. jaxavi Senior Member

    Castellano (Uruguay) y Inglés (EEUU)
    I agree with you, cubaMania. However, I think we hear more often in informal speech, "It is important that you are on time". In Spanish, whether everyday colloquial speech or formal speech, the subjunctive must be used.
  6. cubaMania Senior Member

    Most well-educated people (all well-educated people by some standards) would say "It is important that you be on time." But you are correct that use of the subjunctive mood is diminishing in English, starting with informal, spoken language.
  7. minnkidd Senior Member

    U.S.A. English

    I wish that were the case, but it is not. I've heard both Gordon Brown and Barack Obama, among many others I consider highly educated, use the indicative in this context. I would guess that among the general population the indicative is used in about 90% of such cases.
  8. cubaMania Senior Member

    That is your opinion, and 90% is a very large number to assert.
    I would never take the example of political leaders as a measure of well-educated language.
    I tried it in google and the use of the subjunctive in this simple case appears still to be in the ascendancy:
    "it is important that you be" = 52100
    "it is important that you are" = 30500
    In my environment the use of the subjunctive in such simple sentences is the norm, although far from universal.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  9. jaxavi Senior Member

    Castellano (Uruguay) y Inglés (EEUU)
    I just did a Google search and my results are a bit different that yours, Cuba.
    "It is important that you be" = 53,900
    "It is important that you are" = 164,000
  10. minnkidd Senior Member

    U.S.A. English

    That sounds about right, considering that internet users are in general more educated than the population at large, where I'm guessing the difference would be even greater.

    Cuba, the reason I chose political leaders is that, because of their high visibility, they usually have to speak on a level that most everyone would understand--a lowest common denominator, so to speak--so I think what they say, rather than being "correct" in any prescriptivist sense, accurately represents the state of the language. The two instances I was referring to were prepared remarks, which had thus passed through the filter of a speech writer and still came out without the subjunctive. I myself teach in a university, surrounded by faculty and students whom I do consider intelligent, and very few of them use the subjunctive in this context or any other for that matter. I have even polled my students informally about the exact same context we are discussing ("It is important that you be..."), and in a class of 25-30, usually only 3-4 perceive the subjunctive as correct.

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