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subjunctive: I hope it work/works out

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Luisillo, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Luisillo New Member

    Spanish/Castellano - Spain
    Hello

    I just finished the submission of an application, and now that the die is cast (by the way, does it mean exactly the same of "la suerte está echada","que sea lo que Dios quiera"? I mean, "die" is a very serious word), I would like to express my hope in a positive result. I can think of a couple of phrases, but involving the subjunctive:
    - I hope it work/works out
    - I hope it go/goes well

    Results from Google would suggest that the correct ones are works and goes by an overwhelming majority. But the majority does not always mean correctness, especially with tricky grammar stuff like subjunctive, and nobody really cares about grammar in the web (I wouldn't trust this method for Spanish either). Besides, I was told that the subjunctive does not have inflection, but I may be wrong and there may be different cases.

    So in that context, which one of the following are correct (the subjunctive is always a recurrent pain to me)? If both, is there any subtle difference (likelihood of a good or bad result, British/American, formal/informal, etc.) in their use?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. elprofe

    elprofe Senior Member

    Benidorm (alicante)
    Spanish (Spain)
    I would use the future or the present (indicative).
    - I hope it will work
    - I hope it works


    Anyway, wait for native help hehehe :)
     
  3. plsdeluno Senior Member

    England
    English-England
    Yes I agree with elprofe, but I would always tend to go for,
    ''I hope it works out for you'', you could say, ''I hope it will work out well for you''

    I would go for ''works out''
     
  4. elprofe

    elprofe Senior Member

    Benidorm (alicante)
    Spanish (Spain)
    Yes, I forgot to add "out" and the end of the sentences :)
    I focused on the verbal tense hehe
     
  5. Glotly New Member

    U. S. English
    English doesn't use subjunctive as rigorously as Spanish or other languages. I can think of only one form where it is used routinely; here are examples:

    The law requires that your apartment be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
    It is expected that we be prepared for any change.

    But we never use it for expressing hope ("I hope it works" is perfectly fine, as is "I hope it will work", and there is no need to use the more slangy "works out") or, as far as I recall, for describing any event with an unknown outcome. In earlier writing it was common to see "If it be found that...", which is technically still correct, but now we more often see "If it should be found that...".
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  6. Glotly New Member

    U. S. English
    Luisillo,

    "that the die is cast (by the way, does it mean exactly the same of "la suerte está echada","que sea lo que Dios quiera"? I mean, "die" is a very serious word)"

    The one that means "morir" is, but this "die" isn't that one! My dictionary gives it as "dado".
     
  7. cardiganlyric New Member

    Houston, TX
    English - Texas
    I had always thought that "die" in this case refers to the type of mold used for forming metal; "the die is cast" means "the mold is set" and nothing more can be done to change it. Though it would also make sense if it meant something along the lines of the dice have been thrown and where they land is now left to fate.
     
  8. albertovidal

    albertovidal Senior Member

    Bs.As.-Argentina
    Castellano, Argentina
    "The die is cast" actually means "la suerte está echada" o "que sea lo que Dios quiera"
     
  9. jtlolac New Member

    Michigan
    American English
    Another use of the subjunctive in English can be found in the following sentence:

    "If I were king..."

    However, their is a lot of variation in the use of the subjunctive in conditional clauses. There is a song by Gwen Stefani where she says, "If I was a rich girl...", instead of "If I were a rich girl...".
     
  10. Luisillo New Member

    Spanish/Castellano - Spain
    Wow, thanks for all this feedback in such a short time.

    Probably my mistake was to assume a subjunctive tense there in English, as it happens in Spanish. Now I'm thinking that there may not be a general rule, but different usage cases depending on the verb. I found here a list of verbs followed by subjunctive, but to hope wasn't there.

    Thanks for the clarification, now it makes perfect sense, as when you roll the dice. It would have helped if I had checked for additional meanings. The thing is that I always thought of "dado" as dice, but it turns out that that is the plural of die, which I never heard of before (well, it makes my irregular plural of the day).
    In that case, now I'm wondering about the origin of both meanings of die as verb and noun (perhaps a game of chance, ancient version of the Russian roulette?:confused:)

    That also makes sense. Interesting word, many meanings. Strangely, the plural is regular in that case: dies.

    Anyway, whichever the explanation is, nothing to do with to die.

    Thank you all for the insight.
     
  11. jtlolac New Member

    Michigan
    American English
    English is unlike Spanish in this case. The subjunctive isn't used (as far as I know) after the expression "I hope...". I believe French is the same as English where as Portuguese is like Spanish where you would say, "Espero que te salga bien".

    Thanks for the subjunctive link!
     
  12. Glotly New Member

    U. S. English
    Conditional use is a different ball game. The cited usage is simply wrong: it is reserved for the situation in which whether she was at one time a rich girl was not known: for example "In those days, if I had money, I went to the races" The conditional refers to a hypothetical case!

    I like the alternative notion of "die casting". It works, but I doubt this is the origin.
     
  13. albertovidal

    albertovidal Senior Member

    Bs.As.-Argentina
    Castellano, Argentina
    Origin of "die casting"
    Alea iacta est (redirect from The Die is Cast)
    Alea iacta est (also alea jacta est, Latin : "The die has been cast") is a Latin phrase attributed by Suetonius (as iacta alea est ˈjakta ... "la suerte esta echada"
     
  14. jtlolac New Member

    Michigan
    American English
    You'd have to listen to the lyrics.

    If I was a Rich Girl
    Na [x15]
    See, I'd have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
    No man could test me, impress me, my cash flow would never ever end
    Cause I'd have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl

    A verb in the subjunctive mood deals with hypothetical situations or with ideas that are contrary to fact. "If I were a rich girl, I would have all the money in the world..."



    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gwenstefani/richgirl.html
     
  15. Glotly New Member

    U. S. English
    Yep, but surely you see the difference between "I urge that it be" and "If it were...". In the first case we do not know whether it is or will be but express a wish that it will be. In the second, we know that it is not. This distinction between ignorance and imagination makes a fair bit of trouble, for example in the barbarous substitution of "may" for "might" in conditional constructions that you find all over the place nowadays. I was only trying to point out that your example "If I was" for a hypothetical case is not just a variant rendered acceptable by common usage. It will and should stay w*r*o*n*g!
     
  16. Luisillo New Member

    Spanish/Castellano - Spain
    Good point indeed.
    I knew it came from that, I was just completely misled. What I expected was a more literal idiom in Spanish, as it comes from Latin. However, the English translation is literal, while the Spanish is not ("suerte" is a metaphorical translation, as "luck", while "die" is literally "alea", and iacta seems to come from iacio, which means to cast, to toss). I never had imagined that "alea" actually meant "dado".
     
  17. albertovidal

    albertovidal Senior Member

    Bs.As.-Argentina
    Castellano, Argentina
    Luisillo:
    Everyday and everywhere we keep on learning, provided we are openminded.
    Regards
     

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