1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

una/la explicación que ayude/ayuda

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by NewdestinyX, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. NewdestinyX

    NewdestinyX Senior Member

    PA, USA|Do work in Spain
    American English
    In another thread a native wrote this sentence very naturally.

    Sí que creo que para demostrar que es agramatical (si es que lo es)
    algún forero podría dar
    una explicación gramatical que ayude a muchos otros. :tick:

    In my continuing quest to understand the choice between indicative and subjunctive in adjective clauses I wanted to ask if simply changing the article from 'una' to 'la' in that sentence would change the use of the subjunctive to indicative in the verb 'ayudar'?

    Sí que creo que para demostrar que es agramatical (si es que lo es)
    algún forero podría dar
    la explicación gramatical que ayuda a muchos otros. :thumbsup:?

    Now to the more grammar based questions: Is this just like sentences with 'buscar' where usually the only difference is indefinite article versus definite article? If this sentence is similar to a sentence with 'buscar' - how so? Do the 'algún' and 'conditional of poder' create the 'unidentified antecedent' here, semantically, like 'buscar' would in a sentence?

    I'm sorry if I'm asking something overly technical. But many of us non natives really want to get better at understanding this usage. I have appreciated Peterdg's wonderful explanation of how choosing the subjunctive often adds a 'limiting' condition to the antecedent and how other natives say it's often mostly about 'futuridad' when the subjunctive is used. But in the sentence above I don't believe it's about either. It seems to be more like a sentence with 'buscar'.

    Any help would be wonderful,
    Grant
     
  2. En este caso, quedaría mejor así :

    Sí que creo que para demostrar que es agramatical (si es que lo es)
    algún forero podría dar
    la explicación gramatical que ayudara / ayude a muchos otros
     
  3. NewdestinyX

    NewdestinyX Senior Member

    PA, USA|Do work in Spain
    American English
    Entonces, con ambos '...la explicación...' y '...una explicación...' ¿solo elegirías el subjuntivo en esa oración?
     
  4. anigmar Junior Member

    Español - España

    Hi!
    ...I wanted to ask if simply changing the article from 'una' to 'la' in that sentence would change the use of the subjunctive to indicative in the verb 'ayudar'?
    I think its wrong because :
    - podría darla hoy? = could you give the explanation today? (la = one explannation of many)
    - Ayer falté a clase, ¿podría repetir la explicación? (la = the last explanation)
    - Quiero saber la verdad = i want to know the ( only can exists one) truth
    That's the difference im able to see here, nothing to do with subjunctive. I wont use "la" o "el" meaning (all the) in this example, its weird to hear that unless your were asking for "the solution" (La solución, solo existe una. Or something realy abstract)

    i would say:
    ... podría dar una explicación que ayudase/ayudara/ayude a...
    ... podría dar alguna explicación que ayudase/ayudara/ayude a...
    ... podría dar más de una explicación que ayudase/ayudara/ayude a...
    etc

    I think subjunctive is really hard to study:
    Mains uses:
    - 1º When you want (desire) something: My mom want me to work = Mi madre quiere que trabaje.
    1-1--> My mom want me to "verb" more = Mi madre quiere que salte/compre/beba/coma/vista/duerma/... más.
    - 2ºWhen your are doubting: I doubt ill go = Dudo que vaya | i doubt ill be on time = dudo que me de tiempo, dudo que esté a tiempo
    *** i think your question is here: ....podría dar la explicación que ayudara/ayudase /ayude a muchos otros
    - 3º set/stock phrases: Probably im going to "verb" for a while=Es probable que estudie/salga/duerma un rato.
    - 4º Negative expression: Dont "verb" that! = ¡No comas/leas/digas/rompas/etc eso!
    you can check the rest on: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modo_subjuntivo#En_espa.C3.B1ol

    I hope to be useful! :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  5. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    The indefinite article una suggests indeterminación, something indefinido, so it makes sense to use the subjunctive. After all, there isn't much daylight between indefinido and irreal:
    Una explicación gramatical que ayude
    Similarly, the definite article la suggests something concrete, so the indicative fits nicely:
    La explicación gramatical que ayuda

    However, one shouldn't conclude that "una" triggers the subjunctive, nor that "la" triggers the indicative. We need to keep in mind that the subjunctive, like the indicative, paints a picture of the world; it's how we see things; it's our representation of reality. Sometimes we represent that reality, not as actual facts (which is expressed with the indicative), but as conceptions of the mind. With the subjunctive, we present things as generalities rather than factualities, regardless of what article we use or whether there is an explicit antecedent or inductor at hand:
    La explicación gramatical que ayude
    Una explicación gramatical que ayude
     
  6. manicha Senior Member

    Spanish/Galician - Spain
    I would only use subjunctive in this case, never indicative. Because we hope and expect that the explanation helps, but by are not completely sure about that.
    Compare:
    Busco la tienda que tiene pantalones baratos. I know that such shop exists, and I also know that trousers, there, are cheap.
    Busco una tienda que tenga pantalones baratos. I do not know if such shop exist.
    When you say "algún forero podría dar la explicación que ayuda a muchos otros", you are implying that that such explanation exists and that indeed, it helps many others. I find that very difficult to ascertain. Also, the sentence has a "creo que", a "si es que" and a "podría", which put even more uncertainty in the following part about the explanation.
     
  7. NewdestinyX

    NewdestinyX Senior Member

    PA, USA|Do work in Spain
    American English
    So 'la' or 'una' before explicación wouldn't make the difference for you, Manicha? Still it would be 'ayude'?
     
  8. manicha Senior Member

    Spanish/Galician - Spain
    Yes, It would be still be "ayude" for me, but I think, if the sentence were mine, I would say "una", not "la".
    Imagine that we are talking about AIDS.
    I could say:

    algún científico podría encontrar
    una cura que ayude a muchos enfermos. (this is the most natural way to express it, I think: there might be more than one "cura", and we hope that it may help)
    or:
    algún científico podría encontrar la cura que ayude a muchos enfermos
    (also possible: I imply that there is only one possible "cura", and that it may help)
    But if I say:
    algún científico podría encontrar la cura que ayuda a muchos enfermos, it means that I am completely sure that such thing exists and works, and it is very difficult to be certain about that, because it does not depend on me.
    I hope it helps.
     
  9. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Excellent explanation, SevenDays.
     

Share This Page