All Slavic Languages: Future Subjunctive

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Diaspora, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Diaspora Senior Member

    Serbocroatian, English
    I noticed, unlike in Romance languages, the future subjunctive is not a formal property in Serbocroatian, instead it it a combination of conditional clauses and future II; however it can be treated as such for cases of convenience.
    I wonder are such features present in other Slavic languages? How would the following senteneces be rendered in other Slavic languages?

    1. Sreća će se ispiti, bit će čaša razbijena. (An indticative statement about the future without doubt.)

    2. Kad sreća bude ispijena, nek' bude čaša razbijena. (poetic license-Potentially, when the luck is emptied, the glass might as well be broken but it is subjunctive as the result is a general statement of desire or possibility not indication.)

    English translation:
    1. The luck will be emptied (lit. drunk up), the glass will be broken.
    2. For when luck runs out, let it (the glass) break/may it break. (Literal. When luck to be dranked up, glass be broken.)
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. trance0 Senior Member


    1. Sreča bo izpita, čaša bo razbita.
    2. Ko sreča se izpije, naj čaša se razbije. / Ko sreča bo izpita, naj čaša bo razbita.

    It rhymes nicely in Slovene. :)
  3. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I don't think anyone treats this as subjunctive. Rather, "neka + present" is commonly analysed as 3-rd person imperative (and there is not any Future II in your examples). Note that exactly the same situation exists in English (let + bare infinitive for 1st and 3rd person imperative), and similar one in French (qu'il + subjunctive).

    What is often analysed as South Slavic subjunctive are the "da + present" forms, which are a Balkansprachbund feature. See e.g. That feature also extends (to a bigger or smaller degree) westwards into Serbian, and Croatian (derogatorily known as "dakanje" there), although it's far less often treated as subjunctive by Serbian linguists.

    By that analysis, the subjunctive form of the said sentence would be:

    da bude čaša razbijena

    Indeed, it is also encountered in, um, poetry. For example, (Halid B, "Prokleta je žena ta" ;))

    Hajde druze da pijemo
    da se nocas veselimo
    za trenutak da je barem
    mi zaboravimo

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  4. Azori

    Azori Senior Member


    1. Šťastie bude vypité, pohár bude rozbitý. However, this sounds very unnatural, especially the second part of the sentence. Instead, I would say: "Šťastie bude vypité, pohár sa rozbije." or "Šťastie sa vypije, pohár sa rozbije."
    2. Keď sa šťastie vypije, nech sa pohár rozbije.
    Keď bude šťastie vypité, nech sa pohár rozbije.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  5. Diaspora Senior Member

    Serbocroatian, English
    (and there is not any Future II in your examples).

    Correct me if I'm wrong isn't the first future formed from (htjeti), while the second future from (biti, hence "bude"). So, since Slovenian, Slovak etc. use mostly "biti" for future, how can they differentiate the two concepts like we do in Serbo-Croatian. Judging from the Slovenian examples, they are pretty much the same.
  6. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    (The form "nek" is written without apostrophe.)
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  7. nexy Senior Member

    Trieste (Italia)

    It is not treated as subjunctive, but I think it could be treated as a kind of subjunctive since in many situations the verb BITI is used instead of JESAM where in romance languages the indicative turns into subjunctive.
    For example:

    Serbian: On je srećan.
    Spanish: El es feliz.

    Serbian: Želim da bude srećan.
    Spanish: Quiero que sea feliz.


    Serbian:Ovo je poslednji put da ulaziš bez kucanja.
    Spanish: Esta es la ultima vez que entras sin llamar.

    Serbian: Nek bude poslednji put da ulaziš bez kucanja.
    Spanish: Que sea la ultima vez que entras sin llamar.

    In Serbian you cannot just say: "On bude srećan (He is happy)" (a simple statement which requires indicative). The same case is with Spanish: "El sea feliz." (you cannot use subjunctive here because it is a simple statement).

    I hope I made myself clear enough and that I didn't confuse you too much.:)
  8. Diaspora Senior Member

    Serbocroatian, English
    Thank you very much. I see you're very informative. That's exactly what I'm saying in Serbocroatian, our future II and "da" serves as quasi-subjunctive. The only reason I realized this, is because here in USA we have Spanish drilled in our head. I don't know if such features exist in other Slavic languages?

    BTW: Your examples of Spanish are Present subjunctive (even though they refer about future), Spanish has a future subjunctive in its own right but it is considered archaic and used only in legal/parliamentary proceedings.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2009
  9. nexy Senior Member

    Trieste (Italia)
    I can see your point, I often thought about this. In Spanish, future subjunctive is only used in legal proceedings in its written form (in speech almost never). You will never hear it in everyday speech.
    As you have probably noticed, we use future II in situations in which the Spanish use present subjunctive. However, this is not the case with other romance languages (in Italian simple future is used, I don't know about French).

    For example:

    Serbian: Kad budeš imao vremena, pozovi me. (Futur II)
    Spanish: Cuando tengas tiempo, llamame. (Present subjunctive)
    Italian: Quando avrai tempo, chiamami. (Simple future)

    Using future subjunctive in this sentence would look like this:

    Cuando tuvieres tiempo, llamame. (This is correct, but it is archaic, you will NEVER hear this because nobody uses it anymore).
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    French uses the future indicative as well:

    Quand tu auras du temps, appelle-moi.​

    Indeed. That's how we say it in Portuguese:

    Quando tiveres tempo, liga-me.​
  11. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    So this is formed just like the standard future in Slovenian, with biti + past participle, right?
  12. trance0 Senior Member

    Yes, it`s formed the same.
  13. mcibor Senior Member

    in Polish it would be something like:

    1. Szczęście się skończy, szklanka się rozbije.
    The luck will empty (lit. finish itself), the glass will break (lit. break itself).

    2. Jak szczęście się skończy, (to) szklanka się rozbije
    When luck runs out, then let the glass
    break. (lit.As/how luck itself (will) finish, then glass itself (will) break)

    There is a second form of future in Polish - szklanka będzie rozbita, but this is finite form (glass will have been broken, lit. glass (will) be broken)

    So I don't think we have future subjunctive in Polish, though I'm not sure.
  14. Diaspora Senior Member

    Serbocroatian, English
    Serbo-Croatian doesn't have a subjunctive either in formal published grammars. Instead the key difference is that in BCS, unlike in West and East Slavic future verbs are formed differently. Polish has one future tense but it is formed differently depending on the aspect. BCS has two future tenses, open to both aspects.

    In Polish

    to be + infinitive (imperfective)=future
    present perfective=future

    In BCS, however aspects are freely used

    to want + infinitive (perfective, imperfective)=future
    to be + past participle (perfective, imperfective)=future perfect (past in the future), this is a specific tense that West and East Slavic doesn't have

    The present tense of perfective verbs are mostly used as present not as future, unlike in Polish.

    When one adds "da" infront of a to want + present, or to want + past participle, than it has a subjunctive feel. Ex. Nadam se da ces ospavati.
    (I hope that you will sleep well) In this case you must have the subjunctive "da" in all versions of BCS.

    I'm not aware of such use of "da" in Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak and Slovene. The Slovene future tense would correspond to the BCS future perfect tense.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  15. ldv New Member

    Hi, I just wanted to say that in kajkavian dialect (in croatian), they also use present perfective as future ,e.g. Mam dojdem.=I will come immeadiately.

    There is also interesting article on wikipedia on subjunctive in croatian (hr.wikipedia. *** org/wiki/Hrvatski_konjunktiv,_aorist_i_kondicional)
    remove ***

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