quizas (+ indicative)

< Previous | Next >

Thank you

Senior Member
English - U.S.A.
Hi,

I have seen a few posts about "quizás," but most of them are about whether the word has an "s" at the end or are very case-specific.

My question is this: Is there a rule that can help me understand when it's okay to employ the indicative mood after the expression "quizás"?

Here's what they taught me in school: The word "quizá(s)" is ALWAYS followed by the subjunctive mood. "Tal vez," however, depends on the context.

I understand that nothing is "ALWAYS" true, but how often is it NOT the case to use the subjunctive after "quizás."

Thanks so much!

PS: I don't have a specific example, but I'm hoping some of you might be able to provide one.
 
  • chamyto

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Rarely , maybe when the people are 100% sure about what they are telling , but now all the examples that comes to my mind are better with the subjunctive .
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    In one of the books I read--I believe by Carlos Ruíz Zafón--I saw this structure more than once (in the indicative). Perhaps I sould go back and find the quotes...I'm sure I noted them as I read! I am reading his second novel, "El juego del ángel," but the problem is I am reading other authors at the same time.

    I've seen several authors do this as well (I want to say in the past tense), and I love their writing style and spark. I am beginning to doubt everything I was ever taught as I delve deeper into Spanish literature (and conversation).

    I'll look for those examples...and thanks! :)
     
    Last edited:

    Adelaida Péndelton

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Rarely , maybe when the people are 100% sure about what they are telling , but now all the examples that comes to my mind are better with the subjunctive .
    Mmm, when you are 100% sure you don't say quizás. Maybe this rule is always true.

    No, wait, maybe in questions trying to be sarcastic although you know positively the answer: ¿Quizá te molesto? but that's weird.

    Or ¿cerró la puerta de su cuarto? quizá le molestaba el ruido
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Since I don't really have the same depth of experience with the language, I have to rely on others' examples. I have a bit of work to do, but I will definitely look those up and post them here so we can analyze them.

    Thanks yet again!
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    No veo la dificultad de utilizar "quizás" con los tiempos indicativos, así como con los subjuntivos.

    Quizas te equivocas.
    Quizás te equivocaste.
    Quizás te equivocarás.
    Quizas te equivoques.
    Quizás te hubieras equivocado.
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Cbrena,

    Esa es precisamente mi duda. Si son todos correctos los ejemplos de arriba, no entiendo la razón por la cual me han enseñado esa reglita (a que me referí antes). Me parece que hay muchas excepciones a la regla...

    Por la otra mano, hay otros aquí que me han dicho que no es nada común emplear el modo indicativo después de la palabra "quizás".

    Do you think this is simply a regional difference...or are the examples you wrote in the indicative mood used less frequently? In short, if I use the indicative, will people consider it a mistake...or is it simply another option to imply a greater degree of certainty?

    Thanks!
     

    JorgeHoracio

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    I think you don't have to fear being criticized for using quizás with indicative.

    I don't know about such rules. But I'm sure it sounds normal to most people here in the ConoSur, and since Cbrena endorses it, it seems to be normal in Spain as well.

    The difference I think is one of shade. And I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly what is implied.

    I might say for example, either

    Quizás está lloviendo en Tokio en este instante.
    or
    Quizás esté lloviendo en Tokio en este instante.

    Of course in both cases my uncertainty is complete. (I haven't had any recent news about the weather in Tokyo)

    Maybe I'd use the first if I want to suggest that it's possible that rain in Tokyo is right now an actual fact. And the second if I mean that raining right now in Tokio is a possibility. I know, you may think ¿what's the difference? But I can't go much deeper ... it sounds like there's a difference.

    How would I say it in English? I think these two are probable candidates. Do you feel there's a difference between them?

    (For all I know) perhaps it's raining right now in Tokyo
    It might be raining right now in Tokyo

    Am I at least not way off? Interesting subject, though it's always slippery with subjunctives
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    Cbrena,

    Esa es precisamente mi duda. Si son todos correctos los ejemplos de arriba, no entiendo la razón por la cual me han enseñado esa reglita (a que me referí antes). Me parece que hay muchas excepciones a la regla...
    Yo tampoco entiendo por qué te enseñaron esa regla.
    Por la otra mano, hay otros aquí que me han dicho que no es nada común emplear el modo indicativo después de la palabra "quizás".
    Pues incluso en la definición del RAE utiliza dos ejemplos con subjuntivo y uno con indicativo

    quizá.
    (Del lat. qui sapit, quién sabe).
    1. adv. duda Denota la posibilidad de que ocurra o sea cierto lo que se expresa. Quizá llueva mañana. Quizá sea verdad lo que dice. Quizá trataron de engañarme.
    Do you think this is simply a regional difference...or are the examples you wrote in the indicative mood used less frequently? In short, if I use the indicative, will people consider it a mistake...or is it simply another option to imply a greater degree of certainty?

    Thanks!
    Creo que no depende del grado de incertidumbre ya que tanto con indicativo como con subjuntivo denotan la posibilidad de que algo sea cierto. Y no sé si hay alguna difefencia regional.

    Un saludo.
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    No había leído el post de JorgeHoracio. En sus ejemplos hay un pequeño matiz de diferencia, pero tan pequeño como él explica.

    Quizás te dieron esa regla porque ""quizás" significa "puede que", y esta segunda estructura sí que obliga el uso del subjuntivo. De lo contrario, no lo entiendo.

    Al igual que no entiendo que chamito no pueda pensar en ejemplos con tiempos en indicativo y que treblinka piense que la regla es siempre cierta a excepción de frases irónicas.

    Al igual que JorgeHoracio, creo que puedes usar el indicativo sin ningún problema, es más, en tiempo pasado, no te queda más remedio.
     

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    De acuerdo. El contexto indica indicativo/subjuntivo.
    Quizás viene Pepita dentro de un rato.
    (more certainty than with 'venga')
     

    alebeau

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Excellent question.

    Let's look at the post given to use by JorgeHoracio.

    Take a look at the following examples:

    1. Quizás está lloviendo en Tokio en este instante.

    2. Quizás esté lloviendo en Tokio en este instante.

    In the first, you are simply stating: "Perhaps it is raining in Tokyo right now." (That is, you feel it might be or it might not be.... either way you're equally open to both possibilities.)

    In the second one you are really doubting it. Let me give you some context.

    Suppose you and you're friend are talking about weather patterns in Tokyo. And, for the sake of this explanation, let's assume it doesn't rain much in Tokyo. However, your friend thinks that it's raining in Tokyo, despite the general 'no-rain' pattern. So, you and you're friend are debating about whether it is or is not raining right now in Tokyo.

    Your friend tells you: "Estoy seguro de que está lloviendo en Tokio en este momento. Según el periodico que leo a diario, ha llovido mucho en Tokio últimamente."

    However, you are convinced that it is NOT raining.

    So, your friend tells you: "Hey, just hear me out for a second. Isn't it POSSIBLE it's raining in Tokyo?"

    And you say... "Well, I SUPPOSE it COULD be raining in Tokyo" (The words in upper case are to be read with a stressed tone...)

    The Spanish equivalent is: "Bueno... quizá esté lloviendo en Tokio."

    It's like.... "It's POSSIBLE (but I seriously doubt it)."

    Hope this helps.

    Let us know if you need more help (or if you need further clarification on my horrible example!)

    Best,

    --AL
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Wow, I'm so happy my question generated so many great responses, and maybe even a tiny debate! I thought people would pass over this one or perceive it as a bit too easy for them.

    In any event, I'd like to respond to each of you.

    JorgeHoracio,

    Your explanation truly helps, and if I understand it correctly, let me just say that your English translation is indeed perfect! Let me see if I can provide other alternatives...

    a. For all I know, it COULD/MIGHT be raining in Tokyo right now. (The clause "for all I know" truly gives the sentence that sense of sarcasm or uncertainty or something not based on fact.

    b. Once again, your translation is absolutely fine. If I wanted to further differentiate it from sentence "a," I might say: It's quite possibly raining in Tokyo as we speak. It's highly probable/it could be/It's probably/I'm pretty sure/I think it may/might be/It really could be...If I state it this way, I have a good reason to believe what I'm saying.

    Thanks!

    Cbrena,

    It just truly helps that you both debunked that rule and took the time to provide official examples to prove it. THANK YOU!

    One question: What else does "quizás" mean besides "puede que" ? I didn't realize it could have another meaning. Also, you would NEVER use the subjunctive in the past after "quizás"? I think the examples I read were indeed written in the past tense. (I need to find those.)

    Duvija,

    Your post was short, but very informative. That one example speaks volumes. Thanks!

    And finally, AL...

    Your example is BY NO MEANS horrible. On the contrary, the explanation made me go "OHHHHHH" as I read it. You've captured such a fine nuance...and have done so in quite a plausible scenario. I can't say how grateful I am that you took the time to do that.

    It has generated a closely-related question for me. In your example of certainty, could you omit the preposition "de." Estoy segura (de) que está lloviendo. I think you use the (de) because it's two independent clauses?????? I also think I've heard it omitted. Is it optional?

    I can't see your information right now, but I can't believe how well-versed you are in both Spanish and English...Your ability to explain is truly astounding. You could be a teacher...if you are not already in the profession! We need good ones! :)

    I thank you all...yet again!!!!
     

    Jay Lang

    Senior Member
    Spanish (from Spain)
    Por la otra mano, hay otros aquí que me han dicho que no es nada común emplear el modo indicativo después de la palabra "quizás".

    Thanks!
    Una pequeña corrección Thank You, "Por la otra mano" es una traducción literal del inglés que no se usa en castellano. Puedes decir "Por otro lado" o "Por otra parte".

    Saludos,
    Jay
     

    alebeau

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Thank you, I truly appreciate your lovely comments. I didn't mind helping you out at all. In fact, when I see someone who cares about such minute details, I love it.

    As far as my ability to explain things is concerned, I try pretty hard. Actually, I plan on being a university professor in Spanish/French linguistics. My favorite part about language is looking at the minute details - understanding the mindset behind them. In reality, I'm just a big kid who cares a lot about and knows a lot about grammar.

    In regards to your question, it's a common mistake to omit 'de.' We call that a 'queísmo.'

    Here is what the RAE says:

    5. estar seguro. ‘No tener duda’. La persona o cosa sobre la que no se tiene duda se expresa mediante un complemento introducido por de: :tick:«Estoy segura de que la oirán» (Padilla Jardín [Cuba 1981]). En el habla esmerada, no debe suprimirse la preposición (→ queísmo, 1d): :cross: Estoy seguro que.

    Diccionario panhispánico de dudas ©2005
    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

    Take a look below:

    You are sure about something. = Estás seguro de algo.

    You are sure about the teacher being gay.. = Estás seguro de que el profesor es gay.

    You can replace the underlined parts with any fitting grammatical structures you like (a noun, a nominal relative clause, etc.)

    Anyway, thanks again for your nice comments.

    If you need any help with Spanish or English in the future, don't hesitate to send me a PM.

    Best,

    --André
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    Cbrena,

    It just truly helps that you both debunked that rule and took the time to provide official examples to prove it. THANK YOU!

    One question: What else does "quizás" mean besides "puede que" ? I didn't realize it could have another meaning. Also, you would NEVER use the subjunctive in the past after "quizás"? I think the examples I read were indeed written in the past tense. (I need to find those.)
    You are right. I MADE A MISTAKE. I wanted to say you have no choice but to use subjunctive with past tense. I wanted to say: "es más, en el pasado no te queda más remedio que usar el subjuntivo"; however I missed out "que usar el subjuntivo", so, the meaning of my sentence was completely the opposite of what I wanted to say as I was talking in the same sentence about indicative. I'm sorry!

    On the other hand, as far as I know, there is not another meaning for "quizás" apart from "puede que". I tried to compare both of them to understand why someone told you to always use subjunctive with "quizás", when you can use indicative without any problem with "quizás"; however, you have to use subjunctive with "puede que". That was all. I didn't mean that there were other meanings for "quizás"

    Regards.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    You are right. I MADE A MISTAKE. I wanted to say you have no choice but to use subjunctive with past tense. I wanted to say: "es más, en el pasado no te queda más remedio que usar el subjuntivo":confused:.
    quizá.
    (Del lat. qui sapit, quién sabe).
    1. adv. duda Denota la posibilidad de que ocurra o sea cierto lo que se expresa. Quizá llueva mañana. Quizá sea verdad lo que dice. Quizá trataron de engañarme.

    Es un indicativo, ¿no?. Y viene del DRAE.
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    quizá.
    (Del lat. qui sapit, quién sabe).
    1. adv. duda Denota la posibilidad de que ocurra o sea cierto lo que se expresa. Quizá llueva mañana. Quizá sea verdad lo que dice. Quizá trataron de engañarme.

    Es un indicativo, ¿no?. Y viene del DRAE.
    Cierto Peterdg. Estoy confundiendo a Thank you del todo con dos explicaciones consecutivas contradictorias. Mi primera explicación era correcta en cuanto al pasado y la necesidad de usar el indicarivo. Mi segunda explicación, a la que tú estás contestando, es errónea. No sé como se me han cruzado los cables y he rectificado MAL lo que había dicho BIEN. Cuando realmente necesitamos el subjuntivo es desde el presente a un tiempo futuro.
    Cuando hablas en el presente hacia el pasado, necesitas el indicativo:
    Quizá trataron de engañarme ayer.
    Cuando hablas del presente hacia el futuro, necesitas el subjuntivo:
    Quizá traten de engañarme mañana.
    Cuando hablas en el presente del presente, puedes usar indicativo y subjuntivo, con un ligero matiz de diferencia:
    Quizá tratan de engañarme ahora.
    Quizá traten de engañarme ahora.

    Gracias Peterdg por tu corrección y espero que Thank You no se vuelva loco con el lío que le he hecho. Espero que lea tu post al mismo tiempo que el mío, para ver mi error al mismo tiempo que tu corrección.

    Un saludo.
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Una pequeña corrección Thank You, "Por la otra mano" es una traducción literal del inglés que no se usa en castellano. Puedes decir "Por otro lado" o "Por otra parte".

    Saludos,
    Jay
    Jay,

    It is these small details that will eventually help me improve, and I appreciate your help very, very much!
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Dear Cbrena,

    En realidad, I am so GLAD you doubted your own post--not because it wasn't clear--but rather because your subsequent explanation is AMAZING. This (copied below) is the concise rule for which I was so desperately seeking.

    Cuando hablas en el presente hacia el pasado, necesitas el indicativo:
    Quizá trataron de engañarme ayer.
    Cuando hablas del presente hacia el futuro, necesitas el subjuntivo:
    Quizá traten de engañarme mañana.
    Cuando hablas en el presente del presente, puedes usar indicativo y subjuntivo, con un ligero matiz de diferencia:
    Quizá tratan de engañarme ahora.
    Quizá traten de engañarme ahora.

    Thank you...from thank you! PD: Una pequeña aclaración...Pues, no soy hombre, y tampoco me vuelvo loca...ya lo estoy! ;)
     

    Thank you

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Dear Peter and Al,

    Thanks for the clarification of "quizás," Peter.

    Al, yet again, your help and expertise astound me. Now I can add "queísmo" to my ever-increasing list of "don'ts." (Reminds me of leísmo, which seems like a Peninsular phenomenon...but that's off topic!)

    I am elated that you will be sharing your knowledge in the classroom! Wish I could take your class, truly!

    Thank you to ALL!
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    Dear Thank you,

    I'm so glad that you are not crazier (because of me) than you were before... ;)
    If I had written my post in English I wouldn't have made the gender mistake with 'crazy'. This is one of the many things I love about English.

    By the way, don't think about what I wrote as a rule. It was only the best way I found to make myself understandable, but not a grammar rule; anyway, I'm glad you finally found what you were seeking, despite my mistakes or due to them. :)

    Best wishes.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    ...
    This (copied below) is the concise rule for which I was so desperately seeking.

    Cuando hablas en el presente hacia el pasado, necesitas el indicativo:
    Quizá trataron de engañarme ayer.
    Cuando hablas del presente hacia el futuro, necesitas el subjuntivo:
    Quizá traten de engañarme mañana.
    Cuando hablas en el presente del presente, puedes usar indicativo y subjuntivo, con un ligero matiz de diferencia:
    Quizá tratan de engañarme ahora.
    Quizá traten de engañarme ahora.
    ...
    Hello

    As you try to come up with a rule, keep this in mind.
    Time (past, present, future) doesn’t determine the use of the subjunctive/indicative. The subjunctive and indicative are moods, and moods reflect the attitude of the speaker towards what’s stated. In other words, it is the attitude of the speaker that determines the choice of mood. The adverb quizás suggests uncertainty, which is why the verb that follows is usually in the subjunctive mood. But, as you’ve already discovered, quizás doesn’t always call for the subjunctive. That’s because we are often more uncertain or less uncertain of things; uncertainty isn’t a switch that’s either on or off. So, if you consider the nature of moods and of the adverb quizás, I think you’ll begin to see the difference between:

    (A) quizás trataron de engañarme
    (B) quizas hayan tratado de engañarme

    (A) With the indicative trataron, the speaker lessens or minimizes the uncertainty expressed by quizás, but he stops short of saying outright trataron de engañarme. The speaker is almost sure, but not quite sure, that they tried to fool him.
    (B) With the subjunctive hayan tratado, the speaker underscores the uncertainty expressed by quizás.
    (A) suggests less uncertainty, (B) more. (Duvija already made reference to certainty). The fact that you are looking from the present towards the past has nothing to do with the choice of the indicative or subjunctive.

    There is one exception, as cbrena pointed out. When using the present to refer to the future, you can only use the subjunctive: quizás traten de engañarme. The future hasn’t happened, therefore it is uncertain (unreal) and the subjunctive is required.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers
     

    cbrena

    Senior Member
    español
    Hello
    There is one exception, as cbrena pointed out. When using the present to refer to the future, you can only use the subjunctive: quizás traten de engañarme. The future hasn’t happened, therefore it is uncertain (unreal) and the subjunctive is required.
    In fact, there is not even a rule with the future. You can also say:

    Quizás te engañarán mañana.
    Quizás tenemos que volver.

    As well as

    Quizás te engañen mañana.
    Quizás tengamos que volver.

    However, the second ones are more accurate because of the uncertainty of the future. The opposite happens with the past as it's more likely to use the indicative because of the certainty of what already happened.
    Anyway, I was not trying to set a grammar rule, it was only a way to explain how it is used more often.

    Besides, we can solve almost everything with the conditional tense of "tener que" or "deber"

    Quizás tendríamos que ir mañana. Quizás deberíamos ir mañana.
    Quizás tendríamos que haber ido ayer. Quizas deberíamos haber ido ayer.
    Quizás tendríamos que ir ahora. Quizás deberíamos ir ahora.


    Best.
     
    Last edited:

    JorgeHoracio

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    My favorite part about language is looking at the minute details - understanding the mindset behind them.
    ...

    In regards to your question, it's a common mistake to omit 'de.' We call that a 'queísmo.'

    ...
    --André
    'the mindset behind them' ... nice expression! And a very attractive approach - and motivation - for studying language!

    It's not always a very ugly mistake ... sometimes we drop the 'de' for synthesis, when introducing a long clause. Of course sometimes it comes as a hypercorrection for 'dequeísmo' - the real ugly offender.
    But it's perfectly normal for elliptical phrases like
    "Seguro que cerraste el gas, no?"
    "No estés preocupada, seguro que te da negativo el test"
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top