Si no hubiera clindamicina, se deberá reemplazar por metronidazol

teddrio

New Member
American English
I am baffled by the grammar of the following seemingly simple sentence in a medical document:
"Si no hubiera clindamicina, se deberá reemplazar por metonidazol."
This is a footnote and refers to a section of text talking about treating a certain condition with clindamycin or certain other antibiotic drugs (not including metonidazole). I think the sentence (literally) means, "If there wouldn't be any clindamycin (available), it should be replaced with metonidazole" but could be translated as "If clindamycin isn't available, it should be replaced with metonidazole." But I can't understand the need for the subjunctive "hubiera" in this context. I would have said "Si no hay clindamicina." Can any one explain this to me?
 
  • chileno

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Chile
    I am baffled by the grammar of the following seemingly simple sentence in a medical document:
    "Si no hubiera clindamicina, se deberá reemplazar por metonidazol."
    This is a footnote and refers to a section of text talking about treating a certain condition with clindamycin or certain other antibiotic drugs (not including metonidazole). I think the sentence (literally) means, "If there wouldn't be any clindamycin (available), it should be replaced with metonidazole" but could be translated as "If clindamycin isn't available, it should be replaced with metonidazole." But I can't understand the need for the subjunctive "hubiera" in this context. I would have said "Si no hay clindamicina." Can any one explain this to me?
    Question:

    Can you ask If there wasn't any clindamicyn, it should be replaced with.. or
    If clindamicyn isn't available, it should be replaces...?

    Are those two questions correct in English and do they mean the same?

    Because in Spanish both are correct and they mean the same.
     

    micafe

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    "Si no hubiera" means "if there weren't any..." which is actually subjunctive in English.

    Naturally, you can use the present if you want:

    "si no hay..."

    The use of the subjunctive is very common in Spanish.
     
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