SPECIAL REPORT #2

It just sounds right, right? ~ WRONG!

There is no value in "It just sounds right!"

In our previous report, we saw that the 1st KEY REASON WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE is because unlike other grammar structures and forms, the subjunctive is not an active part of the English language.

If you pay attention to the grammar of English and Spanish, for the most part, they share a lot of common ground. And that is the reason why some structures stick easily. The subjunctive, on the other hand, is a completely foreign idea in English. True, there is an English subjunctive but its use is so limited that its influence in day-to-day conversation is almost insignificant. The Spanish Subjunctive, in contrast, is a KEY ELEMENT in any use of the language, to the point in which, unless you use it accurately, you will sound like a modern version of Tarzan.

Due to its virtual absence in the English language , English speakers’ brains  are not hardwired  to recognize and use the Spanish subjunctive spontaneously and that is the 1st KEY REASON WHY YOU FIND IT SO HARD! (Spoiler here: there is hope!)

 

KEY REASON #2
WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE
It just sounds right, right? WRONG!

 

Another problem posed by the Subjunctive is that most native Spanish speakers use it perfectly, yet, they can’t explain why or in what situations it should be used.

As appealing as it is to talk to native Spanish speakers on a daily basis and ask them questions about the use of a certain word or phrase, in most cases, when it comes to the reason why they use or not the subjunctive they just don’t know. It just “sounds right” is the answer most commonly heard.  It is the same that may happen to you when you speak English and on the spur of the moment you come up with thousands of those phrasal verbs easily and effortlessly without even thinking about them. If you had to explain why I used “come up with” in the previous sentence you might just say… “well, it sounds right.”

The problem with “it just sounds right” is that it is never a good answer for someone who is learning  to speak English as second language.” For example, a non-native English speaker would analyze that phrase as follows:

  • to come: to move towards you”
  • up: towards a higher place or position”
  • with” two or more things together in the same place”
Why are native English speakers so complicated? Why do they say "to come up with" instead of "to invent"?

Why are native English speakers so complicated? GRRR!!!

 

For someone whose native language is not English, this sentence makes no sense:

  • She came up with lots of new ideas.

A non-native English speaker would analyze this as:

“She moved towards me towards a higher position with ideas? Why towards a higher position? I was at the same level she was? What with? She didn’t bring anything? And could that refer to the ideas? But if she had the ideas, why did she have to bring them? They were already in her thoughts anyways? Gosh! These English speakers are so complicated!”

You see, in Spanish we do not have these types of constructions so our brains are NOT hardwired to understand this spontaneously like English speakers do. A native Spanish speaker without training in this particular area would never imagine that the combination of these three words actually has a meaning of its own, regardless of the meanings of the individual words in isolation. And the same happens to you with the subjunctive.

To you, these combinations of words come naturally and without even being aware of them, they just flow. But imagine a Spanish speaker coming to you and asking you why the choice of those particular words to form that phrase or how do you make the connection between those phrases and the meaning “invent”, “produce”, “get”.  He may even ask you why you chose to use the “more difficult combination (come up with)” instead of saying just only one of the previous words.

You may feel tempted to say: “I don’t know, it just sounds right.”

For Pete's sake! It may sound right to you. I just don't get it!

For Pete’s sake! It may sound right to you, not to me!     I just don’t get it!

 

And that is a very common answer they will get. Of course, no English speaker needs to be an expert at teaching or describing the English language. They can use it perfectly because, after all it is their native tongue, but describing it and being able to teach the language is a completely different ball game.

“It just sounds right” is an empty answer for someone who does not understand the logic of the language. It obviously sounds right for the one saying it, but if someone is asking about that, it means it does NOT sound right to them.

And back to Spanish, imagine asking a teacher to explain to you why you need to use the subjunctive in the first sentence but not in the second:

  • No creo que esté equivocada. (SUBJUNCTIVE) (I don’t think she is wrong)
  • Creo que está equivocada (INDICATIVE ) (I think she is wrong)

You may be wondering: “Aren’t we just saying exactly the same?”, “Why don’t both sentences use the subjunctive?” “Does the word NO trigger the subjunctive?”. And imagine someone telling you:  “Well, it just sounds right.”

It just doesn't make sense to me! Could anyone give me a straight answer, PLEASE!!!

It just doesn’t make sense to me! Could anyone give me a straight answer, PLEASE!!!

 

True! It may sound right to them, but if you are asking it is definitely does NOT sound right to you. There is some missing link there that you are trying to figure out, yet, you lack enough information to put all pieces of the puzzle together.

That wouldn’t help you, would it? Unfortunately, that is not so far from the answers that Spanish students get on a day-to-day basis.

And this brings us back to YOU...

What is the 2nd KEY REASON why the Spanish subjunctive is so painfully difficult?!

Spanish Subjunctive Quotation Maks
KEY REASON #2  WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE
More often than not, they answers you get are empty and offer no real value to enable you to decode the logic on how the Spanish Subjunctive works.

If the answers you have received so far have not lead you to the right place, it may be time to seek for more quality information sources, and that is where we shine!

 Stop hoping you could master the subjunctive one day.

MAKE THAT HAPPEN NOW!

 

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This article is part of our FREE SPECIAL VIDEO REPORT SERIES: “THE 5 KEY REASONS WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE AND HOW TO TURN THE TABLES IN JUST 30 DAYS!”

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