Spanish sentence question

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Spanish sentence question

Postby blackcoffee » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:32 am

I'm looking for help understanding this sentence that came from an anki deck called "Sentences from the book Websters New World 575 Spanish Verbs." The deck gives a series of cards for each verb: the infinitive followed by several sentences that use that verb. There's no larger context for the sentences. I would never be able to produce these sentences in Spanish from the English prompt, I'm just using it to increase my passive vocabulary and sense of the range of meanings for common verbs.

Hubiésemos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.

We would have won the race if we had prepared better.

I guess I have several questions. First, is this a correct and natural-sounding sentence?
Why isn't the conditional tense used here?
Aren't the forms 'hubiéramos' and 'hubiésemos' equivalent? I thought that the two forms were interchangeable, but maybe there is some shade of meaning or style communicated by using one or the other. But is there a reason for using both forms in the same sentence?

Thanks in advance for the enlightenment!
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby smallwhite » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:21 am

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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby Verde » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:41 pm

Hi!
Native speaker here, but be aware that I don't have a great knowledge of grammar.

is this a correct and natural-sounding sentence?

I don't know if it is correct, but it does sound natural.

Why isn't the conditional tense used here?

I don't know, do you mean like "habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor" ?
Don't know why not, it sounds natural too.

Aren't the forms 'hubiéramos' and 'hubiésemos' equivalent?

I think so, sometimes one sounds better than the other but to me they are equivalent.

To me all the following sound natural
-Hubiésemos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Hubiésemos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.
-Hubiéramos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Hubiéramos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.
-Habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.

Not very enlightening perhaps, but hope it helps to know that being it correct or not, some native speakers don't know the difference.

Keep going with your Spanish :)
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby blackcoffee » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:40 am

smallwhite wrote:https://grammar.spanishintexas.org/verbs/si-clauses/

Thanks, I hadn't come across the below information before:
However, in spoken Spanish, the past conditional or the simple conditional are often replaced by the pluperfect subjunctive for this kind of hypothetical clauses. The resulting structure would be in such cases a sentence containing two pluperfect subjunctive verbs.
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby blackcoffee » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:44 am

Verde wrote:Hi!
Native speaker here, but be aware that I don't have a great knowledge of grammar.

is this a correct and natural-sounding sentence?

I don't know if it is correct, but it does sound natural.

Why isn't the conditional tense used here?

I don't know, do you mean like "habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor" ?
Don't know why not, it sounds natural too.

Aren't the forms 'hubiéramos' and 'hubiésemos' equivalent?

I think so, sometimes one sounds better than the other but to me they are equivalent.

To me all the following sound natural
-Hubiésemos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Hubiésemos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.
-Hubiéramos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Hubiéramos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.
-Habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiéramos preparado mejor.
-Habríamos ganado la carrera si nos hubiésemos preparado mejor.

Not very enlightening perhaps, but hope it helps to know that being it correct or not, some native speakers don't know the difference.

Keep going with your Spanish :)


Thank you very much! I hadn't noticed both ways of forming the subjunctive in the same sentence before, but now I'll probably see it right and left.
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby El Forastero » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:15 pm

The conditional form "Habríamos" is the right one, and at least in my country (Colombia, Bogotá) it's still rather common. The form with "hubiéramos / hubiésemos" sounds common but ugly. I mean, everyone understands you but you seem a little bit careless and not very rigurous with your language.
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby Querneus » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:54 pm

El Forastero wrote:The conditional form "Habríamos" is the right one, and at least in my country (Colombia, Bogotá) it's still rather common. The form with "hubiéramos / hubiésemos" sounds common but ugly. I mean, everyone understands you but you seem a little bit careless and not very rigurous with your language.

In terms of "the right one(s)", the RAE at least thinks both subjunctives are correct for the si-clause, and the conditional or either subjunctive for the apodosis (the main clause).

el período IRREAL es el que corresponde a la pauta Si {HUBIERA ~ HUBIESE} TENIDO, {HUBIERA ~ HUBIESE ~ HABRÍA} DADO
Source: Academias de la lengua española, Nueva gramática de la lengua española (versión MANUAL), section 47.4.1.b, page 911.

"Hubiésemos ganado si nos hubiéramos preparado" is not careless... It's perfectly normal in Spain. Incidentally, in El Salvador we'd prefer "hubiéramos ganado si nos hubiéramos preparado", but this is because we're big-time lovers of the -era forms. :P

(In our dialect in fact we say "Si nos preparáramos, ganáramos", which is definitely non-standard... The standard has "..., ganaríamos". You were probably thinking of this other construction, which more strictly uses the conditional.)
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Re: Spanish sentence question

Postby tarvos » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:43 pm

I use -era forms + conditional, to keep it as standard as possible. I'm sure there is regional variation, and substituting -ese for -era wouldn't make me bat an eyelid, but if you wanted to make sure it's correct whatever happens, that would be the way to go.

Incidentally, in the north of Spain it's common to use the conditional for both forms, especially in the Basque country (maybe under the influence of Basque):

Si nos preparíamos, ganaríamos...

Etc.
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