Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Should You Not Call Your Parents?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking about what you should do with a relative, a friend or a colleague.  Perhaps something has happened and and it is advisable that at this time, you should call your parents. You might have said something which gave the impression that perhaps you are forgeting to do so. The other person wants to remind you by asking you if you don't think that you should be calling your parents.

He/ she could choose to be less formal and ask you:
¿No crees que deberías llamar a tus padres?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿(Usted) no cree que debería llamar a sus padres?

 


OUR TIP
You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in the question you are asked. Whether the other person uses the more/ less formal question is irrelevant to your choice of answer. Your answer depends only on whether you want to say that you:
  • Don't think you need to call them
  • Think you should call them

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those two basic possibilities:
  • No, no creo que haga falta llamarlos (don't think there is a need)*
  • Sí, creo que debería llamarlos (think should call)

Now you should practise answering the question:
¿No crees que deberías llamar a tus padres?

*Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive

 Please note that expressions such as: "I don't think that...", when translated as "No creo que..." are a classic example of subjunctive.


You should practise using this form of the subjunctive in expressions, by completing sentences: "No creo que..."



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