Monday, 22 August 2011

What If We Went To The Beach...?

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking about leisure activities with a relative, a friend or a colleague.  Perhaps you are talking about things to do in general or even going to the beach this afternoon in particular. You might have said something which gave the impression that perhaps you are  keen on going to the beach some time. The other person wants to know how you would feel about going to the beach this afternoon.

He/ she could ask you:
¿Y si fuesemos a la playa por la tarde?
 


OUR TIP
Questions like this one invite answers which should always include a 'conditional' tense. There is an element of 'uncertainty' in the question, which should be reflected in the answer. Basically, your answer depends on whether you want to say that for you:
  • Going might be OK
  • Going would be OK, but only if certain condition(s) are met

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those two basic possibilities:
  • Claro que podríamos ir (of course we could go)
  • Si no lloviese, podríamos ir  (we could go if it did no rain)*

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Y si fuesemos a la playa esta tarde?

*Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note above a typical example of imperfect subjunctive and conditional ("if something happened, then..."). The tell-tale sign in these expressions is the English use of the past tense ("if something happened, then..."). Some examples of imperfect subjunctive and conditional are:
  • Si tuvieses la tarde libre ¿irías a la playa? (if you had the afternoon free, would you go to the beach)
  • Si lloviese, nos quedaríamos en casa (if it rained, we would stay at home)
  • Si lo quisieras, lo conseguirías (if you wanted it you would get it)
  • Si ellos no vinieran, iría yo (if they did not come, I would go)
Now you should practise imperfect subjunctive and conditional expressions of your own.



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