Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tell Me, What Game Would You Prefer We Played?

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking about games/ sports with a relative, a friend or a colleague.  Maybe you are trying to choose a game to play together/ against each other. The other person wants you to name your preferred choice and decides to say to you: "tell me, what game would you prefer we played?".

 He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿a qué preferirías que jugásemos?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to more formal and say to you:
Dígame (usted), ¿a qué preferiría que jugásemos?



OUR TIP
You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in what your relative/ friend/ colleague says to you. Whether the other person uses a more/ less formal register is irrelevant to most choices of reply.

Basically, your answer depends on what you want say about your game preferences. Perhaps you want to say that:
  • You personally prefer playing a particular game.
  • You personally would prefer playing a particular game.
  • You prefer that you both play a particular game.
  • You would prefer that you both played a particular game.

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Prefiero jugar a tenis (I prefer playing tennis).
  • Preferiría jugar a tenis (I would prefer playing tennis).
  • Prefiero que juguemos a tenis* (I prefer we play tennis).
  • Preferiría que jugásemos a tenis(*) (I would prefer we played tennis).

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿a qué preferirías que jugásemos?

*/ (*)Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive
1) Please note tthe use of the present subjunctive in the following typical expressions of preferences using the verb 'preferir':
  • "I prefer <you to do something>".
  • "I prefer <him/ her/ it to do something>".
  • "I prefer <us to do something>".
  • "I prefer <you-plural to do something>".
  • "I prefer <them to do something>".
  • "I prefer <something to happen>".

In order to express these in Spanish, you could use:
  • "prefiero que <presente de subjuntivo>... " 

Some examples of this use of the present subjunctive are:
  • Prefiero que haga sol (I would prefer it to be sunny).
  • Prefiero que no vayas a Madrid (I would prefer you not to go to Madrid).
  • Prefiero que Pedro  me llame por teléfono (I would prefer Pedro to phone me).
  • Prefiero que vayamos a la playa (I would prefer us to go to the beach).
  • Prefiero que me escribáis (I would prefer you-plural to write to me).
  • Prefiero que mis amigos me llamen por teléfono (I would prefer my friends to phone me).

2) Please note also the use the imperfect subjunctive in the following typical expressions of preferences using the verb 'preferir':
  • "I would prefer <you to do something>".
  • "I would prefer <him/ her/ it to do something>".
  • "I would prefer <us to do something>".
  • "I would prefer <you-plural to do something>".
  • "I would prefer <them to do something>".
  • "I would prefer <something to happen>".

In order to express these in Spanish, you could use:
  • "prefiería que <imperfecto de subjuntivo>... " 

Some examples of this use of the imperfect subjunctive are:
  • Preferiría que hiciese sol (I would prefer it to be sunny).
  • Preferiría que no fueses a Madrid (I would prefer you not to go to Madrid).
  • Preferiría que Pedro  me llamase por teléfono (I would prefer Pedro to phone me).
  • Preferiría que fuésemos a la playa (I would prefer us to go to the beach).
  • Preferiría que me escribierais (I would prefer you-plural to write to me).
  • Preferiría que mis amigos me llamasen por teléfono (I would prefer my friends to phone me).

Now you should practice this type of use of the subjunctive with some sentences of your own.

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