Friday, 16 December 2011

Tell Me What You Would Like Us To Do

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking about what to do with a relative, a friend or a colleague.  You  could be discussing joint leisure activities, or any other kind of joint activity, for that matter. The other person perhaps feels that you are not making progress. He/ she wants some concrete proposals and decides to say to you: "tell me what you would like us to do".

 He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime que te gustaría que hiciésemos

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to more formal and say to you:
Dígame (usted) que le gustaría que hiciésemos



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.

Situations like this one invite answers which should include a 'conditional' tense. There is 'conditional' verb in the request, which should be reflected in the reply. Basically, your answer depends on what you want say about your preferred activities. Perhaps you want to say that:
  • There is one joint activity you would like to consider.
  • There are two or more joint activities you would like to consider (in no particular order).
  • There are two or more joint activities you would like to consider (in chronological order).

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Me gustaría que fuésemos al cine* (I would like us to go to the cinema)
  • Me gustaría que fuésemos al cine y jugásemos a tenis* (I would like us to go to the cinema and play tennis).
  • Me gustaría que jugásemos a tenis primero y luego fuésemos al cine* (I would like us to play tenis and then go to the cinema)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime que te gustaría que hiciésemos

*Please see grammar below


Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note the need to use the conditional and imperfect subjunctive in the following typical expressions using the verb 'gustar':
  • "I would like <you to do something>".
  • "I would like <him/ her/ it to do something>".
  • "I would like <us to do something>".
  • "I would like <you-plural to do something>".
  • "I would like <them to do something>".
  • "I would like <something to happen>".

In order to express these in Spanish, you could use:
  • "me gustaría que <subjuntivo>... " 

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

Now you should practice imperfect subjunctive and conditional expressions of this type of your own.

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