Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tell Me, What Do You Want To Achieve Studying Spanish?

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about personal goals and ambitions. At some point, the other person says to you something like: "tell me, what do you want to achieve studying Spanish?".

In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿que quieres conseguir estudiando español?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿que quiere conseguir (usted) estudiando español?

The question is an invitation for you to talk about your personal goals and ambitions. When saying what you want to achieve, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. Your main concern should be about communicating what your goals and ambitions are. Perhaps you want to say that what you want to achieve studying Spanish is:
  • A qualification;
  • To speak it;
  • To read and write Spanish;
  • To get others to understand you;
  • To get others to appreciate you effort;
  • To get others to reward you in some way;

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Quiero conseguir un título (I want to get a qualification);
  • Quiero conseguir hablarlo (I want to be able to speak it);
  • Quiero conseguir leerlo y escribirlo (I want to be able to read and write it);
  • Quiero conseguir que mis amigos españoles me comprendan* (I want my Spanish friends to understand me);
  • Quiero conseguir que la gente se dé cuenta del trabajo que cuesta* (I want people to become aware of the effort it takes);
  • Quiero conseguir que mi jefe me suba el sueldo* (I want to get the boss to increase my salary);

Now you should practise further replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿que quieres conseguir estudiando español?

*Please see grammar below

Please note these are typical examples of the use of subjunctive mood. As a general rule, when the Spanish verb “conseguir” (to get) is used as a verb of influence, it requires the use of a subjunctive mood in the corresponding subordinate/ dependent clauses.

Some examples of the use of the subjunctive in subordinate/ dependent clauses of this type are:
  • De esa forma, consigo que Pedro te llame (that way, I get Pedro to call you);
  • No vas a conseguir que lo hagamos (you are not going to get us do it);
  • Pedro va a conseguir que volvamos a su casa (Pedro is going to get us to go back to his house);
  • Así conseguimos que Antonio no nos moleste más (thus we get Antonio not to bother us further);
  • Vas a conseguir que no cenemos hasta más tarde (you are going to get us not to have supper until later);
  • Marta y Alfonso consiguieron que te diga esto (Marta and Alfonso got me to tell you this);

Now you should practise this use of the subjunctive with some more sentences of your own

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