Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Tell Me, What Do You Want To Avoid By Cutting Spending?

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about new plans you are putting in place. These appear to include the appraisal of current spending with a view to making some cuts. At some point, the other person says to you something like: "tell me, what do you want to avoid by cutting spending?".

In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿que quieres evitar recortando gastos?

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

The question is an invitation for you to talk about what you want to avoid happening. When saying what you want to avoid, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. You should just concentrate on communicating what you want to avoid. Perhaps you want to say that by cutting spending, you want to:
  • Avoid doing or having to do something yourself;
  • Stop other people doing something;

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Quiero evitar gastar más de lo que gano (I want to avoid spending more than I earn);
  • Quiero evitar endeudarme más (I want avoid going further into debt);
  • Quiero evitar tener que irme de aquí (I want to avoid having to leave this place);
  • Quiero evitar que me desahucien por impago de hipoteca* (I want to avoid my home being re-possessed because I fall behind with my mortgage);
  • Quiero evitar que el banco me califique como moroso* (I want to avoid the bank rating me as a bad debtor);
  • Quiero evitar que mis acreedores me demanden* (I want to avoid my creditors suing me);

Now you should practice further replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿que quieres evitar recortando gastos?

*Please see grammar below

Please note these are typical examples of the use of subjunctive mood. As a general rule, when the Spanish verb “evitar” (to avoid) 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, evito que Pedro tenga que llamarme (that way, I avoid Pedro having to call me);
  • No vas a evitar que lo hagamos (are you not going to stop us do it);
  • Pedro quiere evitar que tengamos que volver a su casa (Pedro wants to avoid us having to go back to his house);
  • Así evitamos que Antonio nos moleste más (thus we avoid Antonio bothering us further);
  • Vas a evitar que Pedro te vea (you are going to avoid Pedro seeing you);
  • Marta y Alfonso quieren evitar que tenga que llamarles (Marta and Alfonso want to avoid me me having to call them);

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

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