Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tell Me, Is This Weather Normal For Autumn?

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. It is autumn and you are talking about the weather. The other person appears not to be familiar with typical autumn weather and says to you something like: "tell me, is this weather normal for autumn?".

In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿es normal este tiempo en otoño?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿es normal este tiempo en otoño?

The question is an invitation for you to say something about the autumn weather. When you say something about the weather, 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 something about autumn weather. Perhaps you want to reply with:
  • Statements of fact-like information;
  • Statements displaying value judgement;

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • En otoño el tiempo casi siempre es así (in autumn the weather is almost always like this);
  • En otoño a menudo llueve un poco más (in autumn it often rains a little bit more);
  • A veces, en otoño hace más frío (sometimes, in autumn it is colder);
  • En otoño es normal que haga un poco más frío* (in autumn it could be expected to be a bit colder);
  • Es normal que en otoño llueva un poco más* (in autumn it could be expected to rain a little bit more);
  • Es lógico que en otoño haya que llevar ropa de más abrigo* (it is logical that in autumn you should wear warmer clothes);
Now you should practise further replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿es normal este tiempo en otoño?

*Please see grammar below

Please note these are typical examples of the use of subjunctive mood. As a rule, the subjunctive mood should be used in expressions value judgement such as:
  • "It is normal/ logical that something {has happened/ is happening/ will happen}”
  • "It is normal/ logical that something {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "It is normal/ logical that someone {has done/ does/ will do} something”
  • "It is normal/ logical that someone {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”

In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "es normal que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "es lógico que <subjuntivo>..."

An example of this is the reply above:
  • "es normal que en otoño haga un poco más frío".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • No es normal que llueva (it is not normal that it rains)
  • Es lógico que haga sol (it logical that it is sunny)
  • No es lógico que Pedro me llame (it is not logical that Pedro will call me)
  • Es normal que queramos viajar juntos (it is normal that we want to travel together)
  • Es lógico que queráis eso (it is logical that you-plural want that)
  • Es normal que Pedro y María quieran venir (it is normal that Pedro and María want to come)

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

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