Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tell Me, Who Would Not Have Worried About Getting It Wrong?

Introduction

This post is about verb conjugation and in particular the conditional perfect tense, indicative mood of regular verbs ending in -er.






SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You are talking about an important decision you had made in the past and how some people would have worried about getting things wrong. At some point, the other person says: "tell me, who would not have worried about getting it wrong?".

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿quién no habría temido equivocarse?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿quién no habría temido equivocarse?



OUR TIP
Answering the question is quite straight forward. However, please note that some answers require you to choose between a more formal or a less formal option -see examples below:



  • Yo no habría temido* equivocarme (I would not have worried about getting it wrong);
  • Tú no habrías temido* equivocarte, ¿verdad? (you -familiar would not have worried about getting it wrong, would you?);
  • Usted no habría temido* equivocarse, ¿verdad? (you -formal would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would you?);
  • Pedro no habría temido* equivocarse, ¿verdad? (Pedro would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would he?);
  • María no habría temido* equivocarse, ¿verdad? (María would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would she?);
  • Nosotros no habríamos temido* equivocarnos, ¿verdad? (we would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would we?);
  • Vosotros no habríais temido* equivocaros, ¿verdad? (you -familiar/ plural would not have worried about of getting it wrong , would you?);
  • Ustedes no habrían temido* equivocarse, ¿verdad? (you -formal/ plural would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would you?);
  • Pedro y María no habrían temido* equivocarse, ¿verdad? (Pedro and Maria would not have worried about of getting it wrong, would they?);

NB Please note that every one of the answers could have included “si no hubiese sido tan importante” (had it not been so important). As an example, the top answer could be expanded to, si no hubiese sido tan importante, yo no habría temido equivocarme (had it not been so important, I would not have worried about getting it wrong).

Now you should practise replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿quién habría temido equivocarse?

**Please see grammar topic below, Verbs

Verbs
A verb is a 'doing' word which conveys:
  • What action takes place in a sentence
  • Who does that action
  • When that action occurs.
In addition, the verb may also convey the mood or feelings of the speaker toward the action which takes place. The verb may, for example, indicate whether the speaker is stating a fact, expressing a wish or indeed giving an order.

Verb Conjugation
Please see notes on conjugation* at the end of this post.


Indicative Mood-Conditional Perfect Tense

    1. Regular Verbs Ending in -ar
Subject
TRABAJAR
(TO WORK)
I
Yo
HABRÍA TRABAJADO
You
HABRÍAS TRABAJADO
You Usted*

HABRÍA TRABAJADO
He Él
She
Ella
We
Nosotros
HABRÍAMOS TRABAJADO
You
Vosotros**
HABRÍAIS TRABAJADO
You
Ustedes***
HABRÍAN TRABAJADO
They
Ellos
They
Ellas

*NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you'
**NB 'You' plural
*** NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you' plural

    2. Regular Verbs Ending in -er
Subject
COMER
(TO EAT)
I
Yo
HABRÍA COMIDO
You
HABRÍAS COMIDO
You Usted*

HABRÍA COMIDO
He Él
She
Ella
We
Nosotros
HABRÍAMOS COMIDO
You
Vosotros**
HABRÍAIS COMIDO
You
Ustedes***
HABRÍAN COMIDO
They
Ellos
They
Ellas

*NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you'
**NB 'You' plural
*** NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you' plural

    3. Regular Verbs Ending in -ir
Subject
VIVIR
(TO LIVE)
I
Yo
HABRÍA VIVIDO
You
HABRÍAS VIVIDO
You Usted*

HABRÍA VIVIDO
He Él
She
Ella
We
Nosotros
HABRÍAMOS VIVIDO
You
Vosotros**
HABRÍAIS VIVIDO
You
Ustedes***
HABRÍAN VIVIDO
They
Ellos
They
Ellas

*NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you'
**NB 'You' plural
*** NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you' plural

* Verb Conjugation Notes
It is worth remembering once more that in its basic form (infinitive), a Spanish verb is just a general 'doing' word. In that form, a verb simply indicates an action and nothing else. If we want a verb to be more specific about the action in a sentence, we need to conjugate it. It is only when conjugated that the verb indicates:
  • Who does the action
  • When the action takes place
  • The mood/ attitude of the speaker towards the action

The conjugation tables above refer to using conjugation establish who does the action. What follows below are some notes on establishing when the action takes place and the mood/ attitude of the speaker towards the action.

Subjunctive Mood
The use of subjunctive mood is disappearing English. Nowadays is often viewed as an old and unfashionable form of the language.

In contrast, the use of subjunctive mood is very much alive and in everyday use in Spanish. This widespread use of subjunctive mood tends to be the bane of many a learner of Spanish from the English speaking world.

The concept of subjunctive mood is perhaps best illustrated by contrasting its use against the use of indicative mood with examples in English. The following are a couple of examples which should serve that purpose:
  • Indicative mood (“Peter eats an apple”).- Indicative mood is commonly used to make statements of facts or positive beliefs such as this one. As can be seen in the sample sentence (in quotes above), the speaker makes a clear and unambiguous statement of a fact (Peter eats an apple).
  • Subjunctive mood (“Peter would eat an apple if he were hungry”).- In contrast with indicative mood, subjunctive mood is commonly used to make statements indicating hypothetical or non-fact actions. As can be seen in the sample sentence (in quotes), in this case the speaker sees the action of eating an apple as something hypothetical, something which may or may not happen (Peter would eat an apple... if he were hungry).
Verb Tenses
Verb tenses relate to setting the time period (when) during which the action of the verb takes place. Basic times (periods) for Spanish verb actions are:
  • The past (before now)
  • The present (now)
  • The future (after now)
Each Spanish verb tense corresponds to one of those basic time periods. In other words choosing a verb tense places the action of the verb in one of those basic periods and determines when the action takes place.

Now you should practise the use of the conditional perfect-indicative mood of regular verbs with some examples of your own.

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