So here, quemar is indicative. Would the subjunctive queme also be acceptable in this sentence? Or does the si prompt indicative only?
(Translation for the interested: Dalí would say that if the Prado Museum burned down, he would save only this painting.)
Dictation exercise B1
I can see why this is confusing.
We are using here in this dictation an unusual combination of tenses. What we normally have is either:
Si + presente indicativo, then future
e.g. "Si gano el concurso, estaré muy contento."
Si + imperfecto subjuntivo, then conditional
e.g. "Si ganara el concurso, estaría muy contento."
Here it is as if we were mixing both of the above because we are using:
Si + presente indicativo, then conditional
Ideally we should have said:
"Dalí diría que si el Museo del Prado se quemara, él salvaría solo este cuadro."
In the hypothetical case that the museum burned down, he'd just save this painting.
You may find different combinations of tenses used more colloquially, not following what is considered the more general rules.
As per your question about using the present subjunctive here: "queme", I'm afraid you can't. You can never use it after "si". There is no flexibility there.
I hope this clarified it.
Thank you for this and for the other very thorough answer you gave me recently, it's greatly appreciated.
I actually thought that si prompts indicative without any leeway and you are correct, the conditional after it confused me a bit (though I suspected that it's probably colloquial, but I wanted to double-check).
I absolutely appreciate the occasional occurrence of colloquial forms in the dictations because colloquial speech is probably the largest part of any spoken language (and so of course I want to learn that). So, for what it's worth, the fact that I got a bit confused is not a bad thing and I wouldn't want it to be changed. After all, that's what the Q&A is for.
Thank you again!
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard