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Just curious about the use of the subjunctive in this statment.

MarcosB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Just curious about the use of the subjunctive in this statment.

Hello, this is a more advanced topic but I've come back to review.

Why do we use the subjunctive in this statement:

Ustedes pueden comprar lo que quieran.

Thanks.

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Marcos

This is to do with referring to something known or unknown by the speaker. Relative clauses can use the indicative or the subjunctive and this would be a relative clause introduced by lo que where the speaker is not sure/doesn't know what exactly is that they want to buy, therefore it's using the subjunctive.

If this same sentence was using the indicative: "...lo que quieren", this would indicate that the speaker knows what they want to buy, probably due to a previous conversation. 

We have a lesson on relative clauses where we explain this with subordinate clauses using "que" (not lo que) but it is the same idea. You can have a look here.

Saludos

Inma

MarshaC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Lo que - whatever - You don't know what the person is going to buy or if they are going to buy anything hence the use of the subjunctive. 

Just curious about the use of the subjunctive in this statment.

Hello, this is a more advanced topic but I've come back to review.

Why do we use the subjunctive in this statement:

Ustedes pueden comprar lo que quieran.

Thanks.

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