Question about the question "Cuando suene la campana, empieza a correr."

GaborB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Question about the question "Cuando suene la campana, empieza a correr."

Doesn't it depend on what the speaker wants to express, whether a subjunctive or indicative of sonar would be used here? Wouldn't "Cuando suena" (indicative) also be a valid way to put it, if the speaker thinks about the event as actually happening?

Because if so, I wouldn't know which answer to pick in the quiz, because they were presented as alternatives.


Thank you!

Asked 2 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Gabor

In this test question:

How do you say "When the bell rings, start running."

Option 1. Cuando suene la campana, empieza a correr. 

Option 2. Cuando suena la campana, empieza a correr.

Correct: option 1 using the subjunctive

I admit this is a bit tricky because you can interpret the verb in the main clause "empieza" as a present tense (=he/she starts running) or an imperative (start running!) - if you read the English, what we mean is "start running", an imperative.

Once you see this, the need of the subjunctive after cuando is clear. You can see that it is an action that has not yet happened; it says "When you hear the bell (whenever that might happen...) DO start running" 

If we used the indicative instead:

Cuando suena la campana, [él,ella] empieza a correr.

When (everytime) the bell rings, he/she starts running.

So, for this question in particular it is important to pay good attention to the English translation.

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

MarshaC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The key thing is the bell hasn't started to ring yet which is why we use the subjunctive.

Cuando (When) is followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood to express a future event still to happen.

GaborB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
"Cuando voy de vacaciones a Tenerife me hospedo en el hotel Olimpia."

Check out that example. That's a future event using the indicative. Unless this is supposed to talk about something like a habit, as in "whenever I go on holiday in Tenerife..." If that is the case, it should be mentioned in the lesson a little more explicitly. The way it is now, it seems to me that what really makes the difference here is the subjective feeling of the speaker that this is actually going to happen, which then prompts an indicative.

So from the examples, future projection alone doesn't seem to be enough.

MarshaC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It's in the indicative because it's a habitual event. This person has been to Tenerife before.

Question about the question "Cuando suene la campana, empieza a correr."

Doesn't it depend on what the speaker wants to express, whether a subjunctive or indicative of sonar would be used here? Wouldn't "Cuando suena" (indicative) also be a valid way to put it, if the speaker thinks about the event as actually happening?

Because if so, I wouldn't know which answer to pick in the quiz, because they were presented as alternatives.


Thank you!

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