I just had this question
Tal vez vosotras ________ cansadas después de bailar.
This was a checkbox question with these options
Based on the lesson on this page, I would expect both the indicative and subjunctive to be correct (estuvisteis, estuvierais, estuvieseis).
However, the question had a hint:
(HINT: Conjugate "estar" in El Imperfecto de Subjuntivo)
Based on this I left off the indicative and my responses (just estuvierais and estuvieseis) were scored as correct.
The result is that I'm left uncertain about using estuvisteis here, and about the limits of the applicability of the lesson on the page.
If estuvisteis is OK here, then I think the question should be revised to not have that hint, and to check for the three correct answers. That way students like me wouldn't be confused thinking "Well, in the lesson , it says you can use indicative or subjunctive with no change in meaning. But here, apparently the indicative is wrong, so that lesson can't be trusted. I wonder what the real pattern is. I guess I'll need to look elsewhere to find out."
On the other hand, if the indicative is wrong here, then I think this lesson, or some other lesson, should give some hint about why that is so, since I'm reading this lesson as saying that either the subjunctive or indicative is OK.
Thanks for your help!
You can use either the indicative or the subjunctive. Using the subjunctive makes the possibility of what was said less likely.
In lessons where we test a specific conjugation you will always find a hint saying "Conjugate in the [tense]..." - so the focus of the test-question is on that. We want the students to think about the specific form of the verb in that case. Some other options in the menu might make sense when putting the whole sentence together, like in this case, where you can definitely also use the indicative as you said, but that is not what we are testing there.
I hope this clarified it.
Thanks for responding, Irma.
I still think the question should be revised, because it is pedagogically counterproductive. (It creates unneeded doubt about what was learned earlier, because there's an answer that is grammatically correct but it is wrong to select it.)
Earlier I recommended removing the hint and including the indicative in the target response set. Since the question is intended to just focus on the subjunctive, probably the best revision would be to just remove the correct indicative response which isn't part of the target response set.
Thanks for your response, Marsha. The Tip on this page currently says "Both with the indicative and the subjunctive the intensity of probability or doubt is the same, so they are interchangeable." so I'm not sure if you're right that the subjunctive means it's less likely.
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