I was just wondering about this today, how to tell when to use the subjunctive or the future. Both have this element of uncertainly - to a certain degree - haven't happened as yet and both deal with maybes, etc. The future is never really set in stone.
For example : I will go out when the sun shines. I think that in Spanish this could be said in either future or subjunctive, i.e.:
Saldré cuando brille el sol.
Saldré cuando brillará el sol.
Can you help me better understand this.
When using the subjunctive you are taking into account the uncertainty about the future i.e. that the sun might not shine. As the lesson says Cuando (When) is followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood to express a future event still to happen.
You can use cuando in the present tense for example salgo cuando brilla el sol but this is because this is something habitual that you do when the sun shines.
As Marsha very clearly explained, the subjunctive implies that something is yet to happen/it may happen. When we have a sentence with cuando, we can be referring to something that actually happens or to something that will happen. The difficulty is that the English uses the same tense:
Cuando voy a la playa me bronceo mucho.
When I go to the beach (everytime I go) I get a nice tan.
Cuando vaya a la playa me broncearé mucho.
When I go to the beach (whenever that might happen in the future) I will get a nice tan.
You can see that the main verb in the sentence using the subjunctive vaya we are using a future tense: broncearé, because we are always talking about a future action.
I hope that clarified it a bit more.
It helped me to realize that there are only two cases in this lesson.
(1) Future event
Cuando (subjunctive present), (future / imperative)
(2) Habitual present
Cuando (present), (present)
If you check the examples you'll see that they all follow one of these two cases.
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