usage of present or past subjunctive

AshlynA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

usage of present or past subjunctive

i read from another note that

Cuando + the present subjunctive vs Cuando + the present indicative in Spanish

It states that we use cuando+present subjunctive for future events.

But in this notes, it says we need to use cuando+past subjunctive.

Dijo que me llamaría cuando llegara al hotel. (past subjunctive)

= dijo que me llamaría cuando llegue al hotel (present subjunctive)

Are both the same? what is the difference that we choose one over another?


Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Ashlyn

You can use both the present subjunctive and the imperfect subjunctive with cuando.

The most common combination of tenses is this:

Future tense + cuando + present subjunctive

Dice que me llamará cuando llegue al hotel.

Here the action of llegar is a future action. This will happen.

Conditional + cuando + imperfect subjunctive

Dijo que me llamaría cuando llegara al hotel.

This second sentence using the imperfect subjunctive makes the situation more hypothetical as there is also the conditional tense in the main clause. This is also seen as something that is probable to happen but less that before when the future + present subjunctive was used. 

Saludos

AshlynA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

how about present tense + cuando + present subjunctive

it is not compulsory to use future tense but present tense indicative has the meaning as well?

Dice que me llama cuando llegue al hotel.

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Ashlyn 

You wouldn't use the present tense in "dice que me llama cuando llegue al hotel" unless you are using that present tense "me llama" with a future meaning (as we do sometimes), i.e. me llamará

Inma

MarcosC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What helps me is to realize that the future depends on your point of view.  It's the "today is yesterday's tomorrow" idea.  In the example:

Dijo que me llamaría 

- (Yesterday) he said that he would call me

cuando llegara al hotel.

- when he arrived at the hotel (later that day).

The arrival at the hotel was a future event when he spoke about it.  But now when the speaker tells us about it, it is a past event.  We use the subjunctive because the speaker was talking about a future event in his time frame.

usage of present or past subjunctive

i read from another note that

Cuando + the present subjunctive vs Cuando + the present indicative in Spanish

It states that we use cuando+present subjunctive for future events.

But in this notes, it says we need to use cuando+past subjunctive.

Dijo que me llamaría cuando llegara al hotel. (past subjunctive)

= dijo que me llamaría cuando llegue al hotel (present subjunctive)

Are both the same? what is the difference that we choose one over another?


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