Why would this Poder example be subjunctive?

LyndseyB1Kwiziq community member

Why would this Poder example be subjunctive?

One of my lesson tests on Poder in the subjunctive asks, 

No dudo que vosotras ________ correr tan rápido como ellos.I have no doubt you can run as fast as them.(HINT: Conjugate "poder" in El Presente Subjuntivo.)

But why would you use the subjunctive here? No  dudo, I have no doubt, is an expression of certainty. Everywhere else that I have learned (my college course, spanishdict translation and google translation all use the indicative for No hay duda que..., and I figure this ought to be similar.

Asked 1 year ago
JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Lyndsey,

I just came across your query today while doing the lesson on poder in the subjunctive. I have always found this hard to understand as well, so I'm glad to say that I found this reply from Inma in another page. I don't know how to do a link for it so I have copy / pasted it:

Hola A,

sentences using "no dudo que..." always bring lots of comments and different opinions. There are two ways to see "no dudo que...":

1. when we are simply saying that "we are sure about something". In this case, as a certainty we use the indicative, for example:

No dudo que aprobarás el examen.

I am sure you will pass the exam. 

2. when someone says something, and then we reply to what was said with "no dudo que... + subjunctive". For example, imagine someone says:

No te preocupes, mi novio es un buen manitas y lo arreglará.

(Don't worry, my boyfriend is a good handyman and he will fix it.)

Then the other speaker replies to that saying:

No dudo que tu novio sea un buen manitas, pero creo que necesitamos a un experto para arreglar esto.

I don't doubt your boyfriend is [~might be] a good handyman, but I think we need an expert to fix this.)

In this last sentence using "no dudo que... +subjunctive" we are neither confirming nor negating what was said previously, but somehow, with the subjunctive it leaves a bit of room for doubt. It is as if the second speaker was "detaching" himself/herself from that previous statement. 

In this second context , in my opinion, is when "no dudo que" is more commonly used, therefore it is more common to see the subjunctive after no dudo que. 

If we wanted to say "I am sure that..." (point 1, with the indicative) I think, instead of using "no dudo que..." we'd probably say this same thing saying "Estoy seguro/a de que... + indicative" or "Sé que... + indicative". 

I agree, though, that this lesson needs an extra point to talk about this difference or a new lesson all together, so that is noted. 

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

Why would this Poder example be subjunctive?

One of my lesson tests on Poder in the subjunctive asks, 

No dudo que vosotras ________ correr tan rápido como ellos.I have no doubt you can run as fast as them.(HINT: Conjugate "poder" in El Presente Subjuntivo.)

But why would you use the subjunctive here? No  dudo, I have no doubt, is an expression of certainty. Everywhere else that I have learned (my college course, spanishdict translation and google translation all use the indicative for No hay duda que..., and I figure this ought to be similar.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Clever stuff happening!