Aunque, generally translated as although, even if, or despite , can be used with the indicative and the subjunctive. Using one or the other will depend on what we want to express.
In this lesson we will study cases of:
To declare something that what we know is happening. It is a fact. The speaker has absolutely no doubt that what he is saying is true. It also implies that the speaker considers this information as new for the listener. He wants to make sure the listener is aware.
Voy a salir aunque llueve mucho.I am going out despite the rain.
Here the speaker is using the present indicative because he may have looked through the window and checked that it is actually raining. There is no doubt about it. In addition, he is informing the listener about this in case he didn't notice.
1. To give some background information which is known by the speaker and the listener. It is a shared information.
Voy a salir aunque llueva mucho.I am going out although it is raining.
Here the speaker and the listener know already that it is raining, maybe because they’ve just come from outside, or they are looking through the window and they can see the rain.
2. To refer to something that may/may not happen later, in the future.
Voy a salir después aunque llueva mucho.I am going out later even if it rains.
Here the speaker doesn't know whether it will rain or not later but it may rain, maybe because he can see a grey sky and there is a possibility of rain later.
Aunque París es una ciudad impresionante, prefiero Londres.Although Paris is an astonishing city, I prefer London.
Aunque me duele la cabeza, voy a seguir trabajando.Even though I have a headache, I am going to keep on working.
Aunque París sea una ciudad impresionante, prefiero Londres.Even though Paris is an astonishing city, I prefer London.
Aunque me duela la cabeza, voy a seguir trabajando.Although I have a headache, I am going to keep on working.
Aunque me supliques no me casaré contigo.Even if you beg me I won't marry you.
No irás a ese viaje aunque consigas el dinero.You will not go on that trip even if you get the money.
Bear in mind that sometimes it is difficult to know whether the speaker is using the subjunctive to convey a future idea or a shared information. Have a look again at this example:
Aunque esté nevando, voy a sacar al perro a pasear.
There are two possibilities here:
- the speaker is thinking that it might snow later (but even so, nonetheless, he is taking the dog for a walk)
- the speaker and the listener both know that it is snowing at that moment of speaking (but even so / nonethelesss, he is going to take the dog for a walk), so it is a background/shared information.
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