Using the subjunctive with impersonal expressions in the conditional (Sería+adjective+que)

Look at these examples of impersonal statements using the Modo subjuntivo:

Sería bueno que Carmen estudiara más.
It would be good if Carmen studied more.

Sería aconsejable que todos dejáramos de fumar.
It would be advisable that we all stopped smoking.

Sería genial que les tocara el premio.
It would be great if they won the prize.

These sentences express an impersonal statement in the first part of each sentence:

  • conditional of ser (sería)
  • followed by an adjective (bueno, genial, aconsejable)

The subordinate clause after "que" expresses a hypothetical idea set in the future using: 

Remember:

Sería + adjective + que  then El Imperfecto Subjuntivo

It would be incorrect to use any tense in the indicative, for example:

Sería desaconsejable que los estudiantes llevan zapatos de deporte.
Sería desaconsejable que los estudiantes llevarán zapatos de deporte.
Sería desaconsejable que los estudiantes llevarían zapatos de deporte.
Sería desaconsejable que los estudiantes llevaron zapatos de deporte.
Sería desaconsejable que los estudiantes llevaran/llevasen zapatos de deporte.

It would be unadvisable for the students to wear trainers [US: sneakers].

 See also Using the subjunctive with impersonal expressions and Conjugate verbs in El Imperfecto de Subjuntivo.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Sería bueno que Carmen estudiara más.
It would be good if Carmen studied more.


Sería genial que les tocara el premio.
It would be great if they won the prize.


Sería aconsejable que todos dejáramos de fumar.
It would be advisable that we all stopped smoking.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

HuwB2

Tocara - tocaran?

1st table of examples.  Why do you use 'tocara' in the third sentence when referring to 'they'?  Should it not be 'tocaran'?

Asked 5 days ago
InmaKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hola Huw

In this sentence:

Sería genial que les tocara el premio.

It would be great if they won the prize.

we are using an idiom "tocar algo a alguien" that is used to express when someone wins something (a prize, the lottery...) and it works this way; the prize/lottery "touches" someone. Obviously the word "touch" is idiomatic, not literal, but this is how we express it. In this case, the subject of the sentence is "what the person wins", not the person. 

Sería genial que "el premio" les tocara. (lit: it'd be great that the prize touched them)

So, the person/people who receive the prize is expressed with an indirect object pronoun, in this case "les".

Here are other similar questions:

¡A Javier le ha tocado la loteria!

Javier won the lottery!

Me han tocado 300 mil euros!

I won 300 thousand euros!

See how in the second example the verb is "han tocado", agreeing with the subject that is plural (300 mil euros).

I hope this clarifies it for you.

Un saludo

Inma

Tocara - tocaran?

1st table of examples.  Why do you use 'tocara' in the third sentence when referring to 'they'?  Should it not be 'tocaran'?

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