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Learn how to say "whoever" in Spanish using "todo aquel"
In Spanish the demonstrative "aquel" can be combined with "todo" to express what in English is generally translated as whoever, and also sometimes "anyone who..." or "those who...".
Todo aquel que... = Whoever...
Let's see some examples:
Todo aquel que lleve más de 5 años aquí podrá solicitar la nacionalidad. Anyone who has been here for over 5 years will be able to apply for nationality.
Todo aquel que haya hecho prepago puede pasar a la ventanilla 2.All those who have prepaid may go to desk 2.
Voy a contar mi historia a todo aquel que me escuche atentamente.I'm going to tell my story to whoever listens carefully.
"Todo aquel" refers to a neutral and general "whoever"; it refers to both men and women in general without any distinction in gender.
However we can also use the different genders and plurals of the demonstrative "aquel" when we need to be more specific:
Toda aquella que sea madre me entenderá.Anyone who is a mother will understand me. (Referring to women)
Todas aquellas que se apunten al curso hoy tendrán un descuento.All those who sign up today will receive a discount. (Referring to women)
Invitaré a la fiesta a todos aquellos que sean buenos amigos.I will invite all those who are good friends to my party. (Referring to men)
Remember that the masculine plural "todos aquellos que" can also refer to the general public, i.e. including men and women.
Todos aquellos que protestaron, tuvieron compensación.
All those who protested received compensation.
Here, todos aquellos refers to both men and women. The only way to know if it refers to just men would be by having mentioned it previously. Otherwise we understand that it refers to both.
We can omit "todo/-a/-os/-as" without changing the meaning:
Aquel que tenga sed puede pedir permiso para beber agua.
Todo aquel que tenga sed puede pedir permiso para beber agua.
Those who may be thirsty can ask permission to drink water.
Aquellas que se negaron al principio, ahora se están arrepintiendo.
Todas aquellas que se negaron al principio, ahora se están arrepintiendo.
Those who refused in the beginning are regretting it now.
Watch out for agreement with the verb:
Todo aquel que vino ya se fue
Todos aquellos que vinieron ya se fueron.
Those who came already left.
Todo aquello que... (referring to either material things or abstract ideas)
We also use "Todo aquello que", referring to "anything that...", "all that...". For example:
Coge todo aquello que necesites.Take anything you need.
Vamos a incluir en el contrato todo aquello que beneficie a la empresa.We are going to include in the contract all that is beneficial for the company.
This is the equivalent to the most commonly used "todo lo que...".
Todo aquello que... is more formal.
Todo aquel/todo aquello/todos aquellos que can be followed by the indicative or the subjunctive.
Here are some examples using the indicative:
Todo aquel que prueba mi gazpacho dice que está muy rico.Everyone that tries my gazpacho says it is very tasty.
Todos aquellos que llegaron ayer van a hacer una excursión a Segovia.All those who arrived yesterday are going on a trip to Segovia.
It's more likely to find the subjunctive in this type of relative clauses, as it's often giving the idea of "unknown people" (=whoever), however, when the indicative is used, there is an intention from the speaker to express something already known - meaning that within those people the speaker is referring to, they already believe there are some who actually "do" the action that follows.
Have a look at these two contrasting examples to understand this nuance:
Llamaremos a todos aquellos que han superado la primera prueba.We'll call all those who have past the first test.
Llamaremos a todos aquellos que hayan superado la primera prueba.We'll call all those who have past the first test. (whoever those might be, if there are any)
In the first example, somehow the speaker is indicating that there is certainty about some of them having passed the test, while in the second example using the subjunctive, there isn't such indication.
See these more basic lessons about demonstrative "aquel":
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