Appendix talk:Spanish verbs

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Is the conditional really a separate mood?[edit]

Wonderful page that's been put up. I was interested however by the inclusion of the 'conditional' as a seperate mood (along with the 'indicative', 'subjunctive', and 'imperative'). I had always know the conditional as part of the indicative. The RAE (the official Spanish dictionary) classifies spanish verbs that way (e.g. saltar) as well as Spanish Wiktionary reference page on verb conjugation. Any reason this page classifies the conditional seperately?--Bequw 15:26, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Technically speaking, the conditional really is a separate mood from the indicative, since it connotes that that speaker does not view the clause as specifically in sync with reality. It does seem important to be consistent with the RAE, though, so does anyone know why they consider it part of the indicative? Rod (A. Smith) 16:28, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, every tense of the indicative has a modal use as well; for example, the future indicative can be used to indicate probabilistic-certainty (for example, *doorbell rings* "Oh, that must be John at the door", would be translated using Spanish's future indicative). In Spanish, as in English, the conditional paradigm has a strictly temporal use, like in something like "ayer ya sabíamos que hoy llovería" ("yesterday we already knew that today it would rain"), so it makes some sense to treat it as a tense of the indicative with an additional modal use, and reserve the term "mood" for those paradigms that only have modal uses. (This isn't to say that Wiktionary's approach doesn't make sense — if we're going to call it the "conditional", which is a description of its modal use, then it does make some sense to view it as primarily modal, and anyway the modal use is probably much more common — only that I see it both ways.) —RuakhTALK 17:07, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Hm...I thought the personal-moods were Indicative, Subjunctive and Imperative. I'm not really that familiar with Spanish, but that's always the way I've seen it with Romance languages, with conditional being under Indicative. I think there's also a Subjunctive conditional in some of them, isn't there? Or maybe I'm thinking of something else. — [ ric | opiaterein ] — 18:43, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if this is what you're referring to, but in French the imperfect subjunctive (a very rare paradigm) has historically been used as a German-style conditional (i.e. with both protasis and apodosis being in the imperfect subjunctive, or more commonly — but still quite rarely — the pluperfect subjunctive). —RuakhTALK 19:01, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
It might be interesting to note how es.wikt deals with the issue, as at es:querer#Conjugación. Interestingly, they classify the forms as three moods: indicative (including conditional), subjunctive, and imperative. This accords with my experience in Spanish language references (in English and Spanish) and seems to be how it is taught in schools, too. In fact I wasn't aware that the conditional could be grammatically considered a mood, until recently. Dmcdevit·t 07:32, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
We could maybe mention that modern linguistics categorize the conditional as a seperate mood (see w:Grammatical mood), but then use, throughout the article, the 'classical' categorization with it included in the indicative.--Bequw 20:36, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Support. Rod (A. Smith) 20:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Bequw 22:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Using English terms instead of Spanish terms[edit]

A quick remark on style. This page consistently uses the Spanish name for concepts with the English term in parenthesis (except in the 'Non-Finite Forms' section). As an English language reference of Spanish shouldn't it be the other way around? For example, shouldn't "presente (present)" be replaced with "present (presente)"? I'm not saying we should get rid of the Spanish terms completely, just note them after the English term. --Bequw 15:36, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're quite right. Feel free to make that change. Rod (A. Smith) 16:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Where are the rest of the three tables?[edit]

At the end of the article, it says to refer to one of the three conjugation tables for -ar, -ir, and -er conjugation. But there is only one table. What happened? --Jenglish02 01:35, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


The article claims that, "If the unsuffixed verb is written with an accent, it remains written when suffixed." However, this is no longer true (take into account vos verb forms, "callá" becomes "callate"), the RAE recently changed that.

You are correct. This rule was changed by the RAE in a recent spelling reform, in the 1990’s. —Stephen 06:32, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

A few issues[edit]

  1. Etymological active present participles—now considered adjectives derived from the verb, because this is no longer a regular feature of the grammar—are certainly not rare, but I doubt there's any basis to claim most verbs have one, as this appendix currently does. In a quick reading of a random Spanish-language text, like this Wikipedia article, we run into these verbs:
    encadenarEncadenante souds very strange (unlike desencadenante, something which triggers or "unleashes" an event); it's not accepted by the RAE. Probably never used, unless caused by a slip of the tongue, or perhaps in some obscure technical jargon or as an ad hoc invention in a very particular context.
    inspirarInspirante is no less bizarre, and the RAE doesn't accept it, either. I think it's even less likely to be used than the previous one. There's probably been no need for it so far, since its prospective meaning is covered by inspirador.
    ser — We have ente (a being; something which exists, be it in a physical or conceptual sense), but, as a learnèd word borrowed directly from the Classical Latin inflection of esse, it bears so little resemblance to the modern form of the verb, ser, that it's doubtful that a grammatical connection is made between ser and ente by modern speakers. One would quite surely never guess they're related from knowledge of current Spanish alone, without learning their etymology. The lack of an adjective derived from the native Spanish verb can be due to its rôle being filled by existente. As a noun, the infinitive ser itself is used: un ser humano, "a human being".
    extenderExtendiente sounds completely alien, and the RAE doesn't accept it, either. We could try extendente with no better luck. The latter would have to be borrowed directly from Latin, too, and not evolved with the Romance lexicon, in order to keep the stressed e from becoming a diphthong.
    variar — The first true example we find, though arguably not a very good one: variante is quite rare as an adjective; it's primarily used as a noun with a considerable divergence from the regular meaning one would infer: it's not something which varies, but a different way of doing something or an alternative kind of some living being, object or idea.
    describirDescribiente is alien to the language. The RAE doesn't accept it. Descriptivo is the closest thing in use I can recall, alternating with unrelated words like representativo or revelador depending on the precise meaning or the context.
    distinguirDistinguiente is another construct with no real use or need, since we have distintivo and, depending on context, words like discriminante for precision. The RAE doesn't accept it, either.
    We could keep making this list longer and longer, but I think it's pretty clear the verbs with a functional and clearly recognizable active present participle (amante, paseante, viviente, caminante, cantante) would always be a small minority among all the verbs we'd find. I'd change the article to state only that some verbs have such a participle.
  2. When and where can the use of usted or its plural connote an intimate relationship? This is precisely what (and its plural vosotros in dialects which don't use always ustedes) or vos (in voseo areas) are used for when contrasted with usted(es).
  3. I don't know how to describe it in correct grammar terms, but the given forms of the imperative mood for first person plural and the third person in both grammatical numbers are not usually considered as such. They're of course used with an imperative or exhortative meaning, but this is just another use of the same present subjunctive forms; they're not forms coïncident by chance with the present subjunctive, as one could think the article implies, but are the same verb inflections, exactly like the future indicative form será is the same form whether it's used to mean "it will be" or "I think it probably is". I think this section should be reworded in terms more like those chosen to explain negative orders: "For negative commands, the subjunctive is used instead" (emphasis mine), admitting it is the very subjunctive inflections which are used.
  4. I think this appendix vastly overstates how little the traditional second-person plural imperative is used in daily speech. I've summed it up here, as that Wikipedia article does the same.
  5. I don't think participles can ever take unstressed (i.e. accusative or dative without preposition) object pronouns.
  6. I don't know whether this is the proper place to discuss this point, but I think usted, semantically second-person, is a horrible choice as the sole placeholder pronoun for the third person singular in conjugation templates like this one. If only one can be allowed, this should be él (the masculine being the unmarked grammatical gender in Spanish), or ella if you want, since both of them are always used with a third-person meaning and third-person inflections, don't depend on the way the speaker addresses the listener and have been part of the language pretty much since it came into being as something other than Latin, quite unlike usted, whose appearance is much later and more contrived, replacing the old polite use of the (formerly recognized as) plural vos as vuestra merced, and that's why it doesn't fit so neatly in the paradigm of grammatical persons. The same goes for ustedes as the placeholder for the third person plural instead of the standard ellos (or ellas at most). I know it has already been discussed here, but that page is only one of the many templates affected, and the issue doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. Splibubay 19:10, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. Without usage statistics I've changed it to the safer "Some".
  2. Agreed. It was added by an IP. I've removed that clause.
  3. The answer to this would probably require knowledge of how the imperative conjugations came down from Latin. I don't know.
  4. Where do you see the appendix stating the frequency of usage of that form?
  5. Agreed, removed.
  6. I agree. Maybe we should do away with showing Spanish pronouns altogether (as the English Wiktionary we strive to explain things in English), and instead use the existing superior row to say something to the effect of "2nd informal" - "2nd formal & 3rd".
--Bequw τ 01:46, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Use of usted?[edit]

"The use of usted and ustedes is very common in Spanish and is the equivalent of speaking on a lastname basis in English."

I thought that in Spain, as opposed to in Latin America, usted was used very rarely, like only for addressing the elderly and important officials.

Subjunctive -ra and -se forms[edit]

Can someone please explain here what these forms are? There were links to the pages for -ra and -se but they don't have Spanish sections so those links didn't help at all. AstroMark (talk) 22:12, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

The -ra forms and -se forms are interchangeable. At the present time, the -ra forms are much more common than the -se forms. There is no difference in meaning, and you can use whichever you like. —Stephen (Talk) 03:56, 14 October 2014 (UTC)