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Old 13th January 2009, 08:52 PM   #102
imperfecto del subjuntivo
aleCcowaN's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 186


About these examples:

No lo maté porque fuera mi hermano.
No salgo con Mike porque sea muy guapo.

or something more "every day"

No lo compré porque estuviera de oferta.

"porque" is a conjunction that means "cause"

Those sentences follow a very common pattern that involves subjunctive: one part of the sentence is true and the other part of the sentence can be also true but not as the cause of the first one. As subjunctive depletes all the "doing" capacity in a verb but leaves the "being" part of the verb, so to speak [The theory that tells that subjunctive has to do with no-actions], then subjunctive here strips off any ability of "estar de oferta" to operate, then becoming "unreal" as the cause of "comprar".

So "comprar" and "estar de oferta" can't be real when one action is the cause of the other one. Certainly the product can "estar de oferta" but the reason for buying it is another one. Then, the "no" affects the relation between both parts and affects "porque" (the causation), not the first action ("lo compré"). In some way the "no" togheter with "estuviera" deny the causal relationship between both parts.

Other ways to say that are:

Lo compré, pero no porque estuviera de oferta.
No es cierto que lo compré porque estaba de oferta.
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