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Old 6th August 2008, 12:41 PM   #15
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: La Bahía de Cádiz
Posts: 172

As regards the future subjunctive I also have encountered it mostly in formal documents, which in themselves always require, for me, a slow and detailed read to be understood.
A while back, during some one on one classes I sought a clarification and was informed:
In standard Spanish the future subjunctive is obsolete, except in a few literary forms as in the earlier quoted eg:
Venga lo que viniere “ Come what may.”

However and not to my surprise the future subjunctive is very much alive and kicking in official, legal documents/charters. My prof also highlighted that it can be used in a flowery manner indicating a remote possibility:
“en caso de que las hubiere “ if such a thing should ever arise”

I myself settled for recognising it ( no need for a flowering grammatical brain overload for me).

Another discovery of the apparent use of the subjunctive (not future) in the “ra” form which for a long time had me at a loss to understand was finally explained by my teacher.
I had frequently seen in written articles/books the apparent use of the imperfect subjunctive eg: el libro que había leído was written as “el libro que leyera. For the life of me I could not understand why leyera was used and not había leído.

All was simply explained by prof : in such an example the use of “leyera “ I was reading was the old indicative pluperfect use of the “ra” form not the imperfect subjunctive. Which she informed me is still used in literature and particularly in journalism and is regarded as a more elegant( flowery) alternative for the ordinary pluperfect ( imperfect of haber +past part.) ie: había leído.

So more flowery stuff there, but at least now when reading what I once thought was the imperfect subjunctive when in fact such examples have no subjunctive meaning at all, I no longer scratch the dome and screech to a reading halt, but make a mental reading shift to “habia +past part. And accept that there are no doubt many more “elegant flowers” in the Spanish literary garden!
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