MHE01 What brings you to the ER?

In this lesson, we begin our review of the clinical dialogue "Evaluating Suicidal Ideation in Spanish."

You do not have access to this content. Log in below, become a member or upgrade.

  • “¿Cómo le gustaría que le trate?”
    I was always taught that if the first part of the sentence is in the conditional that the second clause should be in the imperfect subjunctive (as you mentioned as the second option).
    However, as used in this dialogue, is it still grammatically correct to use this form (conditional first, then present subjunctive)? It also seems like this is how many native speakers phrase sentences like this.
    Thank you, and thank you for what you do (both as a dr and in your podcast).

    • Hello Kate,

      Thank you for your question. I have learned the same thing: If we start with the conditional in the main clause, it is best to follow this with the imperfect subjunctive in the dependent clause. And yes, this is the most common pattern. However, this question came from Eliza’s mind, not mine, and she is the native speaker, so I trust her instinct. Also, this is from my favorite grammar book:

      “Despite the claims of many traditional grammars, there are no rigid rules of tense agreement between main and subordinate clauses, but the following patterns are the most usual combinations:”

      — A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (Routledge Reference Grammars) by John Butt, Carmen Benjamin

      Thanks again for the question!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Do you enjoy our lessons? 

    Would you mind sharing a short testimonial?