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Kara G.
Spanish Tutor - All Levels
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Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

What kind of grammatical error appears in this sentence? No voy a menos que venga mi hermana.

Kara G.
Answer:

“A menos que” is an adverbial conjunction that always requires the use of the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood is used because the adverbial conjunction indicates a pending or hypothetical action/state. The sentence is correct as it is. English translation: I’m not going unless my sister comes/is coming.

Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

How would you help a student identify and understand what a direct object is in a sentence and how to replace it with a direct object pronoun?

Kara G.
Answer:

The direct object answers “what” or “whom” with regard to what the subject of the sentence is doing. Let’s look at a practice question: ¿Compraste la blusa? Translated: Did you buy the blouse? The verb in this sentence is “comprar.” Who did the buying? You did. And what did you buy? A blouse (la blusa). So, a blouse is our direct object. We will replace “la blusa” with the direct object pronoun. Remember, we don’t have to replace the direct object, but using a pronoun is useful when we don’t want to repeat ourselves; in English we would say “did you buy it?” Our direct object pronouns are: me te lo, la nos os los, las Because “la blusa” is a singular feminine noun, we will use the singular feminine pronoun, “la.” When we only have one verb in the sentence, the pronoun will go in front of the conjugated verb. Our new sentence is: ¿La compraste? Translated: Did you buy it?

Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

What kind of grammatical error appears in this sentence? Es mejor que no dices nada.

Kara G.
Answer:

Most impersonal statements require verbs to be in the subjunctive mood when there is a subject change and a value judgment or desire. The verb “dices” (from decir) is in the present tense, which is correct, but it is in the indicative mood when it should be in the subjunctive mood. To correct the sentence, one would need to replace “dices” with the second-person present subjunctive conjugation “digas.” The subjunctive mood is not required with impersonal expressions when the statement explicitly states that what follows is factual, certain, or objective (e.g. es obvio que, es cierto que, es evidente que). English translation: It’s better that you don’t say anything.

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