Chapter 15   --   Speculating about things

 

We can speculate about past events, express possibilities about various outcomes, postulate different ideas, or express disbelief.

          A past event:                                    Had Custer known the size of the Indian forces, he might not have attacked.

          A condition which does not exist:      If I had the money, I would go to Spain.

          A result which did not happen:          I purchased a ticket, so I could have won.

 

To express these ideas, a special verb form is needed.   This speculative verb is formed by taking the third person plural ( the they form) of the simple past tense, removing the last two letters (-on), and adding the endings -a, -as, -a, -amos, -ais, -an.   This process applies to all of the verbs without exception.

          For example: hablaron (the third person plural of the simple past tense of hablar)

                             hablara, hablaras, hablara, habláramos, hablarais, hablaran

 

                             vendieron (the third person plural of the simple past tense of vender)

                             vendiera, vendieras, vendiera, vendiéramos, vendierais, vendieran

 

                             abrieron (the third person plural of the simple past tense of abrir).

                             abriera, abrieras, abriera, abriéramos, abrierais, abrieran

 

Some examples of its use follow.

          If I had the money, I would go to Spain.                    [I don’t have the money.]

                   Si tuviera el dinero, iría a España.

          If I were a rich man, I could buy a large house.          [I am not rich.]

                   Si yo fuera rico, podría comprar una casa grande .

          He said that he would make it as soon as we paid him.           [We have not paid him yet.]

                   Dijo que lo haría así que le pagáramos .

          You treat him as if he were a child.                    [He is not a child.]

                   Tú le tratas como si fuera un niño.

          I wish I spoke Spanish fluently.                    [I do not speak Spanish fluently.]

                   Yo deseo que hablara el español fluentemente.

          I doubted that he did it.                    [ An expression of disbelief.]

                   Yo dudaba que lo hiciera.

 

This book is available from lulu.com under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.  

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