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I thought that any statement after 'cuando' should be in the subjunctive tense if it implied anything other than habitual events or was used in a question, but wasn't sure if this is actually the case.


  • ¿Cuándo vas a la playa? (No need to use subj. as this is a question)

  • Cuando vamos a la playa, normalmente... (No need to use subj. as this is talking about something habitual)

  • Cuando vayamos a la playa... (Need to use subj. as this implies

Can someone check that I have the correct understanding of the above sentences?

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The question title does not match the question body. It is not clear which of both questions should be answered. – Eduardo Jan 4 '12 at 18:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Use the subjunctive after conjunctions of time to describe that something has not yet been observed.

Example of cuando both with and without subjunctive:

Cuando vengan mis papás, los voy a llevar a la playa porque cuando vinieron mis hermanos, fuimos y les gustó mucho.

Its equivalent in English:

When my parents come, I'm going to take them to the beach, because when my brothers came, we went and they liked it a lot.

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@Eduardo: Can you recommend some other markup I should use to make the grammar rule stand out as distinct from the rest of the text? – Flimzy Jan 4 '12 at 21:14
If it's not a quote maybe you could just remove the quote block and say it straight. Being the first sentence in your post it will stand out. Let me try an edit, you can re-edit if you want. – Eduardo Jan 4 '12 at 22:22
Your edit seems reasonable. Removing some obsolete comments. – Flimzy Jan 4 '12 at 23:22

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