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When should mientras or mientras que be followed by the subjunctive and when by the indicative? In both cases, how is mientras usually translated?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Subtle...

Mientras llueve, escucho música. (llueve: indicative)

While it rains, I listen to music

Mientras llueva, me quedaré en casa. (llueva: subjunctive )

As long as it rains, I'll stay at home.

"Mientras + indicative" implies mere simultaneity (at the same time something happens, another thing takes place).

"Mientras + subjunctive" suggests a condition (as long as something is happening ...)

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