Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Que todo te vaya bien.

Que nos reunamos a las 6.

I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero.

What is the origin of this usage? Is it colloquial / formal? What do grammarians think? Is it universally understood? What's its prevalence in South American, Spain, etc?

share|improve this question
    
Are you sure that there isn't a "nos" missing in the 2nd sentence like: "Que nos reunamos a las 6"? At least in Spain that sentence doesn't make much sense without it. I don't know if it does in Latin America. –  Javi Nov 16 '11 at 10:13
    
You're right, my mistake. Fixed –  Brian E Nov 16 '11 at 10:54
1  
Ojalá works the same as que here. –  Brian Nov 20 '11 at 0:22
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I believe the literal equivalent "that" used to be used in formal English but has now all but disappeared. Wiktionary gives this definition for this sense of English "that":

(archaic) Introducing a hypothetical fact or supposition: ‘given that’, ‘as would appear from the fact that’. [from 11th c.]

It can be thought of as a kind of subjunctive (semantically, not morphologically of course) since it expresses things not actual but what we hope or wish.

An easier way to think of it in English that is still used but is still formal is "may".

May everything go well for you.

May we meet again some day.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I found an article that explains it really well. But your second example "que reunamos a las 6" sound wrong to me, maybe in some context can be right but not standing alone.

Edit: sorry, didn't see the comments until after I answered.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for the excellent resource. I wonder if you might be able to summarize the relevant parts of that article in your answer. An answer that is essentially only a link is considered low-quality on SE sites, as the link may change or become invalid over time. An answer ought to stand on its own as an answer; although of course linking to original sources and for greater detail is always encouraged. –  Flimzy Dec 12 '11 at 22:22
add comment

"Que todo te vaya bien" sounds weird. In México a more common expression is:

Que te vaya bien

or

Espero que te vaya bien.

share|improve this answer
1  
I think this should be a comment rather than an answer since it's pointing out something unusual about the question rather than answering what's being asked about the word "que". –  hippietrail Nov 16 '11 at 16:38
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.