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The imperfect subjuntive has two forms. For example:

  • Ojalá viniera.
  • Ojalá viniese.

I think both has the same meaning. However, is there any subtle difference?

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I've been wanting to ask this question too! –  hippietrail Nov 22 '11 at 22:23
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I'd say that the only difference is that the form ending in -se can be considered slightly more formal than the one ending in -ra; but otherwise (i.e., regarding the meaning) they are equivalent. –  Gonzalo Medina Nov 22 '11 at 22:53
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

No, there is no difference, at least in meaning.

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There is no difference in meaning. I have found that the -ra endings are more common in Latin American Spanish and the -se endings are more common in European Spanish. So I would use the one that represents the type of Spanish you are trying to speak.

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What about Mexico, which is in North America? If it falls in with Central and South America (which it often doesn't) you can just use the term "Latin American Spanish" instead. –  hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 0:18
    
Edited thus. I'd say it applies to Mexican Spanish as well. –  Kevin K. Nov 23 '11 at 1:15
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The advice I was always given was that there is no difference in the meaning, but to stick to one of them (ie don't mix and match) in a conversation/piece of text.

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