"Él no quiere que ellos cierren la puerta."

Why is the verb "to close" imperative here? Why wouldn't you just say "Él no quiere que ellos cierran la puerta."?

You might be tempted to think "because it hasn't happened yet", but that is exactly the reason for the subjunctive.

"Él no quiere que tú cierra la puerta."

The subjunctive form would be "cierres".

  • 1
    I was tempted to edit the question but then it would make not sense. The problem is there are several things that are wrong. The correct sentences are "El no quiere que ellos cierren la puerta" (cierran is wrong) and "El no quiere que tu cierres la puerta" (cierra is wrong). Roberto, I'd suggest you edit the question to really show what you want to learn without having wrong sentences in it. – DGaleano Jan 24 '16 at 16:01
  • I don't understand your question. Personally, I see no imperative whatsoever here. It's an affirmative sentence: you're telling someone what a third persons wants them to do or not to do. It could be construed as a mild/indirect imperative in some contexts, I guess—but that's not what it is gramatically speaking: it's a sheer subjunctive. Also, note the use of a subjunctive isn't because it hasn't happened yet: think of the sentence "él no quería que cerraras la puerta". "Cerraras" is a subjuntive even though you did close the door (+) – Yay Jan 24 '16 at 17:16
  • (+) Instead, a subjuntive is used to describe actions that, by the time the speaker is describing, hadn't happened yet. The difference is subtle, but key to understand why a subjunctive can be used to refer to actions that happened in the past. IOW, in "él no quería que cerraras la puerta" by the time he didn't want you to close the door, you hadn't just yet (or he thought you hadn't). Hence why you're using a subjunctive. – Yay Jan 24 '16 at 17:18

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