1

In my textbook it says the following:

seas = Second person familiar form - Indicates something might be.

It then gives the following examples to show how it works:

Example 1:

[I hope] that you be [a nice person].
que seas

Example 2:

[I'm so glad] that it's [you]!
que seas

I understand the first example, because the speaker is hoping the the other person might be nice. But I don’t get the second example. How can “it’s” be something that might be?

Why does Spanish language use Seas to mean It's?

  • 1
    Not 100% sure, but it seems the que is introducing a [low] degree of incertainty, since you could also say me alegra que no sea él. The only firm fact here is the 1st person is happy. Consistently if you use saber, you use the indicative mood, because you are explicitly cancelling said uncertainty: Yo sé que eres tú. If you want to say the opposite (you are not certain) you still use subjunctive: No estoy seguro de que seas tú_/_No me consta que seas tú. – Rafael Sep 30 '16 at 13:18
  • 3
    You don't just use subjunctive when there's doubt. You also use when you are being subjective and/or inserting emotion. – user0721090601 Sep 30 '16 at 13:59
  • @gufia so in example 2, the speaker is using seas to show that he is really happy that it's you? – big_smile Sep 30 '16 at 15:17
  • 1
    @big_smile he's not using it to show anything per se, because using eres isn't an option. Because the que eres clause gets colored with the emotion of estoy feliz or me alegra, it ends up in subjunctive as que seas, and in fact me alegra que eres is grammatically incorrect. – user0721090601 Sep 30 '16 at 18:59
3

Ok, it seems my comment was at least incomplete. The rules of when to use the subjunctive may be complex.

This article enumerates twelve cases in which the subjunctive should be used. Among these:

Para expresar emoción o sentimiento. (To express emotions or feelings.)

FWIW, subjunctive is always difficult to non-native speakers (and even to native ones). Practice will be your best teacher to acquire a strong sense on when to use it.

Trying to find a pattern with other rules, it seems that there underlies a sense of vagueness/lack of concreteness: the subject is expressing that the fact (that it's you/the listener) will always make them happy rather than just this specific (concrete) time.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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