Given this sentence:

Como te (alejar) _____ de la orilla, no te traigo mañana.

This sentence is from an exercise and I guess the correct form of the verb "alejar" is "alejas".

On the other hand, the sentence sounds like an "oración condicional" and I suppose the meaning of "como" here is "if". (If you get away from the beach, I will not bring you (with me) tomorrow.) Am I correct?

  • Yes. "Como no te comas la carne, no tendrás postre" "If you don't eat your meat, you don't have any dessert"
    – roetnig
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 9:21
  • (from @roetnig) so it is indeed subjunctive: Como te alejes de la orilla, bla. It is a warning to someone (sounds like a parent to their child).
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 9:30
  • @fedorqui - The sentence would also work without the subjunctive. It really depends on how far along OP is in their particular textbook. Also, the meaning depends on the conversational context, to some extent, doesn't it? Let's say the child was already given the rule, but wasn't able to follow it. Then mightné the parent follow up by saying: "Dado que te alejaste de la orilla, no te traigo mañana"? Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 13:20
  • Volkan, for documentation, see Definition 5 the first clump of definitions of "como" at spanishdict.com/translate/como. // Could you situate the exercise for us within the structure of your textbook? Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 13:25
  • @aparente001 , ""Dado que te alejaste de la orilla, no te traigo mañana" this won't work as the second part is on present, as is the conditioning part, for this to work, the second part has to be in future. "dado que/como te alejaste de la orilla, no te traeré mañana" also the sense of the phrase changed completely from if.. to as/because
    – Mike
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


Besides other uses (for comparisons), como is employed to mark conditions and causes. The meaning depends on context and above all on the tense and mood of the verbs.

In your example the answer would be

Como te alejes de la orilla, no te traigo mañana.

As you already deduced, this is a conditional; but in this case, with como, you need to use the subjunctive mood and say alejes, instead of the indicative alejas (which you would use if the conditional phrase began with si). This kind of sentence is rather common with threats:

Como te vea otra vez por aquí, llamaré a la policía.

You use the subjunctive ([tú te] alejes, [yo te] vea) because the situation is hypothetical.

You will also find como introducing a cause. In this case the verb will be in the indicative. You can have a perfectly parallel phrase to the one above:

Como te alejas de la orilla, no te traigo mañana.

This means: "Since you're getting away from the shore, I won't bring you tomorrow." It's grammatically correct, but the actual situation doesn't look plausible, so I guess the answer should be the other one.

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