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Pero salta,
bendita tristeza,
que no quiero que se te quemen las manos tocándome,
que te duela la piel bajo las mías,
que no soporto la idea de verte morir de pena,
después de volver a hacernos en el amor,
para después ser ceniza,
que tengo el pecho desinflado y pronto no cabrás,
—y a estas manos les falta la cobardía para rechazarte—.

It seems like the “que” used here is kinda like a way to say “because” but I’m not really sure. Could anyone explain? Thanks! The book came with an English translation on the other page so I provided both.

  • Perhaps you have confused the two subjunctive clauses that go with 'no quiero' with imperative?
    – aris
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 4:43
  • what i didn’t realize was how “que” can be used as a causal conjunction and that’s what confused me :)) Commented May 26, 2019 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


Yes, except for "que te duela" and "no quiero que se te quemen las manos."

Here's a definition from the DRAE:

  1. conj. U. como conjunción causal, equivale a porque o pues. Con la hacienda perdió la honra, que a tal desgracia le arrastraron sus vicios. Lo hará, sin duda, que ha prometido hacerlo.

And from Collins:

conjunction: 4. (expresando causa [expressing a reason]) llévate un paraguas, que está lloviendo take an umbrella, it’s raining

("Que te duela etc." is the subjunctive -- May your skin hurt under my hands. We know it's subjunctive because of the way the verb is conjugated. "Que te duele" would be indicative, and "Que te duela" is subjunctive.)

  • thank you so much! so i understand the subjunctive here, but why is “que” used with the imperative here? Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:59
  • i edited my main question to match down here, by the way Commented May 25, 2019 at 18:12
  • is this use of que as a causal conjunction formal? Commented May 26, 2019 at 7:58
  • 1
    @jacoballens - I think it fits mainly in informal settings and in poetry and lyrics. It can help you adjust the meter and it can make something sound more lyrical. Also, here, the fun thing is that many phrases start with "que," but there are actually two different constructions, intertwining. Commented May 26, 2019 at 18:55
  • 1
    @jacoballens - I see, thanks. So you were asking why "que" was coming after the imperative. I get it now. Here's how I take this passage: But jump away, blessed sadness, jump away, for I don't wish your hands, touching me, to get burned, or your skin to hurt under my hands, for I can't stand the idea of seeing you die of sadness after us making love to each other again, to become ashes afterwards, for I have a deflated breast [chest] and soon you won't fit in it --and these hands are lacking in cowardice to reject you--. (A poetic translation this is not!) Commented May 27, 2019 at 5:50

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