1

I was watching the first episode of Élite on Netflix and I came across this exchange:

“No dejan hacer nada que mole.”

“Depende de lo que te mole.”

Why is molar in the subjunctive here?

  • @NuclearWang oops, the verb is actually molar. i edited it now – jacoballens Aug 26 '19 at 17:54
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Using and mastering the subjunctive for non native speakers is tricky, since you need to realize beforehand when what you are trying to explain falls in a given category and use subjuntivo instead of a tense that makes perfect sense in your own language.

Subjunctive usually tells you about how the speaker feels about what they are talking about.

Check this website to learn more about the uses of the subjunctive (when you should use the subjunctive instead of another verb mood). Subjunctive is used, among many other things, to express an opinion. Quoting directly from the linked resource:

[it is used] Para expresar una opinión con expresiones impersonales como:

  • Es necesario que nosotros sepamos los verbos en el pasado.
  • Es una lástima que Julián no pueda venir a la fiesta.
  • Es normal que tú te sientas triste por la noticia.

Please note that affirmative sentences tend to use present tense:

Creo que es verdad lo que dice

Dejan hacer cosas que molan

While negative sentences use subjuntive

No creo que sea verdad lo que dice

No dejan hacer cosas que molen

When the subordinate sentence is negative we use the indicative:

Creo que no es tan difícil = No creo que sea tan difícil

Subjunctive tends to be used with verbs that express opinion: creer, pensar, opinar, suponer, sospechar, imaginar, considerar…

To complicate matters your example could have used indicative as well

No dejan hacer cosas que molan

The difference is that this feels like you are expressing a fact, instead of an opinion. The difference with the subjunctive one is very very subtle, but is one of those annoyances with mastering subjunctive and remembering that the subjunctive can be thought as a mood (instead of a tense) that describes how the speaker feels about something.

For

No dejan hacer cosas que molen

the speaker is conveying their feeling about those thing that they are not allowed to do ("cool" things in their opinion).

  • qué respuesta perfecta y completa! me realmente abrió los ojos :)) – jacoballens Aug 26 '19 at 18:49

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