I've seen different examples but I'm still not getting the right picture. So far I would like someone could help me with the analysis and different examples to avoid the confusion.

Regarding Oracion subordinada sustantiva sujeto, how do I spot it?. What is it most important characteristic? and how is it different from Oracion subordinada sustantiva objeto directo?. Does it exist oracion subordinada sustantiva objeto indirecto?. What would be its difference then?.

I understand that when you want to find the objeto directo, you would ask ¿que es lo que? to the verb (although I am not sure on this). Can someone help me?. The sort of answer which would help me the most is one which includes different examples and a step-by-step analysis so I make the right decision in an exam where the time is limited.

So far I'm aware that in oracion subordinada sustantiva you can replace after que the word eso and it would make sense. But if you apply this to subordinada sustantiva sujeto and for subordinada sustantiva objeto directo, both seem to comply with that rule. Hence the confusion. And the most important of all, how can I avoid getting further confused with oracion subordinada adverbial, does it exist some marker or anything that is unique to that oracion which I could spot and rule out the rest of possibilities. Can someone help me?


First things first: we do not speak about "oraciones" when referring to subordinate clauses. We call them "proposiciones (subordinadas)". An "oración" can contain one or more "proposiciones", but while an "oración" can stand alone, a "proposición" cannot.

Now, subject and object are nominal functions, and as a result any clause playing those roles in a sentence will be a noun clause (proposición subordinada sustantiva). Clauses functioning as adverbials will be "proposiciones subordinadas adverbiales".

Let's see some examples where a similar word can introduce all three "proposiciones". Why similar and not the same? Because in noun clauses the word introducing them will be a pronoun or a (stressed) interrogative adverb, while in adverb clauses the introductory word will be an (unstressed) conjunction.

1a. Es una incógnita cuándo derrotaremos al virus. (Here, "cuándo venceremos al virus" is the subject and, therefore, a "proposición sustantiva": Eso es una incógnita)

1b. Nadie sabe cuándo derrotaremos al virus. (Here, "cuándo venceremos al virus" is the object and, therefore, a "proposición sustantiva": Nadie sabe eso / Nadie lo sabe.)

1c. Seremos felices cuando derrrotemos al virus. (Here, "cuando derrotemos al virus" indicates the time when we'll be happy, and is therefore a "proposición adverbial")

The same parsing can be applied to the following set of sentences:

2a. Es un misterio dónde se contagió. (Eso es un misterio = proposición sustantiva sujeto)

2b. Nadie sabe dónde se contagió. (Nadie sabe eso / Nadie lo sabe = proposición sustantiva objeto directo)

2c. No puedes permanecer donde se contagió. (in that place = proposición adverbial)

A noun clause can also function as an indirect object. Using one of the clauses above, we can say:

2d. Los médicos atribuyen la mayor importancia a dónde se contagió. (Los médicos le atribuyen -- a esa cuestión -- la mayor importancia.)

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  • There are other unattended parts of my question such as, if it does exist "proposicion subordinada sustantiva objeto indirecto". And how to establish a difference from your examples with one which is "proposicion subordinada sustantiva objeto directo"?. The part where I'm having more confusion is at identifying the main verb and the one which is dependant from it. Why cuándo venceremos al virus is the object?. By the way your last three examples are proposicion subordinada adverbial?. Can you help me with that part?. – Chris Steinbeck Bell Mar 18 at 0:25
  • I've made some additions. However, if you lack some basic knowledge on syntax, such as the ability to differentiate the main and the subordinate verbs, or the ability to spot the subject and the objects, I'm afraid you will need to review that before dealing with more complex issues such as the ones you are asking here. – Gustavson Mar 18 at 12:41
  • It doesn't give me much confidence. But this question was intended on assistance in identification of the elements in the proposicion. But I think I'm getting the picture, it depends on where eso is inserted in the proposicion. If it replaces the subject then it is sujeto if it replaces objeto directo then it is proposicion subordinada objeto directo. And a useful way to identify objeto directo is to ask the verb (or at least this is a technique I recall from my class) to ask ¿que es lo que?. Thus would you recommend this?. Or am I understanding it correctly?. – Chris Steinbeck Bell Mar 19 at 0:17
  • ¿Qué es lo que? can be misleading, as it can point to the subject or the object. – Gustavson Mar 19 at 1:46
  • Then what would you recommend to make a difference between subject and object?. Although I thought that asking who to the verb was used to identify the subject. – Chris Steinbeck Bell Mar 19 at 2:23

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