Should the subjunctive be used after the verb "asegurar que"?

The sentence I am trying to write is "La policía no se aseguraron que el niño tuviera un arma autentico o que él fuera una amenaza."

Is the use of the subjunctive tense correct here?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is correct, the subjunctive is the correct verbal time that you need to use there, as both actions were ocurring in the past but at the same time or shortly after. Here, some uses of the "preterito imperfecto de subjuntivo" form are explained: http://espanol.lingolia.com/es/gramatica/tiempos-subjuntivo/preterito-imperfecto (I think this one is the first one)

It is in spanish, but I think you should be able to understand it, given that you're studying the more complex conjugations.

Also, let me rewrite the sentence for you, and correct a couple other mistakes which you might want to edit.

La policía no se aseguró de que el niño tuviera un arma auténtica o de que (él) fuera una amenaza

La policía is singular even though it can be used as a collective name. Also, armais feminine, so even if you would use the masculine undetermined article un (because the first syllabe is tonic and starts with a- or ha-) you must match the gender for the adjective and write auténtica.

  • 2
    You'd normally say "el arma" and "un arma" but "las armas" and "unas armas". However, even if "la arma" and "una arma" can sound 'weird' are not incorrect. It's the same for other similar words (e.g. 'hacha').
    – Ricardo
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 14:44
  • 1
    @Ricardo, Could you point out to a citation of "la arma" being correct? I'm pretty sure it's not the case. It would only be correct with an adjective in between, such as "la misma arma" (and in that case it would be incorrect to write "el mismo arma"). Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 20:56
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    Here. lema.rae.es/dpd/?key=arma . "La arma" (as "the gun") is incorrect. Note "la arma" meaning "arms her", e.g. as "El capitán la arma (a ella) con el arma (el revólver|la pistola)". Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 21:00
  • As far as I know, La arma is fully incorrect. The cacophony needs to be avoided. In the case of una arma, there is no cacophony, but a lighter phenomenon that I would not know how to name :) However, the RAE says that una arma is correct but infrequent.
    – pHonta
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 23:18
  • @AdrianoVaroliPiazza, I was wrong. Both "la arma" and "una arma" sound equally bad to me, so maybe RAE will change their mind eventually, hehe.
    – Ricardo
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 10:10

"Policía" is also used as a collective noun, so you should use a singular form for the subjunctive. Being a past tense, you should write it as "aseguró". The complete phrase would be:

La policía no se aseguró "de que" el niño no tuviera "un" arma "aunténtica" o "de que" él fuera una amenaza.

"Arma" is a female noun for weapon and that's the reason why "auténtica" is the correct form of the adjective in this case.

  • 1
    Incorrect. Arma is a female noun for weapon, that, beginning with a tonic A, carries the male article if not interposed by an adjective. You should also correct "auntentica", "autentica" (should be "auténtica"), "el fuera" (should be "él fuera") and "adjetive". Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 21:04
  • una arma and un arma are both considered correct. However, only el arma works unless there's an intermediate adjective. Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 12:53

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