Unit 17: Additional grammatical structures

17.5 The Future Subjunctive

The future subjunctive in Spanish remains only vestigially, usually in proverbs and legal or religious documents. (You have already seen it in the fixed phrase, Sea como fuere [“Be that as it may”]). Its formation is nearly identical to the –ra forms of the imperfect subjunctive. The only difference is that instead of an –at the end, an –e  is found. In modern Spanish, the future subjunctive has largely been replaced by the present subjunctive.

Cuando a Roma fueres, haz como vieres.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do. (Literally, “as you see”)
Quien diere una limosna, será bendecido. Whoever gives alms will be blessed.
De lo de ser otra vez manteado no digo nada; que semejantes desgracias mal se pueden prevenir, y si vienen, no hay que hacer otra cosa sino encoger los hombros, detener el aliento, cerrar los ojos y dejarse ir por donde la suerte y la manta nos llevare. (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Spain, 1547-1616. I’m not saying anything about the episode of being tossed in a blanket, as similar misfortunes can hardly be prevented, and if they happen, there’s nothing to be done but to shrug one’s shoulders, hold one’s breath, close one’s eyes and let yourself go wherever luck and the blanket take us.


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