Yesterday I was working with a tutoring client, and we were discussing the subjunctive mood. We don’t really use the subjunctive in English, but an example of its use would be in the phrase, “If I were you…” (I will never be you, so I use the subjunctive to show that I am discussing something that is contrary to fact. As opposed to the indicative mood, which describes things that are factual, actual, and true.)
One of the main uses of the subjunctive in Spanish is to describe situations in which you cannot control the outcome. And as the words were leaving my mouth, Bailey, the big cat, galloped through my office and leaped on the top of my chair.
“Like that,” I said, gesturing to the wild-eyed animal looming next to us. “I can’t control that.”
“Oh,” replied my client, herself a cat owner, “cats are living, breathing subjunctive. Dogs are indicative, but cats are subjunctive.”