viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2009


I'm trying to talk with Clara more in Spanish because, despite living in Mexico, we've realized that she just doesn't hear enough Spanish. In one of my conversations with her, I stumbled across my new favorite word.

"Clara--si hubiera hecho esto . . . "

[thought to myself] "Ooo--'hubiera'--that's pretty cool!"

It's cool on two fronts:

1) it's pronounced Ooo-bee-air-ah. What an awesome string of vowels! How pretty is that?

2) I feel smarter using this word, as it's a verb in the past subjunctive form. Now, if you've ever learned a foreign language for any length of time (at least a European foreign language other than English), the subjunctive form of verbs gives students apoplectic fits--provided that student speaks English as their first language. Why? English doesn't have a subjunctive tense (unless we add the word "may" before another verb). So we get all bent out of shape and spend years trying how to figure out when the right time is to use this verb form.

And I've got it down!

But, at the same time, the word has its downside. After all, it means "would have", and is generally proceeded by "if".

"If I would have . . . "

I hate to say that too much, because I don't want to regret things I've done or failed to do (even little things, like not doing the laundry until it was too rainy, like yesterday). What's done is done. Or not done, as the case may be. Why be looking back and second guessing myself?

Fortunately, I don't say it all that often.

And it is a pretty word.

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