A Guide to Use «Aunque». Subjunctive or Indicative?

Subjunctive or indicative? How to use "Aunque".

Click here to practice more with this topic for free. You will have a comprehension exercise, transcripts, translation, and a vocab word list. 

Choosing between «Aunque» with subjuntive or indicative is always hard at the beginning. In my opinion you need first to understand their meaning, and then apply the formulas. If you don’t understand why indicative or why subjunctive, you will always feel insecure using «Aunque». We don’t want that. We want you to feel confident when you are speaking, don’t we?

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As you move from intermediate to advanced level, las oraciones subordinadas adverbiales become a nightmare. The oraciones what? Yes, at B2 level we studied this. Actually, the name of these sentences doesn’t matter much right now. It does, but their name is not relevant for producing them. What matters is that they are full of connectors which sometimes require the indicative, and sometimes the subjunctive. Within the adverbial subordinate clauses, we have the concessive adverbial subordinate clauses. What a name! These sentences have different connectors and among them, we have the hated «Aunque». Other typical connectors of these sentences are a pesar de que, pese a que, por mucho/por más/por muy _____ que, aun, aun bien, aun cuando, … That’s a lot, isn’t it? What is important here is not all this list of connectors, but that you are more or less situated and understand where we are, and the “Aunque” sentences are located in a grammar overview.

What is a concessive adverbial subordinate clause? The good news is that for short, we usually call them simply “Oraciones concesivas”. It is a sentence that presents an obstacle, a difficulty, and yet that difficulty is not powerful enough to prevent another action from taking place. In English, it would be something like «Even if it’s windy, I am going to the beach». It’s windy, yes, but to me, it’s not a big enough obstacle to go to the beach. I’m going! So the other action – “going to the beach” – is going to happen.

If you create a sentence with “Aunque”, you need to decide if the verb coming after is in indicative or in subjunctive mood. The same thing if you use any of the other connectors I mentioned for “Oraciones subordinadas adverbiales concesivas”. The good news is that, for the moment, we are only going to deal with your Spanish word of the week is «Aunque», okay? Let’s focus on «Aunque» in Spanish, and its meaning. How do you use «aunque»? Herein lies its complication. And your next question would be how do you use the subjunctive? “Carmen, can you explain how to use phrases like Aunque?” Yes, we are going to look at these phrases, but I was telling you before that not only this. What do I mean?

The first thing is going to be when it goes with the indicative because it’s the easiest, isn’t it? Well, not always hahaha. Let’s see sentence examples of «Aunque» with indicative. Then we are going to see the uses with the subjunctive and here we have a complication. The complication exists because sometimes this connector will take the present subjunctive and sometimes it will take the preterite imperfect subjunctive.

I want to give you the rules, yes, but I want you to understand the translation. When you try to translate «Aunque» from Spanish to English, there are errors and this is where it gets complicated. We need to understand what is the nuance of the present subjunctive here, and what is the nuance of the preterite imperfect subjunctive. That’s why I’m going to give you some tricks to translate it better. I’m going to give you a formula that will help you.

My idea is that when you finish this video podcast, you will understand the usage and will be able to form correct sentences when using «Aunque».

However, this is not your only decision to make. This is because once you decide between indicative or subjunctive, you need to finish the sentence, right? Don’t forget that it’s a subordinate clause. These sentences are linked to the main clause. So we are not only going to learn how to create the subordinate clause with our favorite connector, but also the main clause. This sentence also has a verb and we need to keep correspondence between the verb tenses we use in the main sentence and the subordinate clause. So the explanation is going to be very complete. Will you join me?