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How do I use the subjunctive after negative statements?

Grammar Genius,

I am a little confused about how to use the subjunctive after negative statements such as "nadie, nunca, etc." Why do I use the subjunctive in "Nunca haré lo que me mandaran si no me dan alguan razón para ello,¨ (I will never do what they ordered me to do if they do not give me a reason for it) if doubt is not involved in the sentence?

When the subordinate clause contains an indefinate or negative subordinating conjunctions, such as seen below, the subjunctive is used. Keep in mind that the below list is not inclusive and that the basic formula is: negative statement + que + subjunctive.

nadie que no one that
ninguno (a) que nothing
ninguna cosa que nothing that
alguien que someone that
alguno que something that
uno (a) que one that
cualquiera que anyone who
comoquiera que however
dondequiera que wherever that
quienquiera que whoever
 cada vez  whenever

NOTE: If any of the above antecedents are used to express a conclusive action (in the past or present) or a definate idea, the subjunctive is not needed. Compare the following:

Vamos a comprar una casa que tenga una vista, que sea de madera, y que esté en el campo, que no sea cara. We are going to buy a house that has a view, is made of wood and is in the countryside, that isnīt very expensive
Compramos una casa que tiene una vista, es de madera, y esta en el campo. We bought a house that has a view, is made of wood and is in the countryside. (conclusive action)

Given each of the questions below, type in the correct response.  Although capitalization does not count, spelling does!

Please enter your name

1. No hay ningún medicamento que (curar) de la misma forma, a todos los enfermos.

2. No he conocido a nadie que (resistir) la lectura de ese libro.

3. Nadie que se (estimar) medianamente, podría admitir una cosa así.

4. Yo creo que hoy día no quedan personas que (pensar) así.

See also, using the subjunctive to refer to the unspecific.

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I was on a date with a Spanish speaker and when I told him I was hot he looked at me oddly and explained I had just told him I was horny (soy caliente) and that I should really say tengo calor.


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