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Arrested Development #2

Context: Lucille’s husband was arrested.

English: The FTC is making him out to be some kind of mastermind...

Spanish: La Comisión de Valores lo trata como si fuera un cerebro...

ISSUE #1: WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE?

It’s a hypothetical situation.

One of my favorite subjunctive prototypes is:

Si yo fuera tú...

If I were you...

See how that’s hypothetical?

Hypothetical statements either usually or always get the subjunctive!

The FTC is making him out to be some kind of mastermind
= The FTC is acting as if he were some kind of mastermind
= La Comisión de Valores lo trata como si fuera un cerebro

Notice in my prototype, in the Spanish subtitles and just in life in general, “si” is often a “signal” to use the subjunctive.

But only because we often use “si” or “if” when speaking about hypothetical situations.

The rule is not tied to “si”. “Si” is tied to hypothetical situations.

And when it’s not, it doesn’t necessarily mean to use the subjunctive (it depends).

ISSUE #2: TRATAR

“Tratar” is an interesting verb. It means “to treat” but can be used in so many different contexts.

I could make a whole video about “tratar” (it’s been added to the list).

But the thing that surprised me most was, “tratar” with “de” so “tratar de,” is used for “to try” like “to attempt” (not “to taste”).

That always hit me as weird. But it is super common.

And when you think about it, when we “treat,” ”address,” “deal with” (all common translations of “tratar”) we’re kind of TRYING to do something. Right?

There’s an element of attempt in all those verbs. In fact, they’re just specific kinds of “tries”.

Attempt to treat, attempt to address, attempt to deal with...

Then I guess TRY is the generic version of attempt?

Fun with Words!

ISSUE #3: MASTERMIND = CEREBRO

I don’t know why, but I find that funny--they just say “brain” for “mastermind” lol

I know we use “brain” kind of like that too, but this is still funny to me.

Reminds me of the time I discovered the name for Earth in Spanish is just “tierra”-- “La Tierra”.

So they use “brain” for “mastermind”. And they use “dirt” for earth (“tierra” is more than just dirt, but it’s funnier that way).

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