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Te Quise, Te Quiero and Err Something in the Future Tense (Part II)

El Día Que Me Quieras

Hang on though. Manolo didn’t mention anything about quieras in the verb heavy master class which lasted me all of a 10 hour bus journey. To see what this is all about we need to learn Spanish with some tango thrown in. Carlos Gardel sung the most famous version of this song but what is he saying that Manolo didn’t? Even native Spanish speakers tell me that tango lyrics are really hard to understand but this is one of the easier ones it seems. He is singing here about what will happen the day that the object of his affection finally falls for his swaggering charm and early 20th century charisma, rather than a definite future like Manolo envisages in his romantic haze. So, it is a present subjunctive tense, which is one of the most difficult to get a gringo brain around as it doesn’t really translate very well. Thanks Carlitos.

Que Te Quería

That would be that really, if La 5ta Estación hadn’t just come on the radio and said that the singer is still the same idiot “que te quería”. Eh? Didn’t Manolo teach us that quise was the past tense of querer? The different between these two tenses is incredibly difficult to pin down and made my head hurt a lot. You could spend a good part of your Spanish courses going over examples and still not get it right all the time. Just when you think you have it sorted you’ll come across an example which seems to be the opposite of what you expected. Time to look out some more CDs I think.