12.2.5 futuro do conjuntivo and presente do conjuntivo

Concerning the formation of the futuro do conjuntivo see 12.1.5.1. Concerning the formation of the presente do conjuntivo see 12.1.1. In this chapter we will talk about the use of the futuro do conjuntivo and when it is used instead of the presente do conjuntivo.

For whatever reason the Portuguese use of the verb tenses, we have already seen that when we talked about the pretérito perfeito composto, differs from other roman languages. In Portuguese we have a futuro do conjuntivo, something inexistent in any other language known by the author of these lines. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Portuguese steems from Gallego, the language spoken in north-western Spain, and Gallego was isolated from the rest of the roman languages and developped therefore in a different way.

[If we want to be precise, there was a futuro de subjuntivo in Spanish.

Si alguien lo hiciere, será castigado.
If anybody does it, he will be punished.

However nowadays this tense is so unusual that we can find it mentionned only in scientific grammars, whose scope is not to learn a language, but describing it as completely as possible.]

The futuro do conjuntivo competes with the presente do conjuntivo, in other words if other languages uses one tense, Portuguese uses either the futuro do conjuntivo or the presente do conjuntivo. Portuguese makes a distinction not made in other languages. In general and simplifying we can say that the futuro de conjuntivo is used if it is assumed that an event is going to happen in the future, but it is not clear when it will happen. We use the presente do conjuntivo in a context where we have a subjective evaluation and the futuro do conjuntivo if we have an objective uncertainty concerning an event that is going to happen in the future.

If we have a look at definitions we find on the internet we will realise that they resemble a lot. We have to therefore take a closer look to see the difference.

futuro do subjuntivo
O futuro do subjuntivo é usado para indicar casualidade, incerteza ou possibilidade em orações subordinadas que se referem ao futuro. The futuro do subjuntivo is used to express coincidence, uncertainty or possibility in subordinate clauses that refers to the future.
presente do subjuntivo
O presente do subjuntivo é usado para indicar dúvidas, desejos, incertezas, probabilidades e sentimentos. Pode ser utilizado para exprimir acontecimentos do presente ou do futuro. The presente do subjuntivo is used to express doubt, wishes, uncertainty, possibility and emotions. It can refer to the present and the future.
PRESENTE (SUBJUNTIVO) FUTURO (SUBJUNTIVO)


The website these quotes are taken from are not really what we would call an exhaustive explanation, but if we know already what they want to say, we understand this definition. We use the presente do conjuntivo if the reality is subjectively evaluated and we use the futuro do conjuntivo if something is objectively uncertain.

1) I hope he comes. => subjective evaluation
2) When he comes, I will ask him. => objectively insecure


In both cases the hypothetical action is going to happen in the future, however there is a difference. The hypothecial action in case 1) is subjectively evaluated. The speaker is emotionally involved in this action. 2) is different. The speaker doesn't know when he comes, but when he comes, he will ask him. Whether he cares or not about his coming is irrelevant.

The futuro do conjuntivo is not triggered by verbs, conjunctions idiomatic expressions like to hope, it is possible or by the fact that the relative clause refers to an irreality, "There is nobody here, who knows the truth", but by conjunctions that refers to an undefined moment in the future like as soon as, while, etc..

We understand without any problems that after conjunctions of this type we use the indicativ when the action, event refer to the past and the subjunctive, when it refers to the future. Compared to the future the past has the very big advantage to be well known and there is no uncertainty.

The future however is the space of possibilities. Everything is possible, that is the advantage compared to the past, but nothing is secure, that is the disadvantage compared to the past. It is really astonishing that most people believe that it is the past that coins the people, that people are coined by their cultural, social or whatever heritage and not the future. In practice people are coined by the future. What they do depends on what they want and not on what they themselves or their ancesters have been. It is really a stunnig fact that all over the world there is subject called history but future is never taught nowhere, although the space of possibility has a much greater impact than the limited space of the past. The author would say that "The Principle of Hope" from Ernst Bloch should be taught at school. Everybody will live in the space of the possibilities and not in the limited space of the past.

In the following sentences the action described in the main clause is not evaluated subjectively, but it is uncertain when it will be happen.

assim que: as soon as => futuro do conjuntivo
Uma lista com os nomes será publicada assim que o processo estiver completo.
A list with the names will be published as soon as the process will be accomplished.
As soon as the process is finished a list with all names will be published.
Sirva a sua família e os seus hóspedes assim que a comida estiver pronta.
Serve to your family and the your guest as soon as the dish is ready.
As soon as the dish is ready, serve it to your family and your guests.
assim que: sobald mit Bezug zur Vergangenheint => perfeito composto simples do indicativo / pretérito imperfeito do indicativo
A briga começou assim que saímos da festa.
The quarrel started as soon as that left of the party.
The quarrel started as soon as we left the party.
+
Assim que me sentava à mesa, alguém vinha incomodar-me.
As soon as me sat to the table someone came bother me
As soon as I took seat at the table, someone came and bothered me.


The conjunction mentioned in grammar books assim que (as soon as), enquanto (while), sempre que (always when), quando (when), see examples below only requires the futuro do conjuntivo if the subordinate clause they introduce refers to the future and the moment the events described in the subordinate clause is uncertain. The uncertainty concerning the moment that event will happen however has nothing to do with a subjective evaluation, but is due to objective circunstances.

The case of the following expression, that requires as well the futuro do conjuntivo, is similar. It is unclear who will come, see example in the table below, too late in the future, but if he comes too late, he will not be allowed to enter. There is no subjective evaluation, it is just an objective relationship. One event is the consequence of another. The same thing is true for the second sentence. Wherever the others will be, he will be there. There is no subjective evaluation. It is just an objective relationship. This distinction between uncertainty due to the objective circumstances and a subjective evaluation of a hypothetical event is not made in other roman languages.

uncertainty due to the objective circumstances
Quem vier depois da hora, não poderá entrar.
Who comes after of the hour not will can enter.
Who comes to late will not be allowed to enter.
Fico onde vocês ficarem.
Am who you will be.
Wherever you will be, I will be there.


The relationship between the event in the main clause and the event of the subordinate clause is more like a rule. The people who come too late will not be allowed to enter. This is a fact. It is unclear who and when someone comes too late, but if that happens, he as to bear the consequences.

In the past however we use the pretérito imperfeito do conjuntivo, in other words the same tense and the same mood we use in case of subjective uncertainty. We have the same idiomatic expression, for quem for, whoever, but a different logic. The distinction made in the future, is not made in the past. (What is not possible by the way, because there is no alternative to the imperfeito do conjuntivo.)

We can assume that professional translaters of literature has a very good understanding of their language. This sentence taken from "For whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway is translated to Portuguese in this way.

Contudo, fosse quem fosse que estivesse em cima, fora* muito cuidadoso para não deixar rasto.
Nevertheless, was who was that was at top was very careful for not leave traces.
Yet whoever was above had been very careful not to leave any trail.**

* fora ist pretérito mais-que-perfeito simples do indicativo. This time you can only find in literature, see 11.3.

** Quoted directly from For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. The tranlation to Portuguese was taken from a published Portuguese version of this novel.

Concerning the past there is no difference between Portuguese and other roman language, in Spanish it would be "fuera quien fuera", in Italian "fosse chi fosse and in French "qui que ce fût". No distinction is made between subjective evaluation and objective uncertainty. This difference is only made relating to the future.

However the use is not very stable, we can find without any problems examples where the presente do conjuntivo is used after, for instance, assim que. A conjunction that would require normaly the futuro do conjuntivo if the event described in the subordinate clause relates to the future. We can assume that the European Commission has enough money to employ professional translaters. However especially in documents from the European Commission we find very often the presente do conjuntivo after assim que.

assim que: sobald mit Bezug auf die Zukunft mit presente do conjuntivo
Será facultado um maior auxílio humanitário através do armazenamento no local de géneros alimentícios assim que as condições de segurança o permitam.
Will be made available a bigger aid humanitarian through of the storage in a place of means food as soon the conditions of security this allow.
As soon as it is allowed by the security situation the provisions will be stored locally allowing an increase of the humanitarian aid.
ACORDO SOBRE A TECNOLOGIA DA INFORMAÇÃO


All of the following conjunctions can as well introduce a subordinate clause that relates to the past. In this case they require the indicative. However if they relate to the future they require the futuro do conjuntivo. (At least we suppose this, although we can find through google thousands of examples with the simple presente do conjuntivo in this context, even statements from more consciuous speakers.)

assim que : as soon as
Assim que ele tiver dinheiro ele lhe pagará
As soon as he will have money he him will pay.
As soon as he has money he will pay him.
enquanto: as long as
Enquanto o clima não melhorar, não poderemos continuar a obra.
While the clima not gets better not we will be able to continue with work.
As long as the whether will not get better, we can't continue with the work.
Enquanto as pessoas tiverem medo, não haverá liberdade real.
As long as the persons have fear not have freedom real.
As long as the people are afraid, there will be no real freedom. .
Enquanto estiveres com febre, não podes sair.
As long as are with fever not can go out.
As long as you have fever you can't go out.
logo que: as soon as
Me liga logo que estiver pronto.
Me call as soon as are ready.
Call me as soon as you are ready.
Logo que me sentir melhor, vou trabalhar.
As soon me feel better go to work
As soon a I feel better I will go to work.
quando: when
Quando estiveres só, vais sentir minha falta.
If are alone go feel my lack.
When you are alone you will be missing me.
Será tarde demais quando ela tiver chegado.*
Be late too much when the will have arrived.
It will be very late, when they have arrived.
se: when
Se fizer sol, vamos à piscina.
When make sun go to the swimming pool.
When the sun shines again, we go to the swimming pool.
sempre que: whenever
Tenciono escrever-lhes sempre que puder.
Try to write them whenever can.
I try to write them whenever I can.
como: how
Faça como puder.
Do how can
Do it the way you can do it.
Vem quando puderes.
Come when can.
Come when you can.
Faz como quiseres.
Do how want.
Do it as you like.
conforme: how
Faço-o conforme mo disserem.
Do it how me say.
I do it how they tell me to do it.
depois que: after, once
O professor vai dar a nota depois que os alunos fizerem os exercícios.
The teacher only go give a mark after that the students did the exercises.
Only after the students have done the exercises the teacher will asses the them.
Depois que você estiver pronto, podemos sair.
After you be ready can leave.
Once you are ready, we can go out.


* tiver chegado is futuro II do conjuntivo. In English there is only an indicative form: I will have arrived.

Concessive conjunction requires the presente do conjuntivo and not the futuro do conjuntivo.

concessive conjunctions
Even if he is ill, he goes to work.
Even if he knew it, he wouldn't tell it us.


It's useful to see this difference. These conjunctions describes a hypothetical constellation and not uncertainty concerning the moment an event will occure. Conjunctions like ainda que, embora, mesmo que etc. requires the presente do conjuntivo or the imperfeito do conjuntivo.

Furthermore there is a difference to other roman languages. The meaning of ainda que is even if and although. Even if is a hypothetical constellattion, the event can happen, but even if it happens, it changes nothing. Although isn't a hypothetical situation. The event happens or happened, although that doesn't make or didn't make any difference. Although requires the indicative in Spanish, even if the subjunctive. This difference is not made in Portuguese. Between a hypothetical situation and a real situation Portuguese doesn't distinguish with the mood, but with a different conjunction: even if = ainda que <=> although = embora. Both require the conjuntivo.

presente / imperfeito do conjuntivo in relation to concessive conjunctions
Ainda que esteja cansado, continua a caminhar.
Even if he is tired he will continue.
Ainda que estivesse cansado, continuou caminhando.
Although he was tired, he continued.
Embora esteja chovendo vamos a praia.
Although it is raining, we go to the beach.
Embora ele quisesse ficar um pouco mais, thina que ir.
Although he wanted to stay, he had to leave.
Mesmo que as pessoas mudem , os amigos devem ser amigos para sempre.
Even if people change, friends should remain friends for ever.


Summary: It seems that Portuguese is the only language that has a special form for describing events that will happen, although it is unclear when they will happen. Analysing concrete statements, which can be found easily with google, we will see, that the system is instable. We can find easily examples where the presente do conjuntivo is used instead of the futuro do conjuntivo.

Those who speak Spanish will wonder as well about the fact that the presente do conjuntivo is used as well after although, in Portuguese embora, because the subordinate clause introduced by embora doesn't describe a hypothetical situation and therefore the indicative would be more "logical".

1) Even if he had money, he woudn't buy a car.
2) Although he had money, he didn't buy a car.

1) is a hypothetical situation, 2) is a fact. Even if and although are both concessive conjunction, in both cases the event of the subordinate clause doesn't prevent the event described in the main clause from happening. But in 1) it is hypothecial and the conjuntive justified. In 2) we have a fact, and the conjuntive is not really justified. However in both cases the conjuntive is used.

Brasilians and Portuguese don't see it like that. The question whether ainda que requires the conjuntivo made by a users is answered as follows.

Em Portugal, geralmente só se usa o conjuntivo com embora e ainda que. Assim, as frases que escreveu deverão ser construídas do seguinte modo:


(1)Embora tenha/ tivesse escurecido, decidi ir ao jardim.
(2) Ainda que tenha/ tivesse percebido que estava sozinha, entrei na escola.




No Brasil, segundo Evanil do Bechara, também se usa conjuntivo (subjuntivo) com as «concessivas de ainda que, embora, conquanto, posto que, se bem que, por muito que, por pouco que (e semelhantes), não havendo, entretanto, completo rigor a respeito» (Moderna Gramática Portuguesa, pág. 282).
After the conjunction embora and ainda que the conjuntivo is used in general in Portugal and in Brasil. Your sentenece should therefore be constructed like that.


(1) Embora tenha/ tivesse escurecido, decidi ir ao jardim.
(1) Although it was already dawning I decided to go to the garden.
(2) Ainda que tenha/ tivesse percebido que estava sozinha, entrei na escola.
(2) Although I realised that only she was there, I went into the school.


If we follow Evanildo Bechara after the concessive conjunction ainda que (even if), embora (although), con quanto (with whatever amount), posto que (supposed that), se bem que (although), por muito que (as much as), por pouco que (as little as) we use the subjunctive, although the use is staggering (Moderna Gramática Portuguesa, page 282)


The author of these lines assumes as well that the use is staggering and that we can find the indicative after embora, although, because the use of the conjuntive after although doesn't really fit with the system. The point is that there is a distinction to be made. The concessive conjunctions belong to two different groups. All concessive conjunction describe a situation where an event can be a hindrance for another event. However concessive conjunctions like even if describe a hypothetical situation, and concessive conjuntions like although a real situation. Only in the first case, in a hypothetical situation, the other roman languages construct with a subjunctive. In the second case, a real situation, the indicative is used. At least in the standard grammar in Portuguese however the subjunctive is used in both cases.





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