19.11.2 a medida que to the extent that

A medida que belongs to the groupe of conjunctions that requires, depending on the context, the conjuntivo or the indicativo. If the subordinate clause describes an event / action whose intensity increases with the duration or intensity of the event / action described in the main clause we use the conjuntivo: To the extent he is able to help, he will help. However if this relationship is regular, if it is a law, "To the extent that investment flows are misallocated, pauverty incrases", or if an event / action in the passed is referred, the indicativo is to be used.

[Remark: There is no "official", explanation from a professional linguist, that explains why after a medida que sometimes the indicativo and sometimes the conjuntivo is to be used. However we can deduce from the general use that the general rules apply. In case of uncertainty or personal evaluation, we use the conjuntive. ]

1) general assertion
To the extent that the savings rate increases, the interest rate decreases.
=> general assertion: The other variable being equal, the interest rates will fall if people save more.
2) Boths actions / events happened in the past
To the extent that the current account surplus increased, the export of capital increased as well.
=> Accomplished action in accomplished past. (Beside that it is a rule.)
3) The event will happen in the future
To the extent that poverty increase, social conflicts will get sharper.
=> The event, the increase of poverty, will happen in the future.

In case 1) and 2) we would use the indicativo in Portuguese, in case 3) the conjuntivo. In 1) we have a description of a general relationship that at least the speaker takes for granted. In Portuguese we would have the indicative in the main clause an in the subordinate clause. In 2) there is no uncertainty either, because if something happened in the past, it happened, there is no doubt about that. (We abstract from indirect speech and the sequence of tenses see chapter 11.) In 3) we have an event that eventually is going to happen in an insecure future. In this case we would use the presente do indicativo / do conjuntivo in the main clause and the presente do conjuntivo or the futuro do conjuntivo in the subordinate clause. Furthermore the indicativo is used, if the speaker takes something for granted.

a medida que with conjuntivo
A medida que sejam permitidos mais andares, sejam exigidos maiores afastamentos.
The more floors are allowed, the bigger must be the distances.
A produção vai aumentar a medida que a demanda for* crescendo.
Production increases to the extent that the demand increases.

* futuro do conjuntivo of the verb ir, not ser. The construction n ir + gerundio can describe an increase of intensity, see 18.1.3.

a medida que with indicativo
As oportunidades multiplicam-se à medida que são agarradas.
The more opportunities are pursued, the more opportunities there are.
A segurança oferecida por esta tecnologia cresce à medida que se conhecem as suas vantagens.
The security provided by this technology increases the more its advantages are recognized.

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