In Spanish were learning about the subjunctive How would you conjugate the verb in parentheses El padre le dijo al hijo que callarse

In Spanish, we’re learning about the subjunctive. How would you conjugate the verb in parentheses “El padre le dijo al hijo que _______ (callarse)”?

El padre le dijo al hijo que se callara/callase.
Both options are correct and used by native speakers.
I used the imperfective subjunctive, but why? Because the first verb is conjugated in pretérito perfecto simple (simple past).
If the verb had been in present or future, you would’ve used the present subjunctive “se calle”.

Que se calle.
It makes sense once you realize there’s an intimate relation between subjunctive and imperative: The negative for an order is always in the subjunctive, and when quoting an order somebody gave, you use the subjunctive (as in this case) rather than repeating verbatim the imperative conjugation.

Updated: 08.07.2019 — 8:28 pm

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