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Table of contents Chapter 20 20.5 Both is possible

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Chapter 20: Modal verbs (Auxiliaries)

  20.5 deber and tener que is possible

There are more cases in which both is possible. When we have a look at the beginning and the first sentences once more (just before it gets too pedantic ;-))

  Example

(1) Has somebody fainted, he has to be helped.
= Si alguien se desmayó, se le tiene que ayudar.
(2) Has somebody fainted, he should be helped.
= Si alguien se desmayó, se debe ayudarle.

The question is who says so?

  There are two interpretations possible for (1) => the higher institution says so

a) According to the law everybody who faints has to be helped, because otherwise it is a relevant case for failing to render assistance in an emergency and can be prosecuted.
= Según el código penal se tiene que (hay que) ayudar a una persona que se desmayó, si no es omisión de socorro.
b) But also from the moral point of view he has to be helped, clearly.
= Desde el punto de vista moral está claro, que se tiene que ayudar a una persona que se desmayó.


  In case (2) the answer could be

My uncle says that a person should be helped if he faints
= Mi tío dice, que se debe ayudar a una persona que se desmayó.

We can here see clearly the three different options:
1) no freedom of choice => the law says so
2) hardly any freedom of choice => moral obligation
3) there is freedom of choice => somebody demands something

The Spanish follows exactly this logic. The differences between the two possibilities are quite small and usually are hardly noticed.

  Example

Es por eso que la educación no debe ser tan sólo una prioridad nacional.
¡Ella debe ser la verdadera obsesión nacional!

= Therefore the education should not only be a national priority.
It should be the real national obsession!
Es por eso que la educación no tiene que ser tan sólo una prioridad nacional.
¡Ella tiene que ser la verdadera obsesión nacional!

= Therefore the education not only has to be the national priority.
It has to be the national obsession!


  Example

El horario tiene que ser flexible y realista,
esto significa que no tiene que ser tan duro que sea imposible de cumplir.

= The schedule has to be flexible and realistic,
that means that it must not be so hard that it would be impossible to accomplish.
.
El horario debe ser flexible y realista,
esto significa que no tiene que ser tan duro que sea imposible de cumplir.
= The schedule should be flexible and realistic,
that means that it must not be so hard that it would be impossible to accomplish..


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