Subjunctive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Subjunctive

Subjunctive 1

The subjunctive is not a tense; rather, it is a mood. Tense refers to when an action takes place (Past, Present, Future), while mood merely reflects how the speaker feels about the action. 

Note: The difference between "indicative" and "subjunctive" is the difference between certainty/objectivity (indicative) and possibility/subjectivity (subjunctive).

Indicative:

Paola va a la escuela - Paola goes to school
(This sentence merely states the certain, objective fact that Paola goes to the school.)

Yo sé que Paola va a la escuela - I know that Paola goes to school.
(The clause “I know” tells us that the speaker feels that it is a certain, objective fact that Paola goes to the school.)

No hay duda de que Paola va a la escuela - There is no doubt that Paola goes to school.
(The clause “there is no doubt” tells us that the speaker feels that it is a certain, objective fact that Paola goes to the school.)

Subjunctive:

Yo quiero que Paola vaya a la escuela - I want Paola to go to school.
(The clause “I want” tells us that the speaker feels that there is uncertainty as to whether Paola goes to the school.)

Yo espero que Paola vaya a la escuela - I hope that Paola goes to school
(The clause “I hope” tells us that the speaker feels that there is uncertainty as to whether Paola goes to the school.)

Es possible que Paola vaya a la escuela - It is possible that Paola will go to school.
(The clause “it is possible” tells us that the speaker feels that there is uncertainty as to whether Paola goes to the school.)

Es bueno que Paola vaya a la escuela - It’s good that Paola goes to school
(The clause “it’s good” alerts us that the speaker is about to express a subjective opinion.)

Es importante que Paola vaya a la escuela - It’s important that Paola goes to school.
(The clause “it’s important” alerts us that the speaker is about to express a subjective opinion.)

Note: Because there must be some uncertainty or subjectivity to warrant the use of the subjunctive, you will usually see it in sentences that contain a main clause which introduces a quality of uncertainty or subjectivity.

Yo espero  - I hope...she will come.
I hope = main clause

Yo sé - I know ...she will come.
I know = main clause

Yo siento  - I feel... she will come.
I feel = main clause.

The following is a list of clauses commonly associated with the use of the subjunctive:

a menos que - unless 
antes (de) que - before…
con tal (de) que - provided that 
cuando - when…
conviene que - it is advisable that
después (de) que - after 
dudar que - to doubt that 
en caso de que - in case 
en cuanto - as soon as 
es aconsejable que - it’s advisable that 
es bueno que - it’s good that 
es difícil que - it’s unlikely that 
es dudoso que - it is doubtful that 
es fácil que - it’s likely that 
es fantástico que - it’s fantastic that 
es importante que - it’s important that 
es imposible que - it’s impossible that 
es improbable que - it’s unlikely that 
es incierto que - it’s uncertain that 
es increíble que - it’s incredible that 
es (una) lástima que - it’s a pity that 
es malo que - it’s bad that 
es mejor que - it’s better that 
es menester que - it’s necessary that 
es necesario que - it’s necessary that 
esperar que - to wish that 
es posible que - it’s possible that 
es preciso que - it’s necessary that 
es preferible que - it’s preferable that 
es probable que -  it’s probable that 
es raro que - it’s rare that 
es ridículo que - it’s ridiculous that 
estar contento que - to be happy that 
es terrible que - it’s terrible that 
hasta que - until 
insistir en que - to insist that 
mandar que - to order that 
más vale que - it’s better that 
mientras que - while 
negar que - to deny that 
no creer que - not to believe that 
no es cierto que - it’s not certain that 
no estar convencido de que - to not be convinced that 
no estar seguro de que - to not be sure that 
no es verdad que - it’s not true that
no imaginarse que to not imagine that 
no parecer que - to not seem that 
no pensar que - to not think that 
no suponer que to not suppose that 
ojalá que - if only he would
 

para que - in order that
pedir que - to ask that 
preferir que - to prefer that 
prohibir que - to prohibit that 
puede ser que - it may be that 
querer que - to want that 
recomendar que - to recommend that 
rogar que - to plead that 
sentir que - to regret that 
sin que - without 
sugerir que - to suggest that 
tan pronto como - as soon as 
temer que - to fear that
tener miedo de que - to be afraid that
 


Expressions with which the subjunctive is "not" used

creer que - to believe that 
no dudar que - to not doubt that 
es cierto que - it is certain that 
es claro que - it is clear that 
es evidente que - it is certain that
es obvio que - it is obvious that 
estar seguro que - to be sure that 
es verdad que - it is true that
no cabe duda que - there’s no doubt that 
no es dudoso que - it is not doubtful that 
no hay duda que - there is no doubt that
 

 

Subjunctive 2

In this lesson you will begin to learn how to conjugate verbs in the Present subjunctive.

 For most verbs, the Present subjunctive is formed by following these three steps:

  1. Start with the yo form of the Present indicative.
  2. Then drop the - o ending.
  3. Finally, add the following endings:

 



Subject-hablar (to speak) / comer (to eat) / vivir (to live)

Yo (I)-habl+e / com+a / viv+a

Tú (You)(informal)-habl+es / com+as / viv+as

Usted (You)(formal)-habl+e / com+a / viv+a

Él/Ella(He/She)-habl+e / com+a / viv+a

Nosotros(as)(We)-habl+emos / com+amos / viv+amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(informal)-habl+éis / com+áis / viv+áis

Ustedes(You)(formal)-habl+en / com+an / viv+an

Ellos(as)(they)-habl+en / com+an / viv+an


Note: The formula also works for verbs that have irregular “yo” forms in the Present indicative. 

conocer (yo conozco)
conozco – o = conozc

tener (yo tengo)
tengo – o = teng

salir (yo salgo)
salgo – o = salg

 

SubjectConocer (to know) / Tener (to have) / Salir (to get out)

Yo (I)-conozc +a / teng +a / salg +a

Tú (You)(Informal)-conozc +as / teng +as / salg +as

Usted (You)(Formal)-conozc +a / teng +a / salg +a

Él/Ella(He/She)-conozc +a / teng +a / salg +a

Nosotros(as)(We)-conozc +amos / teng +amos / salg +amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-conozc +áis / teng +áis / salg +áis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-conozc +an / teng +an / salg +an

Ellos(as)(They)-conozc + an / teng +en / salg +en

 

Note: For "- ar" and "- er" stem-changing verbs, the formula applies except that there is no stem change in the "nosotros" and "vosotros" forms. 

pensar (yo pienso)
pienso – o = piens

perder (yo pierdo)
pierdo – o = pierd

 

Subject-pensar (to think) / perder (to lose)

Yo (I)-piens +e / pierd+a

Tú (You)(Informal)-piens +es / pierd+as

Usted (You)(Formal)-piens +e / pierd+a

Él/Ella(He/She)-piens +e / pierd+a

Nosotros(as)(We)-pens +emos / perd+amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-pens +éis / perd+áis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-piens +en / pierd+an

Ellos(as)(They)-piens +en / pierd+an

 

contar (yo cuento)
cuento – o = cuent

volver (yo vuelvo)
vuelvo – o = vuelv


Subject-Contar(to count) / Volver (to return)

Yo (I)-cuent +e / vuelv +a

Tú (You)(Informal)-cuent +es / vuelv +as

Usted (You)(Formal)-cuent +e / vuelv +a

Él/Ella(He/She)-cuent +e / vuelv+a

Nosotros(as)(We)-cont +emos / volv +amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-cont +éis / volv +áis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-cuent +en / vuelv +an

Ellos(as)(They)-cuent +en / vuelv +an

 

Note: For "-ir" stem-changing verbs, the formula applies except that the stem change in the "nosotros" and "vosotros" forms follows these patterns: "o:ue" verbs change "o" to "u"; "e:ie" verbs change "e" to "i"; "e:i" verbs change "e" to "i"

dormir (yo duermo)
duermo – o = duerm

sentir (yo siento)
siento – o = sient

pedir (yo pido)
pido – o = pid


Subject-Dormir (to sleep) / Sentir (to feel) / Pedir (to ask)

Yo (I)-duerm +a / sient +a / pid +a

Tú (You)(Informal)-duerm +as / sient +as / pid +as

Usted (You)(Formal)-duerm +a / sient +a / pid +a

Él/Ella(He/She)-duerm +a / sient +a / pid +a

Nosotros(as)(We)-durm +amos / sint +amos / pid +amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-durm +áis / sint +áis / pid +áis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-duerm +an / sient +an / pid +an

Ellos(as)(They)-duerm +en / sient +en / pid +en

 

 

 

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Subjunctive 3

Note: For verbs that end in "-zar", the "z" changes to "c" when it comes before the letter "e"

empezar (e:ie) (to start)

Subject Empezar (to start)

Yo (I) - empiece

Tú (You)(Informal) empieces

Usted (You)(Formal) - empiece

Él/Ella(He/She) - empiece

Nosotros(as)(We) - empecemos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal) - empecéis

Ustedes(You)(Formal) - empiecen

Ellos(as)(They) - empiecen


Note: For verbs that end in "-ger" or "-gir", the "g" changes to "j" when it comes before the letter "a".

escoger (to choose)

Subject Escoger (to choose)

Yo (I) escoja

Tú (You)(Informal) escojas

Usted (You)(Formal) escoja

Él/Ella(He/She) escoja

Nosotros(as)(We) escojamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal) escojáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal )escojan

Ellos(as)(They)  escojan

 

elegir (e:i) (to choose)

Subject-Eligir ( to choose)

Yo (I)-elija

Tú (You)(Informal)-elijas

Usted (You)(Formal)-elija

Él/Ella(He/She)-elija

Nosotros(as)(We)-elijamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-elijáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-elijan

Ellos(as)(They)-elijan


Note: 
For verbs that end in "-guir", the "gu" changes to "g" when it comes before the letter "a".

seguir (e:i) (to follow)

Subject-Seguir (to follow)

Yo (I)-siga

Tú (You)(Informal)-sigas

Usted (You)(Formal)-siga

Él/Ella(He/She)-siga

Nosotros(as)(We)-sigamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-sigáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-sigan

Ellos(as)(They)-sigan



Note:
 For verbs that end in "-car", the "c" changes to "qu" when it comes before the letter "e".

buscar (to search)

Subject-Buscar (to search)

Yo (I)-busque

Tú (You)(Informal)-busques

Usted (You)(Formal)-busque

Él/Ella(He/She)-busque

Nosotros(as)(We)-busquemos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-busquéis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-busquen

Ellos(as)(They)-busquen


Note:
 For verbs that end in "-gar", the "g" changes to "gu" when it comes before the letter "e".

pagar (to pay)

Subject-Pagar (to pay)

Yo (I)-pague

Tú (You)(Informal)-pagues

Usted (You)(Formal)-pague

Él/Ella(He/She)-pague

Nosotros(as)(We)-paguemos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-paguéis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-paguen

Ellos(as)(They)-paguen


Note:
 For verbs that end in "uir", add the letter "y" before the letter "a".

huir (to run away)

Subject-Huir (to run away)

Yo (I)-huya

Tú (You)(Informal)-huyas

Usted (You)(Formal)-huya

Él/Ella(He/She)-huya

Nosotros(as)(We)-huyamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-huyáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-huyan

Ellos(as)(They)-huyan

 

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Subjunctive 4

Here are the six verbs that are irregular in the Present subjunctive:

dar – to give

Subject-Dar (to give)

Yo (I)-

Tú (You)(Informal)-des

Usted (You)(Formal)-

Él/Ella(He/She)-

Nosotros(as)(We)-demos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-deis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-den

Ellos(as)(They)-den

 

estar – to be

Subject-Estar (to be)

Yo (I)-esté

Tú (You)(Informal)-estés

Usted (You)(Formal)-esté

Él/Ella(He/She)-esté

Nosotros(as)(We)-estemos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estéis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estén

Ellos(as)(They)-estén



haber – to have (auxiliary verb)

Subject-Haber (to have)

Yo (I)-haya

Tú (You)(Informal)-hayas

Usted (You)(Formal)-haya

Él/Ella(He/She)-haya

Nosotros(We)-hayamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-hayáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-hayan

Ellos(as)(They)-hayan



ir – to go

Subject-Ir (to go)

Yo (I)-vaya

Tú (You)(Informal)-vayas

Usted (You)(Formal)-vaya

Él/Ella(He/She)-vaya

Nosotros(as)(We)-vayamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-vayáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-vayan

Ellos(as)(They)-vayan



saber – to know

Subject-Saber(to know)

Yo (I)-sepa

Tú (You)(Informal)-sepas

Usted (You)(Formal)-sepa

Él/Ella(He/She)-sepa

Nosotros(as)(We)-sepamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-sepáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-sepan

Ellos(as)(They)-sepan




ser – to be

Subject-Ser(to be)

Yo (I)-sea

Tú (You)(Informal)-seas

Usted (You)(Formal)-sea

Él/Ella(He/She)-sea

Nosotros(as)(We)-seamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-seáis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-sean

Ellos(as)(They)-sean

 

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Subjunctive 5

List of common expressions that introduce an aspect of desire to the sentence, and therefore trigger the use of the subjunctive.

esperar que - to wish that 

insistir en que - to insist that 

mandar que - to order that 

preferir que - to prefer that 

prohibir que - to prohibit that 

querer que - to want that 

es aconsejable que - it’s advisable that …

es necesario que - it’s necessary that 

pedir que - to ask that 

recomendar que - to recommend that 

rogar que - to plead that 

sugerir que - to suggest that 

 

List of expressions that trigger the use of the indicative mood, since they introduce a quality of certainty or objectivity.

creer que - to believe that 

no dudar que - to not doubt that 

estar seguro que - to be sure that 

no es dudoso que - it is not doubtful that 

no hay duda que - there is no doubt that 

 

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Subjunctive 6

Here is a list of common expressions that introduce an aspect of ignorance or doubt to the sentence, and therefore trigger the use of the subjunctive.

dudar que - to doubt that 

es dudoso que - it is doubtful that 

es improbable que - it’s unlikely that 

es incierto que - it’s uncertain that 

es posible que - it’s possible that 

no creer que - not to believe that 

no es cierto que - it’s not certain that 

no estar convencido de que - to not be convinced that 

no estar seguro de que - to not be sure that 

no parecer que - to not seem that 

no pensar que - to not think that 

no suponer que - to not suppose that 

puede ser que - it may be that 

negar que - to deny that 

no es verdad que - it’s not true that 

no es cierto que - it’s not certain that 

no imaginarse que - to not imagine that 

temer que - to suspect that 

 

There are also expressions that trigger the use of the indicative mood, since they introduce a quality of certainty.

no dudo que - to not doubt that 

estar seguro de que - to be certain that 

creer que - to think that 

no negar que - to not deny that 

es verdad que - it’s true that 

 

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Subjunctive 7

Here is a list of common impersonal expressions that introduce an aspect of uncertainty or subjectivity, and therefore trigger the use of the subjunctive.

conviene que - it is advisable that 

es aconsejable que - it is advisable that 

es bueno que - it’s good that 

es difícil que - it’s unlikely that 

es dudoso que - it’s doubtful that 

es fácil que - it’s likely that 

es fantástico que - it’s fantastic that 

es importante que - it’s important that 

es imposible que - it’s impossible that 

es improbable que - it’s unlikely that 

es incierto que - it’s uncertain that 

es increíble que - it’s incredible that 

es (una) lástima que - it’s a shame that 

es malo que - it’s bad that 

es mejor que - it’s better that 

es menester que - it’s necessary that 

es necesario que - it’s necessary that 

es posible que - it’s possible that 

es preciso que - it’s necessary that 

es preferible que - it’s preferable that 

es probable que - it’s likely that 

es raro que - it’s rare that 

es ridículo que - it’s ridiculous that 

es terrible que - it’s terrible that 

más vale que - it’s better that 

ojalá que - if only he would 

puede ser que - it could be that 

 

There are also impersonal expressions that trigger the use of the indicative mood, since they introduce a quality of certainty or objectivity.

es evidente que - it is certain that 

es obvio que - it is obvious that 

es verdad que - it’s true that 

no es dudoso que - it is not doubtful that 

no hay duda que - there is no doubt that 

 

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Subjunctive 8

Here is a list of common expressions that may indicate that the action that follows has not yet been completed.

a menos que - unless 

antes (de) que - before 

con tal (de) que - provided that 

en caso de que - in case 

para que - so that 

sin que - without 

 

The following expressions only invoke the subjunctive when they indicate that the action that follows has not yet been completed.

después de que - after

en cuanto - as soon as

hasta que - until

mientras que - while

tan pronto como - as soon as

 

Remember, there are also expressions that trigger the use of the indicative mood, since they introduce a quality of certainty or objectivity.

es cierto que - it is certain that 

es claro que - it is clear that 

es evidente que - it is certain that 

es obvio que - it is obvious that 

es verdad que - it is true that 


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