What is subjunctive? The present subjunctive is a mood in Spanish. It is used to express uncertainty, doubt, emotional reaction, or future actions. The subjunctive conjugation of a verb is usually used in the second part of a sentence. For example, I may say, I want you to study. You may or may not do it, so the word to study would be conjugated in the present subjunctive. The subjunctive is the opposite of the indicative mood, which has all of the tenses that you already know. The indicative is used to express what is completely true or false, what is clear, or what is concrete. This module is only an introduction to the concept of the subjunctive. Its uses are vast! Home
Setup Words querer (ie) = to want sugerir (ie) = to suggest recomendar (ie) = to recommend insistir en = to insist esperar = to hope ojalá que = hopefully / its hopeful These words, used in the first clause of a sentence, set up the use of the subjunctive in the second clause. What is said after these words may or may not happen, so the conjugation of the second verb is not the present tense as you know it.
Setup Words I may want you to do something, but you may not do it. I may suggest that you read the rest of this, but… Your parents might recommend that you wash the dishes right away, but you might not do it at all. A friend may insist that you go with him, but you might not want to go. You might hope that something happens, but it may not happen. Home
Helpful Links Colby This site is AWESOME! It even has sound. It has the present subjunctive and so many more topics for practice. Spaleon.com This site can also be used for other verb tenses. Bowdoin Look for subjuntivo. There are many other good exercises. Quia.com Quia.com Under subcategory, look for subjunctive or subjuntivo. Home
Subjunctive in Context To set up the subjunctive there are three things that must be in the sentence. 1.One of the setup words 2. The word que 3. A subject change
Subjunctive in Context Sugerimos que ellos duerman más. Setup word: we suggest que: that ellos: subject change duerman = they sleep This is the subjunctive conjugation. They may or may not do it, even though we suggest that they do it.
Subjunctive in Context Recomiendo que tú hagas la tarea. Setup word: I recommend que: that tú: subject change hagas = you do This is the subjunctive conjugation. You may or may not do it, even though I recommend that you do it.
Subjunctive in Context Ella quiere que yo viva en España. Setup word: she wants que: that yo: subject change viva = I live (subjunctive) I may or may not do it, even though she wants me to. Note: In English this would be, She wants me to live in Spain. In Spanish the infinitive is not used, even though it sounds like it should be.
Subjunctive in Context In the examples that you see on the next slide, remember that the subjunctive is used in the second half because it may or may not happen. If this sounds strange to you, its because we dont recognize the present subjunctive in our spoken English. Please also remember that the examples that use querer are going to sound different in their English translations than the others. Consider the following example. I want you to go to the store. Many students want to say:Te quiero ir a la tienda. The right translation is:Quiero que vayas a la tienda. The red example is not Spanish grammar, even though it sounds or looks like it should be. Use the subjunctive after querer with que and a subject change.
Subjunctive in Context Ojalá que entiendas bien esta lección. (Hopefully you understand this lesson.) Insistimos en que vosotros regreséis a tiempo. (We insist that you all come back on time.) Mi madre quiere que pongamos la mesa. (My want wants us to set the table.) ¿Sugieres que yo se lo dé a ellos? (Do you suggest that I give it to them?) ¿Esperáis que los Brown ganen el Super Bowl? (Do you guys hope that the Browns win the Super Bowl?) Home
Forming the Subjunctive Verb Formation Menu The Basics Stem Changing Verbs Irregular Verbs Spelling Changes Home
Forming the Subjunctive In order to conjugate a verb in the present subjunctive, you have to know well the conjugations of the present indicative (the present tense that you already know). First:Use the yo form of the verb in the present tense. hablocomovivo Next:Drop the o habl_com_viv_ Last:Add an opposite ending. This means for -ar verbs, use -er endings, and for -er/-ir verbs, use -ar endings. hablecomaviva
Forming the Subjunctive It doesnt really mater what the yo form of the present is. If there is a stem change or other spelling change in it, the change will be seen in the subjunctive. Consider the following. Present Indicative me acuesto digo me divierto duermo entiendo pongo prefiero río vengo Present Subjunctive me acueste diga me divierta duerma entienda ponga prefiera ría venga Infinitive acostarse (ue) decir divertirse (ie) dormir (ue) entender (ie) poner preferir (ie) reírse (i) venir Verb Menu
Forming the Subjunctive -ar and -er stem changing verbs still have no stem change for nosotros and vosotros in the present subjunctive. However, certain -ir verbs do. Note the following. acostarse (ue) me acueste te acuestes se acueste nos acostemos os acostéis se acuesten preferir (ie / i) prefiera prefieras prefiera prefirimos prefiráis prefieran poder (ue) pueda puedas pueda podamos podáis puedan
Forming the Subjunctive A note about -ir verbs Stem changing verbs ending in -ir have multiple stem changes. They are the only verbs that have stem changes in the preterit and present participle. Whenever you see two choices after an infinitive the first is for the present indicative and four conjugations of the subjunctive. The second is for the nosotros / vosotros form of the subjunctive, the preterit, and the present participle. See the following examples. present indicative me diviertonos divertimos te diviertesos divertís se diviertese divierten preterit me divertínos divertimos te divertisteos divertisteis se divirtióse divirtieron present subjunctive me diviertanos divirtamos te diviertasos divirtáis se diviertase divierten present participle divirtiendo divertirse (ie / i)
Forming the Subjunctive Here are some other -ir stem changing verbs that have changes in the present indicative, present subjunctive, preterit, and present participle. dormir (ue / u) = to sleep medir (i / i) = to measure mentir (ie / i) = to lie morir (ue / u) = to die pedir (i / i) = to aks for preferir (ie / i) = to prefer reírse (i / i) = to laugh servir (i / i) = to serve vestirse (i / i) = to get dressed Verb Menu
Forming the Subjunctive Spelling Changes for Pronunciation Words ending with -gar / -car / -zar will have spelling changes in the present subjunctive in order to maintain pronunciation. For example, what is the subjunctive of pagar? If you follow the earlier steps, you would say page. The problem with that is that the hard G sound is lost. The word should sound like PA-gay. The combination of ge makes it PA-hey. A similar problem arises with -car verbs. ce sound like say, but the sound should be kay.
Forming the Subjunctive Spelling Changes for Pronunciation To solve this problem verbs that end with -gar have gue in their endings. You may remember a similar change in the first conjugation of the preterit. However, in the subjunctive the spelling change is throughout all of the conjugations. pagar pague paguemos pagues paguéis pague paguen
Forming the Subjunctive Spelling Changes for Pronunciation To solve this problem with -car verbs que is in their endings. Again, you may remember a similar change in the first conjugation of the preterit. However, in the subjunctive the spelling change is throughout all of the conjugations. clasificar clasifiqueclasifiquemos clasifiquesclasifiquéis clasifiqueclasifiquen
Forming the Subjunctive Spelling Changes for Pronunciation The problem with -zar verbs is that the letters ze are never combined in Spanish. Whenever that happens, the z changes to c. bostezar bostece bostecemos bosteces bostecéis bostece bostecen Verb Menu
Forming the Subjunctive The following verbs are irregular in the subjunctive. Only the yo form of the subjunctive is shown, but the other conjugations will follow the same pattern as the regular verbs. Present Indicative doy estoy he voy sé soy Present Subjunctive dé esté haya vaya sepa sea Infinitive dar estar haber ir saber ser Verb Menu
Things to Keep in Mind If there is no subject change, then there is no subjunctive. I want to go with you. Quiero ir contigo. I want you to go with me.Quiero que vayas conmigo. The second example uses the subjunctive because there is a subject change. I can, I should, I need to, I have to, I want to, Im going to, etc. All of these are followed by an infinitive in Spanish if there is no subject change. Dont over think this. You knew how to do this in Spanish I.
Things to Keep in Mind If there is no subject change, then there is no subjunctive. Using a phrase with hope in it can be tricky. Ellos esperan que tú hagas bien.They hope that you do well. (subjunctive) Ellos esperan que yo haga bien.They hope that I do well. (subjunctive) How would you say, They hope that they do well.? Theres no subject change, right? Could the same sentence be said in English, They hope to do well.? They hope that they do well. = Ellos esperan hacer bien. (infinitive)
Things to Keep in Mind There is no future subjunctive. Again, using esperar (to hope) or ojalá (hopefully) can be tricky. Ella espera que vengan. She hopes that they (will) come. (subjunctive) Ojalá que él aprenda. Hopefully he (will) learn. (subjunctive) Even though in English we would use the future tense, it isnt used in these cases in Spanish. You can see that the two sentences above have two possible translations. Basically, if everything else tells you that you should use the subjunctive (setup verb / que / subject change) you should use it. But dont forget... We hope that well be able to go.Esperamos poder ir. (infinitive) If there is no subject change, dont use the subjunctive.
Things to Keep in Mind Be careful with querer. As mentioned on previous slides, when a subjunctive sentence that uses querer is translated into English, the subjunctive verb is an infinitive. This confuses many students. In fact, its probably the #1 mistake that students make with the subjunctive. Note the following. Quiero que ellos estudien más.I want them to study more. Queremos que los niños se acuesten ahora.We want the kids to go to bed now. ¿Queréis que yo os lo dé?Do you guys want me to give it to you? Sus padres quieren que ella saque la basura.Her parents want her to take out the trash. Mi mamá quiere que sepamos la verdad.My mom wants us to know the truth. Él quiere que tú seas simpático.He wants you to be nice. Ellos no quieren que ella vaya.They dont want her to go. Mi papá quiere que yo ponga la mesa.My dad wants me to set the table.
Things to Keep in Mind Be careful with querer. It may help to think that youre saying, I want that they study. or We want that the kids go to bed. It sounds a little funny, but it may keep you from using the infinitive when the subjunctive should be used. The examples below are WRONG. Im showing them to you so that you can see how, to many, it makes sense to write sentences this way. Los quiero estuiar.(I want them to study.) Queremos los niños asostrarse.(We want the kids to go to bed.) ¿Me queréis dároslo?(Do you guys want me to give it to you? These sentences are right:Quiero que ellos estudien. Queremos que los niños se acuesten. ¿Queréis que yo os lo dé?
Things to Keep in Mind Be careful with querer. Its not always wrong to use an infinitive after querer. Remember: If there is no subject change, there is no subjunctive. I want to call them.Quiero llamarlos. She wants to come.Ella quiere venir. They want to have fun.Ellos quieren divertirse. We want to laugh.Queremos reírnos Home