When to Use the Subjunctive Subjunctive is used when the situation is not factual, but rather when the action is subjective or hypothetical. In Spanish, the speaker simply needs to recognize when the action is real and objective (He brings me the towel) and when it is subjective (I hope that he brings me the towel) to know which endings to use.
When to Use Subjunctive If the answer to the following two questions is yes, the subjunctive mood should be used:1. Is there a possibility that this action has not occurred or is not now occurring?2. Is the action or event contained in a dependent clause?
When to Use Subjunctive In Spanish, just as in English, there are 3 grammatical moods:1. The Imperative (Commands)2. The Indicative (Describes real or objective actions or events)3. The Subjunctive (Describes subjective or hypothetical actions or events)
When to Use Subjunctive In English, very few structural changes are employed to signify a change in mood. In Spanish, mood changes necessitate different verb endings. Correctly using the subjunctive is one of the most non-intuitive aspects of Spanish for English-speaking students.
When to Use Subjuctive WEIRDO W – wishes, hopes, and desires E – emotions I – impersonal expressions R – requests D – doubts O – opinions
Wishes, Hopes, and Desires When the verb in the independent clause is a verb such as desear (to wish), querer (to want), esperar (to hope), or preferir (to prefer), the dependent clause uses the subjunctive. Example: I prefer that you not watch that show. Prefiero que no veas ese programa.
Emotions When verbs such as alegrarse (to be happy), sorprenderse (to surprise), sentir (to regret), or temer (to fear), are used in the independent clause, the subjunctive is used in the dependent clause. Example: I am afraid that he won’t return on time. Temo que no vuelva a tiempo.
Impersonal Expressions Use subjunctive after the following conjunctions, if doubt or anticipation is implied: A menos que – unless A pesar de que – in spite of Antes de que – before Aunque - although
Impersonal Expressions Después de que – after En caso de que – in case En cuanto – as soon as Hasta que – until Para que – so that
Requests When using verbs such as aconsejar (to advise), pedir (to ask for), or recomendar (to recommend) in the independent clause, use the subjunctive in the dependent clause. Example: They advised me to leave. Me aconsejaron que saliera.
Doubts When doubt is expressed by verbs in the independent clause such as dudar (to doubt), no creer (to disbelieve), or negar (to deny), then use the subjunctive in the dependent clause. Example: They don’t believe I know. No creen que sepa. Example: We deny that it is the truth. Negamos que sea la verdad.
Opinion Use subjunctive in the dependent clause after the following expressions, provided that doubt, uncertainty, or emotion is suggested or implied: Quizás, acaso, tal vez – perhaps Es bueno – It is good Es difícil – It is hard
Opinion Es dudoso – It is doubtful Es importante – It is important Es imposible – It is impossible Es incierto – It is uncertain Es malo – It is bad Es mejor – It is better Es necesario – It is necessary Es posible – It is possible
Opinion Es una lástima – It is a pity Example: Perhaps she is visiting this fall. Quizás visite este otoño. Example: It is good that she knows. Es bueno que ella sepa.
Present Subjunctive While the present indicative mood is used to describe an actual situation, the present subjunctive mood expresses uncertainty, feelings, desires, and hypothetical situations. To form the present subjunctive, drop the –o from the first person singular form of the present indicative and add the subjunctive endings.
Present Subjunctive In the subjunctive, -ar verbs take –e and –er/-ir verbs take –a. -ar endings: -e, -es, -e, -emos, -en -er/-ir endings: -a, -as, -a, -amos, -an Example: I will go to the movies when I have money. Iré al cine cuando tenga dinero.
Irregulars There are only 6 irregular verbs total in the subjunctive tense. Dar – to give Dé Demos Des Dé Den
Irregulars Estar – to be (temporary) Esté Estemos Estés Esté Estén Haber – to have (auxiliary) Haya Hayamos Hayas Haya Hayan
Irregulars Ir – to go Vaya Vayamos Vayas Vaya Vayan Saber – to know (facts/information) Sepa Sepamos Sepas Sepa Sepan
Irregulars Ser – to be (permanent) Sea Seamos Seas Sea Sean
Imperfect Subjunctive The imperfect or past subjunctive is used in situations where the verb in the independent clause is in the past or conditional tense. This tense is used to express something that might have been or would have been.
Imperfect Subjunctive The imperfect subjunctive tense is formed by:1. Taking the verb’s third person plural (ellos) form of the preterite tense (-ar verb ending is –aron and –er/-ir verb ending is –ieron),2. Dropping the –ron from the end, and3. Adding the endings on the next slide.
Imperfect Subjunctive The following are the endings for all –ar, -er, and –ir verbs: -ra, -ras, -ra, -ramos, -ran Example: I doubted that he killed the cat. Dudaba que matara el gato.
Imperfect Subjunctive There are no irregularities in the imperfect subjunctive tense because any irregularities in conjugation will already be reflected in the third person plural preterite form. The imperfect subjunctive expresses the same set of situations as the present subjunctive (WEIRDO) in the past.
Present Perfect Subjunctive The present perfect subjunctive is used to express the English term “may have”. It is formed by having the subjunctive conjugation of the verb Haber (to have – auxiliary) together with the past participle.
Present Perfect Subjunctive Haber – to have (auxiliary) Haya Hayamos Hayas Haya Hayan
Present Perfect Subjunctive Example: We may have thought that we used to know all the answers. Hayamos pensado que sabíamos todas las contestas.
Pluperfect Subjunctive The pluperfect (or past perfect) subjunctive is used to express the English “might have”. It is formed by having the imperfect subjunctive conjugation of Haber (to have – auxiliary) together with the past participle.
Pluperfect Subjunctive Haber – to have (auxiliary) Hubiera Hubiéramos Hubieras Hubiera Hubieran
Pluperfect Subjunctive Example: It might have rained if the wind changed direction. Hubiera llovido si el viento cambiaría dirección.