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Subjunctive tense

Subjunctive tense

The Spanish subjunctive tense sends chills down the spine of every language student. But do not fear because in today's blog we hope to make it simple!

When to use the present subjunctive tense:

- Perhaps the best way to remember the subjunctive tense is to think of it as a mood. You use it when you are expressing uncertainty, doubt, denial, desire, commands, reaction or hope.

So we hope that you find this blog useful, and if you are uncertain or have any doubts about the subjunctive tense, re visit this article! Because it is our desire that you become great Spanish speakers! See what we did there.

- The subjunctive verb is used in a clause that starts with the relative pronoun que (meaning 'which' 'that' or 'who')

Let's look at the below examples:

Espero que Juan coma. (I hope that Juan is eating.)

As opposed to the indicative:

Juan come (Juan eats)

The second sentence is in the indicative and Juan's eating is stated as a fact. Whereas in the first sentence, Juan's eating is in the context of what the speaker hopes for. 


How to conjugate verbs for the present subjunctive tense

In the above examples, you may also notice the difference in conjugation of the verb 'comer' ('to eat').This is because for most verbs, the present subjunctive tense is formed by using 3 golden steps.

1. Take the 'yo' form of the present indicative.

2. Drop the -o ending.

3. add the following endings:

- regular 'ar' verbs:
-e. -es, -e, -emos, -éis, -en.

- regular 'er' and 'ir' verbs:
-a, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an.

-Ar verb 'hablar' (to speak)

Yo hablo
(hablo → habl + subjunctive ending)

habl + e = hable
habl + es = hables
habl + e = hable
habl + emos = hablemos
habl + éis = habléis
habl + en = hablen

 -Er verb 'tener' (to have)

Yo tengo
(tengo → teng + subjunctive ending)

teng + a = tenga
teng + as = tengas
teng + a = tenga
teng + amos = tengamos
teng+ áis = tengáis
teng + an = tengan

-Ir verb 'vivir' (to live)

Yo vivo
(vivo → viv + subjunctive ending)

viv + a = viva
viv + as = vivas
viv + a = viva
viv + amos = vivamos
viv+ áis = viváis
viv + an = vivan

That's all for today, if you would like further help with any of your Spanish grammar please sign up here for our language pack.



Verbs in Spanish
Preguntar and Pedir (to ask)