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The Subjunctive

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Infographics of The Subjunctive

Definition of Subjective

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The subjunctive is a grammar structure in Spanish which is used to talk about uncertain affirmations or wishes. It can also be used to talk about possible, probable or unreal future actions. It means that the subjunctive is not used for real situations or facts. 

It is very important to know that the verbs should be conjugated when using the subjunctive in Spanish. Verbs in Spanish end in “ar”, “er”, and “ir” in the infinitive form, but when using the subjunctive, the conjugation is mandatory. 
  • Me gustaría que Ana ganara la competencia. =I would like Ana to win the competition.

  • Queremos que cocinen hoy. =We want them to cook today.

  • Espero que lleguen a tiempo. =I hope they arrive on time.

  • No creo que sea verdad. =I don’t think it is true.

  • No nos ordenó que trajéramos el vino. =He didn’t order us to bring the wine.

Conjugation of the Verbs with The Subjunctive

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The conjugation of the verbs varies with the subjunctive. Verbs can be conjugated as the indicative mood in present, past or future. 
The subjunctive in present can be used in imperative tenses or subordinated sentences. 
Let’s take a look at some examples with the present tense. 
For negative sentences we can use verbs like: creer (believe), pensar (think), parecer (seem), considerer (consider) + que (that)
  • No creo que pueda hacer esto.  =I think I cannot do this.

  • No pienso que ella lo haga. =I don’t think she can do it.

  • No considero que sea bueno. =I don’t consider it is good.

  • No parece que sea cierto. =It doesn’t seem to be true.

  • No creo que se realice hoy. =I don’t think it is done today.

Future Sentences with Subjunctive

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For future sentences we can use adverbs like maybe (tal vez), perhaps (quiza), probablemente (probably), posiblemente (it is possible). 
  • Posiblemente, mañana vengan más personas. =It is possible that more people will come tomorrow.

  • Quizá haya que hacer algo diferente después.  =Perhaps, we’ll have to do something late.

  • Probablemente llueva mañana. =It probably will rain tomorrow.

  • Tal vez vuelvan algún día. =Maybe, they will come back some day.

  • Posiblemente tengan que quedarse. =It is possible that they have to stay.

Subjunctive After the Words

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We can also use the subjunctive after the following words: antes que (before), cuando (when), mientras (as long as), tan pronto como (as soon as) and después de que (after).
  • Limpia antes de que mi papá llegue. =Clean before my dad arrives.

  • Lo hare cuando llegue a casa. =I will do it when I get home.

  • Yo iré mientras todo esté bien. =I will go as long as everything is okay.

  • Trata de venir tan pronto como puedas. =Try to come as soon as you can.

  • Descansaré después de que termine. =I will rest after I finish.

Subordinated Sentences with The Subjective

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Finally we have the subordinated sentences which are two sentences joined by the word que (that). The tenses we can use are presente (present), estar + gerundio (to be + gerund), simple future (future simple), futuro compuesto (future perfect in English), preterito perfecto (present perfect in English), and la forma imperativa (imperative form). 

The subjunctive may look difficult but if we practice this every day. We will be able to manage it as soon as possible. 
  • Me encanta que vengas. =I like that you come.

  • Estoy pensando que vuelves. =I think about you coming back.

  • Creeré que te irás. =I will believe you are leaving.

  • Me habrá encantado que sueñes conmigo. =I will have loved that you dream of me.

  • Me ha gustado que te quedes. =I have liked that you stay.

  • Alégrate de que volvamos a vernos. =Be glad that we meet again.

Related Lessons in Expert Course, to further your understanding.

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Impersonal Verbs

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The Subjunctive

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The Infinitive

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Prepositions After Verbs

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