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Learn Spanish: The Subjunctive Mood

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The Subjunctive Mood

 

Learn Spanish: Intro to the Spanish Subjunctive Mood

This learn Spanish grammar lesson is the beginning lesson on the subjunctive mood in Spanish, one of the most difficult areas of Spanish grammar for student to grasp. The subjunctive mood in Spanish is used to express wishes or desires, requests or suggestions or intentions, obligations and necessity, possiblities or uncertainties, unrealized or hypothetical events, situations or entities, and to express the personal reactions of the speaker or the subject of a sentance to an actual event or situation.

The concept of the Spanish Subjunctive

In Spanish there are two moods: the indicative and the subjunctive.

The Indicative mood is an objective mood for describing facts, or stating what is considered to be certain. It is the mood of what is.

The Subjunctive mood, however, is a subjective mood for expressing feelings, emotions, wishes, desires, uncertainty or doubt and more reactions to the actions of others. It is the mood of what could or may be.

Compare:

Indicative

Subjunctive

Quiero hablar español. Quiero que tú hables español.
I want to speak Spanish. I want you to speak Spanish.

In Spanish, the subjunctive is frequently used. In contrast, it is rarely used in English.

Insisto que Raul vaya al hospital. I insist that Raul go to the hospital.
Deseo que ella esté en casa. I wish (that) she were here

Structure of the Subjunctive

Main clause + que + dependent clause

Queremos que el doctor nos atienda.

We want the doctor to take care of us.

Present tense of Subjunctive for Regular Verbs:

Conjugating Present Tense Regular Verbs

Take the Yo form of the present indicative verb and drop the O, then add the following endings based upon the subject pronoun:

Ar verbs: e, es, e, emos, éis, en

Er/Ir verbs: a, as, a, amos, aís, an

*** This pattern applies to all regular and irregular yo forms in the present indicative.

Irregular Verb Present Indicative Yo form Present Subjunctive Conjugation
conocer conozco conozca
tener tengo tenga
poner pongo ponga
venir vengo venga
salir salgo salga

To preserve sound there are some orthographical changes in verbs that end in:

-car, -gar or -zar

Verb Ending Orthographical change Verb Present Subjunctive Conjugation
car c -- qu buscar busque
gar g -- gu pagar pague
zar z -- c organizar organice

Present subjunctive: Stem changing verbs

Stem changing ar and er verbs have the same stem-changes in the present subjunctive as they do in the present indicative except for nosotros and vosotros.

Pensar (ie ) piense pienses piense pensemos penseís piensen
Volver (ue) vuelva vuelvas vuelva volvamos volvaís vuelvan

More on the Subjunctive coming soon! Sorry, but there's A LOT more to learn!!! :)