Subjunctive

SUBJUNCTIVE / SUBJUNTIVO

 

Subjunctive

It is a “mood” used to express uncertainty, doubt, and wish about an action. It is related to subjective feeling or uncertainty.

Subjunctive mood is used more frequently in Spanish rather than in English.

Examples:

1) I hope that they visit me soon

Espero que ellos me visiten pronto.

 

2) It is important that we do our job correctly

Es importante que hagamos nuestro trabajo correctamente.

 

You can observe that sentences containing subjunctive are formed basically by two kinds of sentences: the main clause (the blue one) and the dependent clause (the red one).

The main clause, in the simple present tense, announces the subjectivity, wish, desire or uncertainty and the dependent clause is conjugated in the subjunctive mood. Study the same examples again.

1)

Espero que:  main clause – Simple Present

ellos me visiten pronto: dependent clause – observe how the verb visitar (to visit) is conjugated – Subjunctive Mood

 

2)

Es importante que:  main clause – Simple Present

Hagamos nuestro trabajo correctamente: dependent clause – observe how the verb hacer (to do) is conjugated.

There are some sentences expressing doubts, wishes, uncertainty that introduces the Subjunctive Mood (as the main clause). We strongly suggest you to be familiar and try to memorize some of the expressions for the better use of subjunctive mood.

Desire Uncertainty / Doubt Feelings / Subjectivity
Esperar que (to wish that) Dudar que (to doubt that) Sentir que (to feel that)
Preferir que ( to prefer that) No pensar que (to not think that) Temer que (to fear that)
Querer que (to want that) No parecer que (to not seem that) Tener miedo de que (to be afraid that)
Recomendar que (to recommend that) No estar seguro (to not be sure that)
Sugerir que (to suggest that) No creer que (to not believe that)
Pedir que (to ask that)

 

Now study in the chart below how regular verbs ending in ar, er and ir are conjugated in the Subjunctive Mood – Present. Remember that when conjugating verbs in the Subjunctive mood, you just have to preserve the root of the verb and substitute “ar”, “er” or “ir” for the following bold terminations. Observe that verbs ending in “er” and “ir” got the same pattern of terminations.

 

 Person Amar

(to love)

Comer

(to eat)

Abrir

(to open)

Singular (que) Yo ame coma abra
(que) Tú ames comas abras
(que) Él / Ella / Ud ame coma abra
Plural (que) Nosotros / Nosotras amemos comamos abramos
(que) Ellos/ Ellas/ Uds amen coman  abran

 

Now let’s study examples using the expressions that introduce the use of the subjunctive mood (main clause) and the verbs being conjugated in the subjunctive mood in the dependent clause.

Examples: 

  • Dudo que (yo) ame a María. (I doubt that I love Maria.)
  • Dudo que (tú) ames a María. (I doubt that you love Maria.)
  • Dudo que ella ame a María.  (I doubt that she loves Maria)
  • Dudo que él ame a María. (I doubt that he loves Maria)
  • Dudo que usted ame a María. (I doubt that you love Maria – formal)
  • Dudo que (nosotros) amemos a María. (I doubt that we love Maria)
  • Dudo que ellos amen a María. (I doubt that they love Maria)
  • Dudo que ustedes amen a María. (I doubt that you love Maria – formal)