"Quiero que nosotros tengamos más amigos."
Translation:I want us to have more friends.
So, here's the thing. It is not ungrammatical to say: Quiero tener más amigos. And as a novice learner, you might think that would mean: I want to have more friends.
But compare: Quiero bailar. I want to dance. When you use this construction, you're saying, I want to do this thing, right now. You're announcing intent, as much as expressing a wish.
As rspreng says, in order to do express a more abstract, speculative desire, a Spanish speaker will use the subjunctive mood. So: Quiero que tenga más amigos. An overly literal translation might be: I wish that I could/would have more friends. (Subjunctives often resemble something like "could/would [verb]" expressions in English.) But of course, the most natural way to express it in English is simply the original, "I want to have more friends."
And of course, since the sentence changes the subject from "yo" to "nosotros" in midstream, we end up with, "I wish that we would have more friends. I want us to have more friends." (Once you've changed the subject, with querer, you're talking about your wish that somebody other than yourself would do something. So by definition, you're not in complete control of the action, and you have to use subjunctive.)
The explanation makes sense, it's just unfortunate that native English speakers don't have this tense/mood in our language. What is a quick, easy way to work out mid sentence if it needs subjunctive conjugations?
Technically we do have a subjunctive mood in English. In the sentence, "If I were a rich man, I would have lots of money," the "were" is subjunctive. Note that it's not the past tense -- that would be "I was a rich man." "Were" is, in this instance, 1st-singular present subjunctive. And, by the same token: "I suggest that they be removed." Present indicative 3rd-plural would be "they are". The "be", here, is subjunctive.
But that's practically the only verb that still has subjunctive forms, and they're "overloaded" onto words that are also other forms of the same verb, just to make it extra-confusing. Seriously, English is kind of nuts. Way harder to learn, for a Spanish speaker, than Spanish is for an English speaker. That's what comes of mashing together a Germanic language with a Latinate one and then leaving it on an island for a few hundred years.
Aside from that, we use a lot of forms with secondary "helper" verbs, like "I would [verb]".
As far as how to learn where to use it? Honestly, it's one of the things about Spanish that's still hardest for me! (In particular, the past subjunctive drives me absolutely batty.) The basic principle is that if you are speaking about hypothetical / counterfactual / doubted events, there's a good chance you need the subjunctive. You can find a fair number of lists of examples online.
Other than that? Practice, practice, practice. Maybe try reading some literature in Spanish (even the equivalent of children's books or YA) and learn to spot where it turns up in the flow of the language. For me, with a lot of Spanish constructs that are unlike English -- like ser/estar stuff, and the unusual uses of reflexive forms, and a lot of the behaviors of the prepositions -- there was a point after just using the language reasonably regularly for a few years, when things just started to sound right. I still have a trouble producing sentences fast enough for comfortable conversation, but I can listen to somebody speaking normally, or to a news report, and pick up maybe 70-80% of what they're saying. And I do pretty well with "functional" conversations (waiters, hotel staff, that kind of thing).
This has been so difficult, and your explanation about the change of subject helped me to understand why you use tengamos rather than tenemos.
The first clause (I want) expresses a wish that may not happen, so you must use the subjunctive mood in the second clause.
looking for an explanation:
Why can you not translate this sentence as "I want that YOU have ...", my question relates to this being translated as a commend where "you" can be used to represent any other pronoun form in English.
"Nosotros tengamos" is the subjective form of "WE have." If it were "YOU have" then it would be "tu tengas" or "Usted tenga."
It's not true that "you" could represent any pronoun in the English sentence. I am a native English speaker, and "I want you to have more friends" does NOT mean the same thing as "I want us to have more friends."
If a command is given no matter what the pronoun group You is the only assumed pronoun. So yes You can represent any pronoun group. Not quite sure why you mentioned you are a native speaker. Most (not all) people never study their L1 language so suggesting that being a native speaker helps you understand my question I would suggest it doesn't.
This sentence ("Quiero que nosotros tengamos más amigos," or "I want us to have more friends") is not a command. It's in the indicative mood, not the imperative mood. Its does not have an implicit subject "you." It has the explicit subject "I" or elided subject "yo."
The dependent clause "nosotros tengamos más amigos" is also not a command. It is a subjunctive statement. You can't translate this clause as "you have more friends" because "nosotros tengamos" is "we have" (in the subjunctive), not "you have" which would be "Usted tenga" or "tú tengas."
Does that answer your question?
My question is in relation to the English translation not the Spanish, my reference to "you" refers to your previous answer, and again not the Spanish.
If your saying its indicative rather than imperative then, yes that makes sense.
"I want that we would have more friends." I believe that this would be a grammatically correct translation, even though the wording only RARELY would be used in modern, spoken English. (I would use it, but I'm a fossil). I think it would be helpful of Duolingo to indicate both the most grammatically correct translation, and the wording more commonly used in conversational English, and allow the student to recognize both. Questions could be framed to specify one or the other as an answer. I think that doing this would lessen confusion, and do a small part to help in slowing the decline of the English language.
That's what i answered. You asked two months ago, so nobody is answering your question.
You need the subjunctive (tengamos) here, not the indicative (tenemos) because 1) the sentence starts with a form of "querer"; 2) it's followed by "que "; and 3) there's a change of subject after the "que ". Those three things together require the second verb to be subjunctive.
In other words, when the sentence is about someone wanting someone else to do something, that something is in the subjunctive.