Spanish Subjunctive Guide
The subjunctive (El subjuntivo) can be tricky to grasp for English speakers, as it's rare in our language. I'm putting this guide together in the hopes that it will help those who struggle with this aspect of Spanish.
What is the subjunctive?
The subjunctive is a verb mood. What does that mean? A verb mood, of which there are four, shows the meaning behind a verb, not the time at which it occurred - the subjunctive ≠ a tense. The four verb moods which exist are the indicative, the conditional, the subjunctive, and the jussive. The indicative is the easier form which is learnt first - used for things like facts or definite situations, like “He was here”. The conditional is used for situations which are dependent on other situations to be able to occur, like “I would go, if I had the time“. The jussive is the form used for the “Let's ...“ and imperative forms of the verb, like “Let's eat” and “Eat!”. The subjunctive, however, is used in situations of doubt, desire, opinion, and others, which will be shown later.
How to conjugate the subjunctive - Present Tense
To conjugate the subjunctive in the present tense, take the yo form of the verb, remove the final -o, then add the personal endings:
So, let's look at these endings on some verbs:
Due to orthographical rules in Spanish, the spelling of some verbs changes when they are put into the subjunctive. Here are the endings that change, with an infinite and the yo form of the subjunctive as an example:
There are unfortunately irregular verbs in the subjunctive. Some of these are:
- Ser: Se- (For example, “Yo sea“, “Ellos sean“)
- Estar: Est-; For all persons except nosotros, the final -e becomes -é (For example, “Tú estés“, “Nosotros estemos“)
- Dar: D-; For yo & él/ella, the final -e becomes -é (For example, “Yo dé“, “Nosotras demos“)
- Saber: Sep- (For example, “Tú sepas“, “Ellas sepan“)
- Haber: Hay- (For example, “Ella haya“, “Vosotras hayáis“)
Also, verbs which have a different conjugation for nosotros/nosotras and vosotros/vosotras keep these as the stem for the subjunctive. For example, the verb “Poder“ is conjugated in the indicative as follows:
- Yo puedo
- Tú puedes
- Él/Ella puede
- Nosotros/Nosotras podemos
- Vosotros/Vosotras podéis
- Ellos/Ellas pueden
Therefore, the conjugation of “Poder“ in the subjunctive is:
- Yo pueda
- Tú puedas
- Él/Ella pueda
- Nosotros/Nosotras podamos
- Vosotros/Vosotras podáis
- Ellos/Ellas puedan
How the present subjunctive is used
The use of the present subjunctive can be hard to get the hang of at first, as it appears so seldom in English (an example being “I suggest that he go“). If you've already encountered the subjunctive in other languages like Italian, it will be a bit easier, as many of the “subjunctive phrases” will carry over to Spanish. Likewise, getting familiar with the subjunctive in Spanish first will help when it comes to using it in other languages.
If there is doubt within a situation, the subjunctive is used. For example, phrases like “No creo que...“ (I don't believe that...), “Dudo que...“ (I doubt that...), “No estoy seguro de que...“ (I'm not sure that...) all use the subjunctive. Remember that any phrases where there isn't doubt don't use the subjunctive, for example “Creo que...“ (I think that...) and “No dudo que...“ (I don't doubt that...). Let's look at some example sentences - words in Italics are “subjunctive phrases“, and words in Bold are verbs in the subjunctive.
- No creo que el japonés sea un idioma fácil - I don't think Japanese is an easy language
- No estoy seguro de que mi hermano pueda venir - I'm not sure that my brother can come
- Dudo que los encontremos aquí - I doubt we'll find them here
And here are these “subjunctive phrases“ flipped, to show them with the indicative:
- Creo que el japonés es un idioma fácil - I think Japanese is an easy language
- Estoy seguro de que mi hermano puede venir - I'm sure that my brother can come
- No dudo que los encontramos aquí - I don't doubt we'll find them here
If there is a wish or an order, something which may not end up happening, the subjunctive is used. Some phrases which require the subjunctive are “Quiero que...“ (I want (that)...), “Espero que...“ (I hope (that)...), and “Insisto que...“ (I insist (that)...). Let's look at some example sentences of this use:
- ¿Quieres que yo vaya contigo? - Do you want me to go with you?
- Las reglas insisten en que no se hable - The rules insist you don't talk
- Esperan que el viaje sea corto - They hope the journey is short
3. Impersonal statements
Statements like “Es bueno que...“ (It's good that...), “Es fácil que...“ (It's likely that...), and “Es improbable que...“ (It's unlikely that...) use the subjunctive. “Es“ can be replaced with “Parece“ for the same effect. However, remember that the subjunctive is used where there is uncertainty - so statements like “Es cierto que...“ (It's certain that...) wouldn't be used with the subjunctive. Also, if you use “Me parece que...“ (It seems to me that...), the subjunctive isn't used, as it's no longer impersonal. Here are some example phrases:
- Es fácil que se casen - It's likely they'll get married
- Parece extraño que la gente lo ignore - It seems weird that people ignore it
- Es necesario que los estudiantes entiendan - It's necessary that the students understand
Here is a list of some phrases which use the subjunctive:
4. Direct effect
If an action affects you directly (e.g. “I don't like that...“), the subjunctive is used. Some phrases which use the subjunctive in this way are “Me molesta...“ (It bothers me that...), “Me gusta que...“ (I like that...), and “Me entristece que...“ (It upsets me that...). Some examples are:
- No me gusta que los profesores nos den tantos deberes - I don't like that the teachers give us so much homework
- Me molesta que no hagas nada - It bothers me that you don't do anything
- Me entristece que alguna gente no tenga casa - It upsets me that some people don't have a house
5. Fixed expressions
Some fixed expressions use the subjunctive. Some examples of such expressions are “Aunque...“ (Even though...), “No obstante que...“ (Despite...), and “A menos que...“ (Unless...). Here are some examples:
- Aunque sepa los riesgos, todavía lo hace - Even though he knows the risks he still does it
- Vamos al cine no obstante que cueste tanto - We go to the cinema despite the fact that it costs so much
- A menos que llueva, iremos al parque - Unless it rains we'll go to the park
- Diré «Adiós» a mi amigo antes de que se vaya - I'll say “Goodbye“ to my friend before he leaves
6a. Commands - Tú & Vosotros/Vosotras
When saying a negative command to someone you address as “tú“ in Spanish, the tú form of the present subjunctive is used:
- ¡No olvides tu equipaje! - Don't forget your baggage!
- ¡No uses el teléfono mientras conduces! - Don't use your phone while driving!
In the same way, negative commands said to a group you would address as “vosotros“/“vosotras“ use the vosotros/vosotras form of the present subjunctive:
- ¡No me ignoréis! - Don't ignore me!
- ¡No comáis todo! - Don't eat everything!
6b. Commands - Usted & Ustedes
For commands said to someone you address as “usted“ (both positive and negative), the él/ella form of the present subjunctive is used:
- Por favor hable más lentamente - Please speak slower
- Verifique el número en la tarjeta - Check the number on the card
- ¡No corra! - Do not run!
- No toque nada - Do not touch anything
Likewise, commands to a group you address as “ustedes“ use the ellos/ellas form of the present subjunctive:
- Vengan aquí - Come here
- Miren la pantalla - Look at the screen
- Por favor no fumen en el edificio - Please do not smoke in the building
- No abran las ventanas - Do not open the windows
The last use of the subjunctive is starting a sentence or clause with “Que“, then using the subjunctive. This is used to show desires and thoughts. For example:
- ¡Que nadie me distraiga! - No one distract me!
- Él no ha comido nada. ¿Que no tenga hambre? - He didn't eat anything. Could it be that he's not hungry?
The subjunctive also directly exists in the imperfect tense. To conjugate it, take the ellos/ellas form of the verb in the preterite tense and then remove the -ron. There are then two sets of endings which can be added interchangeably:
Note that for nosotros/nosotras, an acute accent is placed on the final vowel before the suffix.
Here are the first three verbs we looked at for the present subjunctive with both sets of endings:
How the imperfect subjunctive is used
The imperfect subjunctive is used, for the most part, in the same cases as the present subjunctive, except for the fact that the preceding phrases are either in the conditional or imperfect tenses. So while the present subjunctive would be used with “Quiero que...“ (I want (that)...), the imperfect subjunctive would be used with “Me gustaría que...“ (I would like (that)..) and “Quería que...“ (I wanted (that)...). This carries across for all aspects:
- No pensé que la fiesta terminase a las veintitrés - I didn't think the party finished at eleven
- Queríamos que todos pudieran venir - We wanted everyone to be able to come
- Sería aconsejable que no viajaseis en avión - It would be advisable that you not travel by plane
- Me gustaría que tú me ayudaras - I'd like you to help me
However, if a structure like the “impersonal statements“ is used to refer back to a past event, this will remain in the present tense:
- Es malo que nadie te dijese la verdad - It's bad that no one told you the truth
- Dudo que le gustara - I doubt he liked it
Si + Conditional
Unique to the imperfect subjunctive is the “Si + Conditional“ sentence. This is used to state hypothetical actions - which is why the subjunctive is used. This type of sentence is the only sentence where the subjunctive is still fairly identifiable in English - “If I were rich, I'd buy a mansion“. This type of sentence works exactly the same in Spanish:
- Si pudieras ir a cualquier sitio, ¿adónde irías? - If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
The sentence structure can also be flipped, starting with the conditional clause and then using the imperfect subjunctive. For example:
- Haría mis deberes si los entendiese - I would do my homework if I understood it
“Como si“ is the translation of “As if“ in Spanish, which always uses the imperfect subjunctive. It works in the exact same ways as in English:
- Es como si no le importara - It's as if it didn't matter to him
- ¡Como si no me gustase el chocolate! - As if I didn't like chocolate!
“Ojalá“ comes from “Oh Allah“, and means “If only“ or “I wish“. It uses the imperfect subjunctive:
- ¡Ojalá lo supieras! - If only you knew!
- Ojalá tuviera más tiempo - If only I had more time
Perfect and Pluperfect Subjunctive
The perfect and pluperfect subjunctive tenses also exist in Spanish. These are formed by either using the present subjunctive of Haber + Past Participle, or the imperfect subjunctive of Haber + Past Participle. For example:
- Es improbable que hayan tenido éxito - It's unlikely that they've succeeded
- Si hubiéramos sacado mejores notas, habríamos ido a la universidad - If we'd gotten better grades, we would have gone to university
I hope this helps!/¡Espero que esto ayude!
Check out my other subjunctive guides!
I'd like to add that usage of -ra or -se imperfect subjunctive varies by region. For example, in Mexico, "-ra" is heavily preferred, and in spoken usage you almost exclusively see "-ra". "Antes de que vinieses" is almost unheard of.
In fact, "-ra" predominates worldwide. From my experience, "-se" is almost unused in speech outside of Spain and Puerto Rico. Apparently, in some parts of Castille, both are actually used with slightly different meanings, I believe with "-se" expressing a greater shade of doubt or uncertainty.
I would advise learners to focus on learning "-ra" forms for speaking and writing, and to be aware of "-se" forms as possible variants. If you exclusively use "-se", you will sound stuffy, formal and antiquated to many, if not most, Spanish speakers worldwide. If you are planning on living in Castille or somewhere else where there is actually a semantic/functional distinction, I would recommend using "-ra" until you get the hang of how they are used differently in that region.
Only a little note. Castilla (Castille) was one of the kingdoms that originated España (Spain) when Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón married in 1469. Nowadays Spain is formed by 17 autonomics communities, two of wich are named: Castilla y León, and another Castilla-La Mancha. There are other 12 more communities and two autonom cities.
It would be better to call the country for its proper name: Spain.
And I have to say that we use the "-se" form as usually as we use the "-ra" form, and we learn both forms together at school.
I see you know very well Spain. But I can say that when you state that "in Castile or somewhere else where there is actually a semantic/functional distinction" that we, in all Spain, use both form 'fuera' 'fuese' and all related stuff without semantic/functional distinction. No distinction at all. They are exactly equal.
You may be a native speaker, but you are not a native speaker of every dialect or local variety. I am also a native speaker (not of Peninsular Spanish though), but I trust decades of research by native-speaker linguists over your single anecdotal response. I'm travelling right now but if you'd like when I return I can provide at least 3 different sources that demonstrate a distinction in meaning between -ra/-se in certain local varieties of Castillian Spanish.
I have to admit that you are right. I'm not a native speaker of every local variant of Peninsular Spanish. I've only lived at Galicia, País Vasco, Castilla y León (in 3 diferentes cities), and a handful of Andalusian cities. On the other hand I do travel frequently across all the country. So I've read carefully the previous link and those studies mentioned by you, and I see: Cuervo in 1874. Dale in 1925. Keniston in 1937, and so on. But, do you have a remote idea of the changes that have carried Spain to nowadays, to de 21th century?
In the work of George DeMello, that was written in 1993 (that's 'only' 22 years...) study 126 occurrences of subjunctive forms in Seville. I like very much to sit down at a 'terraza' in Alameda de Hércules, in Seville, taste a beer and to hear the people and speak with someone... Exactly the same in Van Dyck the 'tapas' zone in Salamanca, far away of the tourist zone, or the zone near de Plaza Mayor of Valladolid, or a bunch of bars in Málaga... Single anecdotal response you say? Well, I'm not a linguist, but I've lived the enough time and in the enough different places of Spain to tell to someone learning Spanish that there is not difference at all between the two forms. That's simple. Now, if the people want to go deeply with the subject, do not hesitate to come to live to Spain. It isn't important the place, you'll encounter open minded people willing to offer his friendship and if you (other person, I know you as a Mexican speak Spanish very well) make a mistake, never mind, it isn't important.) And if that is not possible at the moment, you can read the 25th chapter 'El verbo (III). El modo' in Nueva gramática de la lengua española, by Asociación de academias de la lengua española ASALE, included Academía Mexicana de la Lengua, not only the Spanish RAE.
Those different sources that could demonstrate a distinction in meaning between -ra/-se in certain local varieties of Castillian Spanish is of highest interest for me. I'll appreciate them. I'm learning some new thing every day, included my mother tongue. When I do not learn anything more it will be because I'll have died. ;-)
This is demonstrably false. The imperfect subjunctive has been researched for over a century, and any linguist with any knowledge of Spanish will tell you that they are not simply in free allomorphic variation. What actually conditions their use is still a bit controversial and has been difficult to provide a definitive answer, but study after study as well as experiential and anecdotal reports from native speakers of certain dialects within Spain confirm that they are not simply interchangeable with identical function.
My word. I wish to have such a solid understanding of Spanish as you clearly do. I don't remember much from my English classes at school, but have always found there to be two ways to learn: understanding the theory behind linguistic syntax and applying it, or repetition (what looks/sounds/feels right or wrong in any given situation). I've always learned using the latter, as my poor brain can't seem to comprehend and absorb such complex theory, but I'll go over and over this guide as much as I can. Huge thanks to you, adamyoung97!
MikeCallow: I am assuming that adamyoung97 isn't 97 years old and may have started learning when he was young. Or maybe even better he is still young and learning easier than an older person such as myself. Anyway, you make a couple great points about theory syntax and applying it. I am studying music theory presently and see the correlation completely. We have information that is logic and we have experience which is application. Overall, it is great to have some of both, so we can communicate better to other learners and musicians. Yes, and a continued thanks to adamyoung97, at what ever age he actually is.
cheescaeks, I don't know when you wrote about confusion regarding the subjuntive but, I suggest you continue to get your past, future, and conditional down well before you jump into subjunctive. Plus there are commands that you may want to learn before you start the subjunctive. Not that subjuntive isn't important, because I realize myself now how important subjunctive is. I passed over all the tenses really quickly and now I am reviewing and I just recently got back to subjuntive. Take it all in stride and do some reviews from time to time on the previous tenses so to keep them fresh always... I didn't the first time around, but this time I am going for a new level of fluency.
This is absolutely beautiful. I can't even begin to thank you enough for this. Even though I've had 4 years of Spanish in high school (although that was three years ago), when to use the subjunctive was something I was never able to grasp. I'm so happy you took the time to make this.
The only thing I want to ask about is where you heard there were only 3 moods. I was always taught that there were 4 (indicative, subjunctive, conditional, and imperative (which thanks to you I know should be jussive instead) ). It was always emphasized that the conditional was a mood and not a tense.
Once again, thank you so very much for putting this together. I may have completed the Spanish tree, but it's been awhile since I practiced (as is evidenced by the numerous other languages I've started) and I can't wait to get back to it and use this guide in my studying.
adamyoung97: I am wondering where you learned the term "jussive," because I had never heard it before. Like the famous book of verbs: 501 Spanish verbs doesn't mention that term, unless I missed it. Then looking at what Wikipedia says about "jussive" it seems to be descriptive of something used in languages other than Spanish. (It does mention Latin.) I thought since you have studied many languages, that term may have come from one or some of them.
Could you comment on this sentence? -- Después de que sus padres se divorciaran en 1980, Musk vivió mayormente con su padre en localidades de Sudáfrica. I thought it should just have the indicative "se divorciaron" in the second clause, and reading through your notes, I couldn't find anything to justify using the subjunctive.
Nice work, Adam, btw... not only thorough, but also nicely formatted etc. Very generous of you to put so much work into it and share.
According to the book, The Spanish Subjective Up Close by Eric Vogt, Ph. D, these two adverbial clauses are similar but "Antes de que" always require subjunctive (*) while "Después de que" may or may not depending on the situation (pp 50-51).
Yo iré al cine después de que Juan me llame. (I'll go to the movies after John calls me) Yo fui al cine después de que Juan me llamó. (I went to the movies after John called me.)
In the first one, there is anticipation. Second one, it happened. There was no anticipation and so it is simply reporting what happened.
Yo iré al cine antes de que Juan me llame. (I'll go to the movies before John calls me.) Yo fui al teatro antes de que Juan me llamara (I went to the movies before John called me.)
In both cases, the call had not happened before I left. So, in either case, Juan/John's call was anticipated.
Anyway, don't shoot the messenger if you disagree.
(*) Provided that the subject of both main and dependent sentences are different
You are right, but in your example 'Yo fui al cine después de que Juan me llamó' I see a subordinated sentence introduced by 'que', and that verb would be conjugated as subjunctive.
I always use :'Fui al cine después de que me llamase Juan'
This morning I have formulated this question to different people, and all of them have just answered me with a subjunctive tense.
Note: For anyone interested on this subject, searching in Google: "super simple spanish subjunctive rule book" you'll find a booklet that shows it on an easy way.
The examples are coming directly from the book I quoted. This was a specific example of where subjunctive should not be used per author.
Again I was not waiting for or anticipating the call so I left after the call came (Juan me llamó - pretérito de indicativo). I am just stating the sequence of events that happened in the past in this case so subjunctive will not be used.
This case is similar to the case of 'cuando' when it is sometimes used with subjunctive and sometimes not.
Update: by the way not every subordinate sentence that starts with que needs to be subjunctive.
I've just edited slightly my previous comment, with the hope to help people learning Spanish.
Update: Long time ago, when I used to go to the school we had to learn the subjunctive as:
Presente de subjuntivo de la 1ª declinación:
- Que yo cante
- Que tu cantes
and so on. The whole form started with 'que'.
I know it has been a long time since this discussion has taken place, but I am quite interested about this topic.
It wasn't clear to me what the formulated question you asked was to the different people. I am not understanding why all of them would have answered with the subjunctive there, and I do wish to understand.
I agree that "que" starts of a new clause, but after "después de que," as I know it, there can be an indicative clause or a subjunctive one:
El terremoto repentino empezó después de que pasó la tormenta.
There is no doubt, uncertainty, but only objectivity in the above sentence; therefore, the subjunctive does not seem warranted to me.
The same seems to be true about the sentence you were talking about:
Yo fui al cine después de que Juan me llamó.
There is no doubt or uncertainty, there is no opinion expressed; rather, the event has already happened and one could verify that it happened as "Juan" did call and that is fact.
I look forward to learning from your response.
I'm afraid that I can't explain it to you, I only can tell that those sentences would be:
'El terremoto repentino empezó después de que pasase la tormenta.' and 'Yo fui al cine después de que Juan me llamase'.
The question was:
'Ayer me llamó Juan. Después fui al cine. Por favor, completa la frase: Ayer fui al cine después de que Juan me...'
Why in English you say 'For sale' and in Spanish we say 'Se vende'? I don't know, but those are the sentences.
I must say that those sentence are used in Spain.
For both: in our language we use "después de que" as a part of a tale. Why to answer with this? who knows! we just want to tell the background, the cause of the thing we're talking about. Let's make an example: -Yo fui al cine después de que Juan me llamase In english this is just as -I went to the movies after Juan's call
so... Why do you use the "after"? Just to let someone know why we did the first thing in question or what happened before.
An why in spanish we say "se vende" instead of the literal translation "en venta"? Well we also use "se" as a preposition too, there's an implicit subject (which can be a house) so we can also use "en venta" which is practically the same but with more... formality you can say. As I commented before: Even though my natal languaje is spanish... it's the hardest languaje because of the multiple ways to talk it.
I did not expect such a quick response. ¡Muchísimas gracias por ello!
Again, I find this very interesting. In what city did you ask this question?
I am not sure if this no longer holds true, but at least as of 2005, according to the RAE, "después de que" can be followed by both subjunctive and indicative.
In the "diccionario de dudas" published that year, under the entry "después," the following sentence is given as an example to use "después de que":
Después de que te fuiste, llamó tu hermano.
Sometimes there is a disconnect between what they publish and what is used, I guess though; and, they cannot address every variation of the language.
Very much thank you for your time. ¡Y que tenga un buen día señor(a)!
Oh yeeah the RAE... it's werid though to follow up any indications from it. You see, I'm from Mexico city, and my spanish won't be the same of a Madrid guy or a Bogotá guy.
As much as we know the RAE will try to unify spanish and also will say what's grammatically correct. Still is no use once you speak it for real. You'll find a lot of variants the RAE would not address. It just depends of the culture from each country with native spanish.
Also I'm concerned about if my english isn't a little bit odd but as I said before, I'm mexican so I'm trying to learn English. What I replied before was just the way we use this "después de que" for mexican spanish (and may be the same for some other countries as well)
Sure you can use it as the RAE example, there's no difference at all talking grammatically but there's a difference about how respectfully they are. I'll make an example:
-Corrimos a la casa después de que empezó a llover -Después de que lloviera, corrimos a la casa
Both are saying the same thing! It's clear that we ran home and before of that it started to rain. So when do we use each of these? It depends the formality you want to have. What am I trying to say with this thing called "formality"? You'll find the first example in a regular convesation with a second person (a friend, relative, etc.). You might use the second one for a book or when talking with a third person (a stranger or someone else you don't want to be disrespectful)
I hope you can get the idea.
I find this very interesting too. It makes me think about the subject as I have the mechanisms to use it (as a native speaker), without the need of search an explanation.
The question was asked in Seville. And later I asked it in Málaga with identical answers.
In a language there are many exceptions to the rules, it is not a mathematical law. There are sentences that are used as such from many years ago, centuries, as I pointed with 'For sale' and 'Se vende'.
Here's two things that I don't believed were mentioned:
1) Aunque can be used with the indicative and subjuntive: look at part IV of this link: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/SUBJADV.HTM 2) perdona que / perdone que (imperative) are both followed by the subjunctive since perdonar expresses a feeling (or direct effect).
This is to the contrary of normal imperative expressions such a common phrase like "no me digas que tienes razon" whose imperative clause is followed by the indicative.
Hi Thomas, yo como means I eat in the present tense (indicative mood). Yo coma is the present subjunctive tense in the subjunctive mood. At level 6 you may not have reached this level of grammar, as it is much further down the tree.
If you are curious, then check here: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/comer
fgordy: Interesting name. I had a professor who used his middle name Ernest(o) instead of Gordon, because gordo means fat. And if you add "on" to some Spanish words, like some adjectives they mean even more... whatever like fat. However "gordon" is not a real word. Like silla is chair, a real big chair is sillón. I suppose "millón" would be another example, when mil means a thousand and millón means a millon. Also, "ratón" must be one too. These are called, augmentative suffixes. Here is a place to read more about them, if anyone is interested: (http://spanish.about.com/od/nouns/a/augment_suffix.htm) Anyway, I just wanted to say that the www.spanishdict.com is a good source and it seems to be getting better all the time. My favorite dictionary for languages is this one: http://www.wordreference.com Buen día.
Clemento, it seems like your professor had an inferiority complex. Neither Gordy nor Gordon means fat. Gordon is a good ole Scottish name. However my sir-name is not Gordy from birth. It is Ferguson, another good ole Scottish name. Gordy is a famous name in Atlanta and is quite rare and most likely derived from Gordi (Italian, so I have been told). Thanks for the link. I use it all the time.
The main reason for my posts is to be helpful whenever and however possible. I sincerely hope you didn't take what I was saying in any way other than was my only intention which is to give insight on the particular word "gordo." As you should know if you do as you say, use the link for wordreference.com that "gordo" means fat along with a few other terms. gordo adj. (obeso, con sobrepeso) fat adj. If you have seen Mexican television it would be difficult to miss the show El Gordo y La Flaca. The two main people on this show are examples of extremes. One person, a woman, who is very thin (La Flaca) and the other being a man, who is very large (El Gordo.) I do not like to past up the opportunity to teach something that I know for certain and if I have doubts I make that clear. I love to be corrected because then I learn from that. Thank you for teaching me what Gordy means for a Scottish person. Since you are studying Spanish, I thought it would be good for you to know what I told you in my original post. In that post I never mentioned Gordy, only gordo and gordon. I hope someone notices and learns something regarding the "on" ending of certain Spanish words. My friend Gordon Johnson is a professor of Spanish and he has no need to have a complex about anything and he surely doesn't need me to defend him either in anyway. If I can be of any help to anyone studying Spanish I would be well pleased. Thanks
Clemente-Pablo: I know you are being helpful. I just have a sarcastic dry sense of humor. I did not know the guy was your personal friend. Thanks for the help. I do not want to high jack this thread about the subjunctive guide. Write on my activity if you want to. Chill out! OK? You have not offended me at all. I hope I have not offended you either. Cheers!
In spanish verbs decline accordig to person, time and mood, . "Yo como" is first person , time present, mood INDICATIVE. "Yo coma" is first person, time Present, Mood SUBJUNCTIVE. EXAMPLE: CUANDO YO COMA PODREMOS IRNOS. shows person, time and mood alone in the "Yo coma" to make the understanding a little easier imagine there is a conditon to perform the following action, in this case the condition is "yo coma". In the situation of "yo como" there is no condition to do it, you just do it.That is as far as my grammar can go, Hope it will be enough.
Please see my reply in this discussion to senor_leofordan. It doesn't talk about comer specifically, but it's still going to be an answer to your question in a way.
If you are not at a point in your Spanish studies where you have encountered and know what the Subjunctive Mood is, then you do not have to worry about this guide yet. You should forget it exists until you do. As far as you need to be concerned, "I eat" is "Yo como". The -a and -o endings are not the same in this case. If you really must know what's going on, reread the intro to this post. It explains what the Subjunctive Mood is very nicely. If you are still confused, seek outside resources and help elsewhere on the Internet.
I just downloaded this app and started learning spanish yesterday. I'm on level 4, I believe. I already wrote down a guide just like this :) ex: yo leo, tu lees, nosotros leemos, los ninos leen, el nino lee. It appears I'm on the right track! This guide is obviously a lot more thorough and helpful than mine though, because you know more words, so thank you! Also, it's good to learn that they are moods vs. tenses.. I knew that they weren't quite tenses, so I named my guide "forms." Lol. Anyways, thanks! Extremely helpful :)
Those forms, leo/lees/leemos/leen/lee, are neither moods nor tenses: they are present tense [indicative mood] conjugations for different persons and plurality in the subject.
English has minimal conjugation, usually two forms (e.g. I/you/we/they write, he/she/it writes; possibly considered singular vs. plural in English class in school) but "be" (which seems to be irregular in a lot of languages), for instance, has I am, you/we/they are, he/she/it is. Your set of words, of forms (yes) of leer, serve a similar and even more vital function in Spanish, because Spanish sentences often omit the subject. ("Duermo"--I sleep. "Lees el libro"--You read the book.)
This thread refers to something called the subjunctive mood, which you won't need to worry about for a little while, until you get into expressing more complex ideas.
Thanks so much for posting this! What an incredible and awesome source guide. I have already immersed myself and absolved so much more in the mere couple weeks I've been on here learning new languages than my many years combined in school. All of you wonderful people and the links you provide only make the experience that much better! Gracias!
Adamyoung que tal? definitivamente muy impresionante lo que has compartido acerca de la guía del subjuntivo, ciertamente es difícil para principiantes el atormentador "subjuntivo", y quería comentarte básicamente para agradecer tu trabajo y empeño que has puesto en ello, leí un poco los comentarios y de verdad sigo firme en decir que el español no es un idioma tan fácil como muchos creerían que es, tiene bastante tropiezos y estructuras enredadas; yo como hablante nativo te felicito por tanta elocuencia y eficacia. Sigue así! no desistas nunca y espero que cada día que pase te vuelvas mucho mas fluido en este precioso idioma!
I learned "No hay de qué" on my first trip to Mexico, right after my first semester of Spanish in college. I also learned "Que le vaya bien" on that same trip. Knowing any amount of phrases such as these doesn't show one to be fluent in the language. It doesn't hurt toward achieving that as a goal however.
Yo he oido "de nada" de hispanoparlantes de varias lenguas, pero "no hay de qué" no se dice en todos los paises hispanoparlantes... un mejicano siempre me decía "de qué", a mi me sonaba a pregunta... y "con gusto", que me sonaba raro... por eso, "de nada" para mi es la mas universal.
exacto, Gvm0004, sigifica lo mismo que "you are welcome"
No estoy de acuerdo, ElHeim, NO significa "restar importancia". Es la fórmula de respuesta cortés, nada más... no me gusta el "you're welcome" ni el "con gusto", precisamente porque hay veces en las que lo que has hecho puede que fuese tu obligación hacerlo, y puede que te haya desagradado o agotado, y tienes que devolver la fórmula de cortesía.... pero de ahí a que lo hayas hecho con gusto.... va mucho.
Cuando realmente quiero restar importancia (y en según qué contextos), yo digo "ha sido un placer", o (en según qué otros) digo "al contrario, gracias a usted" .... porque "de nada" no tiene significado en absoluto, más allá de ser tan educado como el que te lo dice.
Al menos en España.
It is kind of like saying, it's nothing... in place of your welcome... But you wouldn't say: No es nada... I don't think I have ever hear that anyway. "No hay de que" is very common and I feel like it is a more formal way of saying your welcome, whereas de nada seems informal... maybe just be me though. I don't believe it shows any level of fluency other than, it may show that the learner has been hanging around some Spanish speakers for awhile longer than some others.
Solo un consejo, "QUÉ" (Con tilde) solo se lleva en caso de preguntas, por ejemplo: ¿Qué te paso?. Lo mismo sucede para "PORQUE", (Con tilde), solo se lleva en caso de preguntas. Algunas personas también dicen "Por qué" (Que es totalmente valido). Por ejemplo: "¿Porqué él se fue?" "¿Por qué te caíste?"
Otra cosa, cuando te estés escribiendo con alguien, algunas personas solo usan el signo de interrogación al final "?".
Éste and ésta (with accents) can work as pronouns when you do know the gender of the thing you don't feel like saying the entire name for. If they are working as pronouns, then the accent is used. If they are adjectives, then there are no accents. Same goes with ése/a and aquél/la.
- ¿Podrías decirme cuánto cuesta esa obra?
- ¿Podrías decirme cuánto cuesta ésa?
as adam said, in this case it would still be esto or eso. There isn't a noun to know the gender of in such a case.
Also, La RAE says (last time I checked, it was within the past year or so) that now you don't even need to put the accents on este and esta to use them as pronouns.
adamyoung97: Isn't "esto" one of those words used for saying "that?" Like when we want to say this thing or that thing. If it is something close to us, we say esto and if it is something further away we say eso, and if it is really far away we say aquello. If the answer you are saying is "esto" and is not in your reach as far as distance from you, wouldn't the correct answer be "eso?" I realize that you may not be speaking of a tangible thing, but this idea popped into my head and I thought it might be helpful to someone.
Hi Eddygp: The ...tad or ...ad endings are used a lot in the Spanish Bible. I always thought it had to do with the Spain type Spanish because they do use the vosotros all the time, at least in the RVR 1960 which seems to be the version the majority still use. Well, if you have any more ideas about the "ad" endings or is someone else does, post it around here somewhere.
Thank you for the great explanation, but you seem to have left out the Subjunctive Future form. Hablare, hablares, hablare, habláremos, hablareis, hablaren. Yes, it is literary and rare, but it exists!
Thank you for this guide! it is very informative and packed with useful information! heh, I had left this thread open in a separate for easy reference and got a 404 error about the page being gone today, I was thinking "I hope it was stickied because it was too much good information to have been deleted!" and lo and behold it is! now it will be here easy to find for many future learners to access and review!
Well done my friend :). I am from Colombia. But need help with the words (In-On-At-It-To), If you can, please explain when when I must use those words, Thanks, and Good Job! ¡Buen Trabajo amigo!. Por favor explicame el uso de las palabras anteriores. Regards from Colombia, Danny.
Qué genial! Es muy sencillo comprender. Buen trabajo!
I just wanted to add my two cents (much as that is worth haha). I learned that some dependent phrases do not always require the subjunctive, such as aunque, cuando, en cuanto, hasta que, etc.
Iré al supermercado cuando no haya ningunas manzanas. Voy al supermercado cuando mis chicos han comido toda la fruta.
Aunque mejoren la seguridad, no querré vivir en ese barrio. Aunque mejoraron la seguirdad, no quiero vivir en ese barrio.
Después de que llegue su abuelita, limpiaremos la casa. Después de que llegó su abuelita, limpiamos la casa.
My teacher was a native speaker, as was her husband, and they always corrected me in conversation because this is such a hard thing to remember haha. You may have just left this out for simplicity's sake, but I thought the distinction should be made.
De nuevo ... muchísimas gracias!
I found a program called "mastering the spanish subjunctive" which offers tons of english to spanish translation drills using the subjunctive. It is expensive though. I will start using it in a few weeks when I'm done with my current grammar drills. http://masteringthespanishsubjunctive.com/
ElaineRichards1: It is too bad that most teachers can't explain this subjunctive thing so well. It is best to get the explainations from others who have studied the language(s) you are interested in and use the teachers for only examples of such things as the subjunctive. I couldn't explain various parts of the English language and I have spoke it all my life. Your best teacher sometimes is another student.
Is there any way to get at least some of this information in the Subjunctive activity under Spanish? That's where grammar usually should go. However, for some reason, it seems like the Spanish course is lacking grammar lessons (tips). Compare to German, and it seems there is a lot more. Is it my perception, or is it reality? I love the guide, and thank you!
Hola a todos! BellMarcelo is correct! The Spanish speakers sometimes do not use the traditional grammatical order to formulate questions, where the verb precedes the subject. Instead they use the grammatical order of the phrases, where the subject precedes the verb. The only thing they do is to change the intonation of their voice to imply that is a question when they are speaking, or they place the question marks before and after the statement when they are writing.
I'm sorry if anyone else has already said this, I'm not mentally prepared to wade through 89 comments. But, for anyone studying more than one language, it should be emphasized that this (quite thorough and wonderful) explanation of the subjunctive is specific to Spanish. many/most/all language have a subjunctive, but they don't all work exactly the same way.
It's not fully specific to Spanish - a lot of features carry across to French, Portuguese, and Italian, too. For example:
English: “I don't think it will rain tomorrow“
- French: “Je ne pense pas qu'il pleuve demain“
- Spanish: “No creo que vaya a llover mañana“
- Portuguese: “Não acho que vá chover amanhã“
- Italian: “Non credo che piova domani“
English: “It's important that we be here“
- French: “C'est important que nous soyons ici“
- Spanish: “Es importante que estemos aquí“
- Portuguese: “É importante que estejamos aqui“
- Italian: “È importante che siamo qui“
English: “I want you to come“
- French: “Je veux que tu viennes“
- Spanish: “Quiero que vengas“
- Portuguese: “Quero que venhas“
- Italian: “Voglio che tu venga“
These are just a few of the similarities that there are between the three languages in their use of the subjunctive. Granted, there are differences, but these are less than the similarities.
That's fine, I was simply pointing out that across all languages, there can be quite a variance in subjunctive. German is the example I have experience with. A lot of things you would use subjunctive for in Spanish, you simply don't in German...as far as I could get from my German professor, anyway. But anyway, again, just pointing out for the sake of interest.
German does have a different subjunctive, I agree.
One form is used for reported speech, like “Er sagte, er komme nicht” - “He said that he wasn't coming”
The other is used in the hypothetical sense, like “Ginge es mir besser, wäre ich in die Stadt gegangen“ - ”If I were (feeling) better, I would have gone into town“
Because this is the subjunctive mood. The mood you are referring to is called the indicative. The start of this post goes over what the subjunctive is and when it is used. I suggest rereading it and if you still don't understand, finding other sources online to help explain it.
Basically, the difference boils down to factual, verifiable information (indicative) vs doubtful, hypothetical, opinionated information, subjunctive (this is an oversimplification, but it'll do for now). Other languages, like Spanish, specify the subjunctive mood with differing conjugations for the verbs. English's subjunctive is weird in that a lot of it is implied and taken care of by already existing tenses (for example, subjunctive past looks the same as indicative past in English, for the most part).
The English subjunctive is only really present in phrases that would sound overly formal to the modern native speaker. Examples are "If I were president,…" or "If he were here right now,…". Notice how the conjugation is different. Usually, we use "am/was" with I and "is/was" with he/she/it. The subjunctive shows itself in the use of a different conjugation. It's the same for Spanish, they just have more conjugations and rules than English.
Hope this helps you at least a little and good luck in your studies.
I know he is talking to the OP for miss-spelling an infinitive, but the use of Dude here is inappropriate. Your advice is spot on. I am una mujer and I can't stand to be called 'Dude', or 'man'. Anyway it is my personal opinion , that the use of 'Dude' is very passé. I did send a post to adamyoung97 about the miss-spelling.
Buenas tardes ante todo. Io sono Jhony Pineda, hablo español ya que naci en Colombia una excolonia española de 1800 Despeus de Cristo, y garcias a dios a duolingoa prendi un grna vocabulario en la lingua italiana , y estoy practicando el nivel basico de inglesh que sé. Si tiene depronto alguna duda les peudo coloborar si no les moelsta, y mil disculpa por intrometerme en su blog....
Y al ragazzo o ragazza que publico estos verbos lo felicito seran de gran aiuta a tutto. Gracias buona tardi.
It's good if you are a native speaker. It is very difficult to master subjunctives if your native language does not use the subjunctive (or if the subjunctive is conjugated like the regular tenses).
I'm an anglophone and I can attest to this. Subjunctives in French and Spanish are my weakest points.
Haha! That's interesting.
I saw your comments from earlier stating you'd like to improve your English. Well, here is one; a correction of your passage:
Yes it is!!! We, native Spanish speakers have our own difficulties with those grammar obstacles coming
from the languages not havingthe same origin (Latin vs Greek) Silly example: Long time not seen!
hey guys, i have a newbie question that's bothering me. at the first table he mentions the verbs and their different forms for example: the verb 'comer': yo coma , tu comas Etc. in the lessons i've encountered so far i saw that the proper way to write is yo como, and tu comes , ella come Etc.
what am i getting wrong here? please help.
Let me give you a hand (well, two):
. If you want grammar, please read adamyoung97's explanation, which is GREAT!
. If you want a trick, here you have one:
If you can add QUERER QUE without losing the sense, as in "Es imposible que yo coma con el dolor de estómago que tengo", or "su madre quiere que coma el pescado pero el niño no quiere", it's subjunctive, that's the one ended in "a"
If you cannot, that's it, iof you are stating facts, as in "yo como todos los días" o "el niño come pescado aunque no le gusta", tthen is the common tense.
In English it's not perceived but in certain verbs or tenses, and not used but in literature... or songs.... "If I were a rich man, dubidubi-dubidubi-....", "I suggest that he BE removed"
If you never use your own subjunctive ( as explained at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive ), then I understand it's a hard tense to learn in Spanish... where it's used a lot.
¿Útil? (por favor corrige mi inglés)
Great article, thank you. I can remember this from school, years ago.
A trivia for those who are interested: In the Dutch language they used the subjuntivo as well, but nowdays we don't use it anymore. I think, in that case ,the Dutch language has simplified. The subjuntive (or "aanvoegende wijs" in Dutch) is only used in old expressions and old Bilble texts. I am sure that other germanic languages used that as well. (English, German, Danish)
Wow, I didn't see it that way. I am a native spanish speaker and When I made a language exchange with a native english speaker, He said that he had troubles with the subjunctive mode, I did know what he meant, Then he gave some examples and I knew what he was talking about. For me it was very easy and natural, nothing special. Maybe it is the same for you guys regarding to the english language.
Hi, My father was an English teacher...he said it is one of the most difficult languages because of the rules; there are things you say, but it is just how it is...no rhyme or reason. I have trouble with the "I would have," or " I could have".....I have found that knowing latin helps alot also, you can figure out alot of words.. I took german in college and also lived in Poland..........Polish is harder !!!!!!!!!!!!! jajajaja
I have a question for you
The song 'A Dios le pido' (Juanes) uses the subjunctive throughout the song. I understand most of them, except the ones in the refrain.
Que si me muero sea de amor y si me enamoro sea de vos y que de tu voz sea este corazón.
1 - I'd like a correct translation of this, since translation websites give different translations. 2 - And an explanation of why the subjunctive is used here.
Thanks in advance! Would help me a lot.
I am not a native speaker but I have spent a lot of time trying to learn uses of Subjunctive in Spanish. Last summer I have a series of posts on subjunctive that you may find useful: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10162114
And I too find uses of subjunctive that does not seem to fall in previous patterns. Songs are particularly difficult when learning a foreign language because for artistic reasons and for fitting the melody the words are rearranged, omitted etc. For that reason, translation often is becomes more difficult even if you understand what is being expressed. What you found is a good one. I think I understand why you have to use subjunctive in these case.
Here is the full lyrics of the song: http://www.metrolyrics.com/a-dios-le-pido-letras-lyrics-juanes.html
I'm quoting the part below:
A Dios le pido
Y que si me muero sea de amor
Y si me enamoro sea de vos
Y que de tu voz sea este corazón
Todos los días a Dios le pido
You can think 3 of the lines that cover your question re-written as:
Y si me muero, [a Dios le pido que] sea de amor
Y si me enamoro, [a Dios le pido que] sea de vos Y [a Dios le pido] que [sea] de tu voz
[a Dios le pido] que [tu voz] sea [en] este corazón
Pedir is a verb like querer, desear that requires the use of subjunctive (wish/desire/want). You often can see statements like Que no te vayas omitting the verb that implies the subjective. In those situations, you can imagine a verb of request is preceding the word que. For example: Te pido que no te vayas.
So, the translation:
I prey to you my God:
if I die, be it from love,
and if I fall in love, be it yours,
and be it from your voice,
and that your voice be in this heart.
I prey to you every day.
Yes, the translation lose a lot of the poetry of the song but I hope you will be satisfied with my effort.
Thank you for this. I will refer back to it when I get there in my Spanish tree. I am functional in French but rarely if ever really use the subjunctive. It just hasn't stuck -- and native speakers have been forgiving. There are times when not really thinking about that I actually use it -- and correctly.
For example, I would never say:
Je veux que tu le fais.
But do manage the subjunctive without really thinking about it:
Je veux que tu le fasses.
For me, this has come from being immersed in French environments and mimicking the native speakers (yes, after some formal education/practice). I am hoping this will happen in Spanish for me too.
I thought this was very informative, although I already knew how to do subjunctives. The first chart is incorrect and I don't want people to get confused because it's wrong. You have the headers in the wrong spot because the "-ar" is with the "-er/-ir." Also, the "-er/-ir" endings are wrong because with "-ir," you use the endings "-imos" (for nosotros/nosotras) and "-is" (vosotros/vosotras). I hope that you can change this and don't think I'm being rude for correcting your hard work :)
Oh... I'm sorry, I didn't know. I'm kinda dumb you know, so I think I was confusing it with conjugating verbs. Although, the chart still doesn't make sense. I still think that "-ar" should be switched with the other one, but whatever, what do I know. Sorry to confuse anyone and I'm sorry I didn't understand something.
please gymnast_megs, keep in mind that Spanish is not English, you are referring to the rules of the indicative mood (statements I WILL BE 24 next week ) and here we are explainig very correctly and carefully the subjunctive mood (whatever WILL BE, will be) .
Now you try to translate my examples into Spanish... the spelling should be different.
Have you tried to add Spanish in the keyboard ...in your iPad? you can switch between languages depending on the language you are using... I find it quite useful myself (well, not now, I'm using my pc right now, but when using my mobile)
¿Útil? (please reply in Spanish so you practice....)