Spanish subjunctive
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The Spanish subjunctive is a special verb form, called a mood, that is used in dependent clauses to indicate some sort of subjectivity, uncertainty, or unreality in the mind of the speaker. In Spanish, feelings like doubt and desire require the subjunctive, as do expressions of necessity, possibility, and judgment. It can be helpful to consider them in themed groups:

  1. Preferences, Advice, Needs, Desires, Orders
  2. Judgments, Emotions, Feelings
  3. Possibilities, Opinions, Doubts, Suppositions
  4. Additional Subjunctive Triggers

  Note that there are two additional conditions to meet before using the Spanish subjunctive:

1) Que
The dependent clauses is introduced by the relative pronoun que (that).

Quiero que tu lo hagas.   I want you do it.
No es cierto que yo venga.   It’s not certain that I will come (am coming).

2) Two subjects
The subjects of the dependent and main clauses are usually different. If the subjects are the same, the infinitive can be used instead of the subjunctive.

Quiero que vayas al museo.   I want you to go to the museum.
Quiero ir al museo.   I want to go to the museum.
Quiero que yo vaya al museo.    

There are hundreds of verbs, expressions, and conjunctions that call for the subjunctive, so it’s helpful to divide them into themes.

French subjunctive

Preferences, Advice, Needs, Desires, Orders (PANDO)

aconsejar que   to advise
decir (a alguien) que   to tell (someone to do something)
dejar que   to let, allow
desear que   to desire that
es hora que   it’s time that
es importante que   it is important that
es necesario que   it is necessary that
es preciso que   it is necessary that
evitar que   to avoid
exigir que   to demand that
hacer falta que   to be necessary that
hacer que   to make, force
impedir que   to prevent
insistir en que   to insist that
invitar que   to invite
mandar que   to order
necesitar que   to need
pedir (a alguien) que   to ask (someone to do something)
permitir que   to permit
preferir que   to prefer that
prohibir que   to forbid
proponer que   to propose that
querer que   to want that
recomendar que   to recommend
rogar que   to request, beg
sugerir que   to suggest that

French subjunctive

Judgments, Emotions, Feelings (JEF)

alegrarse de que   to be happy that
es bueno que   it’s good that
es conveniente que   it’s convenient that
es difícil que   it’s hard
es extraño que   it’s strange that
es fácil que   it’s easy
es increíble que   it’s incredible that
es interesante   it’s interesting that
es inútil que   it’s useless that (there’s no point)
es justo que   it’s fair that
es (una) lástima que   it’s a pity that
es malo que   it’s ( too) bad that
es mejor que   it’s better that
es peor que   it’s worse that
es preferible que   it’s preferable that
es raro que   it’s strange that
es triste que   it’s sad that
es útil que   it’s useful that
esperar que   to hope that
estar contento que   to be happy that
estar triste que   to be sad that
extrañarse que   to be amazed that
gustarse que   to like
más vale que   it’s better that
sentir que   to regret, be sorry that
sorprenderse que   to be surprised that
temer que   to fear that
tener miedo que   to be afraid that

French subjunctive

Possibilities, Opinions, Doubts, Suppositions (PODS)

aparecer que   to appear, seem that
buscar … que*   to look for
detestar que   to hate
dudar que   to doubt
es dudoso que   it is doubtful that
es imposible que   it is impossible that
es improbable que   it is improbable that
es posible que   it is possible that
es probable que   it is probable that
negar que   to deny
no es cierto que   it is not certain that
no es claro que   it’s not clear that
no es evidente que   it is not obvious that
no es obvio que   it is not obvious that
no es que   it’s not that
no es seguro que   it is not certain that
no es verdad que   it is not true that
no estar seguro de que   to not be certain than

* Whether to use the subjunctive with buscar depends on whether you know the person or thing exists – learn more.

Additional Spanish Subjunctive Triggers

 More Spanish Subjunctive



Spanish Subjunctive Tenses

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Spanish subjunctive

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