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Obviousness, knowledge, and certainty are considered real – at least to the speaker – and therefore do not call for the Spanish subjunctive. Using these verbs and expressions in the negative or interrogative, however, indicates doubt: thus the subjunctive is required.
These are the Spanish verbs and phrases that may or may not be followed by the subjunctive, depending on how they’re used:
|conocer (a alguien) que||to know (someone) who|
|creer que||to believe that|
|decir que||to say that|
|es cierto que||it is certain that|
|es claro que||it’s clear that|
|es evidente que||it is obvious that|
|es seguro que||it is certain that|
|es una realidad||it’s a fact that|
|es un hecho||it’s a fact that|
|es verdad que||it is true that|
|estar cierto que||to be certain that|
|estar seguro de que||to be sure that|
|pensar que||to think that|
|saber que||to know that|
Por ejemplo …
|¿Crees que él sea triste?||Do you believe he’s sad?|
|Sí, creo que es triste.||Yes, I believe he’s sad.|
|No, no creo que sea triste.||No, I don’t believe he’s sad.|
In contrast, the verbs dudar (to doubt) and negar (to deny) take the subjunctive when they are affirmative, but not when they are negative.
|Dudo que venga.||I doubt he’ll come.|
|No dudo que viene.||I don’t doubt that he’ll come.|
More Spanish subjunctive
- Introduction to the subjunctive
- Regular subjunctive conjugations
- Irregular subjunctive conjugations
- Subjunctive with conjunctions
- Subjunctive with adjective clauses
- The Sujunctivisor!
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