Chapter 4

The Subjunctive (El Subjuntivo)

The subjunctive is used to express emotions, doubts, wishes, the unknown, and the abstract. Is used to talk about things that are subjective and/or possible, but not certain.

  • Es posible que estudie español en el verano.
    It is possible that I may study Spanish during the summer.

The subjunctive is one of three moods (mood reflects the attitude of a speaker as a true statement in Spanish). The other two Spanish moods are the indicative and the imperative.

  • The indicative mood is used to talk about facts and other statements that are believed to be true and concrete. It is used to talk about things that are objective and/or certain.
      • Yo estudio español.
        I study Spanish.

     

  • The imperative mood is used to give commands.

Most sentences in the subjunctive are characterized by:

  • Two subjects, one in the main clause and one in the secondary clause.
    • La maestra quiere que leas el libro.
      The teacher wants you to read the book.

The teacher as the subject who wants in the main clause is what determines the use of the subjunctive in the secondary clause.

  • Two verbs, one in the indicative in the main clause and one in the subjunctive in the secondary clause.
    • La maestra quiere que tú leas el libro.
      The teacher wants you to read the book.
  • A pronoun, “que” or “quien“, which links the main (indicative) clause to the secondary (subjunctive) clause.
    • La maestra quiere que tú leas el libro.
      The teacher wants you to read the book.

 

Related phrases and words / Subjunctive

  • Wishes
  • Emotions
  • Impersonal Expressions
  • recommendations
  • Doubt/Denial
  • Ojalá

 

Related phrases and words / Indicative

  • Speech
  • Perceptions
  • Occurrences
  • Certainty
  • Knowledge

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Spanish 002 by Ana Serrano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.