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Copy of Week 14 Day 1: Introduction to the Subjunctive

  • English

  • Spanish

Today's goal is:

  • To learn about the subjunctive

Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 1

Joaquin: ¿A qué hora nos tenemos que encontrar con papá?

What time are we meeting dad?

Isabel: Él dijo que a las 4. Él quiere que vayamos al cine o algo así.

He said at 4. He wants to go to the movies with us or something.

Joaquin: Yo no tengo muchas ganas de ir al cine.

I’m not really in the mood for a movie.

Isabel: Yo tampoco, pero no sé si él quiera hacer otra cosa. 

Me neither, but I don’t know if he would want to do something else.

Joaquin: Sí, tienes razón.

Yeah, you’re right.

Isabel: Mira las nubes. ¿Crees que llueva más tarde?

Look at the clouds. Do you think it might rain later?

Joaquin: No sé. Puede que llueva un poco.

I don’t know. It might rain a bit.

Isabel: Voy a llevar mi paraguas. No quiero que nos mojemos.

I’m taking my umbrella with me. I don’t want us to get wet.

Joaquin: Espero que papá no llegue tarde como la vez pasada.

I hope dad doesn’t arrive late as he did the last time.

Isabel: Lo voy a llamar para recordarle la hora y el lugar.

I’m going to call him to remind him of the time and place.

Joaquin: Buena idea.

Great idea.

Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 2

El subjuntivo – the subjunctive

  • English

  • Spanish

We use the subjunctive to express ideas with a degree of subjectivity or uncertainty. Certain expressions of necessity, judgement, as well as feelings or desires are also expressed with the subjunctive. 

Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Ojalá todo salga bien. - (I hope everything goes well.)
  • Yo dudo que ellos conozcan a Ana. - (I doubt they know who Ana is.)
  • Es necesario que ellos vengan a la reunión. - (It is necessary they come to the meeting.)
  • Yo no creo que pase nada. - (I don’t think anything is going to happen.)

Although the subjunctive is a mood and not a verbal tense, to use it correctly we need to conjugate the verbs accordingly. In this lesson, we will only cover the present subjunctive, which we can use to refer to either the present or the future.

Speaking Practice Exercise 1

Here’s how to conjugate regular verbs in the subjunctive:

Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 3

(–ar verbs)



yo ame

nosotros, nosotras amemos

tú ames

ellos, ellas, ustedes amen

él, ella, usted ame


(–er verbs)



yo coma

nosotros, nosotras comamos

tú comas

ellos, ellas, ustedes coman

él, ella, usted coma


(–ir verbs)



yo viva

nosotros, nosotras vivamos

tú vivas

ellos, ellas, ustedes vivan

él, ella, usted viva

  • English

  • Spanish


-er and -ir regular verbs are conjugated the same in the present subjunctive. 

Let’s take a look at some of the uses of the subjunctive mood:

Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 4

Deseos y voluntades – wishes and desires

  • English

  • Spanish

Wishes and desires are often expressed with the subjunctive mood. Some of the most common verb that are followed by the subjunctive are querer, desear, esperar, preferir, soñar con, tener ganas de, me gustaría, and me encantaría

  • Yo quiero que mi hijo estudie aquí. - (I want my son to study here.)
  • Mi jefe espera que trabaje todo el día. - (My boss expects me to work all day long.)
  • Yo prefiero que los niños no coman tantos dulces. - (I prefer the kids don’t eat so many sweets.)
  • Me encantaría que llames a Pedro. - (I would like you to call Pedro.)

¡Ojalá…!, and ¡Qué…! also express wishes about the present or future. They both roughly translate to “I hope….” 

Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 5

  • Ojalá no llueva. - (I hope it doesn’t rain.)
  • ¡Qué tengas un lindo día! - (I hope you have a nice day!)
  • ¡Qué duermas bien! - (I hope you sleep well!)

  • Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 6

    Emociones y sentimientos – feelings and emotions

    • English

    • Spanish

    When we express someone’s feelings or emotions towards an action or situation, we need to use the subjunctive. Some of the most common verbs that are followed by the subjunctive are temer, sentir, odiar, lamentar, and no soportar. We can also find verbs preceded by an indirect pronoun (me, te, le, nos, les), such as, gustar, emocionar, dar envidia, extrañar, indignar, molestar, parecer bien/mal, and sorprender.

    • Yo lamento que te sientas así. - (I’m sorry you feel that way.)
    • Me gusta que disfrutes mi comida. - (I’m glad you enjoy my food.)
    • Me parece bien que vayan al cine. - (I think it’s good you guys are going to the movies.)
    • Él teme que sus amigos confiesen. - (He is afraid his friends will confess.)

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 7

    Cambio de sujeto – change of subject

    • English

    • Spanish

    In sentences with the subjunctive mood the subject tends to change. We can divide the entire idea in a “main” clause and a “subordinate” clause. The main clause often expresses how the speaker feels about the action or situation detailed in the subordinate clause.

    • Yo quiero que tú seas feliz. - (I want you to be happy)

    Yo quiero = main clause / tú seas feliz = subordinate clause

    As you can see in the example above, the main clause has the subject yo, and the subordinate clause has a different subject . Both clauses have their respective verbs which are conjugated to the subject they accompany. The subordinated clause is where we will find the subjunctive mood. Also, the conjunction que works as a bridge joining both sentences.

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 8

    • Luisa espera que Mario la llame mañana. - (Luisa hopes Mario will call her tomorrow.)

    Luisa espera = main clause / Mario la llame mañana = subordinate clause

    • Me molesta que mis vecinos hagan tanto ruido. - (It bothers me when my neighbors make so much noise.)

    Me molesta = main clause / mis vecinos hagan tanto ruido = subordinate clause

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 9

    Consejos, órdenes y peticiones – advice, orders and requests

    • English

    • Spanish

    To talk about recommendations, suggestions, orders, proposals, petitions, and prohibitions, we use the subjunctive. Some of the most common verbs we can find are aconsejar, recomendar, sugerir, proponer, ordenar, exigir, pedir, and prohibir

    • Yo sugiero que ustedes despierten temprano. - (I suggest you guys wake up early.)
    • Te recomiendo que escribas un libro. - (I recommend you to write a book.)
    • Les pido que ayuden a Ana. - (I’m asking you to help Ana.)
    • Te prohíbo que veas a ese chico. - (I forbid you to see that boy.)

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 10

    Valoraciones – evaluations and judgements

    • English

    • Spanish

    To give our judgement or evaluation of a particular situation, we can use the subjunctive. These are usually constructions with the verb ser and estar followed by one of the following adjectives: necesario, importante, extraño, curioso, raro, normal, legal, ilegal, increíble, and una locura

    • Es importante que decidan qué harán. - (It’s important you decide what you’re going to do)
    • Es increíble que Luis te trate así. - (It’s incredible that Luis is treating you like that.)
    • Es una locura que esas cosas sucedan. - (It’s crazy those things happen.)
    • Es ilegal que manejes borracho. - (It’s illegal for you to drive while drunk.)

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 11

    Opiniones negadas y dudas – negated opinions and doubts

    • English

    • Spanish

    Verbs that convey opinions are always followed by subjunctive when they are preceded by “no.” Some of these verbs are creer, pensar, opinar, suponer, imaginar, parecer, and saber

    • No creo que Jesús tenga novia. - (I don’t think Jesús has a girlfriend.)
    • No sé qué pienses tú. - (I don’t know what you might think.)
    • Al jefe no le parece que salgamos temprano. - (The boss doesn’t agree with us leaving work early.)
    • Ellos no imaginan que tú trabajes aquí. - (They don’t imagine you work here.)

    The verb dudar is always followed by the subjunctive, whether it is used affirmatively or negatively.

    Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 12

  • Yo dudo que sepas lo que haces. - (I doubt you know what you’re doing.)
  • Yo no dudo que seas buen padre. - (I don’t doubt you’re a good father.)

  • Listen to Week 14 Day 1 Track 13

    Probabilidad e hipótesis – Probability and hypothesis

    • English

    • Spanish

    Lastly, we can use subjunctive to express probability or hypothesis. Quizá/Quizás, tal vez, puede ser, es posible, es probable, es imposible, probablemente, posiblemente and seguramente are some of the verbs and expressions that we can use in this category. 

    • Probablemente David llegue mañana. - (David will probably arrive tomorrow.)
    • Tal vez la profesora falte a clases hoy. (Maybe the teacher will miss class today.)
    • Es imposible que ellos pasemos el examen. (It’s impossible they will pass the exam.)
    • Puede ser que mi mamá me llame esta noche. (My mom might call me tonight.)

    Speaking Practice Exercise 2

    WEEK 14 DAY 1 REVIEW: 



    Today we talked about the subjunctive mood. Remember this structure can be used for a multitude of reasons. We can use it when talking about desires and feelings, when expressing doubts, probabilities, negated opinions, and judgements, as well as giving orders or recommendations.

    Sharpen Your Knowledge with Exercises

    Exercise 1

    Exercise 2

    Exercise 3

    Exercise 4

    Exercise 5

    Exercise 6