Adverbial Clause  

Present Subjunctive Adverbial Clause

Adverbial clauses are introduced by conjunctions, such as para que (so that), antes de que (before), and hasta que (until). The indicative or subjunctive mood may be required in the adverbial clause depending on various factors.

If no change of subject is involved and if the adverbial expression deals with something that is viewed as completed, habitual, or factual, the indicative is used.

No Change in Subject - Factual - indicative

Ahorra su dinero para poder comprar un coche.
He's saving his money so he can buy a car,

If the situation in the adverbial clause is viewed as something hypothetical or anticipated —rather than completed, habitual, or factual— then the subjunctive is required.

Hypothetical or Anticipated Event - subjunctive

Nosotros no saldremos hasta que limpiemos la casa.
We won't leave until we clean the house.

Adverbial conjunctions, such as those below, are ALWAYS followed by the subjunctive because they always indicate a pending/hypothetical action or state.

a fin de que - so that
a condición de que - on the condition
a menos que - unless
a no ser que - lest, unless
antes (de) que - before
con tal (de) que - provided that
en caso de que - in case
no sea que - lest, so that ... not
no fuera que - lest, so that ... not
para que - so that
sin que - without

Note: Where de is given in parentheses above, it is optional; that is, the conjunction "before" may be expressed as antes que or antes de que.

No voy a menos que venga ella.
I'm not going unless she comes.

Salgo a la una con tal que se termine todo.
I leave at 1:00 provided everything is done.

Trabaja mucho para que vivan bien.
She works hard so they (can) live well.

No hago nada sin que lo sepan.
I don't do anything without their knowing it.

Normally a preposition is used when no change of subject is involved; it is followed by an infinitive, not the subjunctive or indicative.

Mi hijo vive para tocar la guitarra.
My son lives to play the guitar.

Ganaré antes de salir.
I'll win before I leave [before leaving.]

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Popular Phrase: how do you say | Irregular Spanish Verbs | Conjugated Verb: conseguir - to get, obtain [ click for full conjugation ]