Expressing Feelings - Example Sentences  

Theory
The sentences that we have worked with up to now are all of one particular type. They are statements of fact. They describe reality. When we say, "Mary is studying", we are simply describing the fact that she is doing that action. Now we want to take a look at another kind of sentence.
  • I want to study in the library.
  • John needs to study in the library.

Notice that in these sentences we are not saying that the person is actually doing the action of studying. We are focusing on the desire, feeling, emotion. We are not speaking about what someone is actually doing, but rather about what the feeling is about the desired action, which hasn't actually happened but rather exists only in the mind or the imagination of the person who is speaking. You should remember that sentences of this kind use the "infinitive", the form of the verb which uses "to" in English, and in Spanish ends with the letter "r". We have seen that Spanish uses the same word pattern in these cases as English.

Now we are going to go one step further with this idea of sentences which express feelings about doing things. Notice that in the sentences we have seen so far, in which we use the infinitive, the person (or people) wants to do something himself (or themselves). Let's take a look at another situation. Let's use the verb "hope", which in Spanish is "espera" (notice that it is a verb of the "A" category).

  • The teacher hopes that John studies in the library.

Notice that it is a fact that the teacher "hopes", but it is not a fact that "John studies". The emphasis is on the feeling or desire of the teacher, not on the actual fact of what John is doing. At this point the studying is only something which the teacher is thinking about. The action that he hopes for is only the subject of his thoughts. He is imagining the possibility of John studying, not describing it as a fact. Let's see how we would do this in Spanish.

  • El profesor espera que Juan estudi-.

Notice that I left the last letter out in "study" and used a dash (-). This is because we are going to have to make a change. We have learned that there are two patterns for verbs in Spanish, the "A" pattern and the "E" pattern. When we describe a fact, "A" verbs have the letter "a" in the middle and "E" verbs have the letter "e" in the middle. When we have a sentence that focuses on someone's feeling about what someone else is doing, we have to switch the "a" to "e", or in the case of an "E" verb, we switch the "e" to "a". We could see this in the form of a chart.

"A" verbs fact feeling
            A    E 

"E" verbs fact feeling
            E    A 

Notice that we are just flip-flopping the vowel in the middle of the verb. In the example above, the correct answer would be the following.

  • El profesor quiere que Juan estudie.
Examples
Let's take a look at some practice examples.
We are studying in the library.
Nosotros estudiamos en la biblioteca.
The teacher hopes that we are studying in the library.
El profesor espera que nosotros estudiemos en la biblioteca.
You are studying in the library.
Tú estudias en la biblioteca.
The teacher hopes that you are studying in the library.
El profesor espera que tú estudies en la biblioteca.
The boys are studying in the library.
Los muchachos estudian en la biblioteca.
The teacher hopes that the boys are studying in the library.
El profesor espera que los muchachos estudien en la biblioteca.
Theory
Now let's look at another sentence pattern in English in which we focus on feelings where someone cares about what someone else does.
  • The teacher wants the boys to study.

Here we have a different word pattern. Let's compare this with the pattern we used with the verb "hope".

  • The teacher hopes that the boys study.

Notice that when we use "hope" to express the feeling, we use the pattern with the word "that" (person "X" hopes that person "Y" does something). However, when we use "want" to express the feeling, we use the "to" pattern (person "X" wants person "Y" to do something, in English. How do we decide which pattern to follow in English? It's like we have two "boxes" of verbs in our brains (which we have learned since we were children). For example, if we used the verb "beg" in English we would say, "The teacher begs the students to study", while if we use "pray", we would say, "The teacher prays that the boys study". We are so used to these patterns that we associate one pattern with one "box" of verbs and the other pattern with the other "box" of verbs.

In Spanish, the situation is different. We do use the "R" form pattern in Spanish, but it has nothing to do with the particular verb that is used. We use this pattern in Spanish when someone wants to do something himself/herself. When we have a situation where one person cares about what another does, we use the pattern with "that" (just like the pattern we use with "hope" in English), no matter what the particular verb is. This means that for the sentence, "The teacher wants the boys to study", we can not translate word-for-word. We have to reorganize the word pattern and change it to the one which we would use with "hope".

Examples
Examples:
  • The teacher hopes that the boys study.
  • The teacher wants that the boys study.

Notice that in this case, in Spanish, we would not use the infinitive "to study" ("estudiar"). We would have the following pattern.

  • El profesor quiere que los muchachos estudien.

Let's practice making "feeling" sentence in which someone cares about what someone else does, using the verb "want".

I am studying.
Yo estudio.
The teacher wants me to study.
El profesor quiere que yo estudie.
We are studying.
Nosotros estudiamos.
The teacher wants us to study.
El profesor quiere que nosotros estudiemos.
The boys are studying.
Los muchachos estudian.
The teacher wants the boys to study.
El profesor quiere que los muchachos estudien.
Theory

In the case of "E" verbs, we would follow the same practice. In this case, the "e" would change to "a" in the sentence pattern we use to say that someone cares about what someone else is doing. Let's see how this works with some sentences in which we use the verb "to read" ("leer").

Examples
I'm reading the book.
Yo leo el libro.
The teacher wants me to read the book.
El profesor quiere que yo lea el libro.
John, are you reading the book?
Juan, ¿Lees el libro?
The teacher wants you to read the book.
El profesor quiere que tú leas el libro.
Mary is reading the book.
María lee el libro.
The teacher wants Mary to read the book.
El profesor quiere que María lea el libro.
We are reading the book.
Nosotros leemos el libro.
The teacher wants us to read the book.
El profesor quiere que nosotros leamos el libro.
The girls are reading the book.
Las muchachas leen el libro.
The teacher wants the girls to read the book.
El profesor quiere que las muchachas lean el libro.
Theory

Remember that "I" verbs actually follow the "E" verb pattern. The only places where "I" verbs are different from "E" verbs is in two forms, the "-imos" form and the "-ir" form. In the case of feeling sentences, "I" verbs will work exactly like "E" verbs. Let's practice sentences in which we use the verb "to write" ("escribir").

I'm writing the lesson (la lección).
Yo escribo la lección.
The teacher wants me to write the lesson.
El profesor quiere que yo escriba la lección.
John is writing the lesson.
Juan escribe la lección.
The teacher wants John to write the lesson.
El profesor quiere que Juan escriba la lección.
Mary, are you writing the lesson?
María, ¿ Escribes la lección?
The teacher wants you to write the lesson.
El profesor quiere que tú escribas la lección.
We are writing the lesson.
Nosotros escribimos la lección.
The teacher wants us to write the lesson.
El profesor quiere que nosotros escribamos la lección.
The boys are writing the lesson.
Los muchachos escriben la lección.
The teacher wants the boys to write the lesson.
El profesor quiere que los muchachos escriban la lección.

Let's take a look at some other "A" category verbs. We'll use "to buy the tickets" ("comprar los boletos") and "to carry the suitcases" ("llevar las maletas").

I'm buying the tickets.
Yo compro los boletos.
Mary wants me to buy the tickets.
María quiere que yo compre los boletos.
John is buying the tickets.
Juan compra los boletos.
Mary wants John to buy the tickets.
El profesor quiere que Juan compre los boletos.
We are buying the tickets.
Nosotros compramos los boletos.
Mary wants us to buy the tickets.
El profesor quiere que nosotros compremos los boletos.
The boys are buying the tickets.
Los muchachos compran los boletos.
Mary wants the boys to buy the tickets.
María quiere que los muchachos compren los boletos.
I'm carrying the suitcases.
Yo llevo las maletas.
Mary wants me to carry the suitcases.
María quiere que yo lleve las maletas.
Are you carrying the suitcases?
¿Llevas las maletas?
Mary wants you to carry the suitcases.
María quiere que tú lleves las maletas.
We are carrying the suitcases.
Nosotros llevamos las maletas.
Mary wants us to carry the suitcases.
María quiere que nosotros llevemos las maletas.
The boys are carrying the suitcases.
Los muchachos llevan las maletas.
Mary wants the boys to carry the suitcases.
María quiere que los muchachos lleven las maletas.
Theory

We need to remember that often the verb is not a single word. It is a phrase. In the sentences that we have used, the phrase is made up of one verb which must match the subject, and another verb in the "R" form. In this case, only the verb that matches will change from "a" to "e" or vice versa in feeling sentences. The second verb in the phrase which is in the "R" form will not change. The infinitive never changes the vowel category. Look at the following sentences in which we use the verb "can" ("puede") along with an infinitive ("R" form). We'll use the verb "to help" ("ayudar").

Examples
I can help.
Yo puedo ayudar.
Mary says that she hopes that I can help.
María dice que ella espera que yo pueda ayudar.
Can you help?
¿Puedes ayudar?
Mary says that she hopes that you can help.
María dice que ella espera que tú puedas ayudar.
We can help.
Nosotros podemos ayudar.
Mary says that she hopes that we can help.
María dice que ella espera que nosotros podamos ayudar.
John can help.
Juan puede ayudar.
Mary says that she hopes that John can help.
María dice que ella espera que Juan pueda ayudar.
The boys can help.
Los muchachos pueden ayudar.
Mary says that she hopes that the boys can help.
María dice que ella espera que los muchachos puedan ayudar.
Theory

Some verbs are completely irregular and we must memorize them. Here is a chart with the forms of "go" that you need to know at this time.

"to go", ("IR")


           voy    vamos           vaya    vayamos
           vas    van             vayas   vayan
           va                     vaya
Examples
Let's practice sentences in which we use the verb "go".
I'm going to the store.
Yo voy a la tienda.
Mary wants me to go to the store.
María quiere que yo vaya a la tienda.
Are you going to the store?
¿Vas a la tienda?
Mary wants you to go to the store.
María quiere que tú vayas a la tienda.
We are going to the store.
Nosotros vamos a la tienda.
Mary wants us to go to the store.
María quiere que nosotros vayamos a la tienda.
The girls are going to the store.
Las muchachas van a la tienda.
Mary wants the girls to go to the store.
María quiere que las muchachas vayan a la tienda.

Now let's see how this would word in a verb phrase with "can".

I can go to the library with John.
Yo puedo ir a la biblioteca con Juan.
John says that he hopes that I can go to the library with him.
Juan dice que él espera que yo pueda ir a la biblioteca con él.
Can you go to the library with John?
¿Puedes ir a la biblioteca con Juan?
John says that he hopes that you can go to the library with him.
Juan dice que él espera que tú puedas ir a la biblioteca con él.
We can go to the library with John.
Nosotros podemos ir a la biblioteca con Juan.
John says that he hopes that we can go to the library with him.
Juan dice que él espera que nosotros podamos ir a la biblioteca con él.
The boys can go to the library with John.
Los muchachos pueden ir a la biblioteca con Juan.
John says that he hopes that the boys can go to the library with him.
Juan dice que él espera que los muchachos puedan ir a la biblioteca con él.
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