subjunctive vs indicative  

Present Subjunctive Subjunctive vs Indicative

Below is a list of common words or phrases which tend to indicate the use of the subjunctive.

Wishs

Desear, Esperar...

Regina desea que José venga a la fiesta.
Regina hopes that José comes to the party.

Emotions

Alegrarse de, Asombrarse de, Avergonzarse, Celebrar, Confiar, Enojarse, Moletarse, Sorprenderse, Entristecerse de, Estar (contento, triste, preocupado, asustado, angustiado...), Extrañarse de que, Lamentar, Oponerse a, Preferir, Sentir*, Temer, Tener miedo de,

In most cases you will need to use constructions that follow the format of verbs like "gustar"
Alegrar, Apenar, Apetecer, Apremiar, Asombrar, Aterrar, Avergonzar, Caer bien/mal, Convencer, Complacer, Disgustar, Doler, Emocionar, Entristecer, Entusiasmar, Encantar, Enojar, Extrañar, Fascinar, Gustar, Halagar, Importar, Impresionar, Intrigar, Interesar, Indignar, Molestar, Preocupar, Sorprender, Urgir...

Todas las combinaciones con el verbo "parecer",
Parecer (Increíble/obvio, Injusto/justo, Importante/banal, bien/mal, bueno/malo, raro/normal, imprudente/prudente...)

*When "sentir" is used in the sense of "to be sorry/to lamment", you need the subjunctive; but if you are using it as "I feel/I believe" (i.e. Siento que tú no puedes ir a la fiesta porque Daniela no te invitó), you need to use the indicative.

Me alegro de que Luisa vaya a dar una fiesta.

Sentimos que tú no puedas ir a la fiesta.

Me parece raro que la fiesta sea el lunes.

Doubt

Dudar, No creer, No pensar, No estar seguro, Presumir...
¿Creer que…? ¿Pensar que…?**

Note: The verbs, "sospechar" (to suspect) and suponer (to suppose) do not convey doubt! With these verbs you will use the indicative.
**Only used in questions when you expect a negative answer or when you want to convey doubt. Creer and Pensar, will always use the indicative when they are used in an affirmative statement: Yo creo que me voy a divertir.

Noé duda que toquen música "rap".

¿Crees tú que sirvan Coca-Cola en la fiesta?

Denying

No + Verb*, Negar, No existir, No hay...

*Excepto Dudar, because if you don't doubt, you are certain of something; therefore you won't need the subjunctive, but the indicative.

Ellos negaron que tú seas su amigo.

No hay nadie que mejores fiestas que Luisa.

No encuentras ningún regalo que le guste a Luisa.

Influence

Aconsejar, Advertir, Aprobar, Asegurarse de, Causar, Convencer, Conseguir, Decir*, Dejar** , Disuadir, Empeñarse en, Escribir***, Evitar, Exigir, Hacer que, Impedir, Insistir en, Lograr, Mandar, Necesitar, Obligar a, Oponerse a, Ordenar, Pedir, Permitir, Persuadir a, Preferir, Prohibir, Proponer, Provocar, Querer, Recomendar, Requerir, Rogar, Sugerir, Suplicar...

*When decir is used to tell somebody to do something, you need the subjunctive; but if you are using it just to convey information (i.e. Elia dice que eres guapa), you use the indicative)

**In the sense of "to allow" you will need the subjunctive; but if you use it to mean "to leave behind" (i.e. María siempre deja a su bebé en casa de sus papás), you will need the indicative.

***When escribir is used to tell somebody to do something, you need the subjunctive (i.e. En su memorandum, la directora escribe que vayas a su oficina); but if you are using it just to convey information (i.e. Elia escribe en su carta que España es muy bonita, you use the indicative)

Asegúrate de que haya suficiente hielo.

Tom sugiere que compres vasos de plástico.

Elia dice que te vistas rápido para la cena.

Luisa, deja que Sandra traiga los bocadillos.

Luisa hace que todos cooperen en su fiesta.

Uncertainty

In Spanish, when the verb in the adjective clause describes something that may not exist or that has not happened yet, the verb must be in the subjunctive. When the adjective clause describes a factual situation (something that is true), the indicative is used. In the first two examples, the idea communicated by using the subjunctive is that we do not know if such music or people exist.

There are some cases in which, thanks to the conjunctions used, the subjunctive will be used always (and never the indicative). These adverbial clauses also serve to describe something that has not happened yet (because one condition has to be fullfilled first). The most common are:

En caso de que... (In the event that, in case that)
Sin que... (without)
Con tal de que... (provided that, so as long as)
A menos de que... (unless)
Para que... (so that, in order to)
Antes de que... (before)

A fin de que... (so that)

The following is another set of conjunctions that may or may not use the subjunctive depending on the intended meaning. That is, if in the main clause you are referring to a situation that has not been experienced yet, or if there is an implication that it will happen in the future, you will use the subjunctive; but if you are relating a fact, something that has happened or that usually happens, then you will use the indicative. These are only some of the conjunctions that lend themselves to this:

A pesar de que (in spite of)
Apenas (as soon as)
Aunque (although, even though, even if)
Cualquiera (anyone)
Cuandoquiera (whenever)
Cuando (when)
Dondequiera (wherever)
Después de que (after)
En cuanto (as soon as)
Hasta que (until)
Mientras (while)
Por más... que (howeer much)
Tan pronto como (as soon as)

How do you know if you need the subjunctive or the indicative with these conjunctions? You will need the subjunctive if the action of the subordinate clause (the one with the conjunction) has not been accomplished at the time indicated in the main clause. If the subordinate clause refers to situations that already occurred, you will use the indicative.

The subjunctive in the conditional clauses (Si + past subjunctive / pluscuamperfecto) also are used to describe something that has not happened yet, some hypothetical situation, or one that is contrary to the facts. We have a condition to fullfill before something happens. When one of these conditions refers to a future event, the imperfect subjunctive is used in the subordinate clause (the "si" clause), and the conditional is used in the main clause (i.e. Si tuvieras dinero, podrías ir con nosotros al cine). When referring to a past time, you will have to use the past perfect subjunctive (i.e. Si hubieras trabajado este verano, habrías tenido dinero). Keep in mind that if the dependent clause is neither hypothetical nor contrary to fact, or if it is likely to take place, you will have to use the indicative. (i.e. Si mi mamá me presta el auto, yo paso por ti).

WARNING: Si + present subjunctive / present perfect subjunctive cannot happen!!!! Remember that to talk about an IDEAL/HYPOTHETICAL situation in the present, you use the past subjunctive: "Si hoy tuviera dinero, compraría un libro". If you want to talk an IDEAL situation in the past, you need the pluscuamperfect of the subjunctive: "Si ayer hubiera tenido dinero, habría comprado un libro". In order to talk about a REAL situation in the present, you use the present indicative: "Si tengo dinero, voy a comprar el libro"

¡En esta fiesta sólo vamos a invitar a gente que sea simpática!

¡Busco música que tenga mucho ritmo!

Para que la fiesta sea un éxito, necesitamos tener buena música.

Cuando vayas a su fiesta, llévale este regalo.

Tan pronto como termine mi tarea, iremos a la fiesta.

Podemos reunirnos dondequiera que tú elijas

Con tal de que tengan música en español no me importa si es rock o rap.

¡En las fiestas de Luisa el tiempo pasa sin que te des cuenta!

Si tuviera mi propio automóvil, yo pasaría por ti para ir a la fiesta.

Si hubiera sabido que la fiesta iba a ser esta semana, no habría hecho planes para cuidar a mi hermanito.

Generalizations

Also called "impersonal expressions", are those statements that do not have a person as the subject of the main clause:

ACASO/ TAL VEZ / QUIZÁ(S) (maybe)

BASTA + QUE (to be enough)

CONVIENE + QUE (to be suitable)

HACE FALTA + QUE (to be necessary)

IMPORTA + QUE (to matter)

MÁS VALE + QUE (to be better)

OJALÁ + (QUE) (hopefully)

POSIBLEMENTE (possibly)

PUEDE SER + QUE (it may be)

ES + (almost any adjective) + QUE

Es (absurdo, inevitable, impresionante, bueno, malo, interesante, sorprendente, emocionante, increíble, lógico, raro, conveniente, inútil, terrible, mejor, posible, lamentable, vergonzoso, natural, extraño, estupendo, curioso, agradable, preferible, aconsejable, recomendable, conveniente, relevante, fantástico, deseable, esencial, imperativo, preciso, urgente...) que....

ES + (almost any noun) + QUE

Es (una lástima, un triunfo, una casualidad, un error, un misterio, una exageración, una buena/mala idea, una bendición, un reto, una pena...) que...

WARNING: The following expressions do not use the subjunctive! You will need to use the indicative with these adjectives because they convey certainty! For this same reason, "No es dudoso", will not use the subjunctive.

Es cierto es evidente es indiscutible
es seguro es verdad es indudable
es obvio es/está claro es un hecho

Basta que tú me lo pidas.

Conviene que preparemos mucha comida.

Importa que haya suficientes sillas par todos.

Más vale que nadie traiga bebidas alcohólicas.

Tal vez/Quizás venga Raquel a la fiesta.*

Ojalá (que) Joel traiga a Ruth.

Posiblemente nos divirtamos más que en tu fiesta.*

Puede ser que yo invite a mi primo.

Es importante que todos lleguen a tiempo.

Es una verdadera casualidad que tú también conozcas a Luisa.

*(notice how these expressions do not use 'que')

Note:
In all of the above examples the main clause --the one in the indicative-- is taking place in the present ("es importante" (now/always); "Tom sugiere" (now/always); " Deja" (command - now); "Me parece raro" (now/always); etc) , and the dependent clause --the one in the subjunctive--, refers to a simultaneous or subsequent action.

Dudo que llueva mañana ---- I doubt (TODAY/NOW) that it will rain tomorrow (FUTURE ACTION).

Dudo que tú estés enfermo ---- I doubt (AT THIS MOMENT) that you are ill (AT THIS MOMENT)

Quick Lesson

Indicative talks about facts while subjunctive talks about wants, beliefs,
needs, feelings, emotions, etc.. The sentences below will illustrate this difference.

Yo tengo que estudiar las palabras.
I have to study the words.

El profesor quiere que yo estudie las palabras.
The teacher wants me to study the words.

Tú tienes que estudiar las palabras.
You have to study the words.

El profesor quiere que tú estudies las palabras.
The teacher wants you to study the words.

María tiene que estudiar las palabras.
Mary has to study the words.

El profesor quiere que María estudie las palabras.
The teacher wants Mary to study the words.

Nosotros tenemos que estudiar las palabras.
We have to study the words.

El profesor quiere que nosotros estudiemos las palabras.
The teacher wants us to study the words.

Los muchachos tienen que estudiar las palabras.
The boys have to study the words.

El profesor quiere que los muchachos estudien las palabras.
The teacher wants the boys to study the words.

Yo tengo que aprender las palabras.
I have to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que yo aprenda las palabras.
The teacher wants me to learn the words.

Tú tienes que aprender las palabras.
You have to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que tú aprendas las palabras.
The teacher wants you to learn the words.

Juan tiene que aprender las palabras.
John has to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que Juan aprenda las palabras.
The teacher wants John to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que Juan aprenda las palabras.
We have to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que nosotros aprendamos las palabras.
The teacher wants us to learn the words.

Las muchachas tienen que aprender las palabras.
The girls have to learn the words.

El profesor quiere que las muchachas aprendan las palabras.
The teacher wants the girls to learn the words.

Yo tengo que ir a la biblioteca.
I have to go to the library.

Gramática
For ordinary verbs, we just switch the "a" to "e" or vice versa.
There are some irregular verbs.

Here is the chart for the verb ir which means to go.

Fact ----------------- Feeling

voy vamos ----------- vaya vayamos
vas van ---------------- vayas vayan
va --------------------- vaya

El profesor quiere que yo vaya a la biblioteca.
The teacher wants me to go to the library.

Tú tienes que ir a la biblioteca.
You have to go to the library.

El profesor quiere que tú vayas a la biblioteca.
The teacher wants you to go to the library.

María tiene que ir a la biblioteca.
Mary has to go to the library.

El profesor quiere que María vaya a la biblioteca.
The teacher wants Mary to go to the library.

Nosotros tenemos que ir a la biblioteca.
We have to go to the library.

El profesor quiere que nosotros vayamos a la biblioteca.
The teacher wants us to go to the library.

Los muchachos tienen que ir a la biblioteca.
The boys have to go to the library.

El profesor quiere que los muchachos vayan a la biblioteca.
The teacher wants the boys to go to the library.

Pronunciation guide to the Spanish alphabet



http://www.NuLengua.com



Popular Phrase: llevar conjugation | Spanish Adverbs | Conjugated Verb: coger - to catch, grasp, take hold of [ click for full conjugation ]