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Spanish Subjunctive: How do I say that in English?

6 years ago
The subjunctive is one of the three moods in Spanish, the other two being the indicative and the imperative. The subjunctive is used to express desires, doubts, the unknown, the abstract, and emotions. The subjunctive mood includes many of the same verb tenses as the indicative mood, including the perfect, the past, and the future.

1. Two Different Subjects

Subjunctive sentences often have one subject in the main/independent clause and one in the noun/dependent clause.

Yo quiero que tú limpies el baño.
I want you to clean the bathroom.

2. A Relative Pronoun

Subjunctive sentences often have parts linked by a relative pronoun (que, quien, como).

Yo quiero que tú limpies el baño.
I want you to clean the bathroom.

3. Two Verbs: One WEIRDO and One Subjunctive
Subjunctive sentences often contain a WEIRDO verb (see uses below) that signals that the verb in the next clause will be in the subjunctive.

Yo quiero que tú limpies el baño.
I want you to clean the bathroom.


The acronym WEIRDO stands for Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal Expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, and Ojalá, which are all situations in which you're likely to use the subjunctive.

Wishes and Desires + Subjunctive

Wishing, wanting, demanding, desiring, expecting, ordering, and preferring all fall into the category of wishes.

Esperamos que te portes bien.
We hope that you will behave.

Expressing Emotions + Subjunctive

Being annoyed, angry, happy, regretful, sad, scared, or surprised all fall into this category.

Me alegro de que sonrías.
It makes me happy to see you smiling.

Impersonal Expressions + Subjunctive

Impersonal expressions work a lot like emotions in that they express someone’s opinion or value judgement. They focus on the subjectivity of the statement and not on the actual truth or reality of the situation.

Es necesario que Jaime lea este libro.
It is necessary for Jaime to read this book.

Recommendations and Requests + Subjunctive

When a person recommends, suggests, wants, or asks another person to do (or not do) something, the subjunctive is used.

El médico me recomienda que beba más agua.
My doctor advised me to drink more water.

Doubt and Denial + Subjunctive

To doubt or deny something is to question its connection with reality or to express that it is hypothetical.

Dudo que Pedro tenga mi número de teléfono
I doubt that he has my phone number

Ojalá + Subjunctive

Ojalá means: I hope/pray to God, God willing, I hope, I wish, or if only.

¡Ojalá recuerde nuestro aniversario!
I hope he remembers our anniversary!

Based on: www.spanishdict.com/guide/spanish-subjunctive

Translate these sentences into English:

1- Ojalá (él) no hubiera hecho eso.
2- No creo que (ella) me llame.
3- Mi madre no quiero que (yo) vaya a esa fiesta.
4- Me molesta que pienses eso.
5- Le sorprendió (a ella) que le hicieran un regalo.
6- No quiero que lo sepa nadie.