"El subjuntivo" - Useful tips

"El subjuntivo" - Useful tips

I’m currently learning Spanish and having problems with the subjunctive.  I just wanted to know if you have any tips (or tricks) for the subjunctive, I’d really appreciate. Maybe this could be helpful for those who have problems with the subjunctive, too.

Igor Janckiewicz

For those of us trying to get a handle on the subjunctive and not always getting it right over The Subjunctive I thought I’d post this up to any tips or tricks known by those who do ‘get’ the use of the subjunctive.

So, lets get started:

1. The letter “e” at the end of the verb

el subjuntivo

Basic tips for the present subjunctive: Use the opposite letter at the end of the word.

For example:


Él dice la verdad. Ending is “e”

Quiero que él me diga la verdad. Ending is “a”

Él me habla. Ending is “a”

Quiero que él me hable. Ending is “e”


2. The past subjunctive

Change the last two letters of the regular 3rd person plural past tense.


Ellos hablaron, ellos dijeron, ellos comieron,

Quería que tú me hablaras, que él me dijera,

Que nosotros comiéramos, que vosotros hablárais, que ellos hablaran.


3. The List


A) Conditions

Si yo hablara/hablase = If I spoke
Si yo hablare = If I speak

B) Wishes/expectations:

Ojalá que yo hable
Quiero que yo hable
Es necesario que yo hable
Necesito que yo hable
Que yo hable!

C) Uncertainty

Dudo que yo hable
No pienso/Pienso que yo hable

Those are the basic situations. For conjugation, there’s no tip at all for the regular ones, you just need to practice. For the irregular ones, note that there’s always the same root for the two imperfect and the future and that the negative imperative is equal to the present subjunctive.


4. The Requirements

requirementsThere are three requirements that must be met for the subjunctive to be needed:

1. Two different subjects

2. a relative pronoun (“que”, “como”, “cual”, “donde”, or “quien”)

3. Two different verbs – the first will always be in the indicative and the second will always be in the subjunctive.  The first verb will signal that the second verb needs to be in the subjunctive by the very nature of that first verb and the context it’s used in (it expresses emotion, doubt, etc.).

Clauses, there must be two of them (this is an automatic consequence of requiring 2 subjects).


5. The Final Tips

When trying to remember a group of guidelines, we always use some tips to do it. The main tip is based on the fist letter of each word. In this case, we will try to remember word W.E.I.R.D.O:

Impersonal Expressions

It will help, for sure!


“Hola, I’m Pablo from Malaga, Spain.

I am a qualified Spanish teacher at Lyceum Español and my Spanish teaching diploma, CAP (Certificado de Adaptación Pedagógica) and CLTA (Certified Language Teacher for Adults) have given me the knowledge and practical skills to create multi level lessons and to manage groups as well as individual students.

I have 8 years professional experience during which time I have enjoyed working with a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and goals. As a Lyceum Spanish teacher I love drawing on my experience in helping my students get the most from my lessons. My experience has shown me there’s no place like home and that’s what I found at Lyceum Español.”

Learn more about Pablo…



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A practical and different way to learn Spanish in Spain

If you decide to learn Spanish in Spain. Lyceum Español offers you the best way to study Spanish. Everything you need to improve your language skills: intensive courses, accommodation, learning materials, activities, excursions…

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    • Based on home tuition, a course tailor-made just for you.
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    • Bienvenido/a a la Prueba de nivel de español..
    • Al final del test, sabrás tu puntuación total.
    1. Hola, me llamo Antonio. Y tú, ¿cómo te ______?
    2. -¿Quiénes ___ esos hombres?
    - Unos amigos.
    3. - ¿____ se dice “Tisch” en español?
    - Se dice “mesa”.
    4. - Manuel, y tú... ¿en qué trabajas?
    - Soy _______ en un supermercado.
    5. - Manuel vive en España, pero sus hermanos _____ en Polonia.
    6. ¿Cuál ______ tu número de teléfono?
    7. - Lucía tiene unos hijos muy _____ .
    8. - En Granada _______ una catedral muy interesante.
    9. - Perdone, ¿dónde ______ el Museo Picasso?
    10. - ¿Te _______ cocinar?
    - Pues la verdad es que no_____ . _____ ir a un restaurante.
    11. - Esta noche ______ al tenis, ¿te gustaría acompañarnos?
    12. - Buenas tardes, señor. ¿Qué desea?
    - Me _____ probar el gazpacho.
    13. - Medio kilo de manzanas, por favor.
    - ¿Cómo _____ quiere?
    - No muy verdes.
    14. -¿Qué tal está la paella?
    -Está _______ rica.
    15. - No me gusta el frío.
    - __________________.
    16. - El jersey es ______ bonito ______ la chaqueta.
    17. - A Pepe _________ regalamos una bici eléctrica.
    18. - Hola, ¿qué queréis tomar?
    - _______ un par de cervezas, por favor.
    19. - María, en tu casa, ¿quién pone la mesa?
    - Normalmente la _______ yo. Aunque casi siempre me ayudan.
    20. - Todos los días me acuerdo de mis amigos. Y tú, ¿ ____ acuerdas siempre de ellos?


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    El subjuntivo - Useful tips
    For those of us trying to get a handle on the subjunctive and not always getting it right over The Subjunctive I thought I'd post this up to any tips or tricks known by those who do 'get' the use of the subjunctive.