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1A. First concept of Subjunctive --- Direct or Indirect commands.

1B. When one person expresses his will that someone else do something.

1 I suggest that she come at once. (Sugiero que venga en seguida.) 2 They demanded that we be there on time. ( Ellos exigieron que estemos allí a tiempo.) 3 I beg you not to tell it to me. (Te ruego que no me lo digas). 4 We want you to teach us the dance. (Queremos que nos enseñes el baile.) 5 It’s important that yo do it right away. (Es importante que lo hagas en seguida.) 6 They insist that we return tomorrow (Insisten en que volvamos mañana) 7 We are going to write him to send it to them. (Vamos a escribirle que se lo mande.)

2A. Second concept of Subjunctive---Emotion

2B. Main clause expresses emotion about the action that follows.

I hope she comes. (Espero que venga.) 2 It surprises me that you (should/are) doing that.( Me sorprende que lo hagas). 3 The teacher doesn’t like that he falls asleep in class.( No le gusta al maestro que se duerma en la clase.) 4 I’m sorry that he is sick. (Siento que esté malo.) 5 They are afraid that Ray will leave today. (Temen que Ray se vaya hoy.) 6 I’m happy that she is better. (Me alegro de que esté mejor) 7 He hopes that we recognize him. (Espera que lo reconozcamos.)

3A. Third concept of Subjunctive--- Unreality

3B.. When the main clause expresses uncertainty, denial, doubt.

1 Is it possible that he eats so much? (¿Es posible que coma tanto?) 2 I don’t believe that he will anger me.. (No creo que me enfade.)

3C. Conjunctions that introduce the “subordinate clause” make the action uncertain, indefinite, doubtful

1 In case you see him, tell him that I want to talk to them. (En caso de que lo veas, dile que quiero hablarles.) 2 We won’t share it unless you pay us. (No lo compartiremos a menos que nos pague.)

3D.. Conjunction of time intoduces action that has not yet been completed

1 Before you get fat, stop eating. (Antes de que te pongas gorda, deje de comer.) 2 When the phone rings, answer it. (Cuando suene el teléfono, contéstalo.)

3E. “Subordinate clause” refers back to something non-existent, indefinite, or imagined, (In an adjectival clause (if) the antecedente is something or someone that is indefinite, negative, vague, or non-exsitent.

1 Busco un libro que tenga todas las respuestas. ( “Que”-is the relative pronoun) refers (to “un libro”-which is the antecedent) “un libro” is indefinite. Thus, “Subordinate clause” must be “subjunctive”.

2 ¿Hay alguien que entienda todo? “alguien-somewhat vague antecedent” “que- relative pronoun = “Subjunctive” in “Subordinate Clause”.

3 No hay “nadie” (indefinit,vague antecedent) que baile como ella. ¿Hay un lápiz que escriba en tres colores?

4A. Uses of Imperfect subjunctive.

4B. When the main clause is in the past and a subjunctive is required.

1 I wanted you to go. ( Quería que fueras) , 2 I told them to call me. (Les dije que me llamaren)

4C. When subjunctive subordinate clause refers to a past action

1 I can’t believe that he did it. (No creo que lo hiciera), 2 It’s a pitty that they were sick. (Es lástima que estuvieran malos). 3 I can’t believe that you killed it. (No creo que Ud. lo matara)

4D. When conjunction of time introduces action that (had) not yet been completed.

1 She told us that she would wait until we returned. )Nos dijo que esperaría hasta que volviéramos.)

2 He promise to call me as soon as he could. (Prometió llamarme así que pudiera)

5A. Review of ( si ) ( if )

5B. When (si ) introduces present tense, a subjunctive is never used. If he eats…, Spanish regards it as meaning “suppose”, or “assuming” which is the indicative. But, when (si) refers to something “contrary to fact”, then Spanish uses the imperfect subjunctive.

Compare the two below----

1 Present indicative – If I have time (assuming I do), I will do. (Si tengo tiempo, iré)

2 Imperfect subjunctive – If I had time (but I don’t) I would go. (Si tuviera tiempo, iría.)

3 Present Indicative – If he is rich (assuming he is), he will buy it. (Si es rico lo comprará)

4 Imperfect subjunctive – If he were rich (but he's not), he would buy it. (Si fuera rico, lo compraría)

6A. Some “Personal” expressions 100% always imply doubt, uncertainty, or denial

Es possible que…Es imposible que…No es verdad que….,No es cierto que….Es probable que…Es improbable que…Es fácil (likely) que…Es dfícil (unlikely) que…

6B. Indirect or Impied commands…such as, but not limited to….introduce subjunctives

Es importante que…..(It’s important that….)

Insisten en que…..(They insist that……)

7A. Some “conjunctions” 100% always uncertainty, or indefinite.

(In case)-En caso de que…,,(unless)-A menos que…,(provided that)- Con tal que…(Before) Antes de que…

8A. “conjunctions “50-50% may or may not… “depending on what the speaker says”

(although,even though, even if) – aunque, (granted that) Dado que,

9A “Conjunctions of time” 50-50% “depending if uncompleted, pending, unfulfilled.

(when) cuando, (after) después de que, (as soon as) así que, (until )hasta que

10A. “creer” used in subjunctive

It is the speaker’s expression of “Certainty vs Doubt” not he word itself which calls for indicative or subjunctive. The speaker is in the drivers seat.

1 ¿Cree ud. que vengan? Do you think they’ll come? (I doubt it) 2 ¿Cree ud. que vendrán? Do you think that they’ll come? (i assume they will) 3 ¿Crees que lloverá? Do you think that it will rain? ( I don’t know, but it looks that way to me) 4 ¿Çrees que llueva mañana? Do think that it will rain tomorrow? ( I don’t know…I have my doubt) 5 No creo que lo hizo. I don’t believe that he did it (I’m sure he didn’t) 6 No creo que lo hiciera. I don’t believe that he did it. (But, I’m not sure)

Some comparisions of Present-Imperfect subjunctives

1 Quiero que ud. le hable. I want you to call him 2 Quería que ud. le llamara. I wanted you to call him 3 Salgamos antes de que vuelvan. Let’s leave before they return. 4 Salimos antes de que volvieran. We left before they returned. 5 No creía que fuera ella. I didn’t believe that it was her. 6 No creo que fuera ella. I don’t believe (presently) that it was her.

If the subject doesn’t change, then we have only one clause and there is no room for subjunctive at all.

Espera venir – (He hopes to come)

Sentimos estar tan lejos – (We are sorry we’re so far away.)

No puedo creer que lo comí todo – (I can’t believe I ate the whole thing)

This is just an overview and does not include “haber” or compound tenses.

I give you the “verb” . You use it in a subjunctive sentence.

The verb for the day is “Pagar” ‘to pay, to pay for’

Write sentences with "Pagar" in the Subjunctive mood.

Escríbamela en inglés y español...por favor. Write it for me in English and Spanish please. ¡Incluyan caudros/dibujos…cuando los prefieran! Include pictures/drawings…when you prefer them!

  • Posted Aug 22, 2012
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  • a thread worth voting for, for sure je je :) - Kiwi-Girl Aug 23, 2012

8 Answers



Si queréis que os lo pague, lo haré.

If you all want me to pay for it for you all, I'll do it.

  • Aug 23, 2012
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  • That's generous :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012
  • very, definitely worth a vote, je je - Kiwi-Girl Aug 23, 2012


Juan exige que le pague antes de comienza el trabajo.

John demands that I pay him before he begins the work.

enter image description here

  • Aug 23, 2012
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  • Yo diría "antes de que comience el trabajo." :) Two subjunctives in one sentence! Voting up! - joshhh317 Aug 23, 2012
  • or, simpler, antes de comenzar? - annierats Aug 23, 2012
  • both right..thanks guys. Nice sentence idea, la Burra. thanks :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012


El cerdo prefiere que le pagues interés ya que vas a pedir prestado dinero.

The pig prefers you to pay interest since you are going to borrow money.

(I'm never sure how to talk about borrowing.)

enter image description here

  • Aug 23, 2012
  • | Edited by GraceM Aug 23, 2012
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  • Those piggy banks :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012


Hablando de los impuestos, si cada persona pagara lo que debe, todos pagarían menos.

Speaking of income tax, if everyone paid what they ought to, everyone would pay less.

enter image description here

  • Aug 23, 2012
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  • Jeje, don't you believe it, they would just take more off all of us! - annierats Aug 23, 2012


¿ Es verdad que tú pagaras eso mueble por gratis?

Is it true that you paid that furniture for free?

  • Aug 23, 2012
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  • Good try Elz, in English I'm afraid that doesn't quite make sense though. We might say 'that you got the furniture for free' but you can't 'pay for free' ;) Also for questions like that which don't contain a verb of doubt, desire etc in the first part I - Kiwi-Girl Aug 23, 2012
  • don't think you would need to use the subjunctive. eg ¿es verdad que consigió los muebles gratis? But see what Viejito says :) - Kiwi-Girl Aug 23, 2012
  • Agreed, Kiwi. Look at #6A. above. When “No es verdad que…” is used in a denial…or a statement of contrary to fact…then the subjunctive is used. But, the practice effort was woth a vote. ☺ - viejito Aug 23, 2012


No estoy feliz porque no pague la cuenta.

I am not happy because he is not paying the bill.

enter image description here

  • I think I might have said, “ No estoy feliz que no pague La cuenta”…just an idea. ☺ In cases like this, the “porque” is generally understood. Sabe jugar. He knows “how” to play. The “how “is generally understood. Worth the vote. ☺ - viejito Aug 23, 2012
  • Thanks viejito. At least I got the subjunctive correct this time. :-) - 0095ca4c Aug 23, 2012


No estoy seguro de que me pagara pagó el seguro!

I am not sure I paid the insurance!

enter image description here

  • don't forget the subjunctive ;) - Kiwi-Girl Aug 23, 2012
  • agreed...:) - viejito Aug 23, 2012
  • But, it is a practice exercise and worth the vote :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012
  • Muchas gracias, Kiwi y Viejito! - bandit51jd Aug 23, 2012
  • no change in subject, no subjunctive. :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012


Ojalá, si tuviera el dinero, sin duda, pagara.

If only I had the money I would undoubtedly pay.

  • Aug 23, 2012
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  • sin duda, yo pagaría....me suena mejor. Thanks, annierats :) - viejito Aug 23, 2012
  • Yrd, I'm sure you're right, I was trying to get the subjunctive in.. - annierats Aug 24, 2012