Language Guide
Verbs
Expressing Doubt and Denial with the Subjunctive

Expressing Doubt and Denial with the Subjunctive

Overview

The subjunctive is one of the three moods in Spanish, the other two being the indicative (actions, events, facts) and the imperative (commands). You can find more on the differences between the subjunctive and the indicative here!

WEIRDO

Many of the verbs and phrases that require the subjunctive fit into the acronym WEIRDO: Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial and Ojalá. In this article, we're going to take a look at doubt and denial.

Doubt

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

Dudo que él tenga mi número de teléfono.
I doubt that he has my phone number.
 
No parece que vaya a mejorar la situación.
It doesn't appear that the situation will improve.
 
No supones que quiera escapar, ¿o sí?
You don't suppose he wants to escape, do you?
 
No estoy seguro que mi madre venga.
I am not sure that my mother is coming.
 

Useful Verbs of Doubt

SpanishEnglishSpanishEnglish
dudar
 
to doubt
no creer
 
to not believe
no pensar
 
to not think
negar
 
to deny
no estar seguro
 
to be unsure
no suponer
 
to not assume
no comprender
 
to not understand
no parecer
 
to not seem

Indicative or Subjunctive?

Verbs that follow comprender  (to understand), creer  (to believe), estar seguro  (to be sure), parecer  (to seem), pensar  (to think), and suponer  (to assume) are normally used in the indicative, while verbs that follow the negated forms of the above verbs (no comprender, no parecer, etc.) are normally used in the subjunctive.

  • Creo que te va a gustar esta canción.  (I think you're going to like this song.)
  • No creo que te vaya a gustar esta canción.  (I don't think you're going to like this song.)

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