Expressing Emotions 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 emotions.

Emotions

Being annoyed, angry, happy, regretful, sad, scared, or surprised all fall into this category. Any personal reaction to a situation is emotional. The focus is not on a factual observation of a situation, but how it makes the subject feel. Since how a person feels is always subjective, you use the subjunctive.

Me alegro de que sonrías.
It makes me happy that you smile.
 
¿Les molesta que él escuche la música fuerte?
Does it bother you that he listens to loud music?
 
Siento mucho que no puedan venir a la fiesta.
I’m sorry that they can’t come to the party.
 

Useful Verbs of Emotion

SpanishEnglishSpanishEnglish
alegrarse de
 
to be glad
gustar
 
to like
quejarse
 
to complain
encantar
 
to be delighted
lamentar
 
to regret
sentir
 
to feel
enojar
 
to be angry
maravillar
 
to astonish
sorprender
 
to surprise
estar contento, enojado, triste, etc.
 
to be glad, angry, sad, etc.
molestar
 
to annoy
temer
 
to fear
tener miedo de que
 
to be afraid that
extrañarse que
 
to be amazed that

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