Language Guide
Verbs
Spanish Present Subjunctive

Spanish Present Subjunctive

Quick Answer

The Spanish present subjunctive (el presente de subjuntivo ) is used to talk about situations of doubt, desire, emotion, necessity, or uncertainty.

Unlike the present indicative, the present subjunctive is generally subjective. For specifics on when to use the subjunctive instead of the indicative, see our article on subjunctive vs. indicative.

Conjugating Verbs in the Present Subjunctive

To conjugate a verb in the present subjunctive, you must first remember what the present indicative yo form of the verb in question is. This is because the stem of present subjunctive verbs comes from the yo form of the present indicative. For many verbs, this will be the same as the infinitive stem, but for many others, such as verbs with spelling changes, stem-changing verbs, and irregular verbs, it will be different.

Present Subjunctive Stem Formula

The formula for finding the present subjunctive stem of a verb is the following:

present subjunctive stem = yo form of present indicative minus o ending

Here are a few examples of present subjunctive stems.

InfinitiveYo Present Indicative FormPresent Subjunctive Stem
caber
 
quepo
 
quep-
caer
 
caigo
 
caig-
conocer
 
conozco
 
conozc-
hacer
 
hago
 
hag-
lucir
 
luzco
 
luzc-
parecer
 
parezco
 
parezc-
poner
 
pongo
 
pong-
querer
 
quiero
 
quier-
tener
 
tengo
 
teng-
traer
 
traigo
 
traig-
valer
 
valgo
 
valg-
ver
 
veo
 
ve-

Regular Present Subjunctive Endings

Once you have the stem, you will add the present subjunctive ending that matches your subject. There are only two ending sets for the present subjunctive: one for -ar verbs and one for both -er and -ir verbs.

Subject-ar Verb Endings-er and -ir Verb Endings
yoea
esas
usted, él, ellaea
nosotrosemosamos
vosotroséisáis
ustedes, ellos, ellasenan
-ar Verb Endings
yoe
es
usted, él, ellae
nosotrosemos
vosotroséis
ustedes, ellos, ellasen
-er and -ir Verb Endings
yoa
as
usted, él, ellaa
nosotrosamos
vosotrosáis
ustedes, ellos, ellasan

In the table below are full present subjunctive conjugations for hablar, tener, and vivir.

SubjectHablarTenerVivir
yo
hable
 
tenga
 
viva
 
hables
 
tengas
 
vivas
 
usted, él, ella
hable
 
tenga
 
viva
 
nosotros
hablemos
 
tengamos
 
vivamos
 
vosotros
habléis
 
tengáis
 
viváis
 
ustedes, ellos, ellas
hablen
 
tengan
 
vivan
 
Hablar
yohable 
hables 
usted, él, ellahable 
nosotroshablemos 
vosotroshabléis 
ustedes, ellos, ellashablen 
Tener
yotenga 
tengas 
usted, él, ellatenga 
nosotrostengamos 
vosotrostengáis 
ustedes, ellos, ellastengan 
Vivir
yoviva 
vivas 
usted, él, ellaviva 
nosotrosvivamos 
vosotrosviváis 
ustedes, ellos, ellasvivan 

Irregular Present Subjunctive Verbs

There are only six truly irregular verbs in the subjunctive. You'll find the conjugations for each of these verbs in the tables below.

Present Subjunctive Conjugations of Dar, Estar, and Ser

SubjectDarEstarSer
yo
 
esté
 
sea
 
des
 
estés
 
seas
 
usted, él, ella
 
esté
 
sea
 
nosotros
demos
 
estemos
 
seamos
 
vosotros
deis
 
estéis
 
seáis
 
ustedes, ellos, ellas
den
 
estén
 
sean
 
Dar
yo 
des 
usted, él, ella 
nosotrosdemos 
vosotrosdeis 
ustedes, ellos, ellasden 
Estar
yoesté 
estés 
usted, él, ellaesté 
nosotrosestemos 
vosotrosestéis 
ustedes, ellos, ellasestén 
Ser
yosea 
seas 
usted, él, ellasea 
nosotrosseamos 
vosotrosseáis 
ustedes, ellos, ellassean 

Present Subjunctive Conjugations of Haber, Ir, and Saber

SubjectHaberIrSaber
yo
haya
 
vaya
 
sepa
 
hayas
 
vayas
 
sepas
 
usted, él, ella
haya
 
vaya
 
sepa
 
nosotros
hayamos
 
vayamos
 
sepamos
 
vosotros
hayáis
 
vayáis
 
sepáis
 
ustedes, ellos, ellas
hayan
 
vayan
 
sepan
 
Haber
yohaya 
hayas 
usted, él, ellahaya 
nosotroshayamos 
vosotroshayáis 
ustedes, ellos, ellashayan 
Ir
yovaya 
vayas 
usted, él, ellavaya 
nosotrosvayamos 
vosotrosvayáis 
ustedes, ellos, ellasvayan 
Saber
yosepa 
sepas 
usted, él, ellasepa 
nosotrossepamos 
vosotrossepáis 
ustedes, ellos, ellassepan 

Tildes Mean A Lot!

The tilde on is used to distinguish it from the preposition de.

Stem Changes in the Present Subjunctive

1. e> ie and o> ue Stem Changes with -ar and -er Verbs

For verbs in this group, the e in the last syllable of the stem (the yo form of the present indicative) changes to ie, or the o in the last syllable of the stem (the yo form of the present indicative) changes to ue. All subjunctive forms follow the stem change except for nosotros and vosotros, which use the infinitive stem.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Querer

quiera
 
queramos
 
quieras
 
queráis
 
quiera
 
quieran
 

2. e> ie and o> ue Stem Changes with -ir Verbs

All e> ie and o> ue stem-changing -ir verbs follow the same changes as in the present indicative, except the nosotros and vosotros, forms, in which the e changes to i and the o changes to u.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Sentir

sienta
 
sintamos
 
sientas
 
sintáis
 
sienta
 
sientan
 

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Dormir

duerma
 
durmamos
 
duermas
 
durmáis
 
duerma
 
duerman
 

3. e> i Stem Changes with -ir Verbs

All e> i stem-changing -ir verbs in the present indicative maintain the stem change in all forms of the present subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Pedir

pida
 
pidamos
 
pidas
 
pidáis
 
pida
 
pidan
 

Spelling Changes

All spelling changes in the preterite indicative are maintained in the present subjunctive.

For example:

  • Verbs ending in -ger and -gir have a j instead of a g in the subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Escoger

escoja
 
escojamos
 
escojas
 
escojáis
 
escoja
 
escojan
 
  • Verbs ending in -car, -gar, and -zar undergo a change in the final consonant before -ar. These consonants change to qu, gu, and c, respectively. Some of these verbs, such as empezar, also under go stem changes.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Sacar

saque
 
saquemos
 
saques
 
saquéis
 
saque
 
saquen
 

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Llegar

llegue
 
lleguemos
 
llegues
 
lleguéis
 
llegue
 
lleguen
 

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Empezar

empiece
 
empecemos
 
empieces
 
empecéis
 
empiece
 
empiecen
 

The present subjunctive stem for the verb averiguar is averigü-.

Take a practice quiz!

Test what you know with our quiz tool.

Did this page answer your question?