The Subjunctive

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Can some please give me an example of the subjunctive and explain how I would use it'

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updated MAY 30, 2008
posted by Cherub1

7 Answers

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You'll find tons of books and rules about the subjunctive, and you'll end up believing that it is the most complicated thing in the world. However, the main restrictions behind the subjunctive also apply indirectly to English syntax, so it is not really as alien as it sounds. There are some excellent books published recently that explain the subjunctive using just a few simple rules based on a single principle, and they work like a charm. The idea is this: subjunctive appears only in subordinate clauses (some of them are implicit ones), and whenever you declare, you use indicative; otherwise, you use subjunctive. There is a great book for this (and many other grammatical points):

Gramática básica del estudiante de español - Ed. Difusión

The book is published in Spain and it is entirely written in Spanish, but it has also been translated to other languages. This book makes the whole subjunctive feel like a piece of cake.

Beware of rules like "doubt", "wish",... as these things can be expressed without subjunctive, and you can use the subjunctive to talk about things where you're 100% certain.

updated ENE 22, 2013
posted by lazarus1907
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Cherub1, that is kind of a loaded question. There are entire chapters in books about the subjunctive and its uses. Here are a couple of good sites I found:

In English

http://www.ceafinney.com/subjunctive/guide.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjunctive_mood

In Spanish

http://www.usna.edu/LangStudy/spanish_subjunctive.html
http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/subj1.htm

Hope this helps

updated FEB 13, 2015
posted by swally13
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Hi Cherub
We have had various postings regarding this matter. Just type "subjunctive" in the search box and you will see a list of all the previous postings, including your present one.

updated FEB 3, 2013
posted by Eddy
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I think it means when you state something, ie factual

updated MAY 30, 2008
posted by Eddy
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whenever you declare

What do you mean''

updated MAY 29, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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basically you use the subjunctive when you express emotion, doubt, or a wish. all you do is change the ending to the opposite letter.

-ar endings like borrar changes to borre ( yo, usted form)
-er/-ir endings like vivir changes to viva (yo, usted form)

updated MAY 29, 2008
posted by ash4
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Thank you. It gives me a litte better understanding.

updated MAY 29, 2008
posted by Cherub1