Grammar GuideVerbsExpressing Emotions with the Subjunctive

Expressing Emotions with the Subjunctive

Quick Answer

The subjunctive (el subjuntivo) is one of three moods in Spanish, and it is often used to talk about emotions.

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

All sorts of emotion, including annoyance, anger, happiness, regret, sadness, fear, surprise, and ecstasy fall into this category. In essence, 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.

Useful Verbs of Emotion

The following verbs are commonly used to express 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

Check out these examples of emotion verbs being used with 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.

You can find more on the differences between the subjunctive and the indicative here!

Quiz: Expressing Emotions with the Subjunctive

Take a practice quiz on "Expressing Emotions with the Subjunctive"
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