Grammar 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

Some verbs in the present subjunctive undergo spelling changes. This often occurs for reasons of pronunciation, and these changes often match those of verbs with spelling changes in the preterite. Let's take a look at some of these verbs.

1. -ger and -gir Verbs

  • Verbs ending in -ger and -gir have a j instead of a g in the subjunctive. The base form for these verbs is the first person form of the present tense, which undergoes a spelling change.

Present Subjunctive Conjugation Table for Escoger

escoja
escojamos
escojas
escojáis
escoja
escojan

2. -car, -gar, and -zar Verbs

  • 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-.

Quiz: Spanish Present Subjunctive

Take a practice quiz on "Spanish Present Subjunctive"
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