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Spanish Subjunctive: Common Triggers

In another of my articles I discussed the best ways to learn Spanish verb endings and how to conjugate different Spanish verbs. I believe it is really important to understand the context of each Spanish verb tense so once you conjugate the verb you are using it in the correct way. The subjunctive is slightly different however because the Spanish subjunctive has around 40 common triggers which you will probably ever actually use – this means that if you can learn these you will have a good knowledge of Spanish subjunctive phrases and won’t have to keep coming back to the complex rules involving doubt, expression etc. There are of course more than those in this list – however I think if you learn the list of Spanish subjunctive triggers below you have a very good idea of when to use the Spanish present subjunctive.

Subjunctive phrases using the construct “es… que”

No es cierto que – it is not certain that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No es verdad que – it is not true that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

Es probable / improbable que – It is probable / improbable that

Es posible que – It is possible that

Es necesario / preciso / menester que – It is necessary that

Es ridículo que – It is ridiculous that

Es una lástima que – its a pity that

Es bueno / malo que – it is good / bad that

Es dudoso que – it is doubtful that

Es aconsejable que – it is advisable that

Es preferible que – it is preferible that

Es fácil / difícil que – it is easy /hard that

Es fantástico que – it is fantastic que

Es increíble que – it is incredible that

Es incierto que – it is uncertain that

Es mejor / peor que – it is better / worse that

Es raro que – it is rare that

Es terrible que – it is terrible that

Verbs triggering the Spanish subjunctive when followed by “que”

Aconsejar que – to advise that

Querer que – to want that

Preferir que – to prefer that

Esperar que – to hope that

Alegrarse de que – to be happy that

Gustar que – to like that

Estar contento de que – to be happy that

Estar en contra de que – to be against that

Hace falta que – it is necessary that

Importar(le) que – to be important that

Insistir en que – to insist that

Conviene que – it is advisable that

Dar miedo que – to be scared that

Dudar que – to doubt that

Mandar que – to order that

Negar que – to deny that

Molestar(le) que – to hate that

Parecer(le) bien mal / bien que – to seem good / bad that

Pedir(le) que – to ask someone that

No creer / pensar que – to not think that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No parecer que – to not seem that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No estar seguro que – no to be sure that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No estar de acuerdo de que – to not agree that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No estar convencido de que – to not be convinced that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

No suponer que – to not suppose that (note: only subjunctive if negative)

Ojala / desear que – to wish that

Perdonar que – to ask forgiveness

Prohibir que – to forbid that

Puede ser que – it could be that

Recomendar que – to recommend that

Rogar que – to beg / plead

Sentir que – to regret that

Sugerir que – to suggest that

Tener miedo de que / temer que – to be afraid / fear that

Vale la pena – is is worthhile that

Other subjunctive phrases

En cuanto – as son as

En caso de que – in case…

A menos que – Unless that

Antes de que – before that

Después de que – after that

Con tal de que – so that

Cuando – when

Hasta que – until

Más vale que – it is better that

Mientras que – while

Para que – in order that

Sin que – without that

Tan pronto como – as soon as

One characteristic evident of these verbs is the use of “que” to trigger the subjunctive – if you watch out for this and consider the rules you should have no problem. I won’t go into the details of the imperfect subjunctive but I will say this is often triggered by if (si) phrases.

Source by Matthew W Graham

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