As you’ve probably noticed…Spanish has a million verb tenses. Okay, not really a million, more like 14. Perhaps one of the most common (0r confusing) is the Subjunctive tense. It’s a little difficult to explain because we don’t have a subjunctive tense in English, only a Subjunctive Mood. The Subjunctive, tense or mood is used to express doubts, wishes, and conjecture….when we think something might happen, but it may not.
Subjunctive Mood (English):
I hope that we can go the the beach this weekend. (We may or may not)
See how were not using a different tense in English to express doubt? Just the good old present tense.
Subjunctive Tense (Spanish):
-We use this tense to express:
Impersonal Expressions (weird name, but IEs are expressions where there is no particular subject, but a general statement, i.e. “It is best that we leave now so we’re not late.”)
To form the Subjunctive Tense in Spanish we use the opposite verb endings:
él- enosotros- emos
We also (generally) have two verb phrases joined by “que”:
(Yo) Espero que ellos lleguen temprano.
I hope that they arrive early.
Formula: Subject 1 Verb 1 (present tense) + que Subject 2 Verb 2 (subjunctive tense).
The reason for this formula is:
There is NO doubt that I want them to arrive early (that’s why Verb 1 is in the present tense)
BUT I don’t know if they will be early or not (that’s why Verb 2 is in the subjunctive tense)
Hopefully that’s not too much of a brain-scrambler! More to come soon!