Subjunctive What??

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:

Wishes

Emotions

Needs

Doubts/desires

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:

AR Verbs

yo- e
tú- es
él- enosotros- emos
uds.- en

IR/ER Verbs

yo- a
tú- as
él- a
nosotros- amos
uds.- an

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!

 

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Preterite vs. Imperfect

Spanish has two past tenses.  I know that sounds weird…how can that be?  Well, I’ll tell you.  In Spanish, the Preterite tense is used when we have a completed action in the past, with a specific time frame.

Example:

Last night we ate spaghetti. (Last night is my time frame and we know it’s a completed action because I can’t ‘un-eat’ my spaghetti).

Español:

Anoche comimos los fideos (noodles).

The other past tense, the Imperfect is used for an ongoing action in the past, where there is no specific time frame.

Example:

We ate noodles every Friday last winter.

Here I know I’m using the Imperfect because this was an ongoing action in the past….every single Friday last winter.

Español:

Nosotros comíamos los fideos cada viernes el invierno pasado.

For more examples and practice visit my store at:

https://meganmoody.selz.com

What are you doing?

To tell what we ‘are doing’ right now in Spanish we use the Present Progressive.

It’s formed by using ESTAR in the Present Tense + (the gerund) AR-ando and IR/ER- iendo (or yendo)

Estar- to be

yo estoy
tú estás
él está

nosotros estamos
ellos están

Ejemplo:

El rana está leyendo el libro.
(The frog is reading the book).

Image

What are you doing?

la frase de la semana (Phrase of the Week)

La gata está adentro de la caja.
(The cat is inside the box)

cat in boxbox-cat-kitten-double
La gata está afuera de la caja.
(The cat is outside the box)

Practice using these phrases with the verb ESTAR- to be

Por ejemplo:
(For example)

ESTAR- to be

yo estoy (I am)
tú estás (You are)
él está (He is)
ella está (She is)
Usted está (You formal are)

Nosotros/as estamos (We are)
Ellos están (They masculine are)
Ellas están (They feminine are)

We are inside the house.
Estamos adentro de la casa.

She is inside the store.
Ella está adentro de la tienda.

I am outside (of) the city.
Estoy afuera de la cuidad.

las recetas

recetas

 My future sister-in-law recently gave me a Spanish textbook that belonged to her brother called, Sol y sombra.  I was honored to have this book to add to my collection and have truly enjoyed reading it.  It’s an older textbook, published in 1972, but I love the teaching method.  This book contains many stories, articles, etc. that are separated by difficulty level. Each story contains cognates of English words, and the grammar becomes progressively harder as the reader progresses through the book.

In the second level, I found an article that contained a couple of recipes, with illustrations of all the ingredients.  I pondered this article for quite a while, and decided that I could do something similar with my students.  So, right now I have students thinking of their favorite recipes, which we are translating into Spanish, collecting, making copies and redistributing.  That’s right, a recipe exchange, in Spanish!  And it’s a great opportunity to teach the commands! 

So, if any of you out there would like to contribute to our recipe exchange, that would be great!