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Spanish subjunctive mood

In Spanish, the subjunctive mood is used to discuss things that are uncertain or subjective.  The following mnemonics can be used to help you remember phrases that trigger the use of the subjunctive.

WEIRDO acronym for Subjunctive in Spanish

W
will, wishes, wantsÉl quiere que lo llames. (He wants you to call him.)desear, insistir, necesitar, preferir, querer
E
emotionMe alegro de que ellos visiten. (I’m happy that they are going to visit.)alegrarse, esperar, sentir,
I
impersonal expressionsEra imposible que llegaran a tiempo. (It was impossible for them to arrive on time.) es bueno, es imposible, es importante, es malo 
R
requestsTe pido que limpies tu cuarto. (I’m asking you to clean your room.) mandar, pedir, permitir, recomendar, rogar, sugerir
D
doubtDudo que me esperes. (I doubt you’ll wait for me.) dudar, negar, no creer, no pensar,
O
OjaláOjalá vengan. (I hope they come.) 

 

WEDDING Acronym for Subjunctive in Spanish

W
wishes, wantsPrefiero que vayamos temprano. (I prefer that we leave early.)
E
emotionEspero que ustedes hayan hecho la tarea. (I hope you have done the homework.)
D
doubtEllos dudaban que pudieran venir. (They doubted that they would be able to come.)
D
desire ¿Quieres que venga yo también? (Do you want me to come too?)
I
impersonal expressionsEs importante que estudiemos. (It’s important that we study.)
N
negationNo creen que conozcas a Meryl Streep. (They don’t believe that you know Meryl Streep.)
G
GodDios quiera que hayan más problemas con el carro. (God willing there won’t be anymore problems with the car.)

 

The mnemonic ESCAPA will help you remember the phrases that always use the subjunctive in the subordinate clause.  They always require the subjunctive because they express purpose, intention or condition.

E
en caso de queTraigo mi paraguas en caso de que llueva. (I’m bringing my umbrella in case it rains.)
S
sin queNo vamos a llegar sin que les avisemos. (We won’t show up without letting them know)
C
con tal de queNo me enojo con tal de que me digas la verdad. (I won’t get mad provided you tell the truth.)
A
a menos queNo voy a menos que me lleves. (I’m not going unless you take me.)
P
 para queHabla despacio para que yo pueda entender. (Speak slower so that I can understand.)
A
antes de queAntes de que te vayas, vamos a hacerte una fiesta. (Before you go we’re going to throw you a party.)

 

Use CHAD ATE  to remember the phrases that sometimes trigger the subjunctive.  The subordinate clause will be in the subjunctive when a future action is being referred to.  It will be in the indicative when the speaker is referring to habitual actions or actions that have been completed.

subjunctive (future)
indicative (habitual)
C
cuandoLlámame cuando llegues. (Call me when you arrive)Ella siempre me llama cuando llega. (She always calls me when she arrives.)
H
hasta que Vamos a buscar piso hasta que encontremos el mejor apartamento. (We’re going to look for an apartment until we find the perfect one.) Me visitaron hasta que me fui. (They visited me until I left.)
A
aunque Aunque estudie mucho, no voy a aprobar este examen. (Even if I study a lot, I’m not going to pass this test). Aunque hay mucha gente aquí, hay suficiente comida para todos. (Even though there are a lot of people here there is plenty of food for everyone.)
D
después de que Ella irá después de que hable contigo. (She’ll leave after she talks to you.) Nos acostamos después de que comemos. (We go to bed after we eat.)
A
así que Iré a la reunión así que puedas quedarte en casa. (I’ll go to the meeting so you can stay home.) Así que estaba ocupado, decidí esperar. (Since he was busy I decided to wait.)
T
tan pronto como La profesora va a explicarles la tarea tan pronto como terminen la prueba. (The professor will explain the homework to them as soon as they finish the quiz.)Juan pidió una cerveza tan pronto como llegó al restaurante. (Juan asked for a beer as soon as he arrived at the restaurant.)
E
en cuanto Viajaré a España en cuanto tenga el dinero. (I’ll travel to Spain as soon as I have the money.) Isabel siempre va al banco en cuanto recibe su paga. (Isabel always goes to the bank as soon as she receives her pay.)

 

NEVER use the subjunctive with phrases the express certainty.

ahora queVan a comprar la casa ahora que pueden. (They’re going to by the house now that they can.)pensarPienso que ella es guapa. (I think she’s pretty.)
creer ¿Crees que las pinturas de Picasso son buenas? (Do you think Picasso’s paintings are good?)porqueLe dieron el trabajo a ella porque tiene mucha experiencia. (They gave her the job because she has a lot of experience.)
desde que Todo parece bien desde que pintamos. (Everything looks good since we painted.)saber
Sabemos que quieres venir con nosotros. (We know you want to come with us.)
no dudarNo dudo que has practicado mucho. (I don’t doubt you practiced a lot.)ya que Los niños están afuera ya que hace buen tiempo. (The kids are outside now that the whether is nice.)

 

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