Presente de Subjuntivo

The Spanish presente de subjuntivo is the most commonly used subjunctive tense. Although English does possess a subjunctive conjugation, it is very rarely used in comparison to languages such as Spanish, Italian and French where it is much more common.

The purpose of the subjunctive is to express doubt, subjective opinion, polite commands, uncertainty, and sentiments. It is easier to grasp this concept when you imagine that the tenses learned to date are known collectively as indicative tenses (indicativo). They are used to express objective facts and uncontentious opinions – where someone lives, what their hobbies are, what time they ate dinner the previous night.

The subjunctive is used to describe matters which are open to question, may happen in the future but cannot be predicted with certainty, or are the subject’s personal views, particularly about another.

Before a subjunctive conjugation is included in a sentence, it is normal to see a pattern 

[Trigger phrase] + que + [subjunctive]

For example:

No creo que él pueda venir.
I don’t think he can come.

Although other prepositions can be used (cuando, como etc), there is always a phrase preceding them which indicates the mood is one of subjectivity or uncertainty.

How to conjugate the Spanish Presente de Subjuntivo

For regular AR, IR and ER verbs, the presente de subjuntivo is formed by taking the yo form of the presente, and then adding the following endings.

PersonAR VerbsER-IR Verbs
yo-e-a
-es-as
él/ella/usted-e-a
nosotros-emos-amos
vosotros-éis-áis
ellos/ellas/ustedes-en-an

Because the subjunctive uses the yo form of the verb as its stem, any stem changes to that form in the present tense carry through to the subjunctive.

For example:

conozcatenga
conozcastengas
conozcatenga
conozcamostengamos
conozcáistengáis
conozcantengan

How to conjugate stem changing verbs in the presente de subjuntivo

Stem changing verbs from the present tense (ER and AR) will use the changed stem present in the yo form (o:ue, e:ie, e:i) but they use their usual stems in the nosotros and vosotros forms.

For example:

piensevuelva
piensesvuelvas
piensevuelva
pensemosvolvamos
penséisvolváis
piensenvuelvan

In IR stem changers, such as dormir, sentir etc, the nosotros and vosotros forms do change their stems:

duermasienta
duermassientas
duermasienta
durmamossintemos
durmáissintéis
duermansientan

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