Other uses of the subjunctive
There are two types of conditional sentences: real situations and hypothetical ones. In order to get these down, you’ll need to have a firm grip of the present indicative, the future tense, the conditional tense, and the imperfect subjunctive. If you learn this basic formula, then you should be set.
If present indicative, then future tense.
If imperfect subjunctive, then conditional tense.
Here are a few examples:
Si yo tuviera más tiempo, trabajaría más de voluntario. If I had more time, I would do more volunteer work. (The implication is that I don’t and probably won’t have more time)
Si yo tengo más tiempo, trabajaré más de voluntario. If I have more time, I will do more volunteer work. (The implication is that it is a real possibility that I will have more time at some point.)
Si estudiamos, sacaremos buenas notas. If we study, we will get good good grades.
Si estudiáramos, sacaríamos buenas notas. If we studied, we would get good grades.
When using the following time conjunctions, the important thing to ask is whether or not the action occurred. If the event happened or happens, whether in the present or the past, you won’t use the subjunctive. If the event or action did not occur, then you would use the subjunctive.
Here are some time conjunctions to remember:
*antes (de) que – before (always subjunctive)
después (de) que –after
cuando – when
en cuanto, luego que, tan pronto como – as soon as
hasta que – until
mientras – while
Here are a few examples:
Iré a la tienda en cuanto pueda. I will go to the store as soon as i can. (subjunctive)
Fui a la tienda en cuanto pude. I went to the store as soon as I was able. (indicative)
Haré la tarea mientras tú leas. I will do the homework while you read.
Vamos al cine antes de que empiece la película. Let’s go to the theater before the movie starts
Siempre canto cuando me ducho. I always sing when I shower.
These other conjunctions cause subjunctive to be used when they are in dependent clauses (meaning you will always have at least two verbs) and doubt, uncertainty, or purpose are implied.
Here are some of those conjunctions:
a fin de que, para que, de manera que, de modo que, así que – so that
a menos que – unless
con tal (de) que – provided that
en caso de que – in case (that)
sin que – without
aunque – although (only use subjunctive with aunque if you want to imply doubt or uncertainty).
como si – as if / as though *always followed by imperfect subjunctive
Here are few examples:
Ella canta como si fuera profesional. She sings as if she were a professional.
Aunque cuesta mucho, lo compraré. Although it costs a lot, I will buy it.
Aunque cueste mucho, lo compraré. Although it may cost a lot, I will buy it.
Juanita hace la tarea para que saque buenas notas. Juanita does the homework in order to get good grades.
Tengo una chaqueta en caso de que haga frío. I have a jacket in case it get cold.
Words that end in -quiera
These are pretty much just question words with -quiera at the end.
donequiera – wherever
cuandoquiera – whenever
cualquiera, cualesquiera – whichever
quinequiera, quienesquiera – whoever
comoquiera – however
por + adjective/adverb que however ___
No le hablaré, quienquiera que sea. I won’t talk to him, whoever he may be.
Por barato que sea, no lo compraré. However cheap it may be, I will not buy it.
Hazlo cuandoquiera que puedas. Do it whenever you can.
The Non-existent, Indefinite, and what you don’t have
For the non-existent you will be using negative words like no, nadie, ningún (which is an adjective and will need to change), and nada. For the indefinite and what you don’t have, you will usually have indefinite articles like unand unas, as well as implying that something is desired in some way,but not possessed.
No hay ningún libro que me guste. There is no book that I like.
Quiero un carro que sea rápido. I want a car that is fast.
Quiero el carro que es rápido. I want the car that is fast.
Busco an amigo que sea fiel. I am looking for a friend that is faithful.
No hay nadie quien pueda cantar aquí. There isn’t anyone who can sing here.
Use the flashcards below to practice your conjugations of imperfecto del subjuntivo.