Basic usage of the present tense in Spanish subjunctive

Spanish subjunctive is a very unfamiliar grammar to most learners. Let’s briefly talk about the 8 basic uses of the virtual tense.

Doubt or Possibility (Quizás/ Tal vez)

  • Quizá(s): Quizás venga a verte. (Maybe he’ll come to
    see you) Also available in declarative form: Quizá no te invitará. (Maybe he won’t invite you)
  • Tal vez: Tal vez sea necesario pedirle un consejo. (Maybe you have to ask for his advice)

Wishes ( Ojalá)

  • Ojalá: Ojalá no llueva mañana. (Hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow)

Imperative (negative)

  • No vengas. (Don’t come over)
  • No te preocupes. (Don’t be nervous)

Purpose (different subject)

  • Para que: Gano dinero para que mi hija pueda estudiar en la universidad. (I earn money to get my daughter to college)

Cuando+ has not yet done/implemented the action

  • Cuando llegues a casa, llámame. (When you get home, please call me)

Best wishes

  • Que: Que descanses. (Good night = good night’s sleep)
  • Que Dios te bendiga. (May the Lord bless you)

Ask, ask others to do things

  • Me pide que haga las compras en el supermercado. (He told me to go to the supermarket to buy something)

Unsure of people or things

  • Quiere comprar una cosa con la que se pueda abrir la lata. (He wants to buy something that can be opened← doesn’t know what can be pulled)
  • Busco un secretario que hable portugués. (I’m going to find a secretary who speaks Portuguese← I don’t know who will be the secretary yet)