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Forming the Present Subjunctive

Forming the Present Subjunctive. What is the Subjunctive?.

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Forming the Present Subjunctive

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  1. Forming the Present Subjunctive

  2. What is the Subjunctive? I’m not answering that question here. Suffice it to say that it’s a new verb form. Here you’ll be learning to form the present subjunctive. The present tense you learned in Chapter 1 (hablo, hablas, habla, etc.) is called the present indicative.

  3. The way you form the present subjunctive is different from the way you form all the tenses you’ve studied up until this point. You don’t go to the infinitive; you go to the first person singular (“yo”) form of the verb: tengo hablo quiero

  4. hablotengo Drop the –o: habl-teng- If the verb is an –ar verb, If the verb is an –er or –ir add the following endings: verb, add the following endings: -e -emos -a -amos -es -é -as -áis -e -en -a -an hable hablemos tenga tengamos hables habléis tengas tengáis hable hablen tenga tengan

  5. Do NOT take shortcuts. Do NOT look at a word like “vive” and think, “Oh, to make it subjunctive, I just have to change the “e” to an “a.” That happens to give you the right answer for “vive,” but it doesn’t for words like “conoce” (> conozca), “pone” (> ponga), “dice” (> diga), etc.

  6. Be sure that you know all verbs that are irregular in the present tense (tener, venir, traer, etc.) and all stem-changing verbs; you can’t form the present subjunctive if you don’t know how to form the present indicative (hablo, como, vivo, tengo, traigo, etc.).

  7. Click here to go to a brief practice exercise.

  8. Spell-Change Verbs Remember how the “yo” form of these verbs underwent a spelling change in the preterit? • pagar > pagué • buscar > busqué • almorzar > almorcé -gar, -car, and –zar verbs are going to spell change in the present subjunctive just like they did in the preterit. But this time, they’re going to change all the way through, not just in the “yo” form, because they have an –e in all persons: pague paguemos busque busquemos almuerce almorcemos pagues paguéis busques busquéis almuerces almorcéis pague paguen busque busquen almuerce almuercen

  9. Click here to go to a brief practice exercise.

  10. Stem-changing Verbs In the present subjunctive, -ar and –er verbs stem change in exactly the same places they do in the present indicative. Present indicativePresent subjunctive quiero queremos quiera queramos quieres queréis QUERER quieras queráis quiere quieren quiera quieran pienso pensamos piense pensemos piensas pensáis PENSAR pienses pensáis piensa piensan piense piensen

  11. -ir verbs, however, behave differently. In the present indicative, NO verb stem changes in the “nosotros” and “vosotros” forms. pedir pido pedimos pides pedís pide piden But in the present subjunctive, -ir verbs (NEVER –er or –ar verbs) change in the “nosotros” and “vosotros” forms: pida pidamos pidas pidáis pida pidan A very important note about these changes . . .

  12. . . . is that the “nosotros” and “vosotros” forms in the subjunctive get just an i or just a u. Present indicativePresent subjunctive siento sentimos sienta sintamos sientes sentís SENTIR sientas sintáis siente sienten sienta sientan duermo dormimos duerma durmamos duermes dormís DORMIR duermas durmáis duerme duermen duerma duerman

  13. Compare –ar, -er, and –ir stem-changing verbs in the present indicative and present subjunctive. Present Indicative pensar querer sentir pienso pensamos quiero queremos siento sentimos piensas pensáis quieres queréis sientes sentís piensa piensan quiere quieren siente sienten Present Subjunctive piense pensemos quiera queramos sienta sintamos pienses penseis quieras querais sientas sintais piense piensen quiera quieran sienta sientan

  14. Click here to go to a brief practice exercise.

  15. Irregular Subjunctives There are five irregular verbs in the subjunctive, five verbs that DON’T follow the “drop the –o from the ‘yo’ form and add the appropriate ending” rule. Two of them aren’t that strange; you just drop –oy instead of –o and then add the appropriate endings: estar (estoy) dar (doy) esté estemos dé* demos estés estéis des deis esté estén dé* den *The accent mark over the –e distinguishes this word from the preposition “de.”

  16. You have to memorize the other three, however: ser saber ir sea seamos sepa sepamos vaya vayamos seas seáis sepas sepáis vayas vayáis sea sean sepa sepan vaya vayan Don’t get the subjunctive of “ser” and “saber” mixed up. Remember that both “ser” and its subjunctive “sea” have three letters.

  17. Click here to go to your homework on subjunctive formation.

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