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INTRODUCTION

What you will learn in this lesson:

  • what is the subjunctive mood

  • how to form the present subjunctive mood

  • when to use the subjunctive mood

  • how to use ojalá (“Oh, that it were,” “I wish …”)

  • vocabulary related to a postpartum visit

  • dialogue concerning a postpartum visit

  • how to form and use the imperfect subjunctive mood

  • how to form and use some irregular verbs in the imperfect subjunctive mood

  • vocabulary related to a patient with high blood pressure

  • dialogue concerning giving instructions to a patient with high blood pressure

  • how to use the conditional verb tense and the imperfect subjunctive together in a sentence

EL SUBJUNTIVO: THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

This is considered a mood, not a tense. (The other moods are called the indicative and the imperative.) Now that this scintillating concept has been clarified, let’s move on to see how to form the subjunctive and when to use it. The subjunctive mood in Spanish is used after verbs of (1) desire, (2) emotion, or (3) doubt. It is used when one wants, wishes, or doubts that someone else does (or doesn’t do) something. For example:

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Quiero que Ud. tome su medicina.

I want you to take your medicine.

Temo que Ud. no esté mejorándose.

I fear you are not getting better.

Dudo que Ud. tome sus pastillas cada día.

I doubt you take your pills each day.

Please notice that in these sentences there are two verbs that are connected by the word que. The first verb shows desire, emotion, or doubt (as stated above) and the second verb is conjugated in the subjunctive mood. Quiero que Ud. tome su medicina literally translates as “I want that you take your medicine” and Dudo que Ud. tome sus pastillas cada día literally means “I doubt that you take your pills each day.”

Favor de notar que rara vez se usa el subjuntivo en inglés.

Generally if one (1) wants, (2) expresses emotion, or (3) doubts something about one’s own self, the subjunctive is not needed. For example:

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I want to take my medicine.

Quiero tomar mi medicina.

He is afraid to take his medicine.

Tiene miedo tomar su medicina.

I doubt I am going to take my medicine.

Dudo tomar mi medicina.

Note: As can be seen, an infinitive is used when que does not follow the first verb.1

EL PRESENTE DEL SUBJUNTIVO / THE PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE

Ahora vamos a ver como se forma y conjuga el modo subjuntivo.

¿Recuerdan los mandatos en la forma de Ud.?

hablar → ¡Hable (Ud.)!

comer → ¡Coma (Ud.)!

abrir ...

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