The Present Subjunctive

The Present Subjunctive

The present subjunctive expresses a preference, emotion, desire, doubt, possibility. The Spanish present subjunctive is not a tense, it is a mood. Tense refers when an action takes place in the past, present or future, but the mood merely reflects how the speaker feels about the action.

Most of the Spanish Present Subjunctive verbs are built like this…

  1. Take  the  yo form from the present indicative.
  2. Then drop the -o ending.
  3. Finally, add the following endings:

ar verbs:
-e, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, en

er and -ir verbs:
-a, –as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an


Cantar – to sing

Yo Canto (Present indicative right?, well now drop the o, and replaced it for “e” because the infinitive ends with an “ar” )

Yo cant e (the “o”has been replaced by “e”)
Tu /vos cant es
Él/ella/usted cant e
Nosotros cant emos
Ellos/ellas/ustedes cant en

Beber – to sing

Yo Bebo… Now let’s drop the o and change it for a

Yo beb a (the “o”has been replaced by “a”)
Tu /vos beb as
Él/ella/usted beb a
Nosotros beb amos
Ellos/ellas/ustedes beb an

These endings work either for regular and irregular verbs, but the difference between them is that the stem changes in the irregular verbs and in the regular verbs do not.

Notice that the verbs- er and – ir verbs use – ar verb endings, and you must use the normal – er

endings with – ar verbs. This might be a way to remember them.