The Grammar Page

Grammar Basics



The Practice Zone

How to form the Present Subjunctive

The Subjunctive 3-part formula in detail

Other constructions where we need to use the Subjunctive

When NOT to use the Subjunctive

Although I expect that you are doing all of the Grammar Notes and textbook readings as well as the online activities and homework, I cannot stress enough the importance of doing so now. The Subjunctive is a form that does not have a simple counterpart in English. The only way to become comfortable with the Subjunctive is to practice.

Colby: Present Subjunctive Practice

Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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While conjugating verbs into the Subjunctive form is not too difficult, it is deciding when and where to use the Subjunctive that gets a little complicated. We will look at it slowly and determine the rules for its use in stages.

The Subjunctive always is needed when we express a *WEIRDO using the 3-part formula below. (*the WEIRDO formula was devised by the awesome Dr. Karen Berg, and is featured in her materials which I cited in 1991, and again in 1995 in courses I published with UNC-Chapel Hill.)

(Click on a column heading on the left below for more detail)


Wishes, desires,

Quiero que él.., Deseo que ella..., Necesito que usted..., Espero que tú...; Mando que..., insisto que...

I Want or Need someone else to do something, I Order or Insist that someone to do something



Me alegro de que..., me entristezco de que..., Me enoja que..., Temo que...

I get (become) Happy... , Sad..., It makes me angry ..., I'm Scared... that something or someone does something


Impersonal observations

Es bueno que..., Es Importante que..., Es Posible que...

It's good that.., It's important that.., It's possible that....



Recomiendo que..., Sugiero que...

I Recommend or Suggest that someone else do something


Doubt, Denial, Disbelief

Dudo que.., No creo que.., ¿Crees que..?, niego que...

I Doubt that, I Don't believe that..., Do you believe that...? I Deny that....



Ojalá que...

Let's hope to God that.., God willing that..,



Adverbial conjunctions to express Conditions & Times in which things may occur: tan pronto como.., cuando.., en caso de que.., en cuanto.., a menos que.., para que..., sin que.., con tal de que.., antes/después de que.., aunque..,

There is a 3 part formula for using the Subjunctive. Each one of these three components MUST be in place.




Subject #1 (indicative verb)

(Select one of the WEIRDO categories)


This is the conjunction necessary to introduce the subjunctive clause

Subject #2 + verb in the subjunctive

(the person or thing in our WEIRDO world)