Are you familiar with the Spanish present progressive tense that utilizes the formula estar (to be) + gerund (the equivalent of the -ing form in English) to talk about an action in progress? Let's see an example:
¡Lo estás haciendo genial!
You're doing it great!
Caption 47, Aprendiendo con Zulbany Piensa rápido - Part 1Play Caption
Now let's look at an example where the verb ir (to go) is used with the gerund in lieu of the verb estar:
tú vas haciendo y pasan dos horas y te dicen vale ya está.
you're doing it and two hours go by and they tell you OK, that's it.
Caption 55, Blanca y Mariona Proyectos para el veranoPlay Caption
What's the difference? Although both estás haciendo and vas haciendo are translated as "you're doing" in these examples, the construction ir + gerund is often employed to emphasize the fact that an action is, was, or will be evolving over time, gradually, or as part of a process. Let's explore this notion a bit further.
As the formula suggests, this construction is created by combining a conjugated form of the verb ir (to go) in any tense with the gerund, for example, cambiando (changing), aprendiendo (learning), or diciendo (saying), which you can learn to conjugate in the aforementioned lesson on the present perfect. Let's see some examples in the present, imperfect, and future tenses.
Vamos cocinando (We're cooking)
Iban creando (They were creating)
Iremos entendiendo (We'll be understanding)
As we mentioned in the introduction, ir + gerund typically describes actions that take place over time, bit by bit, or as part of a process. Therefore, while their translations are sometimes the exact same as they would be if the verb estar were to replace the verb ir, this implication is present within this structure. With this in mind, let's see a few examples of this construction.
y... fuimos creciendo juntos en ese momento.
and...we were growing together at that moment,
Caption 77, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 6Play Caption
In this caption, the preterite tense of the verb ir is used to describe something that happened in the distant past. However, the formula ir + gerund was chosen to demonstrate that the "growing" being talked about was a process that was unfolding at that moment in time. Let's see another example:
Mientras la cebolla está pochando, en otra sartén vamos a ir haciendo la patata.
While the onion is sauteing, in another frying pan, we're going to be making the potato.
Captions 42-43, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatasPlay Caption
Here, the formula ir + gerund is once again used to talk about the process of making the potato over time. For this reason, you will often find this construction in sentences that contain the word mientras (while) to talk about an action that is evolving while something else happens. Let's look at one more example:
"Y el consciente..." ¿Viste como tú misma vas cambiando en la medida que vas trabajando?
"And the Conscious"... Did you see how you yourself are changing as you are working?Play Caption
Once again, ir + gerund is utilized because "changing" and "working" are actions that aren't just in progress at some moment but are rather part of a bigger picture of evolution over time. So, the implication here is "Did you see how you yourself are (gradually) changing as you are working (over time)? In fact, words like "gradually" or "over time" may or may not be added to the translations of some instances of the ir + gerund construction, which is sometimes difficult to translate precisely.
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to better understand the often seen but seldom talked about ir + gerund construction, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.
Let's start this lesson off with a quote that refers to a very important and oft-mentioned concept in Spanish:
Veamos el verbo en infinitivo
Let's look at the verb in infinitivePlay Caption
Most simply put, the infinitive is the impersonal, unconjugated, or "to" form of a verb, such as "to swim," "to see," or "to dance" in English. Let's take a closer look at Spanish infinitives and learn many of their potential uses.
Do you know how many types of infinitive verbs there are in Spanish? Let's hear the answer from Yabla's popular teacher Carolina:
Con infinitivo tenemos tres tipos de verbos: verbos que terminan en "ar", como "cantar", verbos que terminan en "er", como "comer" y verbos que terminan en "ir", como "salir".
With infinitive we have three types of verbs: verbs that end in "ar," like "cantar" [to sing], verbs that end in "er," like "comer" [to eat] and verbs that end in "ir," like "salir" [to leave].
Captions 11-14, Lecciones con Carolina El gerundio - Part 1Play Caption
These three categories of infinitive verbs determine the patterns according to which regular verbs are conjugated in all of the various verb tenses in Spanish. Although there are far too many to name, we have provided below ten of the most common Spanish infinitives in each category. The bold print indicates some irregular or stem-changing verbs whose conjugations deviate from the norm.
|-AR Verbs||-ER Verbs||-IR Verbs|
|dar (to give)||aprender (to learn)||abrir (to open)|
|estar (to be)||comer (to eat)||decir (to tell)|
|hablar (to talk)||creer (to believe)||describir (to describe)|
|llamar (to call)||hacer (to make/do)||escribir (to write)|
|llegar (to arrive)||poder (to be able)||pedir (to ask)|
|llevar (to take/carry)||querer (to want)||recibir (to receive)|
|pasar (to spend)||saber (to know)||salir (to leave)|
|quedar (to remain)||ser (to be)||sentir (to feel)|
|tomar (to take)||tener (to have)||venir (to come)|
|trabajar (to work)||vender (to sell)||vivir (to live)|
Now that we understand what an infinitive verb is, let's learn some of the ways in which these non-conjugated verbs can be employed in Spanish.
Many specific conjugated verbs in Spanish can be followed immediately by an infinitive verb. In this case, the infinitive may be translated into English with either the "to" or present participle (-ing) form, depending upon the specific verb and context. Let's see a couple of examples with querer (to want) and evitar (to avoid), which are often followed by infinitive verbs:
Perfecto. Yo quiero viajar a Japón. ¿Sí?
Perfect. I want to travel to Japan. Right?
Caption 77, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 1Play Caption
"Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes
"Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinksPlay Caption
Although the list of these tverbs that are frequently followed by the infinitive is quite long, some additional common ones include buscar (to seek), deber (to have to/must), esperar (to hope), intentar (to try), necesitar (to need), soler (to usually), tener que (to have to), and temer (to fear).
When a verb follows a preposition in Spanish, it should be in the infinitive form. In these cases, Spanish infinitive verbs will be translated with the -ing form of the verb. Let's look at some examples:
Antes de empezar, necesito mis anteojos.
Before starting, I need my glasses.
Caption 19, Natalia de Ecuador Los adverbios de ordenPlay Caption
¡Perdónalo! Lo dijo sin pensar.
Forgive him! He said it without thinking.
Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 4Play Caption
There are many common fixed expressions in Spanish that include prepositions and thus require the infinitive, including the near future tense, ir a + infinitive ("to be going to" do something), pensar en + infinitive ("to think about" doing something), dejar de + infinitive ("to stop" or "quit" doing something), tener ganas de + infinitive ("to feel like" doing something), haber que + infinitive (for some action "to be necessary"), estar por + infinitive ("to be about to" do something), and countless more! Let's see a few of these in action:
que tengo ganas de saltar y bailar.
that I feel like jumping and dancing.Play Caption
Había que pagar el precio.
One had to pay the price.
Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 5Play Caption
¡Ya deje de hablar de esa niña!
Stop talking about that girl already!
Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 2Play Caption
Sometimes, like in English, Spanish infinitive verbs can function like nouns, as in the following excerpt:
Me encanta comprar.
I love shopping.
Caption 40, Ariana Mi SemanaPlay Caption
Note that in such cases, while the article is not required, it may be added for emphasis as follows:
Ahora hasta de hablar,
Now even about talking,
los muchachos les da pena el hablar maya.
the young kids are embarrassed about speaking Maya.
Caption 54, Yabla en Yucatán - Don Salo - Part 1Play Caption
In certain situations, such as explaining how to do something step by step in a manual, cookbook, show, etc., or telling the public on a sign or some other medium what they can and cannot do, Spanish verbs in the infinitive can be construed as commands. Let's take a look:
"No fumar. Esto produce la muerte".
"Don't smoke. This causes death."
Caption 56, Los médicos explican - Las migrañasPlay Caption
An alternative translation on a sign might be: "No smoking."
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand what infinitive verbs are and many of their possible uses. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.
Do you know how to give advice in Spanish? Today's lesson will give you some advice... on ways to give advice in Spanish!
While the noun for "advice" in Spanish is consejo, in contrast to the English equivalent (an uncountable noun that does not change forms in the plural), the concept of general "advice" in Spanish can be conveyed with either the singular consejo or the plural form, consejos. Let's look at an example of each:
Entonces como consejo sano, ¿verdad? Tú mismo decir...
So as sound advice, right? You yourself saying...
Caption 54, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo eneroPlay Caption
¿Qué consejos le darías a un turista que viene a Barcelona?
What advice would you give to a tourist who's coming to Barcelona?Play Caption
That said, when a definite or indefinite article (el, un, unos or los) or quantifying term like a number appears before this noun to refer to specific advice, the word consejo can sometimes be interpreted as a "piece of advice" or "tip," as in the following captions:
Es como un consejo de sentido común de la vida.
It's like a piece of common sense advice in life.
Caption 49, Verónica - "Reprogramación psicocorporal"Play Caption
Pues, hoy les traemos cuatro consejos muy sencillos.
Well, today we bring you four very simple tips.Play Caption
The verb that means "to give advice" in Spanish is aconsejar, which, when addressed to a specific person or people, can also mean "to advise" or "recommend":
Así que les aconsejo que aprendan los primeros diez ordinales
So, I advise you to learn the first ten ordinals,
ya que son muy útiles.
as they are very useful.
Caption 51, Carlos explica - Los Números: Números OrdinalesPlay Caption
les sugiero que visiten el sugestivo Museo del oro.
I suggest that you visit the intriguing Gold Museum.Play Caption
Yo te recomiendo leer mucho en español para mejorar tu nivel.
I recommend you read a lot in Spanish to improve your level.
Captions 64-65, El Aula Azul - Mis libros preferidosPlay Caption
os propongo que vengáis a visitar Genalguacil.
I suggest you come to visit Genalguacil.
Caption 67, Viajando con Fermín - GenalguacilPlay Caption
Now that you are familiar with these terms, here are a few rules of thumb for "advice verbs" like the ones we have just seen:
Since giving advice in Spanish is all about telling someone your opinion about what they "should" (or shouldn't) or "must" (or mustn't) do, let's now examine a few additional "advice verbs" in Spanish that express just that! Keep in mind that while our initial "advice verbs" were conjugated in the first person, the conjugations in this group will correspond to the many Spanish ways to say "you."
The verb deber + the infinitive tells someone what they "must" or "have to" do and is thus useful for giving advice in Spanish.
Ustedes deben permanecer juntos, felices.
You have to stay together, happy.
Caption 44, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 2Play Caption
Note that when the verb deber is conjugated in the Spanish conditional form, it is the equivalent of the English "should":
Adrián, deberías tomar las pastillas que te di.
Adrian, you should take the pills that I gave you.Play Caption
Since the Spanish verb tener que also means "to have to," it is often used along with the infinitive to give advice in Spanish:
Tienes que saber siempre muy bien cuál es tu límite.
You always have to know very well what your limit is.
Caption 56, Ana Teresa - Yoga y surfPlay Caption
Yet another way to give advice in Spanish is through fixed expressions, whose English translations are the exact equivalents of some English advice-giving phrases with which you are probably familiar. Let's take a look!
"Por qué no aprendes a tocar guitarra?"
"Why don't you learn to play the guitar?"
Caption 67, Alberto Jiménez - CausalidadPlay Caption
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.Play Caption
By the way, this utterance falls into the category of the second conditional in Spanish that employs the imperfect subjunctive and conditional tenses to describe what "would" happen if some condition "were" in place.
¡Hay que probarla! No, yo creo que sí.
You have to try it! No, I think so.
Caption 22, Cleer y Lida - El regreso de LidaPlay Caption
Por ahora lo mejor es que descanse.
For now, the best thing is for you to rest.
Caption 18, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Por eso es mejor evitar que la ira tome el control.
That's why it's better to avoid [letting] anger take control.
Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emocionesPlay Caption
As with our first set of "advice verbs," the verb that follows these impersonal expressions in the last two examples will be either in the infinitive or subjunctive, depending upon whether or not it follows the conjunction que.
And finally, another method for giving advice in Spanish is simply telling someone what to do! For this purpose, we recommend that you learn or review the Spanish imperative mood, which includes both informal commands and formal commands. For now, let's take a look at a pair of examples of familiar commands in Spanish, one negative and one positive, that are used to give advice in Spanish in the following captions:
No tengas miedo de tomar la iniciativa.
Don't be afraid to take the initiative.Play Caption
Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes
Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks
como el café, el té o bebidas con cola. Mm-hm.
like coffee, tea, or cola drinks. Mm-hmm.
Captions 24-25, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Consejos para dormir mejorPlay Caption
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has given you a lot of ideas about how to give advice in Spanish. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions, comments... or advice!
Do you know when to use the future perfect in Spanish? Known in Spanish as the futuro compuesto or antefuturo, the future perfect tense in Spanish works very similarly to its English counterpart to speak about things that "will have" happened at a given point of time in the future. However, despite its name, it can also be used to describe or ask about things that "must" or "would have" happened in the past! Let's take a look at how to conjugate the future perfect in Spanish as well examples of these usages.
Just like the Spanish present perfect tense, which is used to express things one "has done" in utterances like Yo he comido (I have eaten), the future perfect in Spanish employs the verb haber (an auxiliary, or helping, verb that means "have") plus the past participle (whose regular forms end in -ado or -ido and correspond to English participles ending in -ed or -en such as "danced," "taken," etc.). However, in contrast to the present perfect, where haber is conjugated in the present tense, the future perfect in Spanish employs the future tense of this verb. With this in mind, let's see the formula for conjugating the future perfect in Spanish:
Future tense of haber + past participle
Now, let's look at the future tense conjugations of the verb haber then hear how they are pronounced:
|Personal Pronoun:||Future Conjugation of Haber:|
|yo||habré (I will have)|
|tú||habrás (you will have)|
|él/ella/usted||habrá (he/she/you will have)|
|nosotros/as||habremos (we will have)|
|vosotros/as||habréis (you will have)|
|ellos/ellas/ustedes||habrán (they/you will have)|
Habré, habrás, habrá, habremos, habréis, habrán.
I will have, you will have, he/she/you will have, we will have, you all will have, they/you all will have.
Caption 81, Escuela BCNLIP - Clase con Javi: el futuroPlay Caption
And finally, we will examine some examples of this formula in action:
ya que entonces el hechizo habrá terminado.
because then the spell will have finished.
Caption 56, Cuentos de hadas - CenicientaPlay Caption
Habréis visto que sobre la mesa tengo también un trozo de limón.
You'll have seen that on the table, I also have a piece of lemon.
Captions 33-34, Soledad - Ensalada de alcachofaPlay Caption
You may have noticed that, as we indicated in the introduction, while the first example refers to something that "will happen" in the future, the second describes something that the speaker's audience probably saw in the past! Let's examine more closely these two different ways to employ the future perfect tense in Spanish.
The following examples illustrate the use of the Spanish future perfect tense to describe what "will have" happened in the future, which the context indicates quite clearly:
todavía estará más bueno,
it will be even better
ya que habrá cogido más cuerpo y más sabor.
since it will have gotten more body and more flavor.
Captions 69-70, Fermín - Ensalada de tomatePlay Caption
Dentro de cinco años, los ingenieros habrán terminado de construir el puente.
Within five years, the engineers will have finished building the bridge.
Para el año 2030, yo habré ahorrado mucho dinero.
By the year 2030, I will have saved a lot of money.
Let's conclude by looking at examples of the future perfect tense in Spanish that depict what "will" or "must" have happened in the past or speculate about what "would" or "could have" taken place:
Si pusieron atención,
If you paid attention,
se habrán dado cuenta que Kevin y Leo, que son hermanos,
you will have noticed that Kevin and Leo, who are brothers,
Captions 50-51, Carlos comenta - Los Años Maravillosos - Forma de hablarPlay Caption
Bueno, querido, pero algo habrás hecho.
Well, dear, but you must have done something.
Caption 25, Muñeca Brava - 39 Verdades - Part 4Play Caption
¿Lo buscó bien?
Did you look for him well?
Lo buscó... -¿Pero dónde se habrá ido?
You looked for him... -But where would he have gone?
Caption 36, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 3Play Caption
Although the translations for each of these examples vary slightly, what they all have in common is the fact that the action being described requires an educated guess about something that has already happened.
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand when to use future perfect in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.
Do you know the difference between the present indicative and the present subjunctive moods in Spanish? Most simply put, the indicative depicts certainty and objectivity while the subjunctive describes doubt and subjectivity. If you would like to learn about or brush up on these concepts, we suggest lessons from Yabla's Spanish lesson archives on how to use the Spanish present indicative and when to use the Spanish subjunctive, and when you feel ready, test your knowledge with this quiz!
In the following sentences, choose the correct present indicative or subjunctive verb to fill in the blank.
These tougher bonus round questions include more than one verb in the present indicative and/or subjunctive mood(s), as well more options. Are you ready?!
a. quiero, invita
b. quiera, invite
c. quiero, invite
d. quiera, invita
a. tiene, viaja
b. tenga, viaje
c. tiene, viaje
d. tenga, viaja
a. asistimos, estamos
b. asistamos, estemos
c. asistimos, estemos
d. asistamos, estamos
a. Estamos, vemos
b. Estemos, veamos
c. Estamos, veamos
d. Estemos, vemos
a. pido, dices, eres
b. pida, digas, seas
c. pido, digas, seas
d. pida, dices, seas
The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz as well as the translations and grammatical justifications for each.
1. Correct Answer: a. va (indicative)
David va al gimnasio todos los días.
David goes to the gym every day.
REASON: The indicative mood is used to describe routines and repetitive actions in the present.
2. Correct Answer: b. venga (subjunctive)
Espero que María venga a la fiesta; hace mucho que no la veo.
I hope that Maria comes to the party; I haven't seen her for a long time.
REASON: The subjunctive mood should be employed in a sentence's dependent clause following que (that) or some other subordinating conjunction when the main clause, in this case espero que (I hope that), expresses some wish, hope, or desire. In other words, although the speaker "hopes" that Maria will come to the party, we don't know if she will.
3. Correct Answer: b. estés (subjunctive)
Nos alegra mucho de que estés aquí.
We're really happy that you're here.
REASON: Although the speaker is certain of the person to whom they are speaking's presence, the subjunctive is utilized in dependent clauses that follow a subject's emotional or subjective reaction. Let's take a look at a similar example where emotion in the main clause triggers the subjunctive in the dependent one:
me da miedo que mis seres queridos sufran
it scares me for my loved ones to [potentially] suffer
o que les pasen cosas malas.
or for bad things to happen to them.Play Caption
4. Correct Answer: a. viene
Juan viene ahora mismo.
Juan is coming right now.
REASON: The present indicative is used to portray actions that are unfolding at the present moment.
5. Correct Answer: b. saque (subjunctive)
Juan estudió muy poco para el examen. Dudo que saque una buena nota.
Juan studied very little for the exam. I doubt that he'll get a good grade.
REASON: When doubt or disbelief is expressed in a Spanish sentence's main clause, the verb in the dependent clause must be in the subjunctive.
6. Correct Answer: b. llueva (subjunctive)
Todos nos vemos afectados por la sequía. Ojalá que llueva pronto.
We're all affected by the drought. Hopefully it will rain soon.
REASON: When a verb follows the word Ojalá, which means roughly "hopefully," it will be always be conjugated in the subjunctive. Let's see another example:
y ojalá disfruten del aprendizaje de nuestro idioma.
and I hope you enjoy learning our language.Play Caption
7. Correct Answer: a. llamo
Yo te llamo mañana.
I'll call you tomorrow.
REASON: Sometimes, actions that will happen in the near future are expressed with the present indicative in Spanish.
8. Correct Answer: a. giran
Los planetas giran alrededor del sol.
The planets revolve around the sun.
REASON: Facts and universal truths are described with the Spanish present indicative, as in the following caption:
Ámsterdam cuenta con setenta y cinco kilómetros de canales
Amsterdam has seventy-five kilometers of canals
y tiene más de mil puentes.
and has more than a thousand bridges.
Captions 60-61, Viajando con Fermín - ÁmsterdamPlay Caption
9. Correct Answer: b. practiques (subjunctive)
Si quieres ser músico profesional, es muy importante que practiques mucho.
If you want to be a professional musician, it's very important that you practice a lot.
REASON: Unless they express certainty, impersonal expressions such as es importante que (it's important that), es raro que (it's strange that), es bueno/malo que (it's good/bad that), etc. are followed by a verb in the subjunctive.
10. Correct Answer: b. visitemos (subjunctive)
Recomiendo que visitemos Barcelona durante nuestro viaje a España.
I recommend that we visit Barcelona during our trip tp Spain.
REASON: When making recommendations to others, the verb that follows must be in subjunctive, like in the following clip:
les aconsejo que vayan a Zipaquirá,
I advise you to go to Zipaquira,Play Caption
11. Correct Answer: c. quiero (indicative), invite (subjunctive)
Yo quiero que Manuel me invite a la fiesta.
I want Manuel to invite me to the party.
REASON: The indicative verb in the main clause (quiero) expresses a wish or desire, which triggers the subjunctive in the dependent clause.
12. Correct Answer: a. tiene (indicative), viaja (indicative)
Mariela tiene muchas ganas de conocer Brazil. Es seguro que viaja allá este verano.
Mariela really wants to go to Brazil. She'll surely travel there this summer.
REASON: Since it's a fact that Mariela wants to go to Brazil, the first verb (tiene) is in the indicative. The second verb (viaja) is also in the indicative because it follows an impersonal expression that expresses certainty.
13. Correct Answer: d. asistamos (subjunctive), estamos (indicative)
No creo que asistamos al evento. Todos estamos muy enfermos.
I don't think we'll attend the event. We're all really sick.
REASON: In the first sentence, the main clause No creo que (I don't think that) expresses disbelief, triggering the subjunctive in the dependent clause. In the second sentence, estamos (we're) is in the indicative because it's a fact that "we're all sick."
14. Correct Answer: a. Estamos (indicative), vemos (indicative)
Estamos en contacto. Nos vemos pronto.
We'll be in touch. See you soon.
REASON: These common expressions are examples of how the Spanish present indicative can be used to talk about actions to take place in the near future.
15. Correct Answer: c. pido (indicative), digas (subjunctive), seas (subjunctive)
Te pido que me digas la verdad, que siempre seas sincero conmigo.
I ask you to tell me the truth, to always be honest with me.
REASON: Once again, the verb in the main clause, pido (I ask), is in the indicative, and since it indicates a desire, the following verbs in the dependent clause, digas (to tell) and seas (to be), are in the subjunctive.
That's all for this quiz. How did you do?! To better understand the various uses of the Spanish present indicative and subjunctive, we have a plethora of lessons and videos in our archives to assist you! For starters, try Clase Aula Azul's series Pedir deseos (Making Wishes) and Información con subjuntivo e indicativo (Information with Subjunctive and Indicative), Ana Carolina's El modo subjuntivo (The Subjunctive Mood), and Doctora Consejos (Doctor Advice) videos like Subjuntivo y sentimientos (Subjunctive and Feelings) and Subjuntivo y persona ideal (Subjunctive and Ideal Person). In the meantime, we hope you've enjoyed this Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.
Do you know the difference between the Spanish preterite and imperfect tenses? In a nutshell, the preterite describes completed past actions, while the imperfect describes conditions or qualities, or actions that were not yet completed or in progress at a specific moment in the past. Can you insert the correct choices in different contexts, and do you know the grammatical reasons for doing so? Test your knowledge of these two different Spanish past tenses with the following quiz!
In the following sentences, choose the correct preterite or imperfect verb(s) to fill in the blank(s).
a. era, Tenía
b. fue, Tuvo
a. Nos levantamos, nos arreglamos, nos fuimos
b. Nos levantábamos, nos arreglábamos, nos íbamos
All of our trickier bonus round questions will involve more than one verb in the preterite and/or imperfect tense(s), as well more choices. Are you up for the challenge?!
a. bailó, se tropezó
b. bailaba, se tropezaba
c. bailó, se tropezaba
d. bailaba, se tropezó
a. estuvo, fue
b. estaba, era
c. estuvo, era
d. estaba, fue
a. conocí, conocí
b. conocía, conocía
c. conocí, conocía
d. conocía, conocí
a. empezó, estuvimos
b. empezaba, estábamos
c. empezó, estábamos
d. empezaba, estuvimos
a. fue, se casó, duró
b. era, se casaba, duraba
c. era, se casó, duraba
d. era, se casó, duró
The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz, as well as the translations and grammatical reasons for each.
1. Correct Answer: b. nací (preterite)
Yo nací en Madrid en el año mil novecientos ochenta y cuatro.
I was born in Madrid in nineteen eighty-four.
REASON: The preterite is used for actions that took place at a determined moment in the past. Certain verbs, such as nacer (to be born), are most commonly seen in the preterite.
2. Correct Answer: a. preparaba (imperfect)
Ella todavía preparaba la cena cuando los invitados llegaron.
She was still making dinner when the guests arrived.
REASON: Use the imperfect tense to describe past actions in progress that were interrupted by another action. Interrupting actions, on the other hand, should be in the preterite, as is llegaron in this example.
3. Correct Answer: a. Eran (imperfect)
Eran las cuatro de la tarde y ya se oscurecía.
It was four in the afternoon, and it was already getting dark.
REASON: Past dates and times in Spanish are described with the imperfect tense. Let's see an example:
aunque todavía era el mes de junio,
despite the fact that it was still the month of June,
Caption 39, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata PoeskaPlay Caption
4. Correct Answer: b. salió (preterite)
David estaba en la ducha cuando su esposa salió de la casa para ir a trabajar.
David was in the shower when his wife left the house to go to work.
REASON: The verb salir (to leave) is conjugated in the preterite in this sentence because it interrupts an action in progress. The action in progress, estaba (was), is in the imperfect.
5. Correct Answer: a. era, Tenía (imperfect)
El chico era muy alto. Tenía el pelo negro y los ojos verdes.
The boy was very tall. He had black hair and green eyes.
REASON: Both verbs in this sentence are in the imperfect tense, which is used to describe past conditions and characteristics. Let's hear this use of the imperfect in action:
En lugar de plumas amarillas,
Instead of yellow feathers,
las suyas eran grises
his were grey,
y respecto a sus patas
and regarding his legs,
ellas eran increíblemente grandes y feas.
they were incredibly big and ugly.
Captions 22-25, Cleer - El patito feoPlay Caption
6. Correct Answer: a. visitaban (imperfect)
Los hermanos visitaban a sus abuelos en New Hampshire todos los veranos.
The brothers used to visit their grandparents in New Hampshire every summer.
REASON: The imperfect visitaban is used here because habitual past actions are described with the imperfect.
7. Correct Answer: b. obtuvo (preterite)
La gimnasta rumana Nadia Comaneci obtuvo siete veces una calificacción perfecta durante su carrera.
Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned a perfect score seven times during her career.
REASON: Actions that are completed a specific number of times in the past are conveyed with the preterite.
8. Correct Answer: a. tenían (imperfect)
Los gemelos empezaron la escuela cuando tenían tres años.
The twins started school when they were three years old.
REASON: When talking about age in the past, choose the imperfect tense.
9. Correct Answer: a. Nos levantamos, nos arreglamos, nos fuimos (preterite)
Nos levantamos por la mañana, nos arreglamos y nos fuimos a trabajar.
We got up in the morning, we got ready, and we went to work.
REASON: The preterite tense in Spanish should be used to relay a series of completed actions in the past, like in the following caption:
Un día el sol volvió a salir,
One day the sun came out again,
se oyó un ruido atronador
a thunderous noise was heard
y apareció un bello arco de colores en el cielo.
and a beautiful colorful arch appeared in the sky.Play Caption
10. Correct Answer: b. Estábamos (imperfect)
Estábamos muy emocionados porque nuestra tía nos venía a visitar.
We were very excited because our aunt was coming to visit us.
REASON: When speaking about past emotional states, the imperfect is most often employed. An exception to this rule might be when one suddenly feels an emotion in a particular moment.
11. Correct answer: d. bailaba (imperfect), se tropezó (preterite)
Carla bailaba su solo en el recital cuando de repente se tropezó.
Carla was dancing her solo in the recital when she suddenly tripped.
REASON: The first verb (bailaba) is in the imperfect because it was the action that was interrupted by the second, interrupting action, in the preterite (tropezó). We hope you are getting the hang of this concept!
12. Correct Answer: b. estaba (imperfect), era (imperfect)
Diego estaba muy emocionado porque era el once de enero: el día de su cumpleaños.
Diego was very excited because it was January eleventh: his birthday.
REASON: Both verbs are in the imperfect, the first because it describes a past emotional state, and the second because it refers to a date.
13. Correct Answer: d. conocía (imperfect), conocí (preterite)
Aunque ya conocía a algunas personas en mi escuela, no conocí a mi mejor amigo hasta mi segundo año.
Although I already knew some people at my new school, I didn't meet my best friend until my sophomore year.
REASON: This one is tricky! While both are conjugations of the verb conocer (to meet), the first one is imperfect since it talks about "knowing" people over an extended period of time in the past, whereas the second incidence, in preterite, refers to "meeting" someone at a particular past moment. To learn more such verbs, check out this lesson on verbs that change meaning in the preterite.
14. Correct Answer: c. empezó (preterite), estábamos (imperfect)
En el momento en que empezó a nevar, estábamos en camino a la playa.
At the moment it started to snow, we were on our way to the beach.
REASON: While this is yet another example of a verb in preterite (empezó) that interrupts a past action in progress in the imperfect (estábamos), note that in contrast with the previous examples, the interrupting verb comes first in this example.
15. Correct Answer: d. era (imperfect), se casó (preterite), duró (preterite)
La chica, que era muy guapa y joven, se casó con su novio el día tres de septiembre en una boda que duró más de cinco horas.
The girl, who was very pretty and young, married her boyfriend on September third in a wedding that lasted more than five hours.
REASON: In this example, era (was) is in the imperfect because it describes past traits/characteristics, while se casó (married) and duró are in the preterite because they describe actions with concrete starts/finishes in the past. The verb casarse (to get married) is yet another example of a verb that, when in the past, is most typically seen in the preterite tense, as in the following caption:
Cuando mis papás se casaron, estaba de moda Lucho Bermúdez,
When my parents got married, Lucho Bermudez was in fashion,
Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4Play Caption
That's all for this lesson. How many answers did you get right?! To better understand these verbs tenses, we recommend the videos from our popular series Carlos Explica (Carlos Explains) on the Spanish preterite tense as well as the Spanish imperfect. In the meantime, we hope you've enjoyed this Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz, and don't forget to leave us your questions and comments.
The Spanish conjunction aunque, whose English translations include "although," "even though," "even if," etc., often appears within the constructions aunque + present indicative and aunque + present subjunctive. Although sentences that include said constructions are often structurally similar, the use of either the indicative or the subjunctive with aunque affects their meaning. Additionally (and as usual in Spanish!), the subjunctive construction is slightly more challenging since the meaning of the same sentence could vary depending upon context. Let's take a closer look.
Aunque + present indicative is used to state facts and is a pretty straight-forward equivalent of similarly truth-stating English sentences with "although" and "even though." Let's see some examples:
aunque terminan en "a", son realmente palabras masculinas.
although they end in "a," they are really masculine words.
Caption 22, Lecciones con Carolina Errores comunes - Part 6Play Caption
Aunque es checa la canción, el tema, eh... en Berlín, en Alemania creen [sic] mucha gente que es alemán.
Although the song, the tune, is Czech, um... in Berlin, in Germany, a lot of people think it's German.
Captions 48-49, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Manuel y El barrilitoPlay Caption
Bueno, hay que ser optimista, aunque tengo la impresión de que no me van a dar el trabajo.
Well, one has to be optimistic, although I have the impression that they are not going to give me the job.
Captions 4-5, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1Play Caption
These first two instances of aunque + present indicative are quite clear-cut because we know that what the speaker is saying is factual: The words Carolina mentions indeed end in "a," and the song Manuel describes is undoubtedly Czech. In the third example, although the speaker could possibly have different impressions regarding her employment chances, her use of the indicative definitively lets us know the impression she has about it.
In contrast to aunque + present indicative, aunque + present subjunctive conveys different meanings and is used in two different scenarios: 1. In hypothetical situations and 2. When the information being communicated is considered "background information" that the audience already knows.
In order to understand how the use of the subjunctive with aunque changes the meaning of a sentence, let's take the third example of aunque + present indicative and replace it with aunque + present subjunctive:
Bueno, hay que ser optimista, aunque tenga la impresión de que no me van a dar el trabajo.
Well, one has to be optimistic, even if I might have the impression that they are not going to give me the job.
The subjunctive version conveys something different than its indicative counterpart because, rather than explicitly stating her impression after a specific job interview, the speaker says more generally that "even though she might have" a particular impression following an interview, she should remain optimistic. Let's take a look at some additional examples of this use of aunque + present subjunctive from the Yabla Spanish library:
Aunque sea sólo para un fin de semana, para mí, tiene las características esenciales para disfrutar de un viaje,
Even if it's only for a weekend, for me, it has the essential characteristics for enjoying a trip,
Captions 47-49, Lydia de Barcelona Lydia y el festival de cine "Women Mujeres"Play Caption
Here, Lydia is saying to an audience of potential tourists to Barcelona that, hypothetically speaking, a visit would be worth it even if they might only have one free weekend. On the other hand, the indicative "Aunque es sólo para un fin de semana" would be used for someone you knew was only visiting Barcelona for one weekend. This is sometimes confusing for English speakers since the phrase "Even if it's only for a weekend" could refer to either situation and is thus a valid translation for both the indicative and subjunctive versions of the sentence. Let's look at one more example:
Aunque no crean, existe el amor a primera vista.
Believe it or not, love at first sight does exist.Play Caption
While Aunque no crean is the Spanish equivalent of the English idiom "Believe it or not," a more literal translation is "Even though you might not believe it" since we don't know whether or not the audience does.
Now, let's examine a use of aunque + present subjunctive that might initially seem confusing:
Os recuerdo que las islas Canarias, aunque estén en el océano Atlántico y muy cerca de la costa africana,
I remind you that the Canary Islands, although they're in the Atlantic Ocean and very close to the African coast,Play Caption
Since what Silvia is saying is a fact (the Canary Islands are most definitely located in the Atlantic Ocean, close to Africa), why does she use the subjunctive? This is because aunque + present subjunctive is also used when the speaker assumes that their audience already knows the information being stated.
To sum it up: Use the indicative when you want to inform someone about something that you assume is new information for them, and use the subjunctive to say things you believe the receiver already knows. Let's see another example of this use:
Aunque San Sebastián tenga tres playas, yo siempre hago surf en la Zurriola.
Even though San Sebastian has three beaches, I always surf at Zurriola.
Captions 16-17, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 2Play Caption
As seen here, even if it's a fact that San Sebastián has three beaches, you'd employ the subjunctive tenga for a person you think knows this information and the indicative tiene for a person you believe to be learning it, despite identical English translations. For a detailed explanation of this use of aunque + present subjunctive with a plethora of examples, check out the video series Clase Aula Azul: Información con subjuntivo e indicativo (Aula Azul Class: Information with Subjunctive and Indicative).
Sometimes, the meaning of an aunque + subjunctive sentence is ambiguous and, without context, might be impossible to ascertain. Let's take a look at an example that could be understood in more than one way:
Aunque haga calor, yo voy a usar mi chaqueta nueva.
On its face, this sentence could have two possible meanings:
1. Even though it might be hot (hypothetically on some particular day in the future), I'm going to wear my new jacket.
2. Even though it (really) is hot (and I know you know it's hot), I'm going to wear my new jacket.
In the second scenario, we assume that the person with whom we are speaking already knows the information; perhaps they are sitting there sweating with us, or maybe they called you to complain about the heat: The main point is that we believe that this is shared information. To determine, however, which of the two aforementioned meanings is intended, context is required, and there may be cases where it could seem to go either way.
In conclusion, aunque sea el concepto un poco difícil (although the concept might be a bit difficult), we hope that this lesson has made clear to you when to use the constructions aunque + present indicative and aunque + present subjunctive... and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments!
The Spanish near future tense is an alternative to the traditional future tense in Spanish. If you haven't yet learned to conjugate the future tense in Spanish or find it difficult, we recommend using the near future tense in Spanish, which is expressed with a simple formula that we'll teach you today.
Since the near future tense in Spanish is most commonly (but not always!) seen in the present indicative tense, it will behoove you to make sure you know the present indicative conjugation of the verb ir. Let's take a look:
|Subject Pronoun||Present Conjugation of Ir|
|él, ella, usted||va|
Now that we've recalled the present indicative conjugation of ir, let's take a look at the formula for the Spanish near future tense, which is ir + a + infinitive. As ir means "to go," and a can mean "to," you can think of the Spanish near future tense as "to be going to" do something. Let's see some examples:
¡Abuelo, no vas a creer lo que te voy a contar!
Grandpa, you aren't going to believe what I'm going to tell you!
Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario El Mejor ColumpioPlay Caption
y ellos nos van a dar un poco de información.
and they are going to give us a bit of information.Play Caption
Entonces, hoy vamos a hablar de la familia.
So, today we are going to talk about family.Play Caption
The first person plural form vamos a + infinitive can also be an alternative for the nosotros/as command form, which is the equivalent of "Let's" [do something] in English. We see this in the popular expression Vamos a ver (Let's see):
Así que, vamos a ver de qué se trata.
So, let's see what it is.
Caption 6, Ana Carolina Receta para una picadaPlay Caption
That said, although there may be some cases in which it is difficult to determine whether a Spanish sentence with vamos a + infinitive is intended to mean "we're going to" or "let's," in most cases, context should make this clear.
Technically, the Spanish near future tense is intended for events that are imminent rather than in the distant future, and for that reason, it is quite often accompanied by words like ahora (now) or hoy (today), as in the following examples:
y hoy les voy a dar siete consejos prácticos para mejorar su pronunciación en español.
and today I'm going to give you seven practical tips to improve your pronunciation in Spanish.
Captions 4-5, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciaciónPlay Caption
Muy bien. Pues ahora, vais a practicar más.
Very good. Well, now you're going to practice more.
Caption 39, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 7Play Caption
Having said that, the near future tense is extremely common to hear in spoken Spanish (probably more so than the traditional future tense) and will often be heard describing events with a vaguer or more distant timeline:
Y algún día voy a ser la voz líder de mi banda, los Equis seis.
And someday, I'm going to be the lead singer of my band, the X6 [Ex Six].
Caption 11, X6 1 - La banda - Part 1Play Caption
For this reason, as the traditional future and near future tenses are virtually equivalent in terms of meaning, you should feel free to use this near future tense "hack" in virtually any situation in which you wish to describe an action in the future.
So, what if, rather than saying you "are going to" do something, you wish to say that, at a certain moment in the past, you "were going to" perform an action? You would do so by using the near future tense, but conjugating the infinitive ir in the Spanish imperfect tense. Let's take a look at it:
|Subject Pronoun||Imperfect Conjugation of Ir|
|él, ella, usted||iba|
Now, let's see some examples:
Llegué al examen muy contenta porque sabía que iba a aprobar.
I got to the exam very happy because I knew I was going to pass.
Captions 64-65, Los casos de Yabla El examen - Part 1Play Caption
Te dije que íbamos a hacer ejercicio.
I told you we were going to exercise.
Caption 67, Cleer y Lida Los númerosPlay Caption
1. Be aware that this same construction could be used to indicate something one "used to go do" in the past, for example, "En el verano, yo iba a nadar a la piscina" ("In summer, I'd go to swim at the pool"). Context will usually tell you which meaning is intended.
2. For the past version of the near future tense, remember to use the imperfect, or ongoing past tense, rather than the Spanish preterite tense, which would indicate that something already happened (E.g. Yo fui a nadar a la piscina = I went to swim at the pool).
Let's conclude today's lesson with a little quiz. Taking a few examples of the traditional future tense from our library, see if you can convert them to the present indicative form of the near future tense. Try to do them yourself prior to looking at the answers.
No, abuelito. ¡Hoy haré el salto más alto del mundo!
No, Grandpa. Today I'll do the world's highest jump!Play Caption
Near Future Tense:
No, abuelito. ¡Hoy voy a hacer el salto más alto del mundo!
No, Grandpa. Today I'm going to do the world's highest jump!)
Sin embargo de esto hablaremos en la próxima lección.
However, we will talk about this in the next lesson.Play Caption
Near Future Tense:
Sin embargo de esto vamos a hablar en la próxima lección
However, we're going to talk about this in the next lesson.
Verán que mañana el estadio estará lleno.
You guys will see that tomorrow the stadium will be full.Play Caption
Near Future Tense:
Van a ver que mañana el estadio va a estar lleno.
You guys are going to see that tomorrow the stadium is going to be full.
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to feel more confident using the Spanish near future tense, which can come in quite handy when talking about your plans... and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.
Let's talk about the passive voice in Spanish!
Let's start by understanding the concept of voz (voice) in a sentence- in English or Spanish. This refers to the relationship between a sentence's subject and verb. A sentence's voice can be active or passive. But what's the difference?
In the active voice, the subject performs a verb's action onto an object and is thus considered the sentence's actor or agent (the person or thing that carries out the action). Let's see some examples:
Pedro come galletas.
"Pedro come galletas" [Pedro eats cookies].Play Caption
In this caption, Pedro is the subject/agent who executes the action of "eating" the object (the cookies).
eh... pintábamos muchísimos fondos oscuros
um... we painted a ton of dark backgrounds
Caption 99, María Marí Su pasión por su arte - Part 1Play Caption
In this example, "we" is the subject/agent who carried out the action of "painting" the object, "a ton of dark backgrounds."
Gabriel García Márquez escribió muchos libros.
Gabriel García Márquez wrote a lot of books.Play Caption
And finally, here, Gabriel García Márquez is the subject, and agent, who performed the action of "writing" the object (a lot of books).
The Passive Voice
In the passive voice, on the other hand, what was previously the object in the active voice actually becomes the subject, but, this time, receives the action of the verb. At the same time, the previous subject becomes a "passive agent" who may or may not be mentioned at the end of the sentence. That said, before finding out how to convey sentences in the passive voice in Spanish, let's convert our previous English examples of the active voice to the passive voice:
Active: Pedro eats cookies
Passive: Cookies are eaten by Pedro
um... we painted a ton of dark backgrounds
um... a ton of dark backgrounds were painted by us
Active: Gabriel García Márquez wrote a lot of books.
Passive: A lot of books were written by Gabriel García Márquez.
Now that we have a better concept of the passive voice, how do we express it in Spanish? Let's learn two different formulas for doing so.
In this first formula, the verb ser (to be) is conjugated in accordance with the subject of the sentence and followed by a past participle (you may wish to consult this lesson that covers conjugating the past participle). In this construction, the participle (the equivalent of English words like "spoken," "eaten," "gone," etc.) must agree with the subject in terms of number and gender. Subsequently, por plus an agent may be optionally added to explain who or what completed the action. Let's take a look at some examples of this formula in Spanish:
y es escrito por mí personalmente.
and is personally written by me.
Caption 46, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 7Play Caption
En el Siglo dieciocho, las costas de San José en Almería eran asaltadas frecuentemente por piratas
In the eighteenth century, the coasts of San José in Almería were assaulted frequently by pirates
Captions 32-33, Club de las ideas Batería de breves - Part 1Play Caption
Las tarjetas fueron usadas
The cards were usedPlay Caption
Note that in accordance with las tarjetas, the third person plural of ser, fueron, is used along with the feminine plural participle usadas. However, in contrast to the other two examples where por is used to identify the person or people who carried out the action, here, the agent is unknown and thus unmentioned. Let's move on to our second formula.
This construction is formed with se and a verb in third person singular or plural, depending upon whether what is being spoken about (the subject) is singular or plural. Let's see a few examples:
Este vino se hace con una de las uvas más populares
This wine is made with one of the most popular grapes
Caption 21, Amaya Cata de vinosPlay Caption
las corridas se celebraban en la Plaza Mayor.
bullfights were held in the Plaza Mayor.
Caption 5, El Trip MadridPlay Caption
"Garr", no entiendo para qué se hicieron esos uniformes.
Garr, I don't understand why those uniforms were made.
Caption 53, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
In the first caption, the verb hacer is conjugated in the third person singular to agree with el vino, while celebrar and hacer in the second and third examples are plural in agreement with las corridas and los uniformes. Notice that there is no mention of the entity who performed the action in any of these sentences since this second formula rarely mentions the action's agent.
The passive voice is more commonly encountered in the media or literature or when the agent that carried out the action is unknown or considered less relevant. It can only be used with transitive verbs, or verbs that are capable of transmitting some action onto a direct object. In terms of tenses, you may have noticed that our examples have included the present, imperfect, and preterite. While the passive voice formulas contain particular grammatical specifications, there is no mention of any of the specific Spanish verb tenses because active Spanish sentences in any verb tense can be converted to the passive voice. With this in mind, let's conclude this lesson with a present perfect tense example of the verb descubrir (to discover) in the active as well as both formats of the passive voice:
Científicos han descubierto que cuando un abrazo dura más de veinte segundos se produce un efecto terapéutico
Scientists have discovered that when a hug lasts more than twenty seconds, a therapeutic effect is produced
Captions 5-7, Aprendiendo con Silvia El abrazoPlay Caption
Ya que ellos, pues, han sido descubiertos en Inglaterra
Since they, well, have been discovered in England
Caption 40, Hugo Rodríguez Duendes artesanalesPlay Caption
porque se han descubierto muchas virtudes
because many virtues have been discovered
Caption 9, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 1Play Caption
That's all for today. For more information on the passive voice in Spanish, check out this four-part video series on La voz pasiva as well as this lesson on the passive vs. impersonal se constructions. And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
Like in English, the Spanish pluperfect tense describes something that happened before something else, for example, something that "had" already happened at a certain point in time or before another past action. Let's find out how to conjugate the Spanish pluperfect tense and hear several examples in action.
The Spanish pluperfect tense, which is sometimes referred to as the past perfect tense, is pretty easy to conjugate! It is very similar to the Spanish present perfect tense (the verb haber in the present tense + the participle) except that haber will be conjugated in the Spanish imperfect tense. So, the formula for the pluperfect tense in Spanish would be:
haber in the imperfect tense + the participle
Let's first take a look at the imperfect conjugation of haber:
|Personal Pronoun:||Conjugation of Haber:|
Now we need a Spanish participle. These correspond to English participles (which often but not always end in -ed or -en). Examples include regular -ar verbs like hablado (talked/spoken) and mirado (looked), regular -er verbs like comido (eaten) and aprendido (learned), regular -ir verbs like recibido (received) and dormido (slept), and irregular verbs like abierto (opened), visto (seen), and dicho (said). For a list of more irregular Spanish participles as well as a detailed explanation of how to conjugate participles in Spanish, we invite you to consult this lesson on the present perfect tense in Spanish.
Whereas the verb haber in the present tense can be translated as "have" in the context of the present perfect in examples like Yo he comido (I have eaten), Tú has comenzado (You have begun), or Nosotros/as hemos hablado (We have talked/spoken), the translation for the imperfect conjugation of haber within the pluperfect tense is "had." That said, let's look at those same verbs conjugated in the pluperfect, noting their translations:
Yo había comido: I had eaten
Tú habías comenzado: You had begun
Nosotros/as habíamos hablado: We had talked/spoken
Now that we know how to conjugate the Spanish pluperfect and how to translate it, let's view a few examples. You will note from the translations that the Spanish pluperfect is used in very similar situations as the pluperfect in English.
Cuando Cenicienta quiso dar las gracias, el hada ya había desaparecido.
When Cinderella tried to say thank you, the fairy had already disappeared.
Caption 1, Cuentos de hadas Cenicienta - Part 2Play Caption
Here, the pluperfect is used to indicate that the fairy "had disappeared" prior to the moment that Cinderella "tried" to say goodbye (as described by the preterite verb quiso). Let's see another one:
Pero es que nunca había visto una anguila.
But the thing is that I had never seen an eel.Play Caption
In this example, rather than expressing that "he'd" never "seen" an eel before some other past action, the speaker employs the pluperfect to explain that, at the moment in the past that he is describing, he "hadn't seen" an eel ever in his life. Let's look at one more:
decidieron regresar al lugar de donde habían venido.
they decided to return to the place where they had come from.Play Caption
In this final example, the preterite verb decidieron lets us know that in that moment in the past, "they decided" to go back to the location where they "had come from" (at some other moment in time prior to deciding to go back, of course!).
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand how the Spanish pluperfect tense is conjugated and used... and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Spanish uses a type of conditional sentence known as the segunda condicional (second conditional) to describe these types of scenarios, which is formed with a simple formula that we will cover today.
There are many different types of Spanish conditionals, or conditional sentences. These are sentences that describe the result "if" a certain condition were in place. They are formed with a conditional si, or "if" clause, plus a main clause, and are classified according to the likelihood of the hypothetical situation. The second conditional typically focuses on scenarios that are unlikely or hypothetical, but can also be used to make an utterance extra polite.
Let's take a look at the formula for the second conditional in Spanish:
Si + imperfect subjunctive verb + conditional verb
If you need to learn or review these tenses or how to conjugate them, we recommend these lessons on the Spanish imperfect subjunctive tense, which describes the unlikely or hypothetical action, and the Spanish conditional tense which conveys the action(s) that "would" happen if some other condition "were" in place.
Let's take a look at several examples of the Spanish second conditional and some situations in which it could be employed. We'll start with some sentences that describe very unlikely situations:
Si me tocara la lotería, viajaría por todo el mundo, y me alojaría en los hoteles más lujosos.
If I won the lottery, I'd travel around the whole world, and I'd stay at the most luxurious hotels.
Captions 26-27, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicionalPlay Caption
Si tuvieras que morir, no podrías dejarme aquí
If you had to die, you couldn't leave me here
Caption 8, La Gusana Ciega No Me TientesPlay Caption
Si pudiera bajarte una estrella del cielo Lo haría sin pensarlo dos veces
If I could lower you down a star from the sky I'd do it without thinking twice
Captions 5-6, Enrique Iglesias Cuando me enamoroPlay Caption
Y si tuvieras hijos, ¿te gustaría que practicaran el surf también?
And if you had kids, would you like them to surf as well?
Captions 63-64, El Aula Azul Un día de surfPlay Caption
Si tuviera que definirla en una sola palabra, sería amor.
If I had to define her in just one word, it would be love.
Caption 22, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata PoeskaPlay Caption
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.Play Caption
And finally, let's see an example where the second conditional is used in a likely scenario for the sake of politeness:
Pues, si pudiera venir a la oficina mañana a las nueve, la ubicaríamos en su puesto enseguida.
Well, if you could come to the office tomorrow at nine, we would get you acquainted with your position right away.
Captions 28-29, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1Play Caption
Note that while the first conditional si puede venir a la oficina mañana a las nueve, la ubicaremos en su puesto enseguida (if you can come to the office tomorrow at nine, we will get you acquainted with your position right away) could also have been used in this situation, the second conditional in Spanish is sometimes chosen to infuse a sentence with extra formality.
In some cases, the order of the imperfect subjunctive and the conditional verbs can be flipped. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:
Pero, por eso, estamos imaginando qué pasaría si nos tocara la lotería,
But that's why we're imagining what would happen if we won the lottery,
Captions 34-35, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 2Play Caption
¿Qué harías si te encontraras un sobre con cincuenta mil euros?
What would you do if you found an envelope with fifty thousand euros?Play Caption
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand a very common formula for talking about hypothetical situations in Spanish. For further information on this topic, we recommend this entertaining video entitled La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicional (Doctor Advice: The Second Conditional) by El Aula Azul, or this more in-depth lesson called La Segunda Condicional by Clase El Aula Azul. And as always... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
What is the imperfect subjunctive tense in Spanish? It is basically the past version of the Spanish present subjunctive! That said, let's begin this lesson with a bit of background on the subjunctive, which is one of the three Spanish moods.
Most simply put, Spanish uses different verb tenses to distinguish between objective states and actions and subjective, uncertain, or emotional ones, for example, things we merely "hope" will happen. So, while there's no difference in verb form between "you come" and "I hope you come" in English, in the equivalent statement in Spanish, (usted) viene (you come) changes to the present subjunctive venga as we see here:
Espero que venga a ver nuestros productos,
I hope you come see our products,
Caption 70, Otavalo ArtesanosPlay Caption
To get a tad more technical, as we see in the example above, in Spanish sentences with a subjunctive verb, we often (but not always) see the following structure:
1. An independent clause with a verb in the indicative that "triggers" the use of the subjunctive (we'll learn more about these later!)
2. A conjunction, or connecting word, like que
3. A dependent clause with a subjunctive verb
And while a "triggering" present tense verb provokes the present subjunctive, a "triggering" verb in some form of the past tense (e.g. preterite, imperfect, or past perfect) will be followed by a verb in the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, as we see here:
La verdad esperaba que usted viniera con su apoderada.
Truthfully I was hoping that you'd come with your client.Play Caption
Now that you know a little bit about the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, let's learn how to conjugate it. If you know how to conjugate the third person plural of the preterite in Spanish, conjugating the imperfect subjunctive is relatively easy. You simply remove the -ron ending to get the imperfect subjunctive stem, then add one of two sets of endings (there are two distinct forms of the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish that are used interchangeably). Let's first take a look at these two ending sets:
|Subject Pronoun:||Ending 1:||Ending 2:|
Now, let's remove the -ron endings to come up with the imperfect stems for several common Spanish verbs:
|Verb||3rd Person Plural Preterite||Stem|
Now that we have the stems, let's add the endings to come up with the two versions of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive for all of these verbs, noting the addition of the accent in the nosotros/as (we) forms to maintain pronunciation. Although the first ending set is more commonly heard, while the second is the more "classic" form, there is no difference in meaning whatsoever.
And the good news is... there are no irregular verbs in the Spanish imperfect subjunctive!
So, what are some examples of Spanish verbs that trigger the subjunctive? The acronym W.E.I.R.D.O., which stands for Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal Expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, and Ojalá, can help you to remember many of them. Keep in mind that because today's lesson focuses on the imperfect subjunctive, all of said verbs will appear in one of the Spanish past tenses.
As you read the English translations, you might notice that while all of the Spanish sentences meet our aforementioned criteria for using the imperfect subjunctive, there is no "one size fits all" formula for translating this verb tense because it is used in a variety of different circumstances that call for varying verb tenses in English.
Verbs that describe our wishes, hopes, or desires call for the Spanish subjunctive and include desear (to want/wish/desire), esperar (to hope), exigir (to demand/require), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), necesitar (to need), ordenar (to order), pedir (to ask), preferir (to prefer), and querer (to want). Let's take a look at two examples where said verbs in the Spanish imperfect tense prompt the use of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive:
que lo único que esperaba era que su madre pudiera acompañarlo a una presentación del colegio.
as the only thing he was hoping for was for his mother to be able to go with him to a school performance.
Captions 2-3, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 2 - Part 11Play Caption
Pero dijo que quería que fueran amigos.
But she said she wanted you guys to be friends.
Caption 55, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 11 - Part 4Play Caption
In these two examples, the English infinitives "to be" and "to be able" were used to translate the Spanish imperfect subjunctive because in English, we often say that we what we hoped was for something "to happen." However, in the first example "the only thing he was hoping for was that his mother could accompany him to a school performance" could be another viable/equivalent translation.
Emotional verbs like alegrarse (to be happy/glad), enojarse (to be/get angry), encantar (to delight), lamentar (to regret/be sorry), molestar (to bother), sentir (to be sorry), and sorprender (to surprise) also provoke the subjunctive. Let's see two examples of the imperfect subjunctive sparked by the imperfect and preterite tenses:
¿Y por eso te preocupaba tanto que él viniera a verme, que me contara algo?
And that's why it worried you so much that he'd come to see me, that he'd tell me something?
Caption 54, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 2Play Caption
No, me encantó que me llamaras, escucháme, eh...
No, I loved it that you called me; listen to me, um...
Caption 63, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3Play Caption
The first example describes one's past worry about what might happen (whether or not it did), and since in English, we often say we were worried about what "would happen," it was translated in this fashion. The second example, on the other hand, describes an action that actually took place: "you called". And yet, despite the necessary differences in the English translations, we see that in both cases, the use of an "emotional" verb in the first clause triggered the use of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive in the second.
Impersonal expressions are constructions that don't involve any particular person and typically begin with the third person singular of some form of ser (to be) plus almost any adjective. Examples include bueno (good), curioso (interesting), dudoso (doubtful), extraño (strange), importante (important), necesario (necessary), probable (probable), raro (strange), urgente (urgent), and many more (the exception being adjectives that indicate certainty, such as cierto (certain) or seguro (sure). Let's see some examples of impersonal expressions in the imperfect tense that call for an imperfect subjunctive verb in the second clause:
Es que era muy raro que no abrieran la puerta.
It's just that it was very strange that they weren't opening the door.
Caption 20, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 10Play Caption
Y para mí era bien importante que el grupo tuviera letras...
And it was really important to me that the band had lyrics...
Caption 61, La Gusana Ciega Entrevista - Part 1Play Caption
Again, the first caption describes an action that was actually happening (they weren't opening the door), while the second describes someone's past preference (which may or may not have come to fruition). Regardless, an impersonal expression in the imperfect tense triggered the use of the imperfect subjunctive. Note that an alternative translation for the second example might be: "And it was really important to me for the band to have lyrics."
Verbs that either recommend or don't recommend other actions, such as aconsejar (to advise), decir (to tell), dejar (to allow), exigir (to demand), hacer (to make/force), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), ordenar (to order), prohibir (to forbid), proponer (to suggest), recomendar (to recommend), rogar (to beg), sugerir (to suggest), and suplicar (to beg) call for the subjunctive mood. Let's look at some examples in the preterite:
Le propuse que hiciéramos un pequeño taller de artesanía,
I suggested to him that we open a small craft studio,
Caption 40, Playa Adícora Francisco - Part 2Play Caption
Yo sé que les dijimos que no vinieran por acá pero
I know we told them not to come here, butPlay Caption
Although we might find out later whether or not someone's advice was actually taken, in the moment it was given, the aforementioned "advising" verbs always trigger the Spanish imperfect subjunctive.
When conjugated in some form of the past, doubt verbs like dudar (to doubt), no creer (to not believe) or no poder creer (to not be able to believe), no parecer (to not seem), no pensar (to not think), and no suponer (to not suppose) call for the imperfect subjunctive:
Bueno, por un instante llegué a dudar de que estuvieras.
Well, for a moment, I even began to doubt that you would be [here].
Caption 41, Yago 4 El secreto - Part 11Play Caption
Yo no podía creer que me pasara que una chica así se me acercara
I couldn't believe this was happening to me that such a girl would approach me
Captions 7-8, Enanitos Verdes Cuánto PoderPlay Caption
In these examples, past "doubt" causes the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, regardless of whether the situations were actually unfolding. The second example is interesting because it has been translated with both the past progressive "was happening" and the conditional "would approach" in English to represent that the speaker still can't believe such a situation "would happen" to him, even as it was.
Although ojalá and ojalá que aren't technically verbs but rather conjunctions, they are roughly equivalent to such English expressions as "I hope," "let's hope," or "God willing" and require the subjunctive. When used with the imperfect subjunctive, these expressions are often to describe hypothetical situations that one wishes "were" true (interestingly, the change from "was" to "were" to represent a hypothetical situation is the only time we see a verb change in the subjunctive mood in English). Let's look at some examples:
No es crucial. Ojalá todos los problemas fueran estos.
It's not crucial. If only all problems were [like] these.
Caption 19, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 9Play Caption
Y ojalá todo el mundo estuviera lo suficientemente entusiasmado.
And I wish everyone were excited enough.
Caption 8, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 1Play Caption
We hope that these examples have helped you to understand how to conjugate the Spanish imperfect subjunctive tense, some scenarios in which to use it, and some of the many ways in which it might be translated to English. In future lessons, we hope to focus on some additional, common uses of this tense, but in the meantime... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
The present subjunctive in Spanish is one of the many verb tenses in the Spanish subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood is one of three moods in Spanish (the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive) that indicates the presence of doubt, emotion, or subjectivity, in contrast to the indicative, which states facts. The focus of today's lesson will be the conjugation of the Spanish present subjunctive tense.
Before going on to conjugation, let's see an example of the present subjunctive in Spanish, which typically appears after the present indicative in dependent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction such as que (that). As a simple example, if you say, "I hope [that] you practice at home" with ustedes (plural you) in Spanish, the correct manner of doing so would be
espero que practiquen en su casa
I hope you guys practice at home
Caption 60, Lecciones de guitarra Con Cristhian - Part 3Play Caption
rather than espero que practican en su casa because the verb tense changes from the indicative (practican) to the subjunctive (practiquen) due to the "hope" regarding whether the action will take place. In another lesson, we will explore the many scenarios in which the Spanish subjunctive mood comes into play.
The first step in conjugating most verbs in the present subjunctive is to recall the present indicative yo (I) form of the verb. We then remove the -o in order to get the stem and add the corresponding endings for -ar and -er/-ir verbs, which we can think of as the "opposite" of the endings for each verb class in the present indicative.
Let's use the aforementioned formula to get the stems for three of the most common regular verbs:
|hablar (to speak)||hablo||habl-|
|comer (to eat)||como||com-|
|subir (to go up)||subo||sub-|
Now, let's look at the present subjunctive endings for -ar vs. -er/-ir verbs:
|Personal Pronoun:||-ar Verbs:||-er/-ir Verbs:|
Armed with this information, we can easily conjugate these verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish. You will note that in the present subjunctive, the yo form and the él/ella/usted form are exactly the same.
Now, let's see these Spanish present subjunctive verbs in action:
Porque quiero que hablemos de negocios.
Because I want us to talk about business.
Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 6Play Caption
¿'tas listo? -¿Qué querés que yo coma lo mismo?
You ready? -What, do you want me to eat the same thing?
Caption 43, Factor Fobia Cucarachas - Part 1Play Caption
Dígale que no suba.
Tell him not to come up.
Caption 43, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 6Play Caption
Note that the in the vast majority of cases, even verbs with spelling changes in the yo form will follow this very same formula for obtaining their stems/conjugations. Let's see several examples:
Present Subjunctive Conjugations:
caber (to fit): quepa, quepas, quepa, quepamos, quepáis, quepan
coger (to take): coja, cojas, coja, cojamos, cojáis, cojan
conocer (to know): conozca, conozcas, conozca, conozcamos, conozcáis, conozcan
decir (to say): diga, digas, diga, digamos, digáis, digan
hacer (to make/do): haga, hagas, haga, hagamos, hagáis, hagan
poner (to put): ponga, pongas, ponga, pongamos, pongáis, pongan
salir (to go out): salga, salgas, salga, salgamos, salgáis, salgan
tener (to have): tenga, tengas, tenga, tengamos, tengáis, tengan
traer (to bring): traiga, traigas, traiga, traigamos, traigáis, traigan
ver (to see): vea, veas, vea, veamos, veáis, vean
We will now hear a couple of these in context:
Lo mejor es que tengan sala de estudio
The best thing is for them to have a study room
Caption 45, Club de las ideas La bibliotecaPlay Caption
Bueno, te invito ahora a que conozcas el teatro.
Well, now I invite you to see the theater.
Caption 24, El teatro. Conversación con un doble de acción.Play Caption
Let's examine several categories of stem-changing verbs that behave slightly differently in the present subjunctive in Spanish:
An example of this category is querer (to want), for which the yo form is quiero. While the stem for this verb is indeed quier- as usual, the stem change does not take place in the nosotros/as and vosotros/as forms, which use the stem of the infinitive (removing the -ar or -er) as follows:
quiera, quieras, quiera, queramos, queráis, quieran.
Additional verbs that fall into this category include: cerrar (to close), entender (to understand), and perder (to lose).
One example is volver (to return), and the yo form is vuelvo. The stem for this verb is vuelv-, but as with the previous category, there is no stem change in the nosotros/as and vosotros/as forms, which also take the stem from the infinitive:
vuelva, vuelvas, vuelva, volvamos, volváis, vuelvan
Some other verbs in this category are: poder (to be able), contar (to tell), volver (to return), and encontrar (to find).
An example would be sentir (to feel). As in the first category, these verbs change stems in all forms except for nosotros/as and vosotros/as. With -ir verbs, however, the -ie changes to an -i, as follows:
sienta, sientas, sienta, sintamos, sintáis, sientan
Verbs that work similarly include repetir (to repeat) and preferir (to prefer).
The verb dormir (to sleep) falls into this category in which verbs change stems in all forms except nosotros/as and vosotros/as, where the -o changes to a -u:
duerma, duermas, duerma, durmamos, durmáis, duerman
The verb morir (to die) also belongs to this class of verbs.
Let's listen to a couple of examples of such stem-changing verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish:
lo mejor sería que vuelvas al convento.
the best thing would be for you to return to the convent.
Caption 15, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 7Play Caption
Espero que ahora entiendan mejor
I hope that you now understand betterPlay Caption
To make matters a bit more complicated, some verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive change spelling in order to maintain their pronunciation, and some verbs change both stems and spelling! Let's take a look at these additional verb categories.
It is worth noting that the g in verbs ending in -ger and -gir changes to a j in the Spanish present subjunctive, for example, in the aforementioned verb coger (to get). However, this doesn't really deviate from our formula since the present indicative yo form of coger is cojo. Other verbs that follow this pattern in Spanish include corregir (to correct), elegir (to choose), and recoger (to pick up).
corregir: corrija, corrijas, corrija, corrijamos, corrijáis, corrijan
elegir: elija, elijas, elija, elijamos, elijáis, elijan
recoger: recoja, recojas, recoja, recojamos, recojáis, recojan
In the Spanish present subjunctive, verbs ending in -car change their final consonant to -qu, verbs ending in -gar change to -gu, and -zar verbs' z changes to a c. Let's take a look at verbs in each of these categories:
sacar (to take out): saque, saques, saque, saquemos, saquéis, saquen
tocar (to take): toque, toques, toque, toquemos, toquéis, toquen
cargar (to charge): cargue, cargues, cargue, carguemos, carguéis, carguen
pagar (to pay): pague, pagues, pague, paguemos, paguéis, paguen
lanzar (to throw): lance, lances, lance, lancemos, lancéis, lancen
empezar (to start): empiece, empieces, empiece, empecemos, empecéis, empiecen
Let's hear some examples of verbs with spelling changes in the Spanish present subjunctive:
Es que no necesito que me recojas hoy.
It's just that I don't need you to pick me up today.
Caption 52, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 6Play Caption
Bueno, ¿tú me aconsejas que comience a escribir ya con todas estas inquietudes que tengo?
Well, do you advise me to start writing now with all these concerns that I have?Play Caption
Although you have seen that there are a lot of nuances to conjugating verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish, there are only six verbs that are considered truly irregular. We have provided their conjugations here:
Note that the yo and él/ella/usted conjugations of the verb dar, dé, has an accent on the e to distinguish it from the preposition de (of/from).
Let's conclude by hearing a couple of these irregular verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive in action:
Espero que sea una bonita sorpresa.
I hope that it's a nice surprise.
Caption 11, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 8Play Caption
Dígame algo que no sepa.
Tell me something I don't know.
Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 4Play Caption
And speaking of learning new things, we hope you've found this lesson on conjugating verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive helpful! To hear a bunch more verbs conjugated in the Spanish present subjunctive, we recommend this video on Subjunctivo y sentimientos (Subjuntive and Feelings), and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
What is the present perfect tense in Spanish? Despite its name in English, the Spanish present perfect tense is actually one of the past tenses in Spanish, which indicates that one "has done" some action within some specific period of time. This lesson will examine how to conjugate this useful Spanish tense as well as providing examples of when to use it.
The present perfect tense in Spanish is relatively easy to conjugate. To do so, we should remember a simple formula: haber in present tense + participle. Let's first take a look at the present conjugation of the verb haber, which corresponds to the English "has" or "have" in the present perfect:
|Personal Pronoun:||Conjugation of Haber:|
Now, let's examine how to conjugate the participle form of verbs in Spanish, which corresponds to English words with endings like -ed or -en, such as "taken," "looked," "baked," etc.
Conjugating the participle with -ar verbs:
Take the infinitive, remove the -ar, and add the suffix -ado:
hablar: hablado (to talk/speak: talked/spoken)
mirar: mirado (to watch: watched)
comenzar: comenzado (to start/begin: started/begun)
bailar: bailado (to dance: danced)
Conjugating the participle with -er and -ir verbs:
Take the infinitive, remove the -er or -ir, and add the suffix -ido:
comer: comido (to eat: eaten)
aprender: aprendido (to learn: learned)
recibir: recibido (to receive: received)
subir: subido (to rise/go up: risen/gone up)
Ahora que hemos aprendido (Now that we've learned) how to conjugate verbs in the present perfect tense in Spanish, we should think about when to use it. Just like the present perfect in English, we use the Spanish present perfect to describe actions that have been completed within a certain period of time. As previously mentioned, because these actions were completed in the past, however recent, the present perfect is considered a past tense in Spanish, in which it is known as el pretérito perfecto (literally the "past" or "preterite perfect"). With this in mind, let's take a look at some examples:
Ya hemos visto que reciclar contribuye de forma importante,
We have already seen that recycling contributes in an important way,
Caption 23, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 3Play Caption
¿Pero se han preguntado alguna vez cómo se cultivan y se comercializan?
But have you ever wondered how they are grown and sold?
Captions 75-76, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16Play Caption
Hoy ha llovido todo el día.
"Hoy ha llovido todo el día" [Today it has rained the whole day].Play Caption
Sometimes, Spanish speakers from Spain in particular use the present perfect to talk about actions in the recent past in situations in which English speakers would most likely use the past tense and Latin Americans would probably use the Spanish preterite. Let's look at an example:
Hola, soy Ariana Moreno y he dormido fatal. He pasado una mala noche.
Hello, I'm Ariana Moreno, and I've slept horribly. I've had a bad night.
Captions 1-3, Ariana Cita médicaPlay Caption
Pues nada, que ha empezado el día superbién, se ha levantado a las ocho, ha desayunado en la cafetería al lado de la escuela como siempre, ha venido a clase, hemos tenido la clase como todos los lunes.
Well, she's started the day very well, she's gotten up at eight, she's had breakfast in the cafeteria next to the school as always, she's come to class, we've had the class like every Monday.
Captions 6-10, El Aula Azul Conversación: Un día de mala suertePlay Caption
What are grammatical "moods"? Many definitions of grammatical moods in linguistics explain them as features of verbs that describe "modality." But, what is "modality"?
In a nutshell, "modality" refers to a speaker's attitude toward what he or she is saying, which might entail such concepts as possibility, probability, certainty or doubt. "Moods" are not the same as tenses, which convey when things happen, and each of the sixteen Spanish tenses fall into one of the three mood categories. That said, let's delve deeper into the three grammatical moods in Spanish: the indicative, the subjunctive, and the imperative.
Most simply put, the indicative mood describes facts, things about which the speaker is certain, or "the objective truth." Let's take a look at some examples of sentences with verbs in the indicative mood.
Estoy seguro que voy a poder ayudarla en algo.
I'm sure that I am going to be able to help you with something.
Caption 7, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 7Play Caption
This speaker says in the Spanish present indicative tense that he's seguro (sure) that he will be able to help the person to whom he's speaking. Such phrases referring to certainty like Estoy seguro que (I'm sure that) or even Yo creo que (I believe that) are tip-offs that the verb(s) that follow(s) will be in the indicative because they indicate conviction. However, many examples of verbs in the indicative mood in Spanish won't be quite so straightforward.
Hablaremos sobre el candombe.
We'll talk about candombe.
Caption 11, Sonido Babel El candombe de UruguayPlay Caption
In this example of the future indicative tense in Spanish, the speaker states (with certainty) what it is he will talk about. Let's take a look at an additional example.
¡Sí! Fuimos a buscar conchas pero no fue fácil encontrarlas.
Yes! We went to look for shells but it wasn't easy to find them.
Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario El ManglarPlay Caption
In this final example in the Spanish preterite tense, the speaker clearly states the objective truth about what happened in the past: Fuimos a buscar (We went to look for) seashells, and no fue (it wasn't) easy. Although whether or not something is easy is a subjective concept, it is important to remember that it is the speaker's attitude or belief about what he or she is stating that determines the mood.
There are ten verb tenses in the Spanish indicative mood: the present, the imperfect, the preterite, the future, the simple conditional, the present perfect, the pluperfect, the past anterior, the conditional perfect, and the future perfect. For a closer look at each of these tenses with examples, we recommend this lesson on the Spanish indicative tenses.
While the indicative conveys certainty and objectivity, the subjunctive conveys such opposing concepts as subjectivity, doubt, wishful thinking, hypothetical situations, and more. Let's take a look at some examples:
No, no, no. No creo que sea muy peligroso
No, no, no. I don't think he's very dangerous,Play Caption
Just like the expression Creo que (I believe that) lets you know that the following verb will be conjugated in the indicative, the phrase No creo que (I don't believe that) is an indicator for the subjunctive. Although we won't enter into verb conjugation in this lesson, we will say that verbs in the subjunctive mood are conjugated differently than in the indicative: for example, sea is the subjunctive conjugation of ser (to be) in third person singular and is thus used in place of the indicative form es. Let's take a look at another example:
de verdad, esperamos que te hayamos podido devolver la alegría.
we really hope that we've been able to give you back your joy.
Caption 58, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 17Play Caption
Here, the indicative present perfect form hemos podido (we've been able) has been replaced with the subjunctive present perfect, hayamos podido, because the speaker is expressing a hope that something has happened rather than stating that it actually has. Let's look at another example of the subjunctive mood in Spanish:
Si yo fuera un hombre, yo pensaría que las mujeres son complicadas.
If I were a man, I would think that women are complicated.
Caption 28, Conjugación El verbo 'pensar'Play Caption
This sentence employs a common construction that combines the imperfect subjunctive with the Spanish conditional tense to talk about what "would" happen "were" a hypothetical situation in place.
Learning all of the situations and/or constructions that require the subjunctive mood in Spanish can be quite challenging for native English speakers since verbs in the subjunctive mood in English rarely change. As a guideline, statements in which the second verb in a construction changes to the subjunctive include wishes like deseo que (I wish that...), emotions like me alegro de que (I'm happy that...), impersonal expressions like es importante que (it's important that...), recommendations like sugiero que (I suggest that...), and doubts like dudo que (I doubt that...), just to name a few.
The Spanish subjunctive mood encompasses six tenses: the present subjunctive, the imperfect subjunctive, the future subjunctive, the present perfect subjunctive, the pluperfect subjunctive, and the future perfect subjunctive, which are explained in greater detail in this lesson on the subjunctive tenses in Spanish that also touches on our third and final Spanish mood.
Understanding the speaker's "attitude" in the imperative mood is less nuanced: one is "ordering" or "commanding" someone else to do something:
¡Hazlo todo de nuevo!
Do it all over again!
Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 7Play Caption
This is an example of a positive, informal command (with tú, or the singular, informal "you") in Spanish. Let's see another example:
Chicos, no me hagan esta broma tan pesada.
Guys, don't play this very annoying joke on me.
Caption 49, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 1Play Caption
Here, we see the negative command that corresponds to the pronoun ustedes (plural "you"). Let's check out one more:
Empecemos por la forma, luego iremos al contenido.
Let's start with the form, then we'll go on to the content.
Caption 6, Ana Carolina CondicionalesPlay Caption
This "less commanding" sentence reflects the imperative form that goes with nosotros/as, or "we," which you can learn more about in the lesson Let's Learn Spanish Commands with Nosotros/as.
We can group Spanish commands into eight categories: positive commands with tú, negative commands with tú, (positive or negative) commands with usted (formal "you"), (positive or negative) commands with ustedes (plural "you"), positive commands with vos (informal "you" in certain regions), positive commands with vosotros/as (informal plural "you" in Spain), negative commands with vosotros/as, and (positive or negative) commands with nosotros/as (we). For a more in-depth look at the various types of commands in Spanish, we recommend the following four-part series on El modo imperativo.
We hope that this lesson has shed some light on the concept of the three grammatical "moods" in Spanish and would like to conclude it with an imperative sentence: No te olvides de dejarnos tus sugerencias y comentarios (Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments).
The Spanish future tense is one of the most straightforward tenses in Spanish, both in terms of knowing when to use it and how to conjugate it. Let's take a closer look at this tense.
The future tense in Spanish corresponds to the English construction with "will" plus a verb and is used to talk about actions that are slated to happen in the future or that someone has the intention to carry out. Simple English examples of this concept include: "Tomorrow, I will go to the store," or "Next week, it will rain." With this in mind, let's examine several examples of the future tense in Spanish:
y hoy les hablaré de una de mis pasiones:
and today, I'll talk to you about one of my passions:
Caption 4, Ana Carolina La meditaciónPlay Caption
Yo creo que esto lo venderemos súper bien.
I think we'll sell this one really well.
Caption 44, Santuario para burros Tienda solidariaPlay Caption
El botón [sic] la ayudará con su equipaje y lo subirá en un par de minutos a la habitación.
The porter will help you with your luggage and will take it up to the room in a couple of minutes.
Captions 61-62, Cleer y Lida Recepción de hotelPlay Caption
Note that as English "will" constructions are often expressed with contractions (the personal pronoun plus apostrophe double l, such as "I'll," "we'll," etc.), many Spanish future tense verbs can be translated to English in this less formal fashion.
Conjugating most verbs in the future tense in Spanish is quite simple. You just take the verb's infinitive ("to" form) in its entirety and add the corresponding future tense ending. So, using the verbs in our previous examples, we'd start with their infinitive forms: hablar (to talk), vender (to sell), ayudar (to help), and subir (to take up). You will note that these infinitive verbs fall into all three infinitive verb categories: -ar, -er, and -ir.
Step two of the process of conjugating Spanish future tense verbs is to memorize the quite simple endings that correspond to their personal pronouns, which are as follows:
Armed with this information, let's conjugate some future tense verbs using different verbs and personal pronouns than the examples above.
1. Suppose we want to say that more than one person "will see" something (with the personal pronoun ustedes, or plural "you"). We would take the infinitive verb ver (to see) and add the appropriate ending (-án) to get verán:
Mañana ustedes verán si nos... si nos medimos a ese, a ese reto.
Tomorrow you guys will see if we... if we measure up to that, to that challenge.
Captions 36-37, Festivaliando Mono Núñez - Part 13Play Caption
2. Now, let's imagine that you want to tell more than one person in a familiar environment what they'll "need." Oh— and you're in Spain, where the personal pronouns vosotros/as are the way to address more than one person as "you" informally. We'd take the verb for "to need" (necesitar) and the corresponding ending -éis to get necesitaréis:
Para empezar a hacer la tortilla española, necesitaréis los siguientes ingredientes:
To start to make the Spanish tortilla, you'll need the following ingredients:
Captions 8-9, Clara cocina Una tortilla españolaPlay Caption
3. And finally, what if you would like to say with the tú (informal "you") form to someone what he or she "will discover"? You'd start with the verb descubrir (to discover) and add the -ás ending that goes with tú to get descubrirás:
Pronto lo descubrirás
Soon you'll discover it
Caption 68, X6 1 - La banda - Part 2Play Caption
As with all Spanish verb tenses, there are some irregular verbs in the future tense in Spanish, many of which are extremely common. That said, it would behoove you to memorize the following stems, which are used in lieu of these verbs' infinitives to conjugate the "top twelve" irregular future tense verbs in Spanish:
|caber (to fit):||cabr-|
|decir (to tell):||dir-|
|haber (to have/be):||habr-|
|hacer (to make/do):||har-|
|poder (to be able):||podr-|
|poner (to put):||pondr-|
|querer (to want):||querr-|
|saber (to know):||sabr-|
|salir (to leave):||saldr-|
|tener (to have):||tendr-|
|valer (to be worth):||valdr-|
|venir (to come):||vendr-|
Now, let's conjugate a few of these irregular Spanish future tense verbs:
1. How would we express "I'll say" in Spanish? Rather than the infinitive, we'd take the aforementioned stem for the Spanish verb decir, -dir, and add the ending that corresponds with yo (I), or -é, to get diré:
Primero, diré el verbo en infinitivo,
First, I'll say the verb in the infinitive,
Caption 38, Carlos explica El modo imperativo 1: Tú + vosPlay Caption
2. How would we say "you'll have" in Spanish? Take the stem of the irregular verb tener (to have), tendr-, and add the ending for tú (you), -ás, to get: tendrás.
Sí, después de las clases en grupo, tendrás media hora de descanso
Yes, after the group classes, you'll have a half hour breakPlay Caption
3. And finally, what if want to express that "we'll be able" to do something? We'll take podr-, the stem for the verb for "to be able" (poder), and add the ending for nosotros/as, -emos, to come up with podremos:
Con un poco de práctica, podremos aprender estas reglas muy fácilmente.
With a bit of practice, we will be able to learn these rules very easily.Play Caption
Although the translations for Spanish verbs conjugated in the Spanish future tense almost always involve the word "will," the future tense in Spanish can occasionally be used to express doubt or disbelief, and, in such cases, corresponds more closely with the English concepts of "would," "could," "might," or "may." Such cases are typically quite clear from their contexts as inserting the word "will" would seem nonsensical. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:
¿No tendrás unos pesitos para mí?
You wouldn't have a few pesos for me?
Caption 23, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 14Play Caption
Favio, ¿dónde estarás?
Favio, where could you be?
Caption 44, Yago 1 La llegada - Part 7Play Caption
Having said that, in the vast majority of the cases you will come across, the future tense in Spanish can be translated with "will."
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on the future tense in Spanish. If you are interested in verb tenses, we recommend you check out our lessons on all of the Spanish verb tenses, beginning with the indicative verb tenses in Spanish and moving on to the Spanish subjunctive tenses. And, for an even deeper look into the future tense in Spanish with a plethora of example sentences, we recommend you check out this extended lesson by Javi on the future tense in Spanish as well as this lesson on an alternative to the Spanish future tense.
That's all for today! Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments, and estaremos en contacto (we'll be in touch).
Just when you thought you'd memorized the meanings of a bunch of infinitive verbs (their "to" forms, like saber (to know), poder (to be able), etc.), you find out that there are some verbs that actually change meanings from one tense to another! Verbs that mean one thing in tenses like the Spanish present indicative tense and the imperfect tense in Spanish but change meaning in the Spanish preterite tense will be the focus of today's lesson.
In a nutshell, there are two "main" past tenses in Spanish: the imperfect tense in Spanish, which is used to describe past actions that were ongoing, in progress, or interrupted, and the Spanish preterite tense, which describes completed past actions. As we mentioned, as the meaning of some Spanish verbs actually changes in the preterite tense in Spanish, let's take a look at some examples of several of these verbs and their translations in the present, the imperfect, and, finally, the preterite, via examples from Yabla Spanish's video library.
Let's take a look at some examples of the Spanish verb conocer in the present and imperfect tenses:
porque conozco un sitio muy bueno y podemos ir.
because I know a very good place and we can go.
Caption 67, Cleer Entrevista a GiluancarPlay Caption
Pablo Escobar conocía La Catedral como la palma de la mano,
Pablo Escobar knew La Cathedral like the back of his hand
Caption 42, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 2 - Part 6Play Caption
In both the Spanish present indicative and the imperfect tense, the Spanish verb conocer means "to know" in the sense of "being familiar with." However, in the preterite tense, the Spanish verb conocer has a different meaning. Let's take a look:
Cuando yo conocí a mi esposa, hace nueve años, la primera cosa yo le dije a ella, te... tú vas a ser la mamá de mis hijas.
When I met my wife, nine years ago, the first thing I said to her, you... you are going to be the mom of my daughters.
Captions 52-54, La Sub30 Familias - Part 4Play Caption
As you can see in this example, as the preterite tense in Spanish limits an action to a specific moment in time, the meaning of the Spanish verb conocer changes to "to meet" in the Spanish preterite tense.
Detrás de mí podemos observar la ciudad antigua
Behind me, we can observe the old city
Caption 11, Ciudad de Panamá Denisse introduce la ciudadPlay Caption
Yo pensé que podía saltar muy alto.
I thought I could jump really high.Play Caption
So, how does the meaning of the Spanish verb poder transform in the preterite?
Es que no entiendo cómo pudo entrar aquí.
It's just that I don't understand how he managed to get in here.Play Caption
Although "It's just that I don't understand how he was able to get in here" could also be a viable translation, in some contexts, this English rendition would not make it clear whether someone actually did something or merely had the ability to do so. Hence, the important thing to remember when the Spanish verb poder is conjugated in the Spanish preterite tense is that it ceases to describe merely the potential for something to happen and states that it actually did. "To manage" (to do something) is thus a common translation for the Spanish verb poder in the preterite tense that makes this distinction clear.
The meaning of no poder in both the present and imperfect tenses in Spanish is pretty straightforward: "to not be able to," in other words, "can't" in the present and "couldn't" in the (imperfect) past:
¿Cómo que no pueden hacer nada? ¿Cómo que no pueden hacer nada más?
What do you mean you can't do anything? What do you mean you can't do anything else?
Caption 17, Yago 3 La foto - Part 2Play Caption
Y no podía estudiar.
And I couldn't study.
Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 3Play Caption
So, what about the preterite? If we know that the preterite form of the Spanish verb poder means "to manage to" do something, it follows that the preterite form of no poder can mean "to not manage to," or, better yet, "to fail to" to do something.
Si usted no pudo controlar su matrimonio ¿cómo va a controlar y dirigir y manejar el interés público?
If you failed to control your marriage, how are you going to control and direct and manage public interest?
Captions 58-59, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 3Play Caption
While we might alternatively translate "si usted no pudo controlar su matrimonio" as "you couldn't control your marriage" or "you weren't able to control your marriage," the important thing to remember is that the verb poder in the preterite means that something in the past was attempted but did not come to fruition.
The Spanish verb saber typically means "to know" (in the sense of facts or information) in the present, imperfect, etc.:
No es información nueva, y ellas lo saben.
It's not new information, and they know it.Play Caption
Sí. Si algo sabíamos era que la plata no crece en los árboles.
Yes. If we knew anything, it was that money didn't grow on trees.
Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 2Play Caption
However, because the preterite tense in Spanish narrows the timeline of such "knowing" down to a specific moment, the meaning of the Spanish verb saber transforms, in the preterite tense, from "to know" to "to find out":
A tal punto que yo me alegré mucho, mucho, cuando supe que ibas a pasar veinticinco años en la cárcel.
To the point that I was very happy, very, when I found out you were going to spend twenty-five years in prison.
Captions 56-57, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 1Play Caption
The verb tener in Spanish means "to have" in most tenses, as in the following excerpts:
Todas las estaciones tienen sus ventajas.
All of the seasons have their advantages.
Caption 42, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 2Play Caption
Tenía una casa pues, amueblada de cuatrocientos metros
I had a, well, furnished, four-hundred meter house,
Caption 79, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 8Play Caption
And, although the meaning of the Spanish verb tener doesn't always change in the preterite, it sometimes takes on the meaning of "to receive" or "to get," as in the case of: Tuve una carta (I got a letter). Let's look at an additional example:
Y bueno, ahí tuve otras proposiciones, que no eran tampoco un sueño, pero eran mucho más interesantes que lo que tenía en Cuba,
And well, there, I got other proposals, which weren't a dream either, but they were much more interesting than what I had in Cuba,
Captions 49-51, Orishas Entrevista Canal PlusPlay Caption
6. Querer (to want)
The verb querer in Spanish most often means "to want." Let's see it in action:
Amigos de Yabla, hoy los queremos invitar a aprender español
Friends of Yabla, today we want to invite you to learn Spanish
Captions 1-2, El Hatillo, Caracas, Venezuela El cuatroPlay Caption
Yo de niña pensaba que quería ser bailarina. ¿Qué pensabas tú?
As a little girl I thought that I wanted to be a dancer. What did you think?
Caption 20, Conjugación El verbo 'pensar'Play Caption
In the preterite tense, however, the Spanish verb querer "puts a limit" on this past "wanting" and becomes a manner of saying that someone "tried" to do something:
Yo quise ser su amiga, pero no me dejó.
I tried to be his friend, but he didn't let me.Play Caption
In our first two tenses, the Spanish verb phrase no querer means exactly what it sounds like: "to not want." Let's examine some clips that demonstrate this construction in the present and imperfect:
Es que yo no quiero vivir en el centro.
The thing is, I don't want to live in the downtown area.Play Caption
y en un principio le dije que no quería tener un gato en casa.
and at first, I told her I didn't want to have a cat in my home.
Caption 32, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata PoeskaPlay Caption
The preterite form of the Spanish verb querer, on the other hand, means that someone not only "didn't want" to do something at a specific point in the past, they actually didn't (or "wouldn't"):
mi otra hermana, Zoraida Zárraga, mi sobrino, Harold Blanco, que no quisieron presentarse por temor a cámara.
my other sister, Zoraida Zarraga, my nephew, Harold Blanco, who refused to appear due to camera shyness.
Captions 11-13, Coro, Venezuela Relaciones familiaresPlay Caption
So, we see that the meaning of the verb no querer in Spanish can sometimes become to "to refuse" in the preterite tense.
We hope that this lesson has edified you regarding the alternative meanings of some Spanish verbs when they are conjugated in the preterite tense. Can you think of any we missed? Don't forget to tell us with your suggestions and comments.
Welcome to the second part of this lesson where we touch on all the different Spanish verb tenses! So... how many tenses in Spanish did we say there were? Sixteen! In the first part, we covered the ten "official" tenses of the indicative mood, which deals more with concrete facts, in addition to some "bonus" (non-official) tenses. Now, we'll move on to the other two Spanish moods: the subjunctive, where we will cover tenses eleven through sixteen of the Spanish verb paradigm, and the imperative. If you didn't already, we definitely recommend checking out Part 1 of this lesson.
While the indicative mood deals with facts, the subjunctive mood in Spanish, in a nutshell, deals with more abstract notions like wishes, desires, emotions, opinions, and more, which require a whole different set of tenses in Spanish. Although it would be impossible to delve too deeply into the multipronged usage of the subjunctive Spanish mood, we will try to illustrate several cases in which you might come across it. Let's get started!
The present subjunctive is the subjunctive equivalent of the simple present tense. Let's take a look at an example from the Yabla Spanish library:
Si queremos que una persona no nos hable de usted, tenemos que pedir a la persona que nos tutee.
If we want a person to not talk to us in an formal way, we have to ask the person to use "tú" with us.
Captions 24-25, Karla e Isabel Tú y UstedPlay Caption
Note that the reason the subjunctive form is employed here (we can tell it is subjunctive due to its conjugation, hable, which differs from its indicative form, habla) is because the sentence conveys that we want (queremos) for someone not to talk to us in a particular way, which doesn't mean that that person will actually respect our desire. Let's take a look at one more example:
Mejor hablemos de ella.
It's better we talk about her.
Caption 17, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 1Play Caption
Here, the word mejor (better) tips us off that the subjunctive form (hablemos instead of hablamos) is in order due to the expression of someone's opinion about what should happen, which doesn't necessarily mean that it will.
The imperfect subjunctive is the past equivalent of the present subjunctive. We see in the following example that the verb hablar has been conjugated in the imperfect subjunctive (habláramos) instead of in the indicative (hablábamos) due to the expression of desire, once again with the verb querer:
No, no te dije que quería hablar con vos, quería que habláramos los dos.
No, I didn't tell you that I wanted to talk to you; I wanted for us to talk, the two [of us].
Caption 46, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 6Play Caption
Another very common use of the imperfect subjunctive is to talk about hypothetical situations. In this case, the imperfect subjunctive is often incorporated into a "si (if) clause" in conjunction with the conditional tense to communicate that "if" something were the case, then something else "would" happen, as in the following clip:
Eh... Si... ¿hablaríamos?... -Hablara. Hablara ruso, me... vi'... ¿vivía?... Viviría. -Viviría en Rusia.
Um... "Si... ¿hablaríamos" [If... we would speak]? -"Hablara" [I spoke]. "Hablara ruso [I spoke Russian], me... vi'... ¿vivía" [I... I'd li'... I used to live]? "Viviría" [I'd live]. -"Viviría en Rusia" [I'd live in Russia].
Captions 22-25, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 7Play Caption
The hypothetical situation the teacher is going for here is: Si hablara ruso, viviría en Rusia (If I spoke Russian, I'd live in Russia). To learn more about this type of construction, we highly recommend the entire series of which this video is a part.
We definitely couldn't come up with any examples of the future subjunctive tense in our Yabla Spanish library because this tense is all but obsolete and is almost never even taught in modern Spanish. For that reason, you may not recognize it due to its different and little-seen conjugations, although you may occasionally come across it in legal documents or literature. We came up with this example:
El que hablare fuerte se echará de lo biblioteca.
Whoever talks loudly will be thrown out of the library.
The future subjunctive could conceivably be used here because the sentence refers to "whoever," rather than known individuals, as well as alluding to a possible future event. However, in modern Spanish, this very same idea would be conveyed with the present subjunctive:
El que hable fuerte se echará de lo biblioteca.
Whoever talks loudly will be thrown out of the library.
The present perfect subjunctive is the equivalent of the present perfect indicative in situations that require the subjunctive, and the verb haber is thus conjugated in its subjunctive form. That said, we'll take this opportunity to mention another case that requires subjunctive: when expressing that something will happen "when" something else happens that hasn't yet, as in the following example:
Cuando se hayan hablado, se van a entender mejor.
When they've talked to each other, they are going to understand each other better.
And, here's an additional example of the present perfect subjunctive from our Spanish video library with different verbs:
Espero que os haya gustado este vídeo sobre esta maravillosa planta y hayáis aprendido algo nuevo.
I hope you've liked this video about this wonderful plant and have learned something new.
Captions 80-81, Fermín La plumeria - Part 1Play Caption
The pluperfect subjunctive is the subjunctive equivalent of the pluperfect tense and is also used to talk about hypothetical situations. It is formed with the pluperfect form of haber plus the participle, and, like the imperfect subjunctive, it is often used in conjunction with the conditional or conditional perfect to describe what "would have" happened if something else "had been" done. Let's see an example:
Si yo hubiera hablado con mi jefe antes, habría evitado cualquier malentendido.
If I had spoken with my boss previously, I would have avoided any misunderstanding.
Let's look an additional example of the pluperfect subjunctive tense, which does not include the conditional:
Es como si nunca hubiéramos hablado.
It's as if we had never talked.
Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 6Play Caption
The Spanish phrase como si (as if) quite often precedes verbs in the pluperfect subjunctive tense.
Like the future subjunctive, the future perfect subjunctive is rarely encountered and might only be employed in literary or legal contexts to talk about what will happen in the future if a hypothetical situation "has not" yet occurred. It involves the future subjunctive form of the verb haber plus the participle, as follows:
Si el demandante todavía no hubiere hablado ante el tribunal para la fecha especificada, se desestimará su caso.
If the plaintiff still hasn't spoken before the court by the specified date, his case will be dismissed.
However, the present perfect subjunctive would take the place of the future perfect subjunctive in order to say this today:
Si el demandante todavía no haya hablado ante el tribunal para la fecha especificada, se desestimará su caso.
If the plaintiff still hasn't spoken before the court by the specified date, his case will be dismissed.
Since different verb conjugations are rarely required in English to talk about emotions, desires, or hypotheticals, the subjunctive mood can initially feel quite confusing for English speakers, and we hope that this lesson has this shed some light on some of the possible subjunctive scenarios in Spanish. For more information about the subjunctive in Spanish, the following link with take you to several additional lessons on different aspects of this topic.
Let's conclude our rundown of all Spanish tenses by talking about the "bonus" tenses in the imperative mood (modo imperativo), which are not included in the official classification of the different tenses in Spanish. Also called commands, these Spanish verb tenses are those that tell someone to do something, and they fall into several categories:
Habla con la gente de laboratorio.
Talk to the people from the lab.Play Caption
A ver. Sebas, mi amor, no le hables así a tu papá.
Let's see. Sebas, my love, don't talk to your dad like that.
Caption 30, La Familia Cheveroni Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
por favor hablá con Andrea; necesito encontrar a mi nieto.
please talk to Andrea; I need to find my grandson.
Caption 59, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 9Play Caption
Hable más despacio.
"Hable más despacio" [Speak more slowly].Play Caption
Pues no me hablen de costumbre porque luego en vez de ganar, pierdo.
Well don't talk to me about habits because then instead of earning, I lose.Play Caption
Con vosotros o vosotras: Hablad más despacio.
With "vosotros" or "vosotras" ["you" plural informal masculine/feminine]: "Hablad más despacio" [Talk more slowly].
Caption 25, Carlos explica El modo imperativo 1: Tú + vosPlay Caption
No nos habléis de esa forma.
Don't speak to us in that way.
Hablemos de otra palabra.
Let's talk about another word.Play Caption
While we won't get into the norms for conjugating all of these types of commands with -ar, -er, and -ir verbs, we recommend Yabla's four-part video series entitled El modo imperativo (The Imperative Mode), beginning here, which explores this topic.
And that wraps up our lesson on all of the verb tenses in Spanish. We hope you've enjoyed it (and learned a lot)! And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.