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Subjunctive Irregular — Spanish Verb Conjugation

Learn the subjunctive irregulars, then come back and review with audio flash cards and the Lingo Dingo.


Spanish Mini Course - Subjunctive Irregular Verbs

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The irregular subjunctives are the same as the Ud./Uds. irregular commands you already learned except here they are conjugated for each person. Like the commands, there are 3 sets of irregular verbs. It’s good to go through these verbs enough so that they become second nature and you don’t even have to think as you conjugate them. That’s the key to true fluency.

AR Subjunctive Endings

-a

-amos

-as

-áis

-a

-an


ER IR Subjunctive Endings

-e

-emos

-es

-éis

-e

-en


First we’ll look at a group of 18 irregulars. With 15 of the 18 of these, to get the stem, you take the “yo” present tense form, then put on the opposite endings. For example, the “yo” present tense form of “to have” is “tengo”, then you just take off the “o” and put on the opposite endings. Let’s take a look at the first 15 that follow this rule.

tener

-

tenga

 

venir

-

venga

 

valer

-

valga

These last 3 don’t follow the “yo” present tense rule. They are simply irregular. There’s no rule for them. You’ll simply have to memorize them.

hacer

-

haga

 

salir

-

salga

 

saber

-

sepa

poner

-

ponga

 

conducir

-

conduzca

 

ir

-

vaya

traducir

-

traduzca

 

decir

-

diga

 

ser

-

sea

traer

-

traiga

 

oír

-

oiga

 

ver

-

vea


Now if we use “tenga” as an example, and conjugate it out fully for each person, it would be “tenga, tengas, tenga, tengamos, tengáis, tengan”. All the other verbs are the same. The rule of taking the “yo” form of the present tense conjugation to find the stem also applies to this second group of irregular verbs. These are stem-changing verb that you learned back in present tense. Let’s take a look at these:

e-ie

o-ue

cerrar

cierre

be able (poder)

pueda


As you can see, “cerrar” become “cierre”. Let’s conjugate that out “cierre, cierres, cierre, cerremos, cerréis, and cierren”. Did you notice that the “nosotros” and “vosotros” forms didn’t use the stem changes. Remember, “nosotros” likes to stay regular as much as possible. The only exception is “preferir” which becomes “prefiramos”.

The same is true with o to ue. Let’s conjugate out poder so you can see how it works: “pueda, puedas, pueda, podamos, podáis, puedan”. Again, the “nosotros” likes to stay regular and not use the stem changes. The only exceptions are “muramos” and “durmamos”.

e-ie

      o-ue

close (cerrar)

cierre

remember (recordar)

recuerde

feel (sentir)

sienta

be able (poder)

pueda

start (empezar)

empiece

count (contar)

cuente

lose (perder)

pierda

show (mostrar)

muestre

prefer (preferir)

prefiera

eat lunch (almorzar)

almuerce

require (requerir)

requiera

find (encontrar)

encuentre

start (comenzar)

comience

move (mover)

mueva

think (pensar)

piense

play (jugar)

juegue

understand (entender)

entienda

return an item (devolver)

devuelva

want (querer)

quiera

return (volver)

vuelva

recommend (recomendar)

recomiende

sleep (dormir)

duerma

 

 

die (morir)

muera


Now let’s look at e to i stem changers and i to y stem changers. With these verbs, the nosotros follows the pattern.

e-i

i-y

ask for (pedir)

pida

destroy (destruir)

destruya

follow (seguir)

siga

include (incluir)

incluya

get (conseguir)

consiga

 

 

repeat (repetir)

repita

 

 

serve (server)

sirva

 

 


Let’s look at two of them so you can see what I mean. First we’ll look at the verb pedir:  “pida, pidas, pida, pidamos, pidáis, pidan”.

Now we’ll look at destruir: “destruya, destruyas, destruya, destruyamos, destruyáis, destruyan”.

Now we’ll look at the third and final group of irregulars. Like the commands, they are only irregular in spelling. Please see the “commands” section for more on exactly why we do the spelling changes. The spelling changes are consistent through each person. For example, let’s look at the subjunctive conjugation of “pagar” – pague, pagues, pague, paguemos, paguéis, paguen. Here’s a chart of irregulars to look at and become familiar with.

Spelling Changes

-gar to gue

-car to que

-zar to ce

pagar

pague

practicar

practique

empezar

empiece

entregar

entregue

buscar

busque

comenzar

comience

pegar

pegue

explicar

explique

almorzar

almuerce

llegar

llegue

sacar

saque

 

 

jugar

juegue

tocar

toque

 

 


Finally, there are 2 verbs that are irregular in the fact that they need accents. The verb “dar” and “estar” and notice where the accents go.

Dar – to give

demos

des

deis

den


Estar – to be

esté

estemos

estés

estéis

esté

estén


You’ve now learned the all the subjunctive irregulars. There are a lot here and we recommend going through this lesson a few times to become really familiar with them.


Spanish Review

he doubts that you (Sra. Palma) have

duda que tenga

we want him to do it

queremos que lo haga

you (Sr. Bustos) like her to bring

le gusta que traiga

it's important that I translate

es importante que traduzca

they need us to bring

necesitan que traigamos

you (Anna) prefer that they come

prefieres que vengan

it's hard for you (Javier) to drive

es dificil que conduzcas

he hopes you all will say

espera que digan

he doesn't believe I value

no cree que valga

it's necessary for you to know (Sra. Lagos)

es necesario que sepa

you ask me to go

pide que vaya

you all insist that she be

insisten que sea

without us seeing

sin que veamos

it's possible they'll close

es posible que cierren

I don't think we can

no creo que podamos

so that she feels

para que sienta

before you all begin

antes que empiecen

hopefully we'll eat lunch

ojalá que almorcemos

as long as you (Sr. Ruiz) find

con tal de que encuentre

you doubt that he'll move

duda que mueva

you all want us to play

quieren que juguemos

they like you (Sra. Jiménez) to ask

les gusta que pida

it's important that you all follow

es importante que sigan

I need them to get/obtain

necesito que consigan

she prefers you (Nora) to repeat

prefiere que repitas

you (Dario) tell me to sirve

me dices que sirva

its hard for her to destroy

es dificil que destruya

he asks you (Lidia) to arrive

pide que llegues

hopefully he'll play

ojala que juegue

without her practicing

sin que practique

it's possible that I'll search for

es posible que busque

they don't think that we explain

no piensan que expliquemos

before you all touch

antes de que toquen

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