Spanish Subjunctive Irregular Spanish Verb Conjugation

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

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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

des deis

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