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Old 1st August 2008, 10:17 PM   #1
michimoo
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Smile Subjunctive: any tips?

Hola a todos,

I have just got up to the point in my studies where I've hit the subjunctive. (Just when I thought I was getting past the hard part with all the irregulars in the preterite)

My question is: does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to go about learning this part, more the uses of the subjunctive than anything else.

Learning a language is feeling like a big mountain to climb at the moment.

Really apreciate any ideas

By the way, love the podcasts.
Michelle
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Old 1st August 2008, 11:07 PM   #2
trumpetnut
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Default From a fellow subjunctive head scratcher

Hola

The subjunctive is something that I struggle with but I am learning that it is used when you are not sure of something or if something is possible/doubtful/expected.

Generally, it is used after 'que'.

'Lo quieres que vaya en casa.'

'I want you to go home.'

It is not certain that 'you' will go home so you use the subjunctive.

My basic rule is that if I could say 'might' in the sentence then use the subjunctive.

'Espero que el venga esta noche.'

'I am hoping he might come tonight.'

As I say, I am learning, and these examples could be so wrong as to be useless but, from my understanding they are a reasonable place to start.

I'm sure Ben and Marina have a podcast on it somewhere.

Good luck. I've needed it!!!

The Nut
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Old 2nd August 2008, 07:27 AM   #3
Ben
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Hi Michelle, we haven't tackled the subjunctive yet, but in the next round of Inspired Beginners podcasts, in September, we'll definitely be tackling the first parts of it!

The thing to do is to take the subjunctive one case at a time. It's used in a myriad of different situations, and one day you will end up with a 'sense' of when it's required, but for now, just learn one subjunctive grammar point at a time, even if you have to get a grammar book and learn old-fashioned style. And as I said, in September we'll be along to help with more Inspired Beginners Podcasts. Until then, doing a search on the forum for 'subjunctive' will turn up quite a few cases to start looking at. And don't worry, although it seems impossible at first, you can get the hang of it quite quickly in the end.

Ben
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Old 5th August 2008, 12:13 AM   #4
Legazpi
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I think the best clue to getting a feel for the subjunctive is simply its name. It is used when describing something that is subjective (i.e. something that exists in your mind such as a theory, a possiblility, a hope, a fear, a doubt, etc) as opposed to its counterpart the indicative which is used when describing something that is real (e.g. something that has actually happened, or will happen, etc).
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Old 5th August 2008, 03:38 AM   #5
jonk
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I have been trying to get my head around the subjunctive before I go to Spain (2 weeks away), as much as possible.

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/subj1.htm

The units here have helped me immensely. In the past week I have been able to use the subjunctive correctly much more frequently than before, on msn or sharedtalk.

However, it only covers present tense subjunctive. If anyone knows of some sites, I would be very appreciative.
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Old 5th August 2008, 09:49 AM   #6
Legazpi
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There is no future tense subjunctive - you use the present tense when refering to the future. e.g.

Lo haré cuando tenga un momento = I will do it whenever I have a moment

The past tense subjunctive (preterito imperfecto subjuntivo) was actually easier for me to get my head round because it is used in a similar way in English:

If I were a rich man = Si (yo) fuera un rico

It is also used when talking about things in the past tense in general:

Maybe she was right = Quizá tuviera razón
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Old 8th August 2008, 04:44 PM   #7
syoung3315
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Try these as some of the most common:

After impersonal expressions: es posible que, es evidente que, es necesario que

After words/phrases which imply the future: cuando, la proxima vez que

After certain conjunctions: para que, como si

In dependent clauses using certain verbs when the subject has changed and you wish to convey some sense of uncertainty: espero que puedas venir, recomiendo que vayas

My advice is to firstly practice the verb forms, then learn the situations in which you should use them. Its alot easier than it appears at first - whether its ser/estar, preterito/imperfecto, por/para or el subjunctivo, you will be suprised how easy it becomes if you practice!
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Old 9th August 2008, 03:14 AM   #8
profa95
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Here's an acronym that I use with my students for the subjunctive in nominal clauses: WEDDING
Ignacio el independiente (independent clause with subject 1) + que (the wedding ring that binds them together) + Dortea la dependiente (dependent clause with different subject)

W = Wish, will, want (esperar que, querer que, mandar que, etc.)
E = Emotions (estar + emotion que, gustarle, molestarle, etc.)
D = Disbelief, Doubt (no creer que, dudar que, etc.)
D = Denial (negar que, etc.)
I = Impersonal expresions--as long as they don't show truth or certainty (Es increíble que, Es una maravilla que, etc.)
N = Negation--same as denial
G = God only knows the rest!


Hope this helps!
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Old 10th August 2008, 04:21 PM   #9
jubilee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profa95 View Post
Here's an acronym that I use with my students for the subjunctive in nominal clauses: WEDDING
Ignacio el independiente (independent clause with subject 1) + que (the wedding ring that binds them together) + Dortea la dependiente (dependent clause with different subject)

W = Wish, will, want (esperar que, querer que, mandar que, etc.)
E = Emotions (estar + emotion que, gustarle, molestarle, etc.)
D = Disbelief, Doubt (no creer que, dudar que, etc.)
D = Denial (negar que, etc.)
I = Impersonal expresions--as long as they don't show truth or certainty (Es increíble que, Es una maravilla que, etc.)
N = Negation--same as denial
G = God only knows the rest!



Hope this helps!

this is a great help! Thanks
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Old 10th August 2008, 01:46 PM   #10
Franny
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Default exercises for subjunctive

I don´t know if you´ve come across the "Practice Makes Perfect" books. One is Spanish Verb Drills, and contains loads of exercises to help learn the verbs, including practice at changing from one Spanish tense to another. Another is "Complete Spanish Grammar" which explains the subjunctive well and has exercises to back up the explanations.
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Old 20th August 2008, 11:26 AM   #11
delgado
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There is obviously no quick and easy way to learn how to use the subjuntive and it is still a bit hit and miss for me sometimes , however i would say that the easiest way to make a start on it is to learn the phrases that it generaly follows like ..... espero que .... me alegro de que.. no creo que.... etc....

hope this helps!!
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Old 15th September 2008, 03:24 PM   #12
GringoStar
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Like one spanish teacher said about the subjuntivo,

El subjuntivo expresa el mundo irreal, el mundo de Harry Potter

It expreses what you are not sure of: Es posible que haga viento manaña, pero no estoy seguro

Tal vez viva Elvis con extraterrestres.

No creo que John McCain gane/vaya a ganar las elecciónes en Noviembre.



it expreses will/wishes

Ojalá te sea util lo que escribo

Quiero que compres una camiseta azul(quiero comprar una......)

Espero que estés contenta

Me gustaría que estuvieras contenta

Think of it this way to remember ít better Just because I wish for something doesent make it so.

I dont know if it makes any sense, pero espero que te ayude
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Old 18th September 2008, 07:15 AM   #13
eventer289
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One thing that has helped me to realize when to employ the use of the subjunctive is something my Tico (Costa Rican) friend told me.

In addition to everything that has been listed about impersional expressions , If you are speaking about an action that is going to take place (as in not a hypothetical situation), but has not yet, OR something that is doubtfully going to take place, many times you need to use the subjuntive.

For example... "Cuando llegues, tendrás que contarme sobre todo lo que pasó." (For sure going to arrive, but hasn't yet)

or

"Dudo que vaya a llegar." (Doubt that the action is going to happen)

I don't know if that helps you at all, but it starts to make sense when you think about the situations in which the subjuctive is used.
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