Ejercicios y ayuda para el examen nacional

El presente del subjuntivo

Use this formula to fit MOST subjunctive sentences:

Subject 1 + VIDEO verb in the present+ QUE + subject 2 + verb in the present subjunctive+ rest of sentence
Yo tengo esperanzas de QUE tú y tus amigos saquen una buena nota.

I have used lots of mnemonic devices (acronyms) to try to help you remember the subjunctive uses. Some of them (like Maidens3pQR) are designed to give you some variety. Using a large selection of verbs helps you to be more interesting.

What's a VIDEO verb?

A VIDEO verb is one that calls for the subjunctive:

  • Volition (Telling people what to do) MAIDENS3PQR
  • Impersonal Expressions go to list of examples
  • D oubt, Denial , Disbelief go to list
  • Emotion go to list
  • Ojalá (hopefully) Any other wishing phrases are included. go to list

    Verbs of volition:

  • Mandar= to order
  • Aconsejar= to advise
  • Insistir en= to insist (on)
  • Dejar= to allow
  • Exigir= to demmand
  • Necesitar= to need
  • Sugerir or Suplicar= to suggest (e-ie) or suplicate (beg)
  • Pedir to ask for
  • permitir or prohibir to permit or prohibit
  • preferir to prefer
  • Querer= to want
  • Rogar= to beg
  • Recomendar to recommend

    Try the
  • practice exercise on MAIDENS verbs---match them up!
  • Back to the VIDEO list at top of page.

    Impersonal Expressions
    Any impersonal expression that shows emotion, doubt, or puts another's wants or wishes on the 2nd subject is followed by the subjunctive verb.

    They are called "impersonal expressions" because there is not an identified subject.
    The speaker is impersonalized. Instead of saying "I prefer that you do the dishes" it states "It is preferred that you do the dishes."
    This leaves ME out of the command... I am no longer the bossy one.

    Some examples include:

  • Es importante que It is important that...
  • Es necesario que It is necessary that...
  • Es preciso que It is essential that...
  • Es permitido que It is permitted that...
  • Es recomendado que It is recommended that...
  • Es preferido que It is preferred that...
  • Es fantástico que It is fantastic that...
  • Es bueno que It is good that ...
  • Es malo que It's bad that ...
  • Es horrible que It's horrible that...

    You get the idea.

    BUT NOT:

    es obvio que,
    es seguro que,
    es verdad que
    ...see the explanation in the section about doubt.

    Back to the VIDEO list at top of page.

    Doubt, Denial, Doesn't exist

    Doubt -- YES there's subjunctive ... NO Doubt --NO subjunctive
    Dudo que No dudo que
    No creo que Creo que
    Es dudoso que No es dudoso que
    No es verdad que / No es cierto Es verdad que /Es cierto
    No hay nungun(a)____ que Hay ____ que
    No existe (ningún) ___ que Existe(n) ___ que
    The above are are only a few examples to get you started.


    Does the item exist or are you unsure it exists? ….........................
  • Indicative: Busco el carro barato que funciona. (I'm looking for the cheap car that works.)
  • Subjunctive: Busco un carro barato que funcione. (I'm looking for a cheap car that works.)
  • Explanation: In the first example, the speaker knows that there is a car that matches the description, so the indicative is used as an expression of reality. In the second example, there is doubt that such a car exists, so the subjunctive is used.
  • Back to the VIDEO list at top of page.


  • Soprender - to be surprised
  • Alegrarse - to be happy about (can be used like gustar or like a reflexive verb)
  • Lamentar - to lament (feel sorry about)
  • Molestar - to be bothered by (formed like gustar)
  • Enojarse - to be angry about (can be used like gustar or like a reflexive verb)
  • Enfadarse - to be mad about (can be used like gustar or like a reflexive verb)
  • Temer - to fear ...Tener miedo de que... to be afraid of
  • Sentir (e-ie) - to be sorry about

    Back to the VIDEO list at top of page.


  • Ojalá que = hopefully
  • Espero que = I hope that
  • Es esperado que = It is hope that
  • Tiene esperanzas de que = He/She has hopes that...

    Try the
  • practice exercise: when to use subjunctive or not (hot potato)

    Another practice exercise...

  • Choose correct verb: Subjunctive, Indicative or Infinitive...with explanations

  • Back to NSE list of tips