The Spanish Subjunctive 1 – Understanding the Rules

ruler scaledThe Rules.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. Having studied and taught the Present and Past Spanish subjunctive for a long time now has helped me understand one thing;

The rules that we find in many of the books MAKE US MORE CONFUSED!

It’s not that they are wrong. They simply send us off in the wrong direction more than in the right one.

I also believe that too often, the books come from the wrong direction as they try to tell us WHY we should use the Spanish Subjunctive, and not WHEN.

For that reason, I have created a ten lesson video class for any serious student of the Spanish language so that they can, perhaps for the first time, really get their heads around how to use the Spanish subjunctive effectively and appropriately.

Rules to Throw Out!

If I had a pound/dollar for every time I have heard that the Subjunctive is needed when we talk about future uncertainty, then, I would be a rich man.  And yet, this rule actually makes us MORE confused.

The reason for this is that IT’S NOT STRICTLY TRUE. In fact, it’s more often NOT TRUE at all.

Consider the following sentences and ask yourself if it is based on a doubtful future event:

If he comes tomorrow, we’ll eat out.

ABSOLUTELY I hear you cry. And yet, it doesn’t require the Spanish Subjunctive.

Si VIENE (indicative) mañana, comeremos fuera.

When you listen to the attached video, you will hear more examples of these kind of sentences that really should contain the Spanish Subjunctive if we were to follow the rules.

So What Can I Do?

The answer to this is very simple and is the reason I have decided to make this series.

All you need to do is to learn to recognise THE TRIGGERS.

These are the structures that demand the Spanish Subjunctive and leave the confusion of rules to the academics.


The Triggers.

One thing you can bet your life on is that every time the subjunctive appears in a sentence, there has been a FIXED STRUCTURE that preceded it and that, “triggered it off“.

By learning what these triggers are, you can leapfrog the rules (and come back to them later if you really want to) and get straight into using the Spanish subjunctive confidently.

You’ll be surprised at how straight forward it is once you understand how to know when you should use it.


Join me.

Start working your way through the series and I assure you that you will begin to understand WHEN to use the Spanish Subjunctive, although I won’t promise to have you totally clear as to WHY you use it in each particular instance.

The question is: What is more important, understanding why you do something, or doing it correctly?

I suggest that the understanding why actually comes through the doing. The internet is filled to overflowing with explanations of why you use the Spanish Subjunctive, and yet is markedly dry of more practical help on exactly how to use it.

Quiero que tengáis mucha suerte en vuestros estudios y que sigáis estudiando con nosotros.


Gordon 🙂



Video for This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson