This podcast is designed to pull together the range of eight videos that I (Gordon) made on the Present Subjunctive Spanish.
Click here to go to the Youtube playlist.
Why so many videos?
The reason I made so many videos (Cynthia thinks that there are too many and that it will stress people out) is that there are numerous parts to the subjunctive. The system I use to help people to learn it is to show them WHEN, not WHY, they should use it.
I didn’t learn it this way. I spent years learning the rules and fighting to try and understand why I was using it. After bombarding Spanish speakers with multiple questions on this tense, I realised that building up a catalogue of rules and reasons was not how they learn to use it. The majority of speakers have no idea why they use the subjunctive. They use it only because that’s what they’ve heard all of their life and IT SOUNDS RIGHT.
The key to learning a language.
This is the real essence of how to really learn a language. Once you have learnt the structural requirements and the mechanics of how the language is bolted together, you then must learn the melody.
It’s like learning the tune and the words to a song. Once you have it in your mind it’s there for life.
Hitting a bum note.
Once you have learnt the melody, you can hear the bum notes when other students are talking. When someone sings the wrong words to your favourite song, or the wrong melody, it jars your sensibilities. The same happens with language.
When someone conjugates the verb incorrectly, or uses the wrong preposition, or pronounces the word incorrectly, it’s like hearing a bum note.
When you know the language this way, you don’t need to run through your list of rules to understand what went wrong, or to check the correctness of what people are saying.
The interesting thing is that you begin to hear your own mistakes. It’s as though a there are different sections in the brain. The speaking and the listening part. Many times, whilst I am talking in Spanish, I hear myself hitting a bum note as though I was an partial observer/listener. It’s a strange experience, but one that you will certainly experience.
The Subjunctive Spanish.
The same thing applies with the subjunctive. If you stick with the system that I suggest, you will reach a point in which you will use it, not because your mind has run through your list of rules and regulations, but just because it sounds right.
How to get there.
I’m not saying for a moment that getting there is easy and requires no work. The videos we have made are your first step in the learning journey. To help you on your way, why not listen to as many people speaking Spanish as you can and identify each time they use the subjunctive.
And THIS IS THE KEY. Once you have identified the use of the subjunctive, go back to the front of the sentence and listen for THE TRIGGER sentence. Ask yourself: “What did they say that created the demand for the Subjunctive Spanish?”
Try this out in this podcast and then in all the others that you listen to. You will see a pattern forming and, although there will be times you won’t know why it’s there, 90% of the time it will make sense to you.
Do this and I guarantee that you will begin to ‘dominar’ the subjunctive Spanish tremendously well.
¡A POR ELLO!
Video for This Spanish Lesson
Audio for This Spanish Lesson