So, here we are at the last in this series of videos and podcasts on the Spanish Subjunctive. What a journey! The interesting thing to understand is that this has really just been the start of a long and mostly beautiful relationship with the Present and Imperfect Subjunctive Spanish ‘mood’.
A little Secret.
I want you to give yourself space to learn the subjunctive and to make your mistakes. Don’t think that because you have listened to the 10 videos that you now should get the subjunctive right every time. Learning the subjunctive is a journey. The secret is that even after 15 years of speaking , teaching and learning Spanish, I still make mistakes. I still get the subjunctive wrong sometimes in that mysterious 5% area that even to this day confuses me.
I’m sure that in another 15 years I’ll have it totally cracked, but until then, I’m very happy to use it correctly 95% of the time.
Where are you now?
So, the question is: Where are you now in your learning journey? How do you feel about the subjunctive? Does it seem like less of an enemy and more like a distant friend?
I’ve come across so many students that go from one extreme to another. Firstly they ask me if they can get away with speaking Spanish without using the subjunctive. I tell them that, yes, they can, but they will have to accept that they will not have a good level of Spanish without it.
Then, after mustering up their resources they get on with the learning and suddenly, everything that they write has the subjunctive quite literally splattered all over it. They seem to go into over drive or over compensation and see triggers where there aren’t any.
Where you want to be is somewhere in between all of that. Relaxed about the subjunctive without getting your knickers in a twist about it all.
The MAY MIGHT confusion.
One of the biggest confusions out there about may and might is that many students think that if they want to say a sentence with may or might, then they should automatically use the subjunctive.
My suggestion is never to make that assumption. In fact, most times the sentence in Spanish needs to be restructured and only sometimes does it need the subjunctive.
May I go to the toilet? = ¿Puedo ir al baño? (No subjunctive)
He may come tomorrow. = Tal vez venga mañana. (Re structure of the sentence.)
I have seen students say: ¿Pueda ir al baño? because they think that by making it subjunctive it changes the the verb into a ‘may’. This isn’t the case.
So, keep on studying, watch out for our up and coming book which compliments these 10 videos with deeper explanations and lots and lots of practical exercises for you to really be able to grasp the Present and Imperfect Subjunctive Spanish ‘Mood’.