spanish 2

i need help understanding subjunctive form

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  1. Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. Well, that's quite a job! Would you like to learn how to form it? There is a Present Subjunctive, a Past Subjunctive and a Future Subjunctive (which you may never see!) Would you like to know when to use it? Therein lies many lessons!

    When you say you need help to understand it, can you give me some examples of what you are doing? Let's begin with how to form the Present Subjunctive.
    For regular verbs: It's the "opposite" vowel, meaning an -ar verb uses the theme vowel "e" and an -er, -ir verb uses the theme vowel "a."

    hablar = hable, hables, hable, hablemos, hablen (most textbooks do not use the vosotros, -as form, so let me know if you need that)

    comer = coma, comas, coma, comamos, coman

    vivir = viva, vivas, viva, vivamos, vivan

    Yes, the form for "yo" IS the same as the form for "el, ella, usted."

    Then there are a great many irregular verbs, usually using the "yo" form for the stem plus the "opposite vowel"

    tener = tengo = tenga, tengas, tenga, tengamos, tengan

    salir = salgo = salga, salgas, salga, salgamos, salgan

    (stem changing verb) poder = puedo = pueda, puedas, pueda, podamos (note the nosotros form is close to the infinitive), puedan

    dar = doy = dé, des, dé, demos, den (even more irregular)

    estar = estoy = esté, estés, esté, estemos, están

    ser = soy = sepa, sepas, sepa, sepamos, sepan (totally irregular)

    ir = voy = vaya, vayas, vaya, vayamos, vayan

    Well, that's just to give you an idea. If you have a good textbook, the verbs will be in the appendix (back of the book.) If you let me know which textbook, level, publisher, etc. you have, often there are sites online to help you.

    Now for the TOUGH part. The Indicative (which you learned first) indicates FACT. The Subjunctive is "subjective." It depends upon the main verb or expression. If you can classify that as emotion, imposition of will, hope, doubt, etc. the 2nd verb, in the dependent clause will be the Subjunctive.

    I used to draw a locamotive engine + QUE + a caboose. The engine was the main verb, the clause relater QUE must be there to introduce the 2nd verb and the caboose was the Subjunctive (going along for the ride, so to speak!)

    This is only a beginning until you tell me MORE about what exactly you are doing. Later you will learn there are even adverbs of time using the Subjunctive.

    In ONE word, the Indicative is FACT. The Subjunctive is NONFACT. Imagine a crystal ball. If you can look into it and see that something did happen, is happening, will happen, NOT the Subjunctive but the Indicative.

    If you look into the crystal ball and it is CLOUDY/MURKY and you can not see IF it ever happened, etc., it is the Subjunctive.

    Now, aren't you glad you asked?!!

    Sra

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