Spanish Present Subjunctive – Lesson 1
You can command a significant portion of the subjunctive through the employment of a simple formula:
Here’s an example for the key words “es preciso,” which mean “it’s necessary”:
Tú cortas el pelo cada mes. ¿Es preciso eso?
You cut your hair each month. It that necessary?
Sí. Es preciso que corte el pelo cada mes.
Yes. It’s necessary that I cut my hair each month.
You should construct a list of the key words that, when used before “que,” trigger the subjunctive. This exercise and upcoming ones will assist you in making your list. Then it’s a matter of applying your knowledge of the subjunctive conjugations to the formula. Beneath this paragraph is a link to a worksheet, which is the first of a series of exercises on the subjunctive. Just print it and fill in the blanks. The answers are at the end.
As you work through the exercise, keep in mind that the formula outlined above does not cover all situations, nor is it possible to construct a set of fixed rules that covers all uses of the subjunctive. My attempt here is to provide a simple tool that will help you get a feel for one aspect of the subjuctive. We’ll cover the past subjunctive, if-would sentences, and other aspects of the subjunctive in later lessons.
See also: Pasado del Subjuntivo – Lección 1