Forming the Present Subjunctive

Once you know how to form the Ud. command forms, you know almost everything there is to know about forming the present subjunctive. To make things a bit easier, the formation of the subjunctive has been divided into three categories below. In every case, the base form is the Ud. command form.

I. The yo, , Ud., él, ella, Uds., ellos, and ellas forms of the present subjunctive. The Ud. command form is the same as that for the present subjunctive. In other words, tenga is both the Ud. command form and the Ud. present subjunctive form of tener. Of course, the él and ella forms are identical to the Ud. form, and, interestingly enough, so is the yo form. The Uds. form of the present subjunctive is just like the Uds. command form (or the Ud. command form with an n at the end). Not surprisingly, for the form, just add an s to the Ud. form:




Ud., él, ella


Uds. ellos, ellas


For most verbs, the nosotros and vosotros forms are just as easy: one adds mos and is to the to the Ud. form (remembering the accent on the vosotros form): tengamos and tengáis. Thus, for regular verbs, the entire paradigm is as follows:

yo tenga

nosotros tengamos

tú tengas

vosotros tengáis

Ud., él, ella tenga

Uds., ellos, ellas tengan

III. In addition to the regular forms above, there are (of course) some irregular verbs, but most of the irregularities are those already found in the Ud. command forms. In fact, the only additional irregularity occurs in the same stem-vowel changing ir verbs that have irregularities in other tenses. Just as was the case in the preterite and in the present participle, the o changes to u and the e changes to i, but only in the nosotros and vosotros forms. Here are two examples: pedir and dormir:

nosotros pidamos

nosotros durmamos

vosotros pidáis

vosotros durmáis

The rest of the forms are completely regular: yo pida, tú pidas, Ud., él, ella pida, and Uds., ellos, ellas pidan. Here is the complete paradigm for dormir:

yo duerma

nosotros durmamos

tú duermas

vosotros durmáis

Ud., él, ella duerma

Uds., ellos, ellas duerman

Notice, however, that in the rest of the stem-vowel changing verbs, the nosotros and vosotros forms have the same stems as in the present indicative (but that stem is different from the other forms):

yo piense

nosotros pensemos

tú pienses

vosotros penséis

Ud., él, ella piense

Uds., ellos, ellas piensen

That's all there is to it, if you remember your Ud. command forms. To try some practice exercises, click on one of the following links:

Present Subjunctive Form: No stem-vowel changes
Stem-Changing Present Subjunctive Forms
Present Subjunctive Forms (All verbs)