Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive

Welcome to our lesson about the conjugation of verbs in Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive (“Pretérito Imperfecto del Subjuntivo”).

 

Conjugation

In order to conjugate verbs in Imperfect Subjunctive, it is crucial to previously master another tense: the Preterite. The reason is, the whole conjugation in Imperfect Subjunctive is based on the conjugation for the third person plural («ellos») in Preterite. Click here if you need to review the Spanish Preterite.

Process to conjugate verbs in Imperfect Subjunctive:

  1. Take the verb form for the person «ellos» in Preterite tense
  2. Remove the «-ron» at the end of that form.
  3. Add the proper ending.

In Imperfect Subjunctive there are 2 different sets of endings, and you can pick the one you prefer in each sentence, with total freedom. For the first set, all endings start with «-ra…». For the second set, all endings start with «-se…».

In the following table, you can learn the 2 sets of Endings:

 Endings with "-ra"Endings with "-se"
yo-ra-se
-ras-ses
él-ra-se
nosotros-ramos-semos
vosotros-rais-seis
ellos-ran-sen

Note: The form for the person «nosotros» always has an accent mark on the vowel immediately before the ending, as we will see in the examples.

 

Examples

Verb «amar»:

  1. In Preterite tense, the form for «ellos» is «amaron».
  2. We remove the final «-ron»  → «ama-«
  3. And here is the full conjugation with both sets of possible endings:
 Conjugation with "-ra"Conjugation with "-se"
yoamaraamase
amarasamases
élamaraamase
nosotrosamáramosamásemos
vosotrosamaraisamaseis
ellosamaranamasen

 

Verb «ir»:

  1. In Preterite tense, the form for «ellos» is «fueron».
  2. We remove the final «-ron»  → «fue-«
  3. And here is the full conjugation with both sets of possible endings:
 Conjugation with "-ra"Conjugation with "-se"
yofuerafuese
fuerasfueses
élfuerafuese
nosotrosfuéramosfuésemos
vosotrosfueraisfueseis
ellosfueranfuesen




To conclude this lesson, here are some more examples, always following the process we just learned:

VerbConjugation with "-ra"Conjugation with "-se"
Hacer (hicie-)hiciera, hicieras, hiciera, hiciéramos, hicierais, hicieranhiciese, hicieses, hiciese, hiciésemos, hicieseis, hiciesen
Tener (tuvie-)tuviera, tuvieras, tuviera, tuviéramos, tuvierais, tuvierantuviese, tuvieses, tuviese, tuviésemos, tuvieseis, tuviesen
Hablar (habla-)hablara, hablaras, hablar, habláramos, hablarais, hablaranhablase, hablases, hablase, hablásemos, hablaseis, hablasen
Comer (comie-)comiera, comieras, comiera, comiéramos, comierais, comierancomiese, comieses, comiese, comiésemos, comieseis, comiesen
Poner (pusie-)pusiera, pusieras, pusiera, pusiéramos, pusierais, pusieranpusiese, pusieses, pusiese, pusiésemos, pusieseis, pusiesen
Haber (hubie-)hubiera, hubieras, hubiera, hubiéramos, hubierais, hubieranhubiese, hubieses, hubiese, hubiésemos, hubieseis, hubiesen

 

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