Spanish Grammar: Subjunctive with Doubt or Denial

Spanish Grammar: The Subjunctive - Doubt or Denial

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Spanish Grammar: Subjunctive with Doubt or Denial
la gramática española: el subjuntivo con la duda o la negación

  • The subjunctive is a verb mood, not a tense in terms of time.
  • Utilized with statements of doubt or denial.


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The subjunctive is used when we do not know if the action will take place. If we know that it is or will be a reality, the indicative is used. The subjunctive is used to express doubt, how a person feels about an action or state of being, a wish, intent or command. It can also be used to express facts that are the opposite of reality.

The subjunctive in Spanish is triggered when someone expresses doubt, denial, or ignorance.

Yo dudo que haya tarea esta noche.
I doubt that there is homework tonight.

Yo no creo que ellos vengan a la clase.
I do not believe that they are coming to class.

Yo temo que él no sepa la verdad.
I fear that he doesn’t know the truth.

Here are some other words that work with doubt or denial.

dudar que : to doubt that …

negar que : to deny that …

temer que : to fear that ….

However, don’t forget that some words of uncertainty trigger the indicative (NOT the subjunctive) when used with “no”. (There’s no doubt or denial…)

No dudo que …
I do not doubt …

Estoy seguro de que …
I’m sure that …

Yo creo que …
I believe that …


Yo no creo que tengamos pan en la casa.
I do not believe that we have bread in the house.

Nosotros dudamos que haya una solución.
We doubt that there is a solution.

No estoy seguro de que él sepa el código.
I’m not sure that he knows the code.



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