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This lesson is part of the Intermediate Spanish Course
(69 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 8 mins)

Intermediate Spanish Course

In this Spanish lesson we will analyse the different uses of the Spanish grammar tense El Pretérito Imperfecto de Subjuntivo – the Spanish Past Simple Subjunctive. This is the last in a series of four Spanish lessons on El Pretérito Imperfecto de Subjuntivo. The previous three lessons explained how to conjugate the regular Spanish verbs depending on whether they end in -ar, -er or -ir and how to conjugate the irregular Spanish verbs connected with this tense. Earlier in this course we looked in detail at the Spanish Past Simple in its indicative form – El Pretérito Imperfecto – and the differences between it and the second Spanish Past Simple – El Pretérito Indefinido. If you haven’t already watched those lessons I definitely recommend going back to review them, but basically we need to be aware that there are two Past Simples in Spanish which are used quite differently with their regular and irregular verbs conjugated in quite different ways. In English the Past Simple grammar tense is much more straightforward as there is only one Past Simple and the majority of its verbs are conjugated simply with the addition of -ed (for example: “Yesterday I walk-ed to the shops”). The issue is complicated further when we have to contend with the Spanish Subjunctive as well. “Subjunctive” refers to a “mood” – how the speaker feels about an action rather than when an action takes place (past, present, future). The Subjunctive mood is rarely used in English, but is widely used in Spanish. The Spanish “Indicative” is used to express factual information, certainty and objectivity whereas the Spanish Subjunctive mood is used to express such things as doubt, possibilty, uncertainty, and subjectivity.

Lesson notes:

The different uses of El Pretérito Imperfecto de Subjuntivo:

Puede que viniera ayer: It is possible that he came yesterday

No pensaba que Antonio fuera tan alto: I didn´t think that Antonio was so tall

Relative clauses:
Quería comprar una casa que tuviera una piscina: I wanted to buy a house that had a swimming pool

Temporary sentences:
Me dijo que me llamaría cuando llegara a Roma: He told me he would call me when he arrived in Rome


Make up your own sentences using El Pretérito Imperfecto de Subjuntivo for each of the following uses…

Relative clauses
Temporary sentences

Here are the answers to the last activity:

(Yo) quisiera/quisiese
(Tú) quisieras/ quisieses
(Usted) quisiera/ quisiese
(Él/ella) quisiera/ quisiese
(Nosotros) quisiéramos/quisiésemos
(Vosotros) quisierais/quisieseis
(Ustedes) quisieran/quisiesen
(Ellos) quisieran/quisiesen

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