Acostarse Subjunctive Conjugation

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

'Acostarse' means 'to go to bed'. This lesson explains how this verb conjugates in the present subjunctive tense through examples that reflect real life conversations.

Great Moment of the Day

You are tired after a busy day and it's time to go to bed. This moment often reminds you of your mom's advice: 'I hope that you go to bed early enough.'

Or it is just the middle of the day and you have a break to rest. Although you can't really go to bed to sleep, you can always lie down. You remember doctors often say 'It is recommended that you go to bed early to feel rested.'

The Spanish verb acostarse (ah-kohs-TAHR-seh) means: 'to go to bed'. As you see, it ends in se, which means it is a reflexive verb. 'Reflexive' means that the action of going to bed is done by and for the person who does the action.

Now, when your mom says 'I hope that you go to bed' or your doctor tells you 'It is recommended that you lie down', we have in these expressions the present subjunctive. In Spanish, however, the subjunctive verb form is not exactly the same as the present tense. The form changes, which is why we learn the conjugation of acostarse in the present subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive Use and Conjugation

The present subjunctive expresses a wish, a hope, or a doubt. In the case of acostarse, you can use it to tell someone that you hope, wish, want, or doubt that they go to bed. Also, the present subjunctive is when you tell someone that it is necessary, good, recommended, etc. that they go to bed. Some common expressions are:

  • Espero que... (ehs-PEH-roh keh) means 'I hope that...'
  • Deseo que... (deh-SEH-oh keh) means 'I wish that...'
  • Quiero que... (kee-EH-roh keh) means 'I want that...'
  • Es necesario que... (ehs neh-seh-SAH-reeoh keh) means 'It is necessary that...'
  • Es bueno que... (ehs BWEH-noh keh) means 'It is good that...'
  • Es recomendable que... (ehs reh-koh-mehn-DAH-bleh keh) means 'It is recommended that...'
  • Es importante que... (ehs eem-pohr-TAHN-teh keh) means 'It is important that...'
  • Dudo que... (DOO-doh keh) means 'I doubt that...'

To these expressions, you would add the appropriate present subjunctive conjugation of acostarse, which includes a reflexive pronoun because it is a reflexive verb:

Subject Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun and Acostarse in Present
Pronunciation Translation
yo me acueste meh ah-KWEHS-teh I go to bed
te acuestes teh ah-KWEHS-tehs You (informal, singular) go to bed
se acueste seh ah-KWEHS-teh He/She you (formal, singular) go(es) to bed
nos acostemos nohs ah-kohs-TEH-mohs We go to bed
os acostéis ohs ah-kohs-TEH-ees You (informal, plural) go to bed
se acuesten seh ah-KWEHS-tehn They/You (formal, plural) go to bed

As a tip for you to sound more fluent: you don't need to say the subject pronoun for yo, , nosotros/as, and vosotros/as, because their respective reflexive pronoun already indicates who the subject pronoun is. In the case of él, ella, usted and their plural forms, since they all share the same reflexive pronoun, you would specify who the subject pronoun is.

Real Life Examples

Now, let's put together both the expressions and the conjugation table to look at some examples.

Situation One: Priscila leaves her child with a nanny and advises the child before leaving:

  • Espero que te acuestes a las 8:30 p.m. (I hope that you go to bed at 8:30 p.m.)

Situation Two: The doctor recommends you to go to bed right after you take your medication because it will make you dizzy:

  • Es necesario que usted se acueste inmediatamente después de tomar el medicamento. (It is necessary that you go to bed immediately after you take your medication)

Mario wants his son to go to bed after watching T.V.

Situation Three: You and your friends get home from a party and the only key to the apartment breaks inside the keyhole. You call for help but will have to be patient to solve the problem. You think:

  • Dudo que nos acostemos dentro de una hora. (I doubt that we (will) go to bed within an hour.)

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