Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.
¿Qué te gustaría conseguir?
'What would you like to achieve?' In Spanish, we can use the verb conseguir (kohn-seh-GEER) meaning 'to successfully complete a task, to get a good result', or 'achieve something'. It basically means 'to get something one desires'. We can be good marks, a good job, or a prize. These are the most frequent expressions with conseguir:
- conseguir buenas notas ('to get good marks')
- conseguir un buen trabajo/empleo ('to get a good job')
- conseguir un premio ('to get a prize')
- conseguir dinero ('to get money')
Present Subjunctive of Conseguir
We use the subjunctive to express information which is not factual or certain, but subjective, like wishes, doubts and possibilities. If we talk about the present or the future, we need to use the present subjunctive.
In order to form it we need to take the first person singular (yo) of the present indicative. Can you remember how to say 'I get' or 'I achieve' in Spanish?
This is a tricky question, since conseguir is an irregular verb, so there is a vocalic change in its stem: (yo) consigo.
Now use this stem (consig-) and add the subjunctive endings:
|Subject Pronouns||Conseguir: Present Subjunctive||Pronunciation||Translation|
|él/ella/usted||consiga||kohn-SEE-gah||he/she gets/achieves - you (formal) get/achieve|
|vosotros/as||consigáis||kohn-see-GIYS||you all get/achieve|
|ellos/ellas/ustedes||consigan||kohn-SEE-gahn||they/you all (formal) get/achieve|
Present Subjunctive Uses & Examples
The most typical formulas to express wishes are:
- Espero que… ('I hope…')
- Quiero que… ('I want…')
- Ojalá... ('Hopefully...')
Your sister has just been selected for a job interview in a prestigious company. You are ecstatic and wishes her the best, so you say:
- Espero que lo consigas. ('I hope you get it'.)
- ¡Sí, ojalá lo consiga! ('Yes, I wish I got it!') Es el trabajo de mis sueños. ('It's my dream job'.)
Now think about what you would like to achieve and make a sentence with any of the expressions above.
To talk about present or future possibilities use:
- Posiblemente…/Probablemente... ('Possibly…/Probably...')
- Quizás.../Puede que... ('Maybe...')
- Es posible que... ('It's possible that...')
Your sister is not very self-confident at times:
- Puede que no consiga el trabajo. ('Maybe I won't get the job'.)
But you prefer seeing the glass half full:
- Es posible que lo consigas. ('It's posible that you'll get it'.) No seas gafe. ('Don't be a jinx!')
Use the structure No + pensar/creer/imaginar ('to think/to imagine') + que.
You are taking part in an art group project at school. There will be a prize competition and you are going to participate. You say:
- No creo que consigamos el primer premio, pero trabajaremos duro. ('I don't think we will get the first prize, but we will work hard'.)
Imperfect Subjunctive of Conseguir
To form the imperfect subjunctive follow these steps:
- Take the third person plural of the preterite. Note: The preterite of conseguir is irregular (ellos consiguieron). Notice that we add an u after the g to keep the soft sound (/g/). Otherwise, it would sound like the English /h/.
- Use that stem (consiguie-).
- Add the two possible set of endings to this stem.
Note: The imperfect subjunctive is the only tense that allows two possible conjugations (-RA and -SE). You can use them indistinctly.
|Subject Pronouns||Conseguir: Imperfect Subjunctive||Pronunciation||Translation|
|I would get/achieve - got/achieved|
| kohn-see-GYEH-rahs /
|you would get/achieve - got/achieved|
|he/she/you (formal) would get/achieve - got/achieved|
|we would get/achieve - got/achieved|
|you all would get/achieve - got/achieved|
|they/you all (formal) would get/achieve - got/achieved|
Imperfect Subjunctive Uses & Examples
Expressing Unlikely Wishes
We use this tense to express wishes or desires that are unlikely to happen. Use expressions such as:
- Quería que… ('I wanted…')
- Ojalá... ('I wish...')
- Me gustaría que…/Me encantaría que… ('I'd like/I'd love…')
Nira is in your art project team and she wishes to win:
- Me encantaría que consiguiéramos un premio. ('I'd love us to get a prize'.)
Nira's sister encourages both of you:
- Ojalá lo consiguierais. ('I wish you (both) got it'.)
Expressing Surprise or Reaffirmation
Use these expressions to indicate that you were expecting (or not) a result.
- (No) esperaba que… ('I was (not) hoping that…')
- (No) deseaba que… ('I was (not) wishing that…')
- (No) dudaba que… ('I was (not) doubting that…')
Finally, it's the competition day and you are quite surprised to learn that your team has won the first prize!
- No esperaba que consiguiéramos el primer premio. ('I wasn't expecting for us to get the first prize'.)
Your sister tells you that she was sure you would win:
- Yo sí esperaba que lo consiguierais. ('I was expecting you all got it'.) Trabajasteis muchísimo. ('You worked hard'.)
What's more, she has gotten the job after passing the interview. This is definitely the best day! You say:
- Deseaba que consiguieras el empleo. ('I was wishing you got the job'.)
This lesson covers the verb conseguir ('to get/achieve').
Use the present subjunctive to express wishes, possibilities and negative suppositions.
Use the imperfect subjunctive to express unlikely wishes, surprise or reaffirmation.
|Subject Pronouns|| Conseguir:
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