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Dependent Clauses & the Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish

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  • 0:04 Present Perfect Subjunctive
  • 1:20 Dependent Clauses -…
  • 1:57 Dependent Clauses - Opinions
  • 2:52 Dependent Clauses - Doubts
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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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.

The present perfect subjunctive in Spanish could not be formed if we did not use a dependent clause first. This lesson gives us a list of those dependent clauses we absolutely need while we also get to talk to a Spanish teacher.

Present Perfect Subjunctive

How do you generally feel right before a big test? Maybe you hope you've studied hard enough, or you hope your friends in class did the same. Today, we'll learn how to express those wishes in Spanish using present perfect subjunctive. We'll also talk to Mónica, a Mexican teacher of Spanish, who holds the 'Ministry of Education Award' this year. She uses the present perfect subjunctive as she talks about her view of her Spanish students as well as language learning. We must learn a list of dependent clauses, though, because we cannot form the present perfect subjunctive without them.

When you say 'I hope that my friends have studied for the Spanish exam,' you're expressing a hope or wish about something they should have done already. The part 'I hope that' is the type of dependent clause you need in Spanish to form the present perfect subjunctive.

The present perfect subjunctive expresses many things, such as a wish, a hope, or a doubt about an action that should have occurred already. However, we must remember that other people also wish, hope, and doubt. In this case, instead of saying, 'I hope that,' we would have said, 'she hopes that,' for example. However, we concentrate here on the times when 'I' is the subject who speaks. Let's begin.

Dependent Clauses - Hopes, Possibilities

These dependent clauses allow you to tell what you hope for. They also allow you to communicate a possibility.

  • Espero que. . . means 'I hope that. . .'
  • Ojalá que. . . means 'It is hoped that. . .'
  • Es posible que. . . means 'It is possible that. . .'

Here is when Mónica comes in to put these clauses at work.

  • Primero, espero que mis estudiantes hayan estudiado. (First, I hope that my students have studied.)
  • Es posible que hayan practicado los verbos, principalmente. (It is possible that they have practiced the verbs, mainly.)

Dependent Clauses - Opinions

We also use the present subjunctive to express opinions at times. The most common dependent clauses for opinions are:

  • Es bueno que. . . means 'It is good that. . .'
  • Es lamentable que. . . means 'It is unfortunate that. . .'
  • No es bueno que. . . means 'It is not good that. . .'
  • Siento que. . . means 'I am sorry that. . .'

Here are Mónica's opinions on language learners:

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