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Escribir Conjugation: Subjunctive & Command

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

In this lesson, we study the Spanish verb escribir ('to write'). Learn how to express wishes and talk about possibilities with the subjunctive or give a command with the imperative.

¡A escribir!

'Let's write!' We all write something every day - an email, a letter, a message or, at least, a reminder on a post-it note! Writing is also the best way to learn vocabulary and conjugations in another language.

In this lesson, we learn how to use the Spanish verb escribir (pronounced ehs-kree-BEER), which means 'to write', in the subjunctive and imperative through different examples.

Escribir (to write)
write

Using the Verb Escribir

Before analyzing the conjugation of escribir, let's take a look at some vocabulary related to this verb that we will be using throughout this lesson:

Spanish Pronunciation Translation
escribir una carta /
un correo
(ehs-kree-BEER OO-nah KAHR-tah /
oon koh-REH-oh)
to write a letter / a mail
escribir una historia (ehs-kree-BEER OO-nah
ees-TOH-ryah)
to write a story
escribir a mano (ehs-kree-BEER ah MAH-noh) to write by hand
escribir a máquina (ehs-kree-BEER ah MAH-kee-nah) to type
escribir con letra legible (ehs-kree-BEER kohn LEH-trah
leh-HEE-bleh)
to write clearly

Also, notice that when we want to say 'to whom' we are writing, we need to add the preposition a (to) after the verb:

  • Escribir una carta a mi amiga por correspondencia. ('To write a letter to my pen pal.')
  • Escribir a mis abuelos. ('To write to my grandparents.')

Translation: To type
type

Subjunctive of Escribir

Do you know what exactly the subjunctive is? The subjunctive is a mood or mode of expressing ideas and statements. With it, we can talk about wishes, possibilities or suppositions.

To conjugate escribir, we only need to take its stem (escrib-) and add the following subjunctive endings:

VERB: escribir (ehs-kree-BEER) - to write

Subject Pronouns Escribir:
Present Subjunctive
Pronunciation Translation
yo escriba (ehs-KREE-bah) I write
escribas (ehs-KREE-bahs) you write
él/ella/usted escriba (ehs-KREE-bah) he/she writes -
you (formal) write
nosotros/nosotras escribamos (ehs-kree-BAH-mohs) we write
vosotros/vosotras escribáis (ehs-kree-BIYS) you all write
ellos/ellas/ustedes escriban (ehs-KREE-bahn) they/you all (formal)
write

Subjunctive Uses and Examples

Expressing Wishes

Leyre loves her literature teacher, María. She's nice and talented and prepares plenty of fun and fruitful lessons.

Today, María has a new assignment for them:

  • Quiero que escribáis una carta a vuestro yo del futuro. ('I want you to write a letter to your future self.') Volveréis a leer esta carta dentro de quince años. ('You will reread this letter in fifteen years.')

In Spanish, we use the subjunctive after que or expressions containing que, such as:

  • Quiero que ... ('I want to ...')
  • Espero que ... ('I hope ...')
  • Ojalá que ... ('Hopefully ...')

Leyre loves her literature lessons because she is passionate about reading and writing. She also loves learning languages and has a Chilean pen pal, with whom she is improving her Spanish a lot. She has just finished her letter:

  • Espero que me escribas pronto. ('I hope you write to me soon.')

Escribir una carta (to write a letter)
letter

Talking about Possibilities

We also use the subjunctive to talk about possibilities or probabilities, normally introduced by these expressions:

  • Posiblemente ... / Probablemente ... ('Possibly ... / Probably ...')
  • Es posible que ... ('It's possible that ...')
  • Quizás ... / Puede que ... ('Maybe ...')

On Monday, Leyre's teacher says:

  • Probablemente escribamos una historia corta esta semana. ('We will probably write a short story this week.') Además, habrá un concurso de poesía. (Also, there will be a poetry competition.')
  • Quizás la otra clase escriba para el concurso también. ('Maybe the other group will write for the competition as well.')

Imperative of Escribir

The imperative is a set of verbal forms we use to give direct orders or commands. Also, we can use the first person plural (nosotros/as) to make suggestions.

Take a look at the imperative forms of escribir:

VERB: escribir (ehs-kree-BEER) - to write

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