Jugar Conjugation: Subjunctive & Command

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena teaches Spanish as a foreign language and has a PhD in linguistics.

Who doesn't like a fun evening of games with friends? In this lesson we'll study the Spanish verb ''jugar,'' which means 'to play.' You'll learn how to express wishes with the subjunctive and how to give commands with the imperative.

The Verb Jugar

Are you planning a game night? Do you usually play any sports or games with your siblings or friends? In this lesson, we'll learn how to use the Spanish verb jugar (pronounced: hoo-GAHR), which means 'to play' (sports or games).

Learn how to give commands or make suggestions along with Daniel and his younger sister Marta, who is always ready to play!

Jugar (to play)
juego

Subjunctive of Jugar

Before taking a look at the examples, let's see how the subjunctive is formed. As a quick reminder, we use the subjunctive to express wishes, possibilities, doubts, and indirect requests.

To conjugate jugar, we must remember that it's irregular in some tenses. There is a vowel change in the stem (jueg-) that we're going to keep in all subject pronouns, EXCEPT FOR nosotros/as and vosotros/as.

There is another thing you have to remember. We need to add an u to the stem to keep that hard sound /geh/. Otherwise, g+e would sound like the English /hay/.

This is the result (with the vowel changes in bold):

VERB: jugar (hoo-GAHR) - to play

Subject Pronouns Jugar:
Present Subjunctive
Pronunciation Translation
yo juegue (HWEH-geh) I play
juegues (HWEH-gehs) you play
él/ella/usted juegue (HWEH-geh) he/she plays -
you (formal) play
nosotros/nosotras juguemos (hoo-GEH-mohs) we play
vosotros/vosotras juguéis (hoo-GAYS) you all play
ellos/ellas/ustedes jueguen (HWEH-gehn) they/you all (formal)
play

Examples in the Subjunctive

Daniel loves Fridays because he can relax at home and spend the evening playing videogames or just chilling out. But his 7-year-old sister is ready to keep him busy.

  • Marta: Quiero que juegues conmigo. (I want you to play with me.)
  • Daniel: Estoy ocupado, Marta. (I'm busy, Marta.) Busca a alguien que juegue contigo. (Look for someone to play with you.)
  • Marta: ¿A quién? (Who?)
  • Daniel: No sé. (I don't know.) Llama a Sara para que juguéis. (Call Sara so that you (both) play.)
  • Marta: Pero me encanta que tú y yo juguemos juntos. (But I love that you and I play together.')

Have you noticed any pattern in the use of the subjunctive? All of the subjunctive forms are preceded by expressions that contain que (which has a variety of meanings but translates as 'that' in many expressions).

  • You can use the subjunctive after expressions that:
    • express wishes or indirect requests: Quiero que… (I want…) / Me encanta que... (I love that…)
    • express a possibility or purpose: Alguien que… (someone that…) / para que… (so that…)

Me encanta que juguemos juntos (I love that we play together)
jugar

Jugar in the Imperative

We use the imperative to give direct orders or commands. The first person plural (nosotros/as) is also used to make suggestions.

Again, we use the stem jueg-, except for nosotros/as and vosotros/as. And don't forget the u after g when the next vowel is an e!

VERB: jugar (hoo-GAHR) - to play

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