Spanish Practice Activity: Using Doubt & Negation Expressions

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  • 0:03 Subjunctive Mood
  • 0:40 Verbs of Doubt,…
  • 2:00 Expressions of Certainty
  • 3:11 Practice
  • 6:56 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson we will practice the Present Subjunctive in Spanish using verbs and expressions (triggers) of doubt and negation expressions. Also, we will review some other verbs and expressions that work as triggers for the Present Indicative.

Subjunctive Mood & Requirements

The subjunctive mood in Spanish talks about situations that are uncertain or non-existent or come with expressions of emotion and other structures. When we talk about the subjunctive we need to remember most of the situations require four main requirements within the sentence:

1. The word 'que'.

2. A trigger (verb or expression that indicates subjunctive is needed).

3. Two subjects.

4. Two clauses.

Now we'll review some of the triggers and have some practice of what we've learned.

Verbs of Doubt, Disbelief, Denial

Expressions of doubt and negation in the main clause are some of the verbs and expressions that work as triggers for the subjunctive tense and determine that there is uncertainty about something.

Let's review some of the triggers of doubt and negation for subjunctive:

Dudar (to doubt) Yo dudo que…

Ser dudoso (to be doubtful) Es dudoso que...

No ser cierto (not being true) No es cierto que…

Negar (to deny) Niegas que…

No ser verdad (not being true) No es verdad que…

No creer (not to believe) No creo que…

No pensar (not to think) No pienso que…

(No) Ser probable (to be probable) (No) Es probable que…

(No) Ser posible (to be possible) (No) Es posible que…

(No) Ser imposible (to be impossible) (No) Es imposible que…

(No) Ser improbable (to be improbable) (No) Es improbable que…

Verbs & Expressions of Certainty

Other verbs and expressions tell us that the indicative mood that covers around 10 tenses (preterite, imperfect, conditional, present perfect, etc) is needed because they provide certainty:

No dudar (not to doubt) No dudo que…

No caber duda (not to have room for doubt) No cabe duda de que…

No haber duda (not to have doubt) No hay duda de que…

No negar (not to deny) No negamos que…

Estar seguro (to be sure) Estoy seguro de que…

Creer (to believe) Creo que…

Pensar (to think) Piensan que…

Ser cierto (to be true) Es cierto que…

Ser seguro (to be sure) Es seguro que…

Ser verdad (to be true) Es verdad que…

Ser obvio (to be obvious) Es obvio que…

Note: Pensar (to think) and creer (to believe) in Spanish provide certainty, unlike in English, and that's why the indicative mood is necessary.


Let's practice!

Imagine there are three new countries in the world: Saltar, Malgonia, and Lampung. But things are not going really well among them because they share a small territory. Let's listen to and read a conversation between Dr. Rojas and Dr. Yepes, who are international analysts, about the current situation:

Dr. R: Dr. Yepes, la situación entre estos tres países es cada vez más tensa. 'Es posible que haya una confrontación entre ellos?

Dr. Y: La verdad es que no existe ningún tratado entre las partes para intentar usar la diplomacia. 'Qué piensa usted, Dr. Rojas?

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