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Imperfect Subjunctive II

Notes:

  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

 

In Imperfect Subjunctive I, you learned the difference between Present Subjunctive and Imperfect Subjunctive as two different tenses within the subjunctive mood.

You also learned that the imperfect tense of the subjunctive mood is used to express the same subjectivity as the present subjunctive, but in the past.

In this lesson you will begin to learn how to conjugate verbs in the Imperfect Subjunctive. It is important to know that in Spanish there are two complete sets (forms) of conjugations in the Imperfect Subjunctive tense:

  • -A form
  • -SE form

Both are used equally in Spain, and it is up to the speaker to choose one over the other one.

In some Latin American countries only the -A form is used in the Spoken Spanish, while the -SE form is mainly used in literary work.

-A Form of Imperfect Subjunctive

You can conjugate in the -A form of the Imperfect Subjunctive by following these steps:

  1. Take the third person plural of the preterite form of any -ar, -er and -ir verbs
  2. Drop the -on ending to find the root
  3. Add the following endings to that root:
Subject-A Form Ending
yo-a
-as
él, ella, usted-a
nosotros-amos
vosotros-ais
ellos, ellas, ustedes-an

Here are some examples of using the steps described above to obtain the Imperfect Subjunctive (-A form) for each of the three families or verbs.

Cantar – to sing

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of cantar is cantaron
  2. We remove the -on ending, which leaves us with the root: cantar
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo cantara
    cantaras
    él/ella/Ud. cantara
    nosotros cantáramos
    vosotros cantarais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. cantaran

Correr – to run (irregular)

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of correr is corrieron
  2. We remove the -on ending, which leaves us with the root: corrier
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo corriera
    corrieras
    él/ella/Ud. corriera
    nosotros corriéramos
    vosotros corriérais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. corrieran

Vivir – to live (irregular)

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of vivir is vivieron
  2. We remove the -on ending, which leaves us with the root: vivier
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo viviera
    vivieras
    él/ella/Ud. viviera
    nosotros viviéramos
    vosotros viviérais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. vivieran

-SE Form of Imperfect Subjunctive

You can conjugate in the -SE form of the Imperfect Subjunctive by following these steps:

  1. Take the third person plural of the preterite form of any -ar, -er and -ir verbs
  2. Drop the -ron ending to find the root
  3. Add the following endings to that root
Subject-SE Form Ending
yo-se
-ses
él, ella, usted-se
nosotros-semos
vosotros-seis
ellos, ellas, ustedes-sen

Here are some examples of using the steps described above to obtain the Imperfect Subjunctive (-SE form) for each of the three families or verbs.

Cantar – to sing

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of cantar is cantaron
  2. We remove the -ron ending, which leaves us with the root: canta
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo cantase
    cantases
    él/ella/Ud. cantase
    nosotros cantásemos
    vosotros cantaseis
    ellos/ellas/Uds. cantasen

Correr – to run (irregular)

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of correr is corrieron
  2. We remove the -ron ending, which leaves us with the root: corrie
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo corriese
    corrieses
    él/ella/Ud. corriese
    nosotros corriésemos
    vosotros corrieseis
    ellos/ellas/Uds. corriesen

Vivir- to live (irregular)

  1. 3rd person plural of the preterite of vivir is vivieron
  2. We remove the -ron ending, which leaves us with the root: vivier
  3. Now we can add the appropriate ending depending on the subject:

    yo viviese
    vivieses
    él/ella/Ud. viviese
    nosotros viviésemos
    vosotros vivieseis
    ellos/ellas/Uds. viviesen

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