Advertir. | To take notice, to observe, to warn.
Conjugar. | To conjugate.
Desconfiar. | To distrust, to mistrust.
Cometer. | To commit.
Distinguir.| To distinguish.
Formar. | To form, to shape.
Devolver. | To return, to give back.
Descuidar. | To neglect, to be at ease in one’s.
Pertenecer. | To belong.
Molestar.| To molest, to trouble.
Resultar.| To result, to turn out.
Click on the verb to see the conjugation of this verb.


Although it has been deemed expedient, in the example of the conjugation of verbs in the subjunctive mood, to give but one English equivalent for each of the three terminations ria, ra, se, it is not to be inferred therefrom that they may be used indiscriminately. Indeed, the correct application of each of these terminations presents as much difficulty to the student of Spanish as does that of the English signs might, could, should, would to the foreigner learning English. The following rules will, however, serve as a guide in all ordinary cases, and enable the pupil to surmount not a few of the most serious obstacles to the right use of the terminations in question.

1st. When the sentence begins without a conditional conjunction, the verb may take either the first or the second termination (ria or ra); as,
Bueno sería (o fuera) no descuidarse. | It would be well not to be off one’s guard.
Convendría (o conviniera) que se hiciese la paz. | It would be well if peace were made.

2d. In sentences beginning with si, sino, aunque, bien que, dado que, &c., or with an interjection expressive of desire, either the second or third termination may be employed (ra or se) ; and were it necessary to repeat the same tense in the second clause of the sentence (in order to show what would take place as the result of the condition expressed in the first clause), the first termination (ria) may then be used; as,
Aunque dijeras (o dijeses) la verdad, no te creería. | Though thou toldest (or wert to tell)the truth, he would not believe thee.

3d. When the imperfect of the subjunctive is preceded by a verb in the preterit definite of the indicative, signifying pensar, to think, decir, to say, or such like, any of the terminations may be used; but it must be observed that the idea conveyed will be different, according to the termination employed; as,
Pensé que estudiara usted, o que estudiaría usted. | I thought you would study.
No creí que estudiase usted (o estudiara usted). | I did not think you were studying, or I did not think you would study.
Juzgué que estudiaría (o estudiara usted). | I judged you would study.
Dije que leyera (o leería) usted. | I said you would read.
Dijo que leyese (o leyera) usted. | He said you were to read.
Dijimos que leyera (o leyese). | We said he was to read.

4th. But if this tense be preceded or governed by a verb in any of the past tenses of the indicative, signifying desear, to desire, querer, to wish, or by any verb of such nature, then the second termination (ra) or the third (se) must be used, and never the first (ria); as,
Deseaba que ganara (o ganase) usted. | He was desirous that you might win.
Quiso que usted se casara (o casase). | He wished you to get married.

A glance at the foregoing rules and examples will suffice in order to observe that the first and second terminations (ria and ra) may be used one for the other, without any change in the sense of the phrase; that the second may also be used for the third (that is to say, ra for se), but that the first and third are of an entirely different meaning, and, in consequence, can never be substituted one for the other. Another peculiarity of the first (ria) is, that it can never be preceded by a conditional conjunction, while the second and third may.

5th. When, in translating into Spanish, whether is to be translated by si, would or should must be rendered by the termination ria; as,
No sé si iría. | I do not know whether he would go.

6th. The inverted forms had I, had he, &c., meaning if I had, if he had, &c., are always to be turned into Spanish by either of the terminations ra or se, preceded by the conjunction si; as,
Si tuviera (or tuviese) buenos libros leería. | Had I (or if I had) good books, I would read.

7th. Were, used in the place of would be, may be translated by either ria or ra, never by se; as,
Sería imprudencia ir con este tiempo. | It were imprudent to go in this weather.

211. The English auxiliaries, may, might, can, could, will, would and should are sometimes to be translated into Spanish by principal verbs of the same meaning, and not merely rendered by corresponding terminations; as,
No quiso ir. | He would not go.
Usted puede hablar, pero yo no puedo. | You may (or can) speak, but I cannot.

In the first example we see, that by would not is conveyed the idea of the want of will or desire on the part of the person alluded to, and not the idea of that person’s going or not going, as dependent on a condition. Had the latter been the sense intended, we should then have rendered would by the termination ria of the verb ir, to go; thus,
Él no iría. | He would not go;
for, in that case, the object would have been simply to predict that he would not go, as dependent on some such condition as, if I did not go too, si yo no fuese también.

Hence, the closest attention is required, in order to find the real meaning of the auxiliaries above mentioned, before attempting to translate them.

212. The imperfect of the subjunctive denotes a contingent action that took place some time ago, or that is taking place at the present time, or that will take place after the completion of the action expressed by the determining verb.

213. The pluperfect represents a contingent action as completed before some period of time already past, or before some other action which is now also completed, or which would be now completed had it taken place.
The closest attention to the foregoing remarks is essential, in order to avoid the improper substitution of the tenses of the indicative for those of the subjunctive, which all foreigners, and especially the English, are most liable to commit.


Cada. | Every, each.
Sin duda. | Certainly, without doubt.
¡Adelante! | Go on! Go ahead! Come in!
En adelante. | Henceforth.
Compuesto. | Compound.
Irregular. | Irregular.
Completo. | Complete.
Varios. | Various, divers, several.
Simple. | Simple.
Seguro. | Secure, sure.
Obvio. | Obvious.
Lo demás. | The rest.

Conocimiento. | Knowledge, or bill of lading.
José. | Joseph.
Artículo. | Article, section.
Pronombre. | Pronoum.
Participio. | Participle.
Gerundio. | Gerund.
Adverbio. | Adverb.
Presente. | Present.
Imperfecto. | Future.
Perfecto. | Pluperfect.
Futuro. | Future.
Pluscuamperfecto. | Pluperfect.
Infinitivo. | Infinitive.
Indicativo. | Indicative.
Imperativo. | Imperative.
Subjuntivo. | Subjunctive.
Condición. | Condition.
Navidad, or Natividad. | Nativity, Christmas.
Relación. | Relation.
Duda. | Doubt.
Ventaja. | Advantage.
Frase. | Phrase.
Prontitud. | Promptitude.
Sentencia. | Sentence.
Conjugación. | Conjugation.
Verdad. | Truth.
Imprudencia. | Imprudence.
Preposición. | Preposition.
Conjunción. | Conjunction.
Interjección. | Interjection.
Paz. | Peace.
Molestia. | Trouble.


– Descuide usted.
Make yourself easy (or be at ease in your mind).

– ¿Cuántos tiempos tiene el modo indicativo?
How many tenses has the indicativo mood?

– Ocho: cuatro simples y cuatro compuestos.
Eight: four simple and four compound.

– Bueno fuera (o seria) no descuidarse.
It would be well not to be off one’s guard.

– Conviniera (o convendría) que se hiciese la paz.
It would be well if peace were made.

– Aunque dijeras (o dijeses) la verdad, no te creería.
Though thou wert to tell the truth, he would not believe thee.*

– ¡Ojalá cesara (o cesase)la guerra! Así seriamos más felices.
Would to God the war would come to an end! We should then be happier.

– Pensé que tú estudiaras.
I thought thou wouldst study.

– No creí que estudiase usted.
I did not think you would study (or were studying).

– Juzgué que estudiaría usted.
I judged you would study.

– Dije que leyeras.
I said thou wert to read (or wouldst read).

– Dijo que leerías.
He said thou wouldst read.

– Dijimos que leyese.
We said he was to read.

– Deseaba que ganaras (o ganases).
He wished thee to win.

– Quiso que te casaras (o casases).
He wished thee to get married.

– No sé si iría o no.
I do not know whether he would go or not.

– Si tuviera (o tuviese) buenos libros leería.
Had I (or if I had) good books I would read.

– Sería imprudencia ir con este tiempo.
It were imprudent to go in this weather.

– No quiso ir.
He would not go.

– Debemos perdonar a nuestros enemigos.
We should forgive our enemies.

– Usted puede hablar, pero yo no puedo.
You can speak, but I cannot.

– ¿Si hubiera (o hubiese) (usted) recibido los libros me los habría prestado?
Had you received (or if you had received) the books would you have lent them to me?

– Si los hubiera (o hubiese) recibido se los habría prestado; pero no los he recibido aún.
If I had received them I would have lent them to you; but I have not received them yet.

– En lugar de venir a verme, me escribió.
Instead of coming to see me, he wrote to me.

– Él no jugará por temor de perder su dinero.
He will not play, for fear of losing his money.

– ¡Quiera Dios que se corrija!
God grant that he may change!

– ¡Así sea! Lo deseo para ambos.
So be it! That is my desire for both.

– Bebo a la salud de usted, Don Enrique.
I drink to your health, Mr. Henry.

– A la de usted, Don Carlos.
Your health, Mr. Charles.

– Señores, manos a la obra, no sea que no podamos acabar a tiempo.
To work, gentlemen, for fear we should not be able to finish in time.

– De todos modos creo que no lo conseguiremos.
At all events, I do not think we shall succeed.

(*)(Expresión antigua poco usada hoy en día.)
(*)(Old expression rarely used today.)

En las lecciones de este blog se ha seguido la obra de

Alberto de Tornos “The Combined Spanish Method”. D. APPLETON ~ COMPANY (New York) 1869

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta entrada está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported.


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