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#317 – Verb Tenses and Moods in Spanish

Corporate Spanish Trainer

Verb Tenses and Moods in Spanish

Esta foto es un ejemplo de la cerámica de Oaxaca, México. Es de barro negro – black clay. La foto principal de esta página es un ejemplo del barro negro de Chile.










Post 317/365
Es martes el 6 de febrero de 2018



Buenos días y bienvenidos a Spanish Blog 365.

We’re going to embark on a new journey for the next several weeks. As you know, Tuesday thru Friday are grammar topics. We want to expand our knowledge of structures as well as build our vocabulary and cultural understanding. Grammar is the ‘glue’ that pulls it all together.


We’ve worked on grammar topics such as verb tenses, adjectives and comparisons, uses of certain prepositions like por and para, etc…

For the next several weeks we’ll be expanding our verb tenses and knowledge of what is called Moods.


A little background:

Verb tenses
are the time references we give to actions.

The present
The past – preterit and imperfect
The future and conditional


There are 14 verb tenses in Spanish: 7 simple (like the present or the preterit) and 7 compound (like the present perfect)

We could increase it to 16-18 tenses if we include the progressive, the imperative/commands, etc…


My favorite reference book for verbs is 501 Spanish verbs by Christopher Kendris, Ph.D. It’s a Barron’s book.
For $15 new or $5 used (even an older edition) it is worth every single penny.
It is amazing the amount of information in this book. It is and was the key to my learning Spanish verbs well.

There are several other verb books like this on the market and the point is: get one!
It is an invaluable reference and you have made it this far with your studies, you either already have a copy or you will benefit greatly by going to get one.



are the way we see or feel about the actions. These can also have a tense like the present or past.

There are 4 Moods in Spanish

1. The indicative – statements based on fact and reality (what we have studied up to this point)

2. The subjunctive – statements based on wishes and hopes or future actions that may not become fact or reality

3. The conditional – statements that require something else to happen in order for it to become a fact or reality (conditional)

4. The imperative – these are commands. When we tell someone else what to do (coming soon)

This is all very academic and I don’t think I’ll quiz you on the 4 moods, but as we go into this next section of verbs and tenses, we need to know about moods. It will help us understand better.



The plan for the next couple of weeks is the Subjunctive.

Out of the 14 tenses mentioned above, 4 of them are Subjunctive. We’ll start with the Present Subjunctive – El Presente del Subjuntivo.



Mis hijos leen mucho. – My kids read a lot. (reality)

Yo quiero que lean mucho. – I want them to read a lot. (my wish/hope that may not become a reality)


Ella va a Perú. – She’s going to Perú.

Ella espera que nosotros vayamos con ella. – She hopes the we’ll go with her.


Llueve / Está lloviendo 
– It’s raining

Ojalá que llueva mañana. – I hope it rains tomorrow.


Action steps: Read the ‘ejemplos’. Notice the highlighted verbs. If you have a 501 verb book look up the verb ‘hablar’ and check out the ‘present subjunctive’.
Come back tomorrow because we’ll continue this and get more and more comfortable with using this ‘mood’

Déjame un comentario. ¿Has estudiado el subjuntivo antes? ¿Qué piensas de este tiempo/mood?

Gracias y hasta mañana,