Using the Spanish Subjunctive with Adverbs and Adjectival Clauses

Though the Spanish subjunctive mood expresses doubt, voices impersonal opinions, and sets up conditional actions, that’s not all it’s good for. You also use the subjunctive with some adjectival clauses and adverbs. These subjunctive situations are as follows:

  • In an adjectival clause if the antecedent is someone or something that is indefinite, negative, vague, or nonexistent. For example:

    • Ellos buscan un cocinero quien prepare comida china. (They are looking for a cook who prepares Chinese food.)

    • No hay nadie aquí quien corra más rapido que ella. (There is no one here who runs faster than her.)

    • ¿Hay alguién en tu escuela que hable ruso? (Does anyone at your school speak Russian?)

  • After the adverbs acaso, quizás, and tal vez, which all mean “perhaps.” For example:

    • Quizás ellos lleguen mañana. (Perhaps they will arrive tomorrow.)

    • Quizás él estudie más. (Perhaps he studies more.)

  • After aunque (meaning “although” or “even if”) if the action has not yet occurred. For example:

    • Aunque no gane, lo intentará. (Although he may not win, he will try.)

    • Aunque él reciba todo lo que hay en la lista, él llorará. (Even if he gets everything on the list, he will still cry.)