This is meant for advanced (really advanced) learners. Once a Spanish learner becomes upper-intermediate, the use of subjunctive becomes an obsession for him/her. This is more than understandable. After having presumably struggled with the past tenses —not a piece of cake in Spanish—, they find themselves, like Greek heroes, before a huge and dissuasive obstacle: the weird, undecipherable and apparently random subjunctive. And, to top it all, we use it a lot and in many different structures!
We won’t lie to you. It takes a lot of practice to use the Spanish subjunctive properly. But if it’s any consolation, here are some tips to deal with this thousand-headed dragon:
-True, subjunctive is hugely used in Spanish, but you can make yourself understood without it. Now, if you want to be really proficient, you’ll have to fight for it…
-The first step would be to learn how it is formed. Basically, it’s about swapping endings (apply the –AR verbs endings to –ER / –IR verbs, and inversely). Irregular verbs usually stay so in subjunctive. So you’ll need to complete a few dozens of exercises here.
-Once you’ve mastered that, move on to the next phase. Choose one of the structures requiring subjunctive and practice it “in chunks”.
Now the practical bit:
Here’s a little exercise for brave subjunctive and imperative learners, based on a car advert. The objective of this exercise is to practice the structure: Cuando + subjunctive (with future sense) and, to kill two birds with one stone, the imperative too.