Mastering The Subjunctive: “Como si”

Mastering The Subjunctive: Como si

Learning Spanish involves diving into various grammatical nuances, one of which is the subjunctive mood. Among its intriguing uses, the phrase “como si” followed by the pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo, and imperfecto de subjuntivo is particularly notable. This short video from my “Spanish on The Fly” section, will guide you a bit through mastering this complex aspect of Spanish grammar, helping you improve in conversation.

The idea in this video is to teach you how to say the same thing but with different words. These words involve a more advanced structure that always requires the subjunctive. The subjunctive! What a nightmare, right? Most of my students hate it.


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Understanding the Subjunctive Mode in Spanish

The subjunctive mode in Spanish expresses desires, doubts, hypothetical situations, and emotions. It contrasts with the indicative mood, which deals with factual information. Within the subjunctive, the Spanish past subjunctive tense (imperfect) and the pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo are essential for conveying nuanced meanings. The examples I will give you in the video include these two tenses. 

The Role of “Como si” in Spanish

“Como si” translates to “as if” in English and is used to introduce hypothetical situations or comparisons. It often requires the use of the Imperfect Subjunctive in Spanish or the pluperfect subjunctive (pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo), depending on the context. With the use of “Como si + subjuntivo” I am trying to give you another way to express exactly the same message, but with this other intermediate-advanced grammar structure

“Habla como si hubiera estudiado mucho” (He speaks as if he had studied a lot).

“Vive como si no hubiera mañana” (He/she lives as if there were no tomorrow.).

Subjunctive Tenses in Spanish Grammar

Mastering the subjunctive tenses in Spanish grammar requires studying the present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, and pluperfect subjunctive. Each has unique uses and conjugations essential for fluency.

Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive – Learn and Practice

The Spanish imperfect subjunctive – learn and practice approach involves understanding its formation and usage. It is used to discuss past actions in a hypothetical or uncertain context. For example, “Habla como si fuera un experto”(He talks as if he were an expert).

Plueperfect Subjunctive Conjugations – Spanish Grammar

If you search a bit, you will find how many people talk about “plueperfect”, meaning “pretérito pluscuamperfecto”. English is a bit lazy sometimes, huh? I know it is long name, it just tha I am always surprised by the capacity of English to do these things and to see how English speakers instinctively know what those really strange terms you invent refer to.

Understanding the called plueperfect subjunctive conjugations – Spanish grammar is crucial. The conjugation involves the imperfect subjunctive form of “haber” followed by a past participle. For example:

  • Hubiera/hubiese hablado (I had spoken)
  • Hubieras/hubieses hablado (You had spoken)
  • Hubiera/hubiese hablado (He/She had spoken)

With this tense, you can form complex sentences that reflect hypothetical past actions. Mastering this can significantly improve your Spanish fluency.

How to Improve Your Spanish Speaking Skills

How Can I Become a More Fluent Spanish Speaker?

One of the ways to achieve greater fluency is to learn to say the same thing in a different way. At the beginning of learning Spanish, you learned simple verbs and simple vocabulary. With this structure that always uses the past subjunctive, you will be able to say the same thing but sound more advanced. So scroll up, and watch this video where I explain it better.

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