Expressing desires and wishes in Spanish with subjunctive (B1)

Expressing desires and wishes in Spanish with subjunctive

It is always good to have good wishes. If something that we usually do when starting a letter or email or when we say goodbye. In Spanish, we have three different main ways to do it, and most of the time we need the subjunctive, so it would be good that you review the conjugation of the present of the subjunctive.

Wishes in Spanish with the subjunctive

Expressing wishes with another verb

 Wishes in Spanish are expressed with the subjunctive when the subject expresses a desire for action by another person or other people

Quiero que estudies español (I want you to study Spanish).

Esperamos que no lleguen tarde (We hope they don’t arrive late).

Mis padres prefieren que estudie (My parents prefer that I study).

When the action of the second verb is to be performed by the subject of the first verb, an infinitive construction is used instead of the subjunctive. Compare:

Quiero estudiar (I want to study).

Quiero que estudies (I want you to study).

Preferimos comer aquí (We prefer to eat here).

Preferimos que los niños coman aquí (We prefer that the children eat here).

Using "OJALÁ" to express a wish

The present subjunctive is used always after ojalá (que) to express a strong wish:

Ojalá (que) me toque la lotería (I hope I win the lottery).

Ojalá (que) tengan éxito con ese negocio (I hope they’re successful with that business deal).

Ojalá (que) no llueva mañana (I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow).

The Spanish word ojalá is one of the most striking borrowings from Arabic in Spanish. It derives from the Arabic phrase inshallah, meaning would to Allah.

Que + subjunctive

A clause beginning with “Que” followed by a verb in the subjunctive can also be used to express wishes.

¡Que tengas mucha suerte! (Best of luck to you!).

Que te vaya bien (All the best to you).

Que duermas bien (Sleep well).

These expressions are usually used to wish something to a person that we are speaking to, it is very polite to use them. 

Wishes in Spanish, exercises

Finally, let’s practice what you have learned with the quiz below, and remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

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