Conjugate estar in El Imperfecto de Subjuntivo

We use El Imperfecto Subjuntivo in some subordinate clauses and in particularly polite requests.

Rather unusually, this tense has two conjugation forms. Take a look at estar conjugations in El Imperfecto Subjuntivo:

Conjugation 1 (used widely in speech in Spain, Latin America and South America)

yo estuviera
estuvieras
él / ella / Ud. estuviera
nosotros / nosotras  estuviéramos
vosotros / vosotras estuvierais
ellos / ellas / Uds.   estuvieran

 Conjugation 2 (used more in written language and in Spain)

yo estuviese
estuvieses
él / ella / Ud. estuviese
nosotros / nosotras  estuviésemos
vosotros /vosotras estuvieseis
ellos / ellas / Uds.   estuviesen

Read and listen to these examples:

Ojalá yo estuviera en Las Vegas ahora mismo.
I wish I were in Las Vegas right now.

Ojalá yo estuviese en una playa desierta.
I wish I were on a deserted beach.

Sería maravilloso que tú estuvieras de acuerdo en todo.
It would be wonderful if you agreed with everything.

Tal vez tú no estuvieses con tus amigos antes.
Maybe you weren't with your friends before.

Quizás mi novio estuviera enfermo ese día.
Maybe my boyfriend was ill that day.

Quizás ella no estuviese en Madrid en vacaciones.
Maybe she wasn't in Madrid on holiday.

No creo que nosotros estuviéramos enamorados de verdad.
I don't think that we were truly in love.

Ojalá nosotras estuviésemos en Brasil.
I wish we were in Brazil.

Tal vez vosotros estuvierais contentos por vuestro ascenso.
Maybe you were happy about your promotion.

No admitía que vosotras estuvieseis enfadadas con vuestros maridos.
She wouldn't admit that you were angry with your husbands.

Quizás ellos estuvieran satisfechos con el tiempo en verano.
Maybe they were satisfied with the weather in the summer.

Quizás mis amigas estuviesen de crucero por el Mediterráneo.
Maybe my friends were on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ojalá yo estuviera en Las Vegas ahora mismo.
I wish I were in Las Vegas right now.


Quizás mi novio estuviera enfermo ese día.
Maybe my boyfriend was ill that day.


No creo que nosotros estuviéramos enamorados de verdad.
I don't think that we were truly in love.


Tal vez tú no estuvieses con tus amigos antes.
Maybe you weren't with your friends before.


Quizás ellos estuvieran satisfechos con el tiempo en verano.
Maybe they were satisfied with the weather in the summer.


Sería maravilloso que tú estuvieras de acuerdo en todo.
It would be wonderful if you agreed with everything.


Ojalá nosotras estuviésemos en Brasil.
I wish we were in Brazil.


Quizás mis amigas estuviesen de crucero por el Mediterráneo.
Maybe my friends were on a cruise in the Mediterranean.


Tal vez vosotros estuvierais contentos por vuestro ascenso.
Maybe you were happy about your promotion.


Quizás ella no estuviese en Madrid en vacaciones.
Maybe she wasn't in Madrid on holiday.


No admitía que vosotras estuvieseis enfadadas con vuestros maridos.
She wouldn't admit that you were angry with your husbands.


Ojalá yo estuviese en una playa desierta.
I wish I were on a deserted beach.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 6 answers

EmanuelB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ojalá yo estuviera in...

What difference would it make if I used esté instead of estuviera?

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Emanuel

The difference between Ojalá (que) + Present subjunctive and  Ojalá (que) + Imperfect subjunctive is simply a question of possibility. 

With the present subjunctive we express a wish that we see as a possibility.

Ojalá apruebe el examen mañana.

With the Imperfect subjunctive we express a wish that we really consider very difficult to achieve/happen.

Ojalá aprobara el examen mañana. (very unlikely to happen)

Hope this helped.

Saludos

Inma

 

Ojalá yo estuviera in...

What difference would it make if I used esté instead of estuviera?

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GennadyB2Kwiziq community member

¿admitía o admitiría?

In one of the examples above, shouldn't  it be admitiría? Or the translation should be She didn't admit 

No admitía que vosotras estuvieseis enfadadas con vuestros maridos.
She wouldn't admit that you were angry with your husbands.


Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Gennady

The Spanish in this case doesn't admit "admitiría".

We have this sentence in Spanish:

No admitía que vosotras estuvieseis enfadadas con vuestros maridos.

This could mean two things:

1. She didn't admit that you were angry with your husbands. In this case it is a simple statement in the past. (She didn't admit...), or

2. She wouldn't admit that you were angry with your husbands. In this case, it is implying that there was some kind of pressure on her to admit that, but she wouldn't, as if she was stubborn and wouldn't do it. This is what we went for in the English translation. For this specific meaning, in English you would use the conditional "she wouldn't..." even when referring to a past event, but in Spanish we cannot use the conditional to convey this; we use the past tense "No admitía..."

If you see this other typical example where in English the conditional is used, but in Spanish that wouldn't work; imagine you are trying to feed your son but he refuses to eat his food. The result is you end up giving up because it was impossible. Then the next day you are telling this to a friend:

"...and he WOULDN'T eat his food!

In Spanish if this happened, we wouldn't use the conditional, we would say:

"¡...y no se comía/comió la comida!

I hope this helps,

Saludos

Inma

¿admitía o admitiría?

In one of the examples above, shouldn't  it be admitiría? Or the translation should be She didn't admit 

No admitía que vosotras estuvieseis enfadadas con vuestros maridos.
She wouldn't admit that you were angry with your husbands.


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William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Origin of ojala

What is the infinitive of this verb. Ojala means is translated here as "I wish". What is the translation of "He wishes, you wish, we wish and they wish" for this verb
Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member
Hola William Ojalá is an invariable word that comes from the Arabic and is usually translated into "I wish..." or as "God willing", as it expresses hope and wish. It is not a verb so it doesn't conjugate. Ojalá is always followed by the subjunctive. I hope it clarified your doubt. Inma
InmaKwiziq team member
Here is a specific lesson on Ojalá so you can see more examples (bear in mind this lesson is only dealing with the present subjunctive not the imperfect subjunctive though) Using ojalá + El Presente de Subjuntivo to express hope (present subjunctive)
William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Yes, it did. Thank you.
EmanuelB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

It comes from "In Shá' Alláh". It even sound similarly as the h in Allah is not usually pronounced.

Origin of ojala

What is the infinitive of this verb. Ojala means is translated here as "I wish". What is the translation of "He wishes, you wish, we wish and they wish" for this verb

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