Using que to express purpose in Spanish

Learn how to use the Spanish que for purpose

The Spanish conjunction que is sometimes used to express a purpose. Generally the subordinate clause using que comes after a main clause using the imperative.

Here are some examples:

Escóndete detrás de ese árbol, que no te vean.Hide behind that tree, so they won't see you.

Deja los documentos encima de mi escritorio, que yo los pueda firmar mañana a primera hora.Leave the documents on my desk, so that I can sign them first thing tomorrow.

Habla más alto, que te escuchen los de la última fila.Speak louder, so that those on the back row can hear you.

Ponte a un lado, que pueda leer lo que hay en la pizarra.Stand to the side, so I can read what's on the board.

Cierra la ventana, que no entren moscas.Close the window, so that the flies can't come in.

 

Notice how the clause with que expresses the finality of the command expressed previously. This construction is used colloquially.

Also notice how the subjunctive is always used with que in this context. It's incorrect to use the indicative because essentially this is a shorter version of the conjunction para que, which always takes the subjunctive. 

  • Cierra la ventana, que no entran las moscas. (incorrect with the indicative)
  • Cierra la ventana para que no entran las moscas. (incorrect with the indicative)

 

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Examples and resources

Habla más alto, que te escuchen los de la última fila.Speak louder, so that those on the back row can hear you.
Deja los documentos encima de mi escritorio, que yo los pueda firmar mañana a primera hora.Leave the documents on my desk, so that I can sign them first thing tomorrow.
Escóndete detrás de ese árbol, que no te vean.Hide behind that tree, so they won't see you.
Cierra la ventana, que no entren moscas.Close the window, so that the flies can't come in.
Ponte a un lado, que pueda leer lo que hay en la pizarra.Stand to the side, so I can read what's on the board.
I'll be right with you...