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Using the Spanish subjunctive with impersonal expressions

Look at these examples of impersonal statements using the Modo subjuntivo:

Es necesario que Jaime estudie más.It is necessary for Jaime to study more.

Es genial que podamos aparcar aquí.It is great that we can park here.

Es imprescindible que hayamos entendido esta lección.It is essential that we have understood this lesson.

Es aconsejable que dejemos de fumar para que nuestra salud mejore.It is advisable that we give up smoking so that our health improves.

These examples above are all using:

ser + adjective + que...

Similar impersonal expressions use:

estar + adverb + que ...

 

These also follow the same pattern.

Some examples are:

Está bien que ahorres un poco todos los meses.It's good that you save a little every month.


Está muy mal que no permitan a la gente aparcar aquí.It's not good that they don't allow people to park here.

 

Exceptions: impersonal statements using the Modo indicativo

Most impersonal expressions that use the formula

ser + adjective + que 

use the Modo subjuntivo as long as they do not express:

  • a truth (or something that is presented as a truth with a phrase like es verdad que)
  • a certainty (like es cierto que)
  • a fact (like es un hecho que)

Phrases beginning with these expressions instead use the Modo indicativo. Take a look at these examples: 

Es verdad que los hombres son de Marte y las mujeres de Venus.It is true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

Es verdad que tuvieron mucho éxito en la campaña electoral.It is true that they were very successful in the election campaign.

Es cierto que Einstein desarrolló la teoría de la relatividad.It is certain that Einstein developed the theory of relativity.

Es cierto que irán al concierto de Julio Iglesias la semana que viene.It is certain that they will go to Julio Iglesias's concert next week.

Es un hecho que no volaríamos al aeropuerto de Los Ángeles.It is a fact that we wouldn't fly to Los Angeles airport.

Es un hecho que hay mucha pobreza e injusticia en el mundo.It is a fact that there is a lot of poverty and injustice in the world.

 

Negative forms use the Modo subjuntivo

However, phrases beginning with the negative forms of the above phrases (no es verdad que..., etc.) also use the Modo subjuntivo. For example:

No es cierto que mi hermano venga a la fiesta.It is not true that my brother is coming to the party.

No es un hecho que hayan aprobado los examenes.It is not a fact that they have passed the exams.

No es verdad que mis amigos beban demasiado los sábados.It is not true that my friends drink too much on Saturdays.

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Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

No está bien que colabores tan poco en las tareas.It's not OK that you collaborate so little in the chores.
Es aconsejable que dejemos de fumar para que nuestra salud mejore.It is advisable that we give up smoking so that our health improves.
Está bien que ahorres un poco todos los meses.It's good that you save a little every month.
No es un hecho que hayan aprobado los examenes.It is not a fact that they have passed the exams.
Es un hecho que no volaríamos al aeropuerto de Los Ángeles.It is a fact that we wouldn't fly to Los Angeles airport.
Es cierto que Einstein desarrolló la teoría de la relatividad.It is certain that Einstein developed the theory of relativity.
Es necesario que Jaime estudie más.It is necessary for Jaime to study more.
No es aconsejable que viajes sola a ese lugar.It is not advisable for you to travel alone to that place.
Es genial que podamos aparcar aquí.It is great that we can park here.
No es cierto que mi hermano venga a la fiesta.It is not true that my brother is coming to the party.
Es verdad que tuvieron mucho éxito en la campaña electoral.It is true that they were very successful in the election campaign.
No es verdad que mis amigos beban demasiado los sábados.It is not true that my friends drink too much on Saturdays.
Es cierto que irán al concierto de Julio Iglesias la semana que viene.It is certain that they will go to Julio Iglesias's concert next week.
Es un hecho que hay mucha pobreza e injusticia en el mundo.It is a fact that there is a lot of poverty and injustice in the world.
Es posible que mañana haga bastante calor.It is possible that tomorrow is quite hot.
Es verdad que los hombres son de Marte y las mujeres de Venus.It is true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
Está muy mal que no permitan a la gente aparcar aquí.It's not good that they don't allow people to park here.
Es imprescindible que hayamos entendido esta lección.It is essential that we have understood this lesson.
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