Using the subjunctive with verbs that express "wish" and "feeling"

When we introduce a sentence with a verb that expresses wish or feeling, either affirmative or negative, it is followed by the subjunctive. For example:

  • "deseo que" (I wish that...)
  • "me preocupa que..." (I worry that...)
  • "prefiero que..." (I prefer...) 

Let's see some examples expressing "wish":

Yo prefiero que Belén estudie arquitectura.
I prefer Belén to study architecture.

Te deseo que seas muy feliz en el futuro.
I wish you happiness for the future.

Ella no quiere que sus padres se separen.
She doesn't want her parents to separate.

Let's see some examples expressing "feeling":

No me apetece que vengáis a visitarme.
I don't feel like having you come to visit me.

A Carmen le gusta que Marcos se muestre simpático con su familia.
Carmen likes that Marcos acts friendly with her family.

Me alegra mucho que Miguel haya conseguido un trabajo nuevo.
I am really glad that Miguel has got a new job.

 Here are some more common "wish" or "feeling" phrases which apply this rule:

  • Me alegra que... (It makes me happy that...)
  • No me molesta que... (It doesn't bother me that...)
  • Me da igual que... (I don't care if...)
  • No me importa que... (I don't mind if...)
  • Me encanta que... (I love that...)

Have a look and listen to these examples:

A Gerardo no le molesta que yo ponga la música alta.
It doesn't bother Gerardo that I play music loudly.

A mis amigos no les importa que yo use su ordenador.
My friends don't mind me using their computer.

No nos importa que vosotros no queráis vernos más.
We don't care if you don't want to see us again.

Important

Notice how in all the sentences above the subject of the introductory phrase is not the same as the one in the subordinate phrase:

Te deseo que seas muy feliz en el futuro.
deseo = I wish / seas = you are 

This condition must be met in order to use the subjunctive in sentences that express "wish" and "feeling".

However, if the subject is the same in the main and subordinate clause, we would use the infinitive (-ar,-er,-ir form) instead:

For example:

Deseo ser feliz en el futuro.
Notice there is no "que" in this case.
I wish to be happy in the future. (=I wish that I am happy in the future.)

See also:

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Te deseo que seas muy feliz en el futuro.
I wish you happiness for the future.


A mis amigos no les importa que yo use su ordenador.
My friends don't mind me using their computer.


No me apetece que vengáis a visitarme.
I don't feel like having you come to visit me.


Me alegra mucho que Miguel haya conseguido un trabajo nuevo.
I am really glad that Miguel has got a new job.


Yo prefiero que Belén estudie arquitectura.
I prefer Belén to study architecture.


A Carmen le gusta que Marcos se muestre simpático con su familia.
Carmen likes that Marcos acts friendly with her family.


Ella no quiere que sus padres se separen.
She doesn't want her parents to separate.


A Gerardo no le molesta que yo ponga la música alta.
It doesn't bother Gerardo that I play music loudly.


No nos importa que vosotros no queráis vernos más.
We don't care if you don't want to see us again.


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