Expresiones Impersonales con el subjuntivo Apunte #

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Expresiones Impersonales con el subjuntivo Apunte #___

WEIRDO: I = Impersonal Expressions

There are many expressions in Spanish that are considered ‘impersonal” because they do not have a specific person as the subject in the first clause of the sentence. They are always conjugated in the él/ella/Usted form because the subject is “it.”  Es ______________ que…

An impersonal expression needs to express W.E.I.R.D.O. in order to be followed by the subjunctive. Do not assume just because a sentence starts with “es …. que” that the subjunctive will automatically follow! Not every impersonal expression uses subjunctive. For example, there are a few that completely eliminate doubt and are followed by the indicative, not the subjunctive. (see next page)

Expresiones impersonales que se usan con el subjuntivo:

  1. Conviene que = it is (not) advisable that

    • No conviene que visites sin llamar. Conviene que Ud. llame mañana.

    • It is not advisable that you visit without calling. It’s advisable that you call tomorrow.

2. Más vale que = it is better that/it’s for the best

    • Más vale que tus amigos te protejan.

    • It is better that your friends protect you.

3. Puede (ser) que = it may be that, it’s possible that

    1. Puede ser que Luis no siga asistiendo a esa escuela.

    2. It’s possible that Luis will not continue attending that school.

  1. Es absurdo que = it’s absurd that

  2. Es aceptable que = it’s (not) acceptable that

  3. Es bueno que = it is good that

    1. No es bueno que Daniel siempre se queje cuando tiene tarea.

    2. It is not good that Daniel always complains when he has homework.

  4. Es curioso que =It’s odd, strange, curious, weird that

  5. Es difícil que = it is unlikely that

    1. Es difícil que él devuelva tu periódico.

    2. It is unlikely that he will return your magazine.

  6. Es dudoso que/ hay duda que = it is doubtful that

    1. Es dudoso que almorcemos hoy. Hay duda que almorcemos hoy.

    2. It is doubtful that we will eat lunch today.

  7. Es extraño que =it’s odd, strange or weird that

  8. Es extraordinario que = it’s extraordinary, amazing that

  9. Es fácil que = it is likely that

    1. Es fácil que ellos castiguen al ladrón.

    2. It is likely that they will punish the thief.

  10. Es fantástico que = it is fantastic that

    1. Es fantástico que juegues jai alai.

    2. It is fantastic that you play jai alai.

  1. Es hora que = it is time that

    1. Es hora que empecemos a llevarnos bien

    2. Is it time that we start getting along

  2. Es horrible que = it’s horrible, dreadful, awful that

  3. Es importante que = it is important that

    1. Es importante que abraces a tus amigos .

    2. It is important that you hug your friends.

  4. Es imposible que = it is impossible that

    1. Es imposible que la televisión no influya en los niños.

    2. It is impossible that television does not influence children.

  5. Es improbable que = it is unlikely that

    1. Es improbable que Susana se ahogue porque ella nada bien.

    2. It is unlikely that Susan will drown because she swims well.

  6. Es inaceptable que = it’s inacceptable that

    1. Es inaceptable que entregues tu tarea tarde.

b. It’s unacceptable that you turn in your homework late.

  1. Es incierto que = it’s uncertain that

  2. Es increíble que = it is incredible that

    1. Es increíble que durmamos tantas horas cada noche.

    2. It is incredible that we sleep so many hours each night.

  3. Es interesante que = it’s interesting that

  4. Es injusto que/ no es justo que =it’s unfair that

  5. Es inútil que = there’s no point in…

    1. Es inútil que vayan ahora, ya es muy tarde.

    2. There’s no point in you all going now, it’s too late.

  6. Es justo que = it’s fair/just that

a. ¡No es justo que tengamos una prueba hoy!

b. It’s not fair that we have a test today!

  1. Es una lástima que = it is a shame that

    1. Es una lástima que Belinda ya tenga novio.

    2. It’s a shame that Belinda already has a boyfriend.

  2. Es malo que = it is bad that

    1. Es malo que contaminemos el medio ambiente.

    2. It is bad that we pollute the environment.

  3. Es maravilloso que (es una maravilla que) = it’s wonderful/amazing/incredible/awesome that

  4. Es mejor que = it is better that / best that/ for the best

    1. Es mejor que escojas algo muy cómodo.

    2. It is better that you choose something very comfortable.

  5. Es menester que = it’s necessary that

    1. Es menester que entreguen la solicitud lo más pronto posible.

    2. It’s necessary that you turn in the application as soon as possible.

  6. Es necesario que = it is (not) necessary that

    1. No es necesario que me convenzan.

    2. It is not necessary that you all convince me.

  7. Es normal que = it’s normal that

a. Es normal que llueva todo el invierno en Portland.

b. It’s normal that it rains all winter long in Portland.

  1. Es una pena que = it’s a pity / shame / sad that

a. Es una pena que vayas solo al baile.

b. It’s a pity you’re going to the dance alone.

  1. Es posible que = it is (not) possible that

    1. Es posible que tenga el periódico en casa.

    2. It is possible that I have the newspaper at home.

  2. Es preciso que = it is necessary that

    1. Es preciso que Uds. lleguen a tiempo.

    2. It is necessary that you arrive on time.

  3. Es preferible que = it is preferable that

    1. Es preferible que Manuela lo explique.

    2. It is preferable that Manuela explain it.

  4. Es raro que =it’s strange, odd, funny that

  5. Es ridículo que = it is ridiculous that

    1. Es ridículo que ella no sepa la dirección.

    2. It is ridiculous that she does not know the address.

  6. Es sorprendente que (es una sorpresa que) = it’s surprising that

  7. Es terrible que = it is terrible that

    1. Es terrible que los niños no se comuniquen con sus padres.

    2. It is terrible that kids do not communicate with their parents.

  8. Es triste que = it is sad that

    1. Es triste que Panchito no tenga un cuarto propio.

    2. It is sad that Panchito doesn’t have his own room.

  9. Es útil que = it’s useful/practical/helpful that

    1. Es útil que terminemos la tarea ya en vez de hacerla en casa.

    2. It’s useful that we finish the homework now instead of doing it at home.

  10. No es que = it’s not that

    1. No es que tenga planes, es que no tengo ínteres en salir con él.

    2. It’s not that I have plans, it’s just that I’m not interested in going out with him.

PERO = estas expresiones impersonales NO SE USAN con el subjuntivo ¡NUNCA!!! Bueno, casi nunca... ¿Por qué no? Because these impersonal expressions do not express wishes, nor emotions, nor requests. They express objectivity instead of subjectivity; they express total certainty instead of doubt. OJO: When used with “no” in a negative sense, you will use the subjunctive with all of these!

  1. Es/está claro que = it is clear/obvious that

    • Es claro que Mario le miente a su novia. No está claro que Mario le mienta a su novia.

    • It is clear that Mario lies to his girlfriend.

  1. Es cierto que = it is certain that

    1. Es cierto que no vivimos bastante. No es cierto que tengas un coche nuevo.

    2. It is certain that we do not live enough.

  2. Es evidente que = it is evident that

    1. Es evidente que la economía cambia. No es evidente que la economía cambie.

    2. It is evident that the economy changes.

4. Es un hecho que = it’s a fact that No es un hecho que sean novios.

  1. Es obvio que = it’s obvious that No es obvio que estés embarazada.

    1. Es obvio que Juan se cree muy inteligente.

    2. It’s obvious that Juan thinks he’s pretty smart.

  2. Es que = it just that

    1. Es que voy a perder mi vuelo si no me apuro. No es que vaya a perder mi vuelo.

    2. It’s just that I will miss my flight if I don’t hurry!

  3. Es una realidad que = it’s a reality that

    1. Es una realidad que hay mucha pobreza. No es una realidad que haya mucha pobreza.

    2. It’s a reality that there is a lot of poverty.

  4. Es verdad que = it is true that

    1. Es verdad que tú mereces buenas notas. No es verdad que merezcas buenas notas.

    2. It is true that you deserve good grades.

  5. Está / es seguro que = it’s certain, for sure that No está seguro que vayan mañana.

    1. Está seguro que van mañana.

    2. It’s certain that they are leaving tomorrow.

OJO: There are 3 impersonal expressions that must be negative in order to indicate certainty. When used with no, they DO NOT use the subjunctive. In their affirmative form,they are used with the subjunctive.

  1. no es dudoso que

  2. no hay duda que = there is no doubt that No hay duda que Roberto es el líder.

  3. no cabe duda que It is not doubtful that Rob is the leader.

PERO: Hay duda que Roberto sea el líder.

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