El subjuntivo después de ciertas conjunciones en cláusulas adverbiales

Now what?  More subjunctive?  ¡Sí!  This is the last major topic we'll be dealing with in regards to the present subjunctive.  We'll then look at the perfect and  past subjunctives- the uses are basically the same, just the tense changes.  Luego, we'll look at contrary to fact clauses and we'll be done- for all intents and purposes.  (Just so that you know where we are going with this.)

Now, to the topic of the day- Adverbial Clauses.  As always, we need to look at the meaning of this- adverbial clauses.

So, an adverbial clause is a group of words used to tell how, when or why something is being done.  The subjunctive is often found in adverbial clauses, as you will soon see.  These are always introduced by certain conjunctions- trailer hitches used to join clauses.  Up until now we have been using "QUE" as our only trailer hitch.  It's time to look at some others.

We have seen in our study of the subjunctive so far that the subjunctive is used in dependent clauses when something previously found in the sentence requires its use.  In noun clauses we used the subjunctive if the main clause verb or impersonal expression showed doubt, uncertainty, imposition of will, opinion, etc.  In adjective clauses we used it when the antecedent was indefinite or non-existent.  We will be using the subjunctive in adverbial clauses depending on the conjunction used to join the main and subordinate (adverbial in this case) clauses.  This can be tricky, so I've broken down the most common conjunctions into three categories based on their uses.  At first you will be required to determine the mood of the verb based on the conjunction (subjunctive? indicative? maybe even infinitive?), and so knowing in which group each conjunction belongs is important.  Eventually you will also have to create sentences using adverbial conjunctions.  Buena suerte.

There will be a set of rules to follow regarding the usage of the subjunctive after certain conjunctions in the adverbial clause.  I've broken the conjunctions down into three sections- ESCAPA A, CAMELoT, and HD3.  This is not a totally new concept- it's how I learned them.  Hopefully it will work for you.  But,  before you dive into the notes, you should review what you already know about the subjunctive.  What is it?  It's a mood.  It expresses some feeling about the action- it doesn't merely state that it happened (happens, will happen, etc.)  Quite often it is a feeling of uncertainty or doubt, ¿no?  If you keep this in mind, the use of the subjunctive in adverbial clauses after certain conjunctions may make sense.  Then again, maybe not.  If not, just remember the rules I give you.

As you do this, keep notes in your notebook, and answer these questions as you go.

Read on, or go do activities.


Cuando when...
Aunque although...
Mientras while...
En cuanto as soon as...
Luego que  as soon as...
Tan pronto como as soon as...

The rules to follow when in CAMELoT.
  • If the event is going to take place in the future, or if the event is uncertain or doubtful, the subjunctive must be used.
  • If the event does happen, or did happen for that matter, the indicative will be used. 
  • You can never use the infinitive after these!!

Te llamaré en cuanto (tan pronto como, luego quellegue al hotel.  I'll call you as soon as I arrive at the hotel. ( I haven't yet arrived.)
Ella siempre me llama en cuanto (tan pronto como, luego que) llega a casa.  She always calls me as soon as she gets home.  (It's what happens.)
Empieza los deberes cuando llegues a casa. Start the homework when you get home. (You aren't home yet.)
Empiezo los deberes cuando llego a casa. I start my  homework when I get home.  (It's what happens)
Yo saldré mientras ella venga a casa.  I'll leave when she is coming home.
Yo salgo mientras ella viene a casa.  I go out while she is coming home.

It may be followed by the indicative or the subjunctive, depending on the meaning of the sentence.

No va aunque tenga el dinero.  He's not going although he may have the money.  Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't.
No va aunque tiene el dinero.  He's not going although he does have the money. He does have it.  See the difference?

  • Know how to use AUNQUE.  Because it is a "grey" one- not black or white- it won't, or shouldn't- be on any AP or SAT test.

Read on, or go do activities.


HD3 Rules

If there is no "QUE", use infinitive

If there is a "QUE", follow CAMELoT rules:

  • If future or uncertainty is implied, use SUBJUNCTIVE.
  • If the action is (or was) certain, use INDICATIVE.

Ellos van a trabajar hasta que tengan bastante dinero para salir. They are going to work until they have enough money to leave.
Ellos trabajan hasta que el jefe les mandan salir.  They work until the boss tells them to leave.
Ellos trabajan hasta desplomarse. They work until passing out.

Me afeito después de ducharme. I shave after showering.
Salgo para la escuela después de que mis hijos se depiertan. I leave for school after my kids wake up.
Me acostaré después de que suenen las camapanas para el Año Nuevo. I'll go to bed after the bells for the New Year ring.

Go do HD3 activities

If you comprehend this, you are ready to do the activities.

If not, review this page again and look at the notes you took.  You also have a book to refer to, ¿verdad?  If you choose to look in a book, however, you may find that they have already coverred the past subjunctive.  It will look like the preterite  (hablara, dijera, viniera, etc.), so be careful.