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Expressing doubt and denial in Spanish

07 Nov, 2017 Spanish for Beginners
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In this lesson, we will learn how to express doubt, disbelief, and denial in Spanish using the present subjunctive. The subjunctive is one of three moods in Spanish. It is often used to talk about doubts, possibilities, desires, and wishes. The other two Spanish moods are the indicative and the imperative.

Expressing doubt and denial in Spanish

Common verbs to express doubt and denial

dudarto doubt
nopensarto not think
no estar seguroto be unsure
no comprenderto not understand
no creerto not believe
negarto deny
no suponerto not assume
no parecerto not seem
ser posible to be possible
no es posibleto be not possible
ser imposibleto be impossible
no ser verdadto be not true
ser dudosoto be doubtful
no ser seguroto be not sure
no ser probableto be not probable

Verbs that follow the verbs "comprender" (to understand), "pensar" (to think), "creer" (to believe), "parecer" (to seem), "estar seguro" (to be sure), and "suponer" (to assume) are normally used in the indicative.

Verbs that follow that negated forms of the above verbs (no comprender, no estar seguro, etc) are normally used in the subjunctive.

Express doubt and denial in Spanish

Expressing doubt, denial, and certainty using subjunctive and indicative in Spanish

There are often three main parts to a subjunctive sentence:

  • Two subjects
  • Relative pronoun (que, quien, como)
  • The trigger (verb or expression that signals that subjunctive is needed)
  • Two clauses

When we use impersonal expressions, "ser" is conjugated in the third person singular. The word "It" in English doesn't have an equivalence in Spanish.

For examples:

No es cierto que España no tenga un Rey - It is not true that Spain doesn't have a king

Creo que te va a gustar esta canción - I think you're going to like this song (indicative)

No creo que te vaya a gustar esta canción - I don't think you're going to like this song (subjunctive)

Dudo que él tenga mi número de teléfono - I doubt that he has my phone number

No parece que vaya a mejorar la situación - It doesn't appear that the situation will improve

No es probable que el ministro vaya a renunciar - It is not probable that the minister is going to quit

See also: Making recommendations and giving advice in Spanish

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