Quiz – The Subjunctive in Noun Clauses

Learn to identify the noun clause in a sentence, and then when to use the subjunctive vs the indicative within the noun clause.

What is a Noun Clause?

A subordinate noun clause is introduced by the conjunction QUE. It contains a subject and a conjugated verb and takes the role of a noun within the sentence. Just like a noun, it can act as the subject or the direct object of the verb in the main clause. It answers the question, “What?”


Identify the subordinate noun clause:

  1. Deseo que me acompañes al baile.
    ¿Qué deseas? … que me acompañes al baile?
  2. Es cierto que te voy a acompañar.
    ¿Cuál es cierto? …. que te voy a acompañar.
  3. Me sorprende que Francisco vaya a clase todos los días.
    ¿Qué te sorprende? … que Francisco vaya a clases todos los días.

When do we use the subjunctive in the subordinate noun clause?


  1. When the main clause expresses INFLUENCE over the action expressed in the subordinate noun clause. For example, when you want, hope, or need something to occur, you express that action or event in the subjunctive.
    Ej: Necesito que asistas a clase.
  2. When the main clause expresses an EMOTIONAL RESPONSE OR VALUE JUDGEMENT regarding the action or event expressed in the subordinate noun clause.
    Ej: Me enfada que ellos fumen en case.
  3. When the main clause expresses DENIAL, DOUBT OR UNCERTAINTY regarding the action or event expressed in the subordinate noun clause.
    Ej: No estoy segura que puedan ir.

We otherwise use the indicative to simply state our perceived reality.



Es probable
It will likely rain this afternoon.
Es probable que llueva esta tarde.

I need you to come with me.
Necesito que me acompañes.

I want to live in Italy.
Deseo vivir en Italia.
I want you to visit me in Italy.
Deseo que me visites en Italia.

Es cierto
It’s true that I work here.
Es cierto que trabajo aqui.

Es importante
It’s importante to keep still.
Es importante quedarse quieto.

It’s important that you keep still.
Es importante que te quedes quieto/a.

No era posible
It wasn’t possible for her to continue working.
No era posible que siguiera / siguiese trabajando.

Me molestó
It bothered me that they hadn’t studied for the test.
Me molestó que no hubieran / hubiesen estudiado para el examen.

Te ruego
I beg you to stop.
Te ruego que pares.

Tengo miedo
I’m afraid that they can hear us.
Tengo miedo que nos puedan oír.

Me temo
I’m afraid there are no rooms available.
Me temo que no hay habitaciones disponibles.

Más vale
It’s better to tell the truth.
Más vale decir la verdad.

You better tell the truth.
Más vale que digas la verdad.

I doubted that we could do it.
Dudaba que pudiéramos hacerlo.

EXTRA CREDIT: (Not included in the podcast, as not to cause confusion.)

I doubted that I could do it.
Dudaba que pudiera hacerlo.*
Dudaba poder hacerlo.

*Unlike in the examples above involving verbs and expressions of influence, the subjunctive sometimes follow verbs of emotion and doubt even when the subject remains the same.

Quizlet Set


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