We have some canonical Q-As (listed in ¿Qué preguntas canónicas tenemos? What are the canonical answers we've discovered over the years?), but we need more, so that we can point learners to some reliable information every time certain often-asked questions come up, such as subjunctive. Let's collect in one place a list of the top priority topics that we really ought to have a canonical answer for. I propose that we do it in a community wiki answer here.

(To come up with a canonical q-a, sometimes it's helpful to start with an existing Q-A and perhaps edit it a bit, sometimes it's better to start from scratch.)

This question came up when I read a recent question about the subjunctive from someone who knows stackexchange inside and out, but it looked as though they had apparently not read the basics about the subjunctive that have already been covered here. Then I realized that it is not easy to find the basics that have already been covered about the subjunctive here!


5 Answers 5


Subjunctive: an introduction

Maybe later someone would want to do something more complete, but I would like to see us get started with something introductory. I think Pablo or somebody like that already did this but I'm having trouble finding it.

What people want to know is, When should I use the subjunctive? There should be some examples from the basic tenses.

  • 2
    He añadido un par de entradas a la lista. El hacer la respuesta community wiki me parece buena idea, pero también va a hacer más dificil validar las aportaciones. Por ejemplo, si alguien no está de acuerdo conmigo que "ser vs estar" es una de las posibilidades hay que discutirlo vía comment. En respuestas separadas se puede votar cada entrada individual, lo que da más trabajo, pero valida cada entrada.
    – Diego
    Apr 29, 2019 at 13:55
  • @Diego buena observación. Podríamos empezar así y si la cosa se sale de madre ya lo repensamos, ¿qué te parece? Por otra parte, de ser vs estar ya tenemos canónica. Véase la lista completa de canónicas.
    – fedorqui
    Apr 29, 2019 at 17:43
  • I think @Diego is right, we should make separate posts, as in the page for tag housekeeping requests. Another advantage to Diego's proposal is that we can see what our priorities are. I've gotten that started now, but I didn't add ser, estar because I thought that was covered. If someone feels there's a gap, please write an answer with a broad description of what's needed. Apr 29, 2019 at 22:45

The "personal a" is an important topic for Spanish learners:

The same structure that works fine for inanimate objects, companies, etc., requires the preposition "a" if we put a person in place of the object or company. It comes naturally to Spanish speakers -- but it can trip up Spanish learners.

Simple example: Veo el coche. Veo a Laura. Veo una mesa. Veo a una niña.

There are lots of finer points that learners ask about.

  • @fedorqui - if we could get a tag set up for this topic, it would be easier for me to cite a bunch of questions that ask about the finer points. Jan 5, 2020 at 17:16
  • Indeed! Which tags are we using now for these questions? I cannot find any example of such questions. I see personal-a is now a synonym to [tag: preposiciones] (I created it) and probably something more self explanatory may work better
    – fedorqui
    Jan 5, 2020 at 21:22
  • @fedorqui - Gracias pero creo que no debe ser sinónimo de preposiciones sino subconjunto. // Hace poco creo que propuse una etiqueta para "personal a" y Charlie no estaba muy de acuerdo. Ah, ya encontré: spanish.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3277/9385 Jan 5, 2020 at 22:20

Ustedeo frente a tuteo: cuándo usar cada uno y cuál es la conjugación apropiada.

There will need to be a list of countries or regions for this, I think.


Negation. Learners ask about double negatives again and again. We need a small, canonical post that covers things like no combined with nunca, etc.

  • @walen - Thanks. We need synonyms to go with it -- maybe negation, negative, double-negative. Jul 1, 2019 at 21:16

Several times, people have asked questions about the redundant indirect object pronoun, and have either found the canonical question about "that funny le" or have been directed there. It would be good to have a short-ish q-a page about the redundancy, in one place, that we can point to for duplicate questions.

Also, maybe it would be good to have a tag for this.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .