12.2.1 the formation of the presente do conjuntivo

The endings of the presente do conjuntivo depend on the type of verb. The verbs ending in -ar in infinitiv forms the presente do conjuntivo with e (e, es,e,emos, em) and the verbs ending with -er or -ir with a (a, as, a, amos, am). It can't be otherwise, the forms en a and e are indicative.

We get the stem of the presente do conjuntivo, the stem is the basic form to which the corresponding endings are added, by leaving out the o of the first person presente do indicativo.

Some people might be induced to believe that we get the same stem by leaving out the endings of the infinitive and that works indeed with regular verbs. However the first rule, starting from the first person singular an leaving out the personal ending o is the better choice, because this rule works as well for most irregular verbs.

In the case of poder for instance the first rule is better. The subjunctive, called conjuntivo in Portuguese by the way, is possa, passas, possa etc.. If we start from the first person singular, posso, it works. If wie start from poder it doesn't work. With some verbs however, very few verbs, saber for instance, both procedures don't work. The first person singular is sei, but the subjunctive is eu saiba.

presente do conjuntivo lavar (to wash) esquecer (to forget) dormir (to sleep)
eu lavo eu esqueçoeu durmo
eulaveesqueçadurma
tu lavesesqueçasdurmas
ele / ela
você
o senhor / a senhora
laveesqueçadurma
nóslavemosesqueçamosdurmamos
eles / elas
vocês
os senhores / as senhoras
lavem


esqueçam

duram



In the case of the irregular verbs there are no rules. We must simply learn them by heart.

presente do conjuntivoserquererestarsaber
eu sou eu queroeu seu
eu seja queira esteja saiba
tu sejas queiras estejas saibas
ele / ela
você
o senhor / a senhora
seja queira esteja saiba
nós sejamos queiramos estejamos saibamos
eles / elas
vocês
os senhores / as senhoras
sejam

queiram

estejam

saibam



The conjuntivo is used after verbs, conjunctions, idiomatic expressions, relative clauses that express a subjective attitude towards the world, uncertainty or irreality. This embraces a wide range of contexts. The following list is not complete.

1) after verbs like advise, agree, wish etc.,
2) in relative clauses when the relative clause describes a wish,
3) in relative clauses when the relative clause describes something inexistent,
4) after conjunction that describes a goal, like in order to or uncertainty like perhaps,
5) in indirect speech if the indirect speech contains an order,
6) after idiomatic expressions that express uncertainty like "It is possible",
7) after idiomatic expressions that expresses a subjective attitude toward the reality like "It would be great".


It is useful to understand the difference between a) "I know that he does it" and b) "I hope that he does it". a) is neutral. It is a fact. We don't know whether he fears or hopes that someone comes or whether he cares or not. We don't know anything about the subjective attitude of the speaker. In b) the speaker is emotionally involved.

The presente do conjuntivo is used when the verb it depends on is in a tense of the present, in general the present tense. If the verb the conjuntivo depends on is in a tense of the past, wie use the imperfeito do conjuntivo, see imperfeito do conjuntivo.

1) after verbs like to wish, to hope, to doubt etc.
gostar = to like eu gosto => goste
Eu espero que você goste.
I hope that you like
I hope that you like it.
saber = to know => saiba irregular
Quero que você saiba que o seu sorriso ilumina meus dias e me faz sorrir.
Wish that you know that the your smile illumates my days and me makes smile.
I wish you to know that your smile illuminates my days and makes me smile.
casarse = to marry eu caso-me => se case
Duvido que ele se case com ela.
Doubt that he himself marries with her.
I doubt that he will marry her.
2) in a relative clause if the relative clause describes a wish
saber = to know => saiba irregular
Procuro uma secretária que saiba italiano.
Look foor a secretary that can Italian.
I am looking for a secretary fluent in Italian.
ter = to have eu tenho => tenha
Quero um prato que não tenha muito sal.
Want a dish that not has a lot of salt.
I want to eat something not so salty.
3) in relative clauses if the relative clause describes something inexistent
conhecer = to know eu conheço => conheça
Não mora aqui ninguém que eu conheça.
Not lives here nobody that I know.
Nobody known to me is living here.
poder = to be able to eu posso => possa
Não existe nada que alguém possa fazer.
Not there is that anybody can do.
There is nothing that can be done.
4) after conjunction that introduces a subordinate clause that expresses uncertainty, condition, contradiction
ficar = to stay, bleiben => fique irregular
Siga a receita para que o bolo fique bom.
Follow the receipt in order to the cake remains good.
Follow the receipt if you want your cake to be a success.
dar = to give => dê irregular
Vamos tentar até que certo.
Go try until gives correct.
We will try until we get it right.
ser = to bee => seja irregular
Vamos antes que seja tarde.
Go before is late.
Let's go before it is too late.
queixarse = to complain eu queixo => queixes
Faço isto tudo para que não te queixes.
Do this all so that not you not complain.
I do all all this so that you don't complain.
5) in indirect speech if the indirect speech contains an order
sair = to leave eu saio => saiam
Ele ordena que todos vocês saiam daqui.
He orders that all you leave from here.
He orders you to go away.
obedecer = to obey eu obedeço => obedeças
A lua e as estrelas ordenam que obedeças à minha voz.
The moon and the stars order that obey to the my voice.
The moon and the stars order you to follow my voice.
6) after idiomatic expressions, adverbs and adverbials that describe uncertainty
facer = to make eu faço => façam
É importante que eles façam o dever de casa.
Is important that they make the tasks of home.
It is important that they do their homework.
chegar = to arrive eu chego => chegue
Talvez ele chegue atrasado.
Perhaps he comes late.
Perhaps he comes late.
7) after idiomatic expressions that describe a subjective attitude to the world
ser = to be => seja irregular
Estou feliz que seja meu irmão.
Am happy that is my brother
I am happy that he is my brother.
estar = sein => esteja irregular
É possível que também esteja contaminada.
Is possible that as well is contaminated.
It is possible that he is contaminated as well.





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