Cuando + El Presente de Subjuntivo vs Cuando + El Presente de Indicativo

Cuando (When) is followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood, to express an intention to make it happen in the future.

Read and listen to these examples:

Cuando sea mayor, seré médico.
When I am older, I will be a doctor.

Cuando vayas al mercado compra fruta y verdura.
When you go to the market, buy fruit and vegetables.

Cuando estemos de vacaciones no usaré el móvil.
When we are on holidays I won't use the mobile phone.

Cuando os tumbéis en la playa poneos la crema solar.
When you lie down on the beach put some suncream on.

Cuando comáis esta noche recoged los platos.
When you eat tonight, put the dishes away.

Cuando tus hermanos lleguen será muy tarde.
When your brothers arrive it will be very late.

Note: Cuando can be followed by either the indicative or subjunctive. El Presente de Indicativo expresses that something actually happens. 

See these two similar examples, one with indicative and one with subjunctive:

In this sentence the going on holidays to Tenerife really happens.

Cuando voy de vacaciones a Tenerife me hospedo en el hotel Olimpia.
When I go on holiday to Tenerife I stay at the hotel Olimpia.

In this next sentence the going on holidays to Tenerife has not happened. It is a future idea. Notice that the future tense follows the subjunctive here.

Cuando vaya de vacaciones a Tenerife me hospedaré en el hotel Olimpia.
When I [will] go on holiday to Tenerife I will stay at the hotel Olimpia.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Cuando vayas al mercado compra fruta y verdura.
When you go to the market, buy fruit and vegetables.


Cuando comáis esta noche recoged los platos.
When you eat tonight, put the dishes away.


Cuando vaya de vacaciones a Tenerife me hospedaré en el hotel Olimpia.
When I [will] go on holiday to Tenerife I will stay at the hotel Olimpia.


Cuando os tumbéis en la playa poneos la crema solar.
When you lie down on the beach put some suncream on.


Cuando voy de vacaciones a Tenerife me hospedo en el hotel Olimpia.
When I go on holiday to Tenerife I stay at the hotel Olimpia.


Cuando sea mayor, seré médico.
When I am older, I will be a doctor.


Cuando estemos de vacaciones no usaré el móvil.
When we are on holidays I won't use the mobile phone.


Cuando tus hermanos lleguen será muy tarde.
When your brothers arrive it will be very late.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 11 answers

EmanuelB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

La crema solar

Is it necessary to use definite article? What difference would it make if we dropped la?

Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Emanuel

In this sentence:

Cuando os tumbéis en la playa poneos la crema solar.

When you lie down on the beach put some suncream on.

you can drop the article if you want. If you do, then the speaker is thinking about "crema solar" in a genaral way as in "any suncream".  Using the article means that the speaker is probably thinking about a specific suncream, i.e. a bottle of suncream that he/she knows they have  in their bag, for example. 

Another example could be:

1. Pon cucharas en la mesa para comer el postre. (general-any spoons)

2. Pon las cucharas en la mesa para comer el postre. (specific- thinking about the spoons they have in the drawer, for example)

I hope this helps,

Inma

La crema solar

Is it necessary to use definite article? What difference would it make if we dropped la?

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PapiB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

subjunctive vs imperative (command)

I know I have brought this up before, but I think, after seeing this example, I should bring it up again.  Please see the following example:

Cuando comáis esta noche recoged los platos.When you eat tonight, put the dishes away.

From my understanding, the word "recojed" is not subjunctive. It is the vosotros command form used in Spain for plural family and friends (you plural -vosotros form).  The subjunctive would be recojáis (which is both subjunctive and imperative). It appears that "recojed" is only in the  command from, a different tree in grammar.  

I noticed  that others have questioned the use of the imperative.  You hold stedfast that what you are using is the subjunctive, but as learners, we find that there are some differences.  For me, the use of "recojed" would be the imperative.

I have made this distinction in other exercises that use commands as subjunctive.  Maybe I am still missing something, but every verb book/site I reference for the verb trees, makes this distinction.  

In the case of the example above, I don't believe it would change the meaning, However, in some cases when the command has been switched for the subjunctive, the meaning feels different to me.  

Thank you for your consideration!

Asked 6 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Papi

In this example you are referring to:

 Cuando comáis esta noche recoged los platos.

(When you eat tonight, put the dishes away.)

"recoged" is indeed the imperative form of vosotros, it is not a subjunctive form. In this lesson we are talking about "cuando" being folllowed by either the subjunctive or the indicative. With this sentence we are indicating a case where cuando is followed by the subjunctive: "comáis" (not recoged). Recoged is part of the main clause "Recoged los platos/cuando comáis esta noche".

I think we are thinking differently to what we understand by 1. a command 2. the imperative 3. the present subjunctive. 

Both the imperative and the present subjunctive can be used to express a command in Spanish. We don't use the word command to indicate a specific tense. There are actually other forms to express a command in Spanish, including the infinitive. 

There is a place in Kwiziq dedicated to explain these concepts. This will clarify it for you.

Have a look:

https://spanish.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/sentence-types/dar-ordenes-hacer-peticiones

https://spanish.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/sentence-types/dar-ordenes-hacer-peticiones

Saludos

Inma

 

subjunctive vs imperative (command)

I know I have brought this up before, but I think, after seeing this example, I should bring it up again.  Please see the following example:

Cuando comáis esta noche recoged los platos.When you eat tonight, put the dishes away.

From my understanding, the word "recojed" is not subjunctive. It is the vosotros command form used in Spain for plural family and friends (you plural -vosotros form).  The subjunctive would be recojáis (which is both subjunctive and imperative). It appears that "recojed" is only in the  command from, a different tree in grammar.  

I noticed  that others have questioned the use of the imperative.  You hold stedfast that what you are using is the subjunctive, but as learners, we find that there are some differences.  For me, the use of "recojed" would be the imperative.

I have made this distinction in other exercises that use commands as subjunctive.  Maybe I am still missing something, but every verb book/site I reference for the verb trees, makes this distinction.  

In the case of the example above, I don't believe it would change the meaning, However, in some cases when the command has been switched for the subjunctive, the meaning feels different to me.  

Thank you for your consideration!

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HansC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cuando + subjunctiv + imperativ (=future intention?)

Is it correct that when there is a imperativ in a cuando sentence it is about a future intention? The example in the lesson is "cuando vayas al mercado compra fruta y verdura". Because you want to happen it in the future it is vayas and not vas. Is that correct? I had a hard time understanding this, there is only 1 example with the imperativ, and it is not mentioned in the lesson. The rest in with the much more easier simple future.
Asked 1 year ago
HansC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
sorry, there are more examples. But an imperativ as a future intention remains strange for me.
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Hans,

What we use after cuando to express a future intention is the Present Subjunctive. All the examples in the lesson that want to express a future intention have the present subjunctive. It may sound strange because it doesn't happen in English. In English in both cases, facts and future intentions with cuando, are expressed in the same way:

"When I go to Italy I will visit Rome."(future intention)

"When I go to Italy I visit Rome."(fact, everytime you go to Italy. It does happen)

We would use "Cuando vaya..." in the first example, but would use "Cuando voy..." in the second.

I hope it helps.

Thanks for your question.

Inma

HansC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I just have trouble with the imperativ:

When you go to Italy, visit Rome! (future intention)

I didnt understand from the text that this is a future intention, as it is not a future time.

Cuando + subjunctiv + imperativ (=future intention?)

Is it correct that when there is a imperativ in a cuando sentence it is about a future intention? The example in the lesson is "cuando vayas al mercado compra fruta y verdura". Because you want to happen it in the future it is vayas and not vas. Is that correct? I had a hard time understanding this, there is only 1 example with the imperativ, and it is not mentioned in the lesson. The rest in with the much more easier simple future.

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MeghanB2Kwiziq community member

¿Dónde quieres comer cuando salgamos esta noche?

In order to use salgamos wouldn't querer need to be in the future -querrás? At least that is what I thought according to the lesson, but the choices in the question only gave answers using quieres so I didn't know how to apply the lesson to this question.
Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hi Meghan, we sometimes use the present tense to express "future" like in this case, especially with "querer+infinitive". This lesson is about using either the subjunctive or the indicative after "cuando", that's why it needs the subjunctive. You could easily say this as well without changing the meaning: "¿Dónde querrás comer cuando salgamos esta noche?" but both options are expressing a future idea in the first part of the sentence. It sounds more natural to say in Spanish "¿Dónde quieres comer...?, that's why we chose that one.

I hope it helped.

Inma

¿Dónde quieres comer cuando salgamos esta noche?

In order to use salgamos wouldn't querer need to be in the future -querrás? At least that is what I thought according to the lesson, but the choices in the question only gave answers using quieres so I didn't know how to apply the lesson to this question.

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TommyB1Kwiziq community member

.I don't understand your answer. I used present subjunctive yo form and the answer was in the indicative

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Dawn - this is explained in the lesson. The subjunctive follows cuando when expressing an intention. The indicative follows when expressing a fact (the parasol blowing away is fact).

Hope that helps.

.I don't understand your answer. I used present subjunctive yo form and the answer was in the indicative

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William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cuando + presente de Subjuntivo to express future intentions

How would you say "When she opens her presents at Christmas she often gets perfume"? The answer given is: "Cuando ella abre sus regalos en navidad a menudo tiene perfume." The present subjunctive for abrir (3rd person) is abra, no?
Asked 1 year ago
SilviaKwiziq team member
Dear William, thank you for your question. This lesson talks about using "cuando" with Presente de Subjuntivo to express future intentions. However, you can also use Presente de Indicativo to talk about facts. In your example, the fact of opening presents doesn't refer to the future but as a general event instead. It means "everytime that she opens her presents in Christmas she usually gets a perfum." Therefore we can't use Presente de Subjuntivo here, because it doesn't refer to the future. I hope it makes sense! Muchas gracias, Silvia.
NevB1Kwiziq community member
Then surely either the lesson should mention this difference, or the question shouldn't link to this lesson?
SilviaKwiziq team member
Hola Nev! This difference between the indicative and the subjunctive is already mentioned in the lesson. Thanks for your contribution! Silvia

Cuando + presente de Subjuntivo to express future intentions

How would you say "When she opens her presents at Christmas she often gets perfume"? The answer given is: "Cuando ella abre sus regalos en navidad a menudo tiene perfume." The present subjunctive for abrir (3rd person) is abra, no?

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GailC1Kwiziq community member

Poneos?

I am not sure why poneos is used in the sentence "Cuando os tumbéis en la playa poneos la crema solar."
Asked 2 years ago
SilviaKwiziq team member
Hola Gail, thanks for contacting us and sorry about our delay. The form "poneos" comes from the reflexive verb "ponerse" in the 2nd person plural ("vosotros"). The original form should be "ponedos" but we need to remove the -d due to phonetical reasons when using the 2nd person plural and pronouns starting by a vowel. I hope that this is clearer now. Gracias! Silvia.

Poneos?

I am not sure why poneos is used in the sentence "Cuando os tumbéis en la playa poneos la crema solar."

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