Subjunctive - Expressing Doubt and Negation  

Expressing Uncertainty, Doubt, Negation

Verbs of doubt and negation require the subjunctive in subordinate clauses; examples include

    negar - to deny
    dudar - to doubt
    no ser verdad - to not be true/the truth
    no estar cierto/seguro - to be unsure, uncertain
    no creer - to not believe

Remember that expressions of certainty or belief take the indicative:

no negar            - to not deny
no dudar            - to not doubt
afirmar             - to affirm
creer               - to believe
estar cierto/seguro - to be sure, certain
  • Dudamos que salgan bien.
    We doubt they'll do well.
  • No creo que asistan a la clase.
    I don't think they attend class.
  • ┬┐Niegas que yo pueda hacerlo?
    Do you deny that I can do it?
  • No estoy segura de que venga.
    I'm not sure she's coming.

NOTE: Normally the reverse (positive/negative) of each of the above sentences does not indicate doubt or negation and thus takes the indicative.

  • No dudamos que salen bien.
    We don't doubt they'll do well.
  • Creo que asisten a la clase.
    I think they attend class.
  • No niegan que yo puedo hacerlo.
    They don't deny that I can do it.
  • Estoy segura de que viene.
    I'm sure she's coming.

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