Impersonal Statements in Spanish Subjunctive Mood

Christopher Columbus Statue in Barcelona

Linda Garrison

Impersonal expressions of the type "es + adjective + que" are almost always followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood. This is because such expressions usually indicate either a value judgment or a desire.

Some Examples

  • Es importante que estemos en la misma página. It is important that we be on the same page.
  • Es sorprendente que nadie haya ido a la cárcel. It's surprising no one has gone to jail.
  • No es bueno que el hombre esté sólo. It is not good for the man to be alone.
  • Es posible que algunos sitios web no se muestren o funcionen correctamente en ese navegador. It's possible that some websites don't display or function properly in that browser.
  • Es necesario que cierren las escuelas. It's necessary for them to close the schools.
  • Es prohibido que la familia anfitriona aloje otros estudiantes. The host family is prohibited from lodging other students.
  • Es interesante que el equipo gane. It's interesting that the team is winning.
  • Es natural que yo esté enamorado de ti. It's natural that I'm in love with you.

As you might expect, the same holds true in other tenses:

  • Era urgente que llegara a la ciudad. It was urgent for him to arrive at the city.
  • Será preciso que vayas a Buenos Aires. It will be necessary for you to go to Buenos Aires.

Impersonal verbs with similar meanings and followed by que also are followed by a verb in the subjunctive:

  • No me interesa que el equipo gane. It doesn't interest me that the team is winning.
  • Importa que la familia reciba el dinero. It is important that the family receives the money.

The main exception to using the subjunctive after expressions of the type "es + adjective + que" occurs when the impersonal expression explicitly states that what follows is factual:

  • Es obvio que estoy preocupado. It's obvious I'm worried.
  • Es cierto que la familia está en crisis. It is certain that the family is in crisis.