Don’t be intimidated by the irregular present subjunctive. Just like every other new conjugation, it seems hard at first but will feel like second nature. What makes the subjunctive particularly challenging for Spanish learners is that it’s different than English. It doesn’t have an easy exact translation for native English speakers, but that just means we have to approach it differently.
To conjugate the present subjunctive, you need to go to the yo form, drop the -o, and add the opposite ending. This means you’d add -ar endings to -er or -ir verbs, and you’d add -er endings to -ar verbs. This means that verbs that are irregular in the yo form will have irregular stems. Fortunately, all 6 forms will follow that pattern, so the only irregular aspect is the stem.
Completely irregular present subjunctive verbs
There are only 6 verbs in Spanish that are completely irregular in Spanish. To remember these 6 verbs, you can use the acronym DISHES. This stands for Dar, Ir, Ser, Haber, Estar, Saber. fzd
There are a few things to keep in mind when conjugating these irregular verbs. First, accent marks matter! The accent marks in some of these conjugations can mark the difference between two completely different words. De means of or from, whereas dé is the present subjunctive form of the verb dar.
Second, remember that the yo form and the él/ella/usted forms will look the same. When using these verbs in the real world, context might clarify who you’re talking about, or you might have to specify.
Conjugations to memorize
Now, let’s look at their conjugations! The best way to memorize them is to use them as often as possible. When you practice them, it’ll sink in better.
Dar: dé, des, dé, demos, deis, den
Ir: vaya, vayas, vaya, vayamos vayáis, vayan
Ser: sea, seas, sea, seamos, seáis, sean
Haber: haya, hayas, haya, hayamos, hayáis, hayan
Estar: esté, estés, esté, estemos, estéis, estén
Saber: sepa, sepas, sepa, sepáis, sepan