If you study Spanish you know that one of the most difficult things to ‘get your head around’ is the subjunctive tenses. Of course we use the subjunctive in English, but we don’t have a special tense for it.
I want you to go – Quiero que vengas.
If you had a million dollars, you could… Si tuvieras un millón de dólares…
For many students, the first problem occurs when you talk about something that will happen at an uncertain time in the future. In English, we use the present simple here, whereas in Spanish the presente de subjuntivo is used.
Call me when you get there. Llámame cuando llegues. (and not ‘llegas’ which would be the direct translation of ‘you get there’)
I will tell you as soon as I know. Te contaré tan pronto como sepa (not ‘sé’).
Notice that ‘when(ever) you get there’ and ‘as soon as I know’ are uncertain moments.
So add another verb conjugation to your studies. This is a fairly common lower-intermediate level mistake, so let’s get to work!
As soon as you master it, your Spanish will reach a new level. – Tan pronto como lo domines, tu Español alcanzará otro nivel.
Knowing the differences between the subjunctive tense in English and Spanish is a big step towards mastering the language of Cervantes.
When you do, you will be on your way! – ¡Cuando lo hagas (present subjunctive!), estarás encaminado!