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Spanish Language/Spanish Subjunctive vs. Indicative


Which is correct and why?

Necesitamos terminar la tarea antes de que CIERRE la bibliotecca.


Necesitamos terminar la tarea antes de que CIERRA la biblioteca.

Hi Liliana,

Many thanks for your question.

In this case, you would have to use the subjunctive making the answer 'Necesitamos terminar la tarea antes de que cierre la biblioteca'

Antes de que is a structure that will always trigger the subjunctive wherever it is used because it is helping to express the possibility of something that may happen. In this case, we do not know for sure if the library will shut so we have to use the subjunctive which literally translated could be written as 'before the library should shut'

Other examples could be:
Quiero terminar el libro antes de que llegue mi marido
Come el helado antes de que se dé cuenta tu madre
(Here,as in the sentences above, the subject changes midway through the sentence so we need to reflect this by using the subjunctive)

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Spanish Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I consider myself a native speaker in Spanish after studying the language for many years, using it on a daily basis at home and having last year obtained my DELE C2 - the highest possible qualification in Spanish from the Instituto Cervantes. I am very confident to answer any questions about the Spanish language. I can also answer specific questions related to Andalucia and the Andalucian dialect as I have a profound knowledge of this area.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) C2 (Native Level) DELE Diploma from Instituto Cervantes Grade A A-level in Spanish My partner is Spanish so Spanish is the main language spoken at home. I also spend many months in Spain (Andalucia) each year with my in-laws. I have translated and proofread many Spanish documents including CVs for art academies and translations of GCSE papers from French to Spanish for ZigZag Education.

El Pensador, Bristol University

MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies DELE C2 in Spanish. CILS C1 in Italian CELTA qualified A Level Spanish

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