Want subjunctive

Another point that I’d like to address in this blog are common mistakes that are made by Spanish speakers. While some structures in English are very similar to the equivalent in Spanish, others are quite different. A Spanish speaker, when using Spanish as a reference point, might say or write something like this:

I want that he writes the word.

The problem here of course is that the subjunctive would be used in Spanish. The question most people ask themselves is what the subjunctive in English would be. In this case, we avoid the need for the subjunctive by eliminating the that-clause altogether. The sentence should be written as follows:

I want him to write the word.

She wants them to say what they think.

We want her to have a good time.

To be more polite, we use “would like” and the structure is the same:

He’d like her to listen to him.