I am having trouble with the construcción of these types of sentences. Is it "Estoy esperando a que mi novio abre la puerta"? Or do you use the unconjugated abrir?

1 Answer 1


That's almost right. You need the subjunctive mood for abrir (i.e. abra) because you're describing an irrealis situation. The correct sentence would be:

Estoy esperando (a) que mi novio abra la puerta.

It is common to drop the preposition a in some countries such as Argentina or Chile, as per the comments, while it is kept in Spain.

  • 1
    Just a question, is it also right if you drop the a preposition? Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 23:54
  • I cannot comment about "right" (I always despised the Spanish class at school), but in Argentina (where I grew up), no one would use the "a". Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 0:06
  • 2
    @VladimirNu I don't know if it would be grammatically wrong, but I wouldn't drop it. Note how the meaning changes in the sentence Espero a que mi novio abra la puerta, wich expresses a fact, compared to Espero que mi novio abra la puerta, which expresses a wish or hope. When esperar is conjugated in a continuous tense (estoy esperando), it isn't generally understood as a wish, but I still would only drop the preposition a before a que when expressing a wish or hope.
    – Yay
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 0:06
  • @MartinArgerami that's what I meant, in Chile we also don't use it. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 0:08
  • 1
    If you read the definition of esperar in the DRAE (yeah, the DLE, whatever), meanings 3 (transitive) and 4 (intransitive) are applicable here. They are very similar and, in fact, in this case they mean almost the same. So I think that using a or not is a question of personal taste. Being Spanish, I find Yay's proposal more natural, but I understand that other people prefer not using a and I would not find it weird.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 14:02

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