In the following sentence, why is it grammatical to use the passive voice and not the subjunctive tense.

Es muy probable que fueron creados por él.

It's very likely that they were created by him.

I thought that "Es muy probable que..." always triggers the subjunctive. However, my Spanish professor told me that the previous sentence is correct. Why?

I reviewed my subjunctive tense notes but couldn't find anything on this. Thank you.

  • 5
    As a native speaker, It doesn't seem idiomatic to me. I agree with your rule.
    – RubioRic
    May 21, 2021 at 6:00
  • 4
    I would also use the subjunctive: "fueran" or "hayan sido"...
    – wimi
    May 21, 2021 at 6:45
  • 3
    As a native speaker what I would say is "Es muy probable que fueran creados por el"
    – DGaleano
    May 21, 2021 at 12:50
  • Native speaker here and that sounds perfectly idiomatic to me. May 22, 2021 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


The only case where both indicative and subjunctive are accepted is that in which "es (muy) probable que" is replaced with "(muy) probablemente". However, the subjunctive will sound less probable than the indicative:

  • Es (muy) probable que fueran / hayan sido creados por él.

  • (Muy) Probablemente fueron / fueran/hayan sido creados por él.

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