Me temo que no tendré tiempo.

English Translation

I’m afraid I won’t have the time.

How in the world is this not subjunctive??? My temo–> I’m afraid! Feeling. And doubt! Shouldn’t this be tenga??

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it’s because the subjunctive is not usually used with the future tense; there is a future subjunctive conjugation in spanish but it is pretty rare.


You can contrast this to “I fear something bad is going to happen”: “Temo que algo malo vaya a ocurrir” (the non-reflexive expresses genuine fear; the reflexive expresses politeness). My example also shows how you can use the subjunctive for future events, without being ambiguous about the present or the future.

Of course, I’m not a native speaker, so this is what I recall being taught.

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I found a very long thread on this subject, which I’m going to bookmark for later study, but here’s a taster:

As has already been said, me temo que + indicative is often used to introduce some bad news.
Apart from that:
Temo (= tengo miedo) que pierda el tren (subj.) is more or less the same as
Temo (= tengo miedo) que perderá el tren (indic.) (thinking of the future) Funnily enough, I would put “me” (me temo que) in the second sentence but not in the first. Can’t explain why. It just sounds better. Yes, natives aren’t necessarily good informants about grammar . . . . .

Temo (= tengo miedo) que haya suspendido el examen (subj.) is more or less the same as
Temo (= tengo miedo) que ha suspendido el examen (indic.) (thinking of the past) Again, I would put “me” in the second sentence but not in the first.

One further difference is that the sentence with indicative, the second one, implies a greater degree of certainty, almost like “I expect”. In the first sentence the speaker is worried, but he doesn’t think it is very likely that (whatever you’r talking about) will happen or has happened.