Spanish expressions: “Ojalá que…”

spanish expressions ojala que

Even though we shouldn’t regret or wish that things were different in the past, it might be common for some people to do it. In Spanish, to express “our hopes” we use the word “ojalá”. From time to time, it’s even common to hear the phrase “ojalá que” since it makes it easier to build sentences and express our thoughts.

Generally, we use “ojalá” together with the subjunctive. For that reason, most Spanish students find it difficult to understand how to use it. After all, just like in the indicative, there are many verb tenses in the subjunctive mood. If you want to learn how to use “ojalá” and express your hopes, read on.

How to use “ojalá

As we previously mentioned, we use “ojalá” to express our hopes. In fact, you have probably seen it translated into English as “I hope that…”, “I wish”, “I hope so”, or “hopefully”. First, we will show you how to use “ojalá” together with the present subjunctive which is one of the best ways of using ojalá.

When using ojalá + subjunctive present tense we express our hope for the future time. So, the sentence in the subjunctive must express a future idea.

Let’s have a look at the examples below.

Mi madre dice que ojalá me case con Rafael.

My mum says that she hopes I marry Rafael.

Ojalá tengas suerte en el examen.

I hope you are lucky in the exam.

¡Ojalá que Pedro me llame pronto!

I hope Pedro rings me soon!

¡Ojalá no llueva mañana!

I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow!

As you may realize, in all of the examples above we are talking about events that haven’t happened yet and we hope to happen in the future. It does not matter if they will take place soon or not, as long as we talk about future events, we will use this structure properly.

Ojalá + imperfect subjunctive past tense

Spanish speakers use ojalá + imperfect subjunctive past tense to refer to future events that aren’t likely to happen. Also, we can use this structure to refer to a present event that seems not very probable at the moment of speaking.

Let’s see a few examples.

Ojalá que nos dejaran ir a la fiesta del instituto.

I wish they would let us go to the party at the high school.

Ojalá que tuviéramos más dinero para irnos al Guadalajara.

I wish we had more money to go to Guadalajara.

In the second example, we are talking about a present event that’s not very probable to happen while speaking. On the other hand, in the first example, we are talking about a future event. Please note that, in both sentences, we are using the structure Ojalá + que and “que” plays the role of conjunction.

Spanish speakers also use Ojalá + imperfect subjunctive past tense to refer to a past event that was and is still considered unlikely.

Let’s take a look at the following example.

Ojalá llegaran a tiempo a la estación.

I hope they arrived at the station on time.

In this case, during the course of the action, it was unlikely to happen. Yet, since we are saying the sentence in the present time, we still consider that it was unlikely to happen. Generally, we use this structure to express our wishes about things that could have happened.

Ojalá + perfect subjunctive past tense

Using this Spanish structure is quite simple. We use it to refer to something that we or someone wishes has happened. It could be in a recent or not-so-recent time. To use this structure, we don’t need a particular time in mind. So, it’s a very flexible structure that might help you express your thoughts and sound pretty smooth while speaking.

Here are some examples.

Ojalá hayamos aprobado todos el examen.

I hope we’ve all passed the exam.

¿Te acuerdas de los Martinez? Ojalá hayan tenido una buena vida, después de aquel desastre.

Do you remember the Martinez? I hope they had a good life, after that disaster.

In these examples, we are using only “ojalá” but using “ojalá que” is also possible. However, sometimes we recommend avoiding using too many words to express the same idea. It helps us communicate clearly and avoid misunderstandings. Keep in mind that using too many words to express the same idea might sound complex to the audience.

Ojalá + pluperfect subjunctive past tense

Many Spanish students think using this structure is complex. Yet, it’s quite simple as it has basically just one use. We use ojalá + pluperfect subjunctive past tense to talk about regrets. Additionally, from time to time, we use it to refer to a wish that’s seen as unlikely to have happened in the past.

Ojalá me hubieses hecho caso. Ahora no sé qué vas a hacer.

I wish you had paid attention to me. I don’t know what you are going to do now.

Ojalá hubiera comprado los otros pantalones. Estos me quedan estrechos.

I wish I had bought the other pants. These ones are tight for me.

As you may see, we always place “ojalá” at the beginning of the sentence. Even though this isn’t a rule, we frequently place “ojalá” that way. If you want to use it at the of the sentence, you have to make a few tweaks.

Let’s look at the example below.

A ver si tenemos suerte y nos toca la lotería. ¡Ojalá!

Let’s see if we’re lucky and win the lottery. I wish!/I hope so!

See? Here’s when exclamation marks come to the game. Using “ojalá” this way isn’t that common but might help you emphasize that what you’re saying is a wish or something you hope had happened.

Ojalá you learned a lot!

In conclusion, “ojalá” and “ojalá que” are two great tools when it’s time to express wishes or regrets. In most cases, we use these expressions at the beginning of the sentences. Nonetheless, you now know using “ojalá” at the end is also possible.

Don’t forget that although we use these structures to talk about wishes, events might take place in the present, past, or future time. If you’re not familiar with the Spanish subjunctive, don’t waste time and start your training ASAP. “Ojalá que”, after reading this article, you no longer face a challenge when using these Spanish expressions.

Related Posts

AP Spanish Language Practice

Looking to improve your Spanish skills to take your AP exam? Getting the highest score is just a click away! Find the best AP Spanish

English vs Spanish Language

Are you an English speaker and looking to learn Spanish? As siblings descended from Romance languages, they naturally share similarities. Check them out in our

French and Spanish Language Comparison

Do you wanna know how the two most passionate languages are similar? Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between these romance languages! Welcome to

When did Kobe Learn Spanish

Loving father, ideal husband, amazing man, successful Lakers player, businessman, and he also speaks Spanish! Do you know who he is? How could he do

ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions

Are you taking your ALTA language exam? Don’t let it catch you off guard. Check out the ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions for your high

I Hate the Spanish Language

Do you think Spanish is a beautiful and linguistically rich language? What about the negative opinions that hinder your choice to learn it as a

Get a Certificate in French Language

If you ask yourself why should you take the certification course in French, we’ll help you decide in which cases is useful and in which

What does “Doux” mean in French?

Discover the meaning of “doux” in French and its various uses. Learn how to use this common word in everyday conversation and improve your French

Need in French: Avoir Besoin

It’s in the human need to have needs, right? Learning how to express your needs in French is by all means an important step in

German riddles

Looking for some fun ways to practice your German language skills? Check out our collection of German riddles and tongue twisters! Test your wit and

Cheers in French: 8 happy ways to say it

Celebrate in French style! This blog showcases 8 happy ways to say “cheers” in French, perfect for impressing your French-speaking friends. Santé! How to say

Different Ways to Use Fois in French

Fois is a very common French word, used in different contexts. English speakers oftentimes confuse it with the word “temps”. In this lesson, you’ll learn

Funniest French jokes

In this article, we will share some of the funniest French jokes  that will have you laughing out loud. Let’s get started! Funniest French jokes

Funniest Spanish jokes

¡Hola! You’re in for a treat if you love to laugh and speak Spanish. We’ve compiled a list of the funniest Spanish jokes that will

Jokes about French

In this article, we’ll explore the humorous side of French culture through a collection of jokes about French. Let’s get started! Jokes about French Welcome

News in French: free resources

In this article, we will explore a variety of websites, podcasts, TV channels, and other resources that you can use to stay informed about news

Short German jokes

Laugh your way through language learning with our collection of short German jokes. Discover the funniest puns, one-liners, and more in our guide! German humor

The basic Spanish hand gestures

In this blog post, we will explore the most important Spanish hand gestures, and their meanings, providing a guide to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers

Beautiful French words with meaning

Discover the beauty of the French language by learning its meanings. Learn the beautiful French words and its meaning. Beautiful French words A lot of

How do you say “good” in French?

Learn how to say “good” in French with our easy guide. Perfect for beginners and travelers looking to improve their language skills. “Good” in French

How to say “Cat” in French

How to say cat in French? What’s the word for a kitten in French? Learn more about the basic terminologies of our favorite fur pet

Learn French with PDF resources

Do you know that you can learn French with PDF resources? In this article, we will explore the advantages of using PDF resources to learn

Funny French jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny French jokes! Are you ready to simultaneously laugh and learn a little bit about French culture? French humor can

Funny German jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny German jokes! Get ready to chuckle at some of the funniest German jokes. German jokes Germany has a rich

Quotes in France by famous people

In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes in France from French people that have been passed down through

Quotes in Spain by famous people

In today’s post, you’ll learn some famous quotes in Spain by famous people. Quotes in Spain Spain has a rich cultural history and has produced

Best German proverbs

This article will explore some of the most popular German proverbs and delve into their meanings and origins. Check this out! German proverbs German proverbs

French Riddles

Learning some French riddles and playing with a French-speaking friend are great ways to practice if you know a little French. French riddles A good

How to translate Good Evening in French

Welcome to our article on translating “Good Evening” into French! Suppose you’re planning a trip to a French-speaking country or want to impress your friends

Some facts about the French mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the French mafia. facts about the French mafia The French Mafia is one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.

Some facts about the Spanish mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the Spanish mafia. Facts about the Spanish mafia The Spanish mafia is one of the most active and widespread criminal

Some facts about the German mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the German mafia.  Facts about the German mafia The German Mafia (; Maffia; from Italian mafiusi, “clan”) is a criminal