What is the Spanish Conditional Tense? (Plus How To Use It!)

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Today we will discuss the Conditional Tense in Spanish. 

This has been a recommendation by many people through emails and comments on some of our YouTube videos. 

So I wanted to take the time to help you know when and how to use the Spanish conditional tense.

When would you use the conditional tense in Spanish?

We use the conditional tense whenever we are talking about hypothetical scenarios and situations. 

If you aren’t quite sure what that means…

Let me show you a few situations of when you would use the conditional tense in Spanish:

1. To talk about what you would like to do in the future

For example if you want to tell someone that you would like to go to the movies tomorrow, you would say: “Me gustaría ir al cine mañana.”

In this example the verb “gustar” is conditional. 

2. If-Then Statement In Spanish

“If-then” statements are very popular. You would use the Spanish conditional tense for these types of statements.

Example: Si pudiera verte, iría para tu casa ahora mismo. (If I could see you, I would go to your house right now).

3. To give or receive advice

Anytime you are giving or receiving advice you will use the Spanish conditional tense.

Example: ¿Qué debería comer? (What should I eat?)

To respond to this “asking for advice,” somebody could give you advice by saying “Deberías comer una manzana.” (You should eat an apple.)

4. To express politeness

When you want to ask for something while being polite, the Spanish conditional tense is good to use. I’ve found that this is extremely helpful when at a restaurant ordering food or drinks. 

Example: ¿Me podrías dar algo de tomar? (Would you be able to give me something to drink?)

5. Speculating about the past

If you want to speculate about something that happened in the past then you may find this tense particularly useful.

Example: Esa sería la razón por la que el carro se estropeó. (That would be the reason the car broke down.)

6. To talk about the future in the past

Oftentimes, we talk about the future in the past. The Spanish conditional tense is the one you want to use to do this in Spanish. 

Example: Ella me dijo que me amaría por siempre. (She told me she would love me forever.)

How do you use the Spanish Conditional Tense?

It’s very easy to use the Spanish Conditional tense. For the regular verbs you simply use the indicative (or the full verb) and then you attach ía, ías, ia, íamos, íais, or ían to the end of it. 

Here are a few examples of regular verb conjugations:

  • Hablaría, Hablarías, Hablaría, Hablaríamos, Hablarías, Hablarían
  • Entendería, Entenderías, Entendería, Entenderíamos, Entenderías, Entenderían
  • Luciría, Lucirías, Luciría, Luciríamos, Lucirías, Lucirían,

There are also a few irregular Spanish conditional verbs.

Here’s a list of the irregular Spanish conditional verbs and how they change:

  1. DecirDir – Diría, Dirías, Diría, Diríamos, Diríais, Dirían
  2. PoderPodr – Podría, Podrías, Podría, Podríamos, Podríais, Podrían
  3. PonerPondr – Pondría, Pondrías, Pondría, Pondríamos, Pondríais, Pondrían
  4. TenerTendr – Tendría, Tendrías, Tendría, Tendríamos, Tendríais, Tendrían
  5. QuererQuerr – Querría, Querrías, Querría, Querríamos, Querríais, Querrían
  6. HacerHar – Haría, Harías, Haría, Haríamos, Haríais, Harían
  7. SaberSabr – Sabría, Sabrías, Sabría, Sabríamos, Sabríais, Sabrían
  8. SalirSaldr – Saldría, Saldrías, Saldría, Saldríamos, Saldríais, Saldrían
  9. VenirVendr – Vendría,Vendrías, Vendría, Vendríamos, Vendríais, Vendrían
  10. HaberHabr – Habría,Habrías, Habría, Habríamos, Habríais, Habrían
  11. CaberCabr – Cabría, Cabrías, Cabría, Cabríamos, Cabríais, Cabrían

Spanish Conditional Tense Quiz

Test how well you know this subject by trying to figure out the proper conjugation for each sentence. (Answers found at the bottom of this page). 

  1. Yo también tengo hambre ¿Qué te ________ comer?
  2. Si pudiera, te ________ algo caro. 
  3. Nos dijo que ________ que hablar con su padre. 
  4. ________ darme algo de beber?
  5. Yo ________ baloncesto este fin de semana pero no tengo tiempo. 
  6. Nadie ________ en esa casa.
  7. Yo ________ pero no tengo dinero.
  8. Si ellos tuvieran tiempo, ________ a mi fiesta. 
  9. ________ increíble visitar China. 
  10. Por favor, ¿________ (usted)  decirme a qué hora abre la tienda?

How to learn the Spanish Conditional Tense

Rather than spend your days studying and trying to remember each and every grammar rule…

The best way to master this tense and all of the Spanish tenses is to try them out in the real world.

Continue to consume input in Spanish and when you feel comfortable begin trying to speak.

But as you can see, the Spanish conditional tense is not very difficult.

It’s one of the easier conjugation rules in Spanish. 

Just remember that there are a few irregular verbs and everything other than those are regular.

If you found this post helpful and are looking to level up your Spanish then I recommend you join over 15,000 other students inside of our best-selling Seven Day Spanish Course. Inside, you’ll discover a step-by-step system to learn to speak and comprehend Spanish easier and faster. 

Answer key: 

1.gustaría 2.compraría 3.tendríamos 4.Podrías 5.jugaría 6.viviría 7.viajaría 8.vendrían 9.Sería 10.Podría 

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