Conditional Tense Spanish And How To Use It

Conditional Tense Spanish And How To Use It

This is one of the easier Spanish verb tenses to conjugate because of the conditional tense.

In Spanish, this tense is called simple conditional or conditional simple. It is easier to conjugate than other tenses since the regular ‘ar’, ‘er’, and ‘ir’ verbs are all the same in conjugation. Additionally, the irregular verbs in these tenses are relatively few.

The Spanish conditional tense is used in a way similar to how we would use it in English since it emphasizes the conditional element. You can probably use a Spanish equivalent of any of the words such as “would” or “could” in English.

There are, however, some cases when English natives usually mess up the Spanish conditional (as expected).

Our article will provide you with an introduction to how to form the Spanish conditional tense. We will go over 5 common options for where and how to apply them.  You’ll also be shown examples of how students typically use this tense.

what is the conditional tense in spanish
what is the conditional tense in spanish

Here’s How To Form The Conditional Tenses In Spanish

The same rules apply to the Spanish conditional tense as they do to the Spanish future simple tense.

Based on whom you are addressing, you add a suffix to the verb infinitive. It is very convenient for me that the conjugations for verbs ending in ‘ar’, ‘er’ or ‘ir’ are the same. There are only one or two exceptions: irregular verbs, which you will learn about in the next section.

For example, using the following verb would be a good way to start:

Pasar

An infinitive is used here. In the graphic above, you just have to add the /a ending to the verb, which is how you conjugate it in the third person:

Ella pasaría

She would pass in English.

The following example shows how conditional conjugations are used regularly:

ENGLISHESPAÑOL
I would speakYo hablaría
He would returnÉl volvería
They would askEllos pedirían
We shouldNosotros deberíamos
She would likeA ella le gustaría

It Is Irregular In Spanish To Use Conditional Verbs

The conditional tense in Spanish has only 12 irregular verbs. The 12 irregular verbs in these two lists apply equally to both the Spanish future and conditional tenses since both are derived from the same structure.

VERBOS IRREGULARESPREFIJO
PonerPondr
QuererQuerr
CaberCabr
ValerValdr
TenerTendr
HacerHar
SaberSabr
PoderPodr
VenirVendr
SalirSaldr
HaberHabr
DecirDir

The following examples illustrate irregular conditional verbs:

ENGLISHESPAÑOL
You would putTu pondrías
She would leaveElla saldría
You-all would doVosotros haríais
I would sayYo diría
They would knowEllos sabrían

Express Politeness In The Sentences

There are, of course, some situations that call for politeness, as opposed to the previous point about asking for food at a restaurant.

Languages other than English tend to be far more direct in general. A little courtesy also applies in instances such as asking a friend for a favor, speaking with a police officer, or going to a doctor.

Another thing to consider is when you wish to appear polite, you should use the “you” forms of the verb. In Spanish, the “you” form will convey a more formal idea. Thus, the “you” form can be combined with the conditional tense and may even be preferred.

Here are a few examples of how you can politely request something in Spanish when the occasion calls for it:

Do you think you could assist me this weekend?

¿Hay alguna forma de que puedas ayudarme este fin de semana?

Would you be able to tell me anything about the case of my son?

¿Cómo van las cosas en el caso de mi hijo?

Can you certify my work medically?

¿Pueden proporcionarme un certificado médico para mi trabajo?

Summarizing

With few irregular verbs, Spanish’s conditional tense is easy to conjugate and relatively easy to learn. Your biggest challenge is finding the right time and place to use it.

We have a podcast episode in which we discuss the Spanish conditional tense and hear a real Spanish conversation in which this tense is used in action. To listen to our podcast episode on the Spanish conditional tense, please go back and click here.

Try to pick out a few of the examples described in today’s post, write some of your sentences, and then use those on some Spanish natives. The best way to learn something is to use it, and if you use something you can remember it for a long time.

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