Spanish Conditional Tense

The Spanish Conditional Tense is usually formed by taking the infinitive form of the verb (e.g. hablar (to talk/to speak), comer (to eat), vivir (to live), etc.) and adding the appropriate endings as follows:

  • Yo (= I) ía
  • Tú (= You (speaking to 1 friend) ías
  • Él/Ella/Usted (= He/She/You (speaking to one stranger)) ía
  • Nosotros/Nosotras (= We) íamos
  • Vosotros/Vosotras (= You (speaking to 2(+) friends)) íais
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (= They/You (speaking to 2(+) strangers)) ían

Therefore hablar’, ‘comer’ and ‘vivir’ are therefore known as the verb stems for forming the future tense.

So by way of example….

  • Hablar = To talk
  • Hablaría = I would talk
  • Hablarías = You would talk (speaking to 1 friend)
  • Hablaría = He/She would talk + You would talk (speaking to 1 stranger)
  • Hablaríamos = We would talk
  • Hablaríais = You would talk (speaking to 2(+) friends)
  • Hablarían = They would talk + You would talk (speaking to 2(+) strangers)
  • Comer = To eat
  • Comería = I would eat
  • Comerías = You would eat (speaking to 1 friend)
  • Comería = He/She would eat + You would eat (speaking to 1 stranger)
  • Comeríamos = We would eat
  • Comeríais = You would eat (speaking to 2(+) friends)
  • Comerían = They would eat + You would eat (speaking to 2(+) strangers)
  • Vivir = To live
  • Viviría = I would live
  • Vivirías = You would live (speaking to 1 friend)
  • Viviría = He/She would live + You would live (speaking to 1 stranger)
  • Viviríamos = We would live
  • Viviríais = You would live (speaking to 2(+) friends)
  • Vivirían = They would live + You would live (speaking to 2(+) strangers)

With reflexive verbs (e.g. lavarse – to wash oneself) you do exactly the same as non-reflexive verbs, but add ‘me’ (myself), ‘te’ (yourself), etc. in front of the verb, for example:

  • Lavarse = To wash oneself
  • Me lavaría = I would wash myself
  • Te lavarías = You would wash yourself (speaking to 1 friend)
  • Se lavaría = He would wash himself/She would wash herself + You would wash yourself (speaking to 1 stranger)
  • Nos lavaríamos = We would wash ourselves
  • Os lavaríais = You would wash yourselves (speaking to 2(+) friends)
  • Se lavarían = They would wash themselves + You would wash yourselves (speaking to 2(+) strangers)

If reflexive verbs are confusing you, see my page on Spanish reflexive verbs here which should help you.

Irregular stems for the Spanish Conditional tense

As discussed the future tense stem is usually the infinitive itself. Unfortunately there are a number of irregular stems for forming the Conditional Tense as follows:

  • Verb – Conditional Stem
  • (To say/To tell: Decir) – Dir
  • (To do/To make: Hacer) – Har
  • (To put: Poner) – Pondr
  • (To want: Querer) – Querr
  • (To be able: Poder) – Podr
  • (To know: Saber) – Sabr
  • (To go out: Salir) – Saldr
  • (To have: Tener) – Tendr
  • (To come: Venir) Vendr

For the above verbs instead of using the infinitive, you use the irregular stem with the normal future endings, for example:

  • Diría = I would say (Not Deciría)
  • Tendríamos = We would have (NOT Teneríamos)

Note: The Conditional and Future Stems, regular and irregular, are identical. It is just the endings that differ between the Conditional and Future Tenses. See my Spanish Future Tense page.

I hope that the above has helped you to understand how to say the Spanish Conditional Tense.

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