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Grammar Basics



Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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There is only one set of endings in the Conditional, regardless if the verb is an -Ar or -Ir or -Er.


Él, ella, usted



Ellos, ellas, Uds.

ía ías ía íamos íais ían

We make the Conditional by adding one of the above endings to the Infinitive itself - do not remove the last two letters as we have in the past! (We don't remove the endings for the Future Tense either)

For example:

Preferiría comer a las ocho. I would prefer to eat at eight o'clock.
Cenaríamos en el restaurante Los Cubanos en San José. We would eat at Los Cubanos Restaurant.
Pretty easy, huh?

Of course there are a bunch of Irregulars in the Conditional and they follow the same pattern (and are the same verbs!) as the irregulars in the Future Tense. Their Infinitive form shortens:

Irregular roots


Él, ella, usted



Ellos, ellas, Uds.

Decir: dir- diría dirías diría diríamos diríais dirían
Tener: tendr- tendría tendrías tendría tendríamos tendríais tendrían
Poner: pondr- pondría pondrías pondría pondríamos pondríais pondrían
Poder: podr- podría podrías podría podríamos podríais podrían
Salir: saldr- saldría saldrías saldría saldríamos saldríais saldrían
Hacer: Har- haría harías haría haríamos haríais harían
Haber: Habr- habría habrías habría habríamos habríais habrían
Venir: Vendr- vendría vendrías vendría vendríamos vendríais vendrían
We use the Conditional to express the English "would" :
Me gustaría vivir en California. I would like to live in California.
Irías a la playa si vivieras en Miami. You would go to the beach if you lived in Miami.
¡Haría un salto de 'bungee' de cualquier puente! He would bungee jump from any bridge!

We also use it to insist politely or make polite requests:

¿Firmaría usted el cheque, por favor? Would you sign the check, please?
¿Sabría usted el nombre de esa mujer? Would you happen to know the name of that woman?

Like the Future tense, we can use the Conditional to express conjecture, but this time it is about something in the past:

¿A qué hora sería cuando llegó? I wonder what time it was when he arrived? [I wonder what time it would have been?]
¿Miraría "Top Chef" la semana pasada? I wonder if he watched Top Chef last week? [Would he have watched Top Chef?]

We often find the Conditional used in conjunction with the Past (Imperfect) Subjunctive mood in If-Then statements. An "If...Then" statement refers to what might have happened (but didn't) if only something else were true or were to have happened (but didn't.)

For example:

Iríamos a la playa si viviéramos en Miami


Past Imperfect Subjunctive

We would go to the beach if we were to live in Miami.

It doesn't matter whether the Conditional or the Past (Imperfect) Subjunctive clause comes first:

Si ganara un millón de dólares, (ENTONCES) viajaría.
If I were to have won a million dollars, (THEN) I would travel.
Viajaría si ganara un millón de dólares.
I would travel if I were to have won a million dollars.

The Past Imperfect subjunctive always comes after the word Si (If).

The Conditional occurs in the "Then" part of the sentence.