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How to Conjugate Spanish Verbs in Condicional Simple

In this video presentation you will learn the general rules for conjugating regular Spanish verbs in the:

  • Condicional Simple (Conditional) tense
  • Indicativo mood

More information on how to conjugate both regular and irregular verbs in this tense, as well as example sentences, may be found below the video.


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How to create and use the Conditional tense in Spanish

The Condicional tense is one of the easiest Spanish tenses, because:

  • The basis for its conjugation is simply the infinitive of a verb
  • The exceptions are trivial and happen almost only in case of a few most important verbs
  • In this tense we use the exact same endings in each of the three conjugation groups (-ar, -er, -ir). Even in case of the irregular verbs the endings stay the same as in regular Condicional conjugation
  • The conjugation is very similar to the Future tense and the exceptions are identical
  • The endings are identical as in the Imperfect tense (-er, -ir groups)

You could notice that we don’t have a timeline representation for the Condicional tense as it doesn’t always refer to a particular time period. It’s actually similar to the English Conditional.

The full name of this tense, which you may sometimes encounter, is Condicional Simple de Indicativo. Let’s have a look at its conjugation, usage and examples.

Regular verb conjugation in Spanish Conditional tense

endings condicional how to conjugate spanish verbsThe vast majority of Spanish verbs conjugate regularly in the Conditional tense. The conjugation is based on the entire, unchanged infinitive of the verb to which we add endings specific to each grammatical person.

Check out the image showing all the endings. Note the shapes and colors of the letters. It should help you find patterns and make it easier to remember them. These endings are the same in all three conjugation groups: -ar, -er and -ir. They stay the same also in the irregular conjugation, which is described below.

Note that the endings used in Condicional are identical to those used in the -er and -ir conjugation groups of the Imperfecto de Indicativo (Imperfect) tense. The difference is that the Imperfect uses the stem of the infinitive and the Condicional uses the entire infinitive.

For example, that’s how comer conjugation looks like in Condicional Simple de Indicativo:

singular plural
yo comería nosotros/nosotras comeríamos
comerías vosotros/vosotras comeríais
él/ella/usted comería ellos/ellas/ustedes comerían

So we can see it’s the entire comer- at the beginning of each form, to which the appropriate endings are added.

Irregular verbs in the Condicional tense

There are only several Spanish verbs which conjugate irregularly in Condicional. In case of these verbs, instead of using their infinitive to create each grammatical person’s form, we use an irregular stem. To this stem we add the exact same endings as in regular conjugation.

Here is a list of the irregular verbs and their stems. These irregular stems need to be memorized. Luckily there are just a few of them and the same stems are used also in the Future tense, only the endings differ:

infinitive of the
irregular verb
irregular stem for
Futuro & Condicional

verbs dropping the last e of the infinitive

caber cabr-
haber habr-
poder podr-
querer querr-
saber sabr-

verbs changing the last vowel of the infinitive to the letter d

salir saldr-
poner pondr-
tener tendr-
valer valdr-
venir vendr-

verbs dropping the letters c and e from the infinitive

decir dir-
deshacer deshar-
hacer har-
satisfacer satisfar-

In order to create an inflected form for any person, simply take the irregular stem and add to it the appropriate ending, just as in the regular conjugation presented above. For instance, this is how hacer conjugation looks like in Condicional Simple de Indicativo:

singular plural
yo haría nosotros/nosotras haríamos
harías vosotros/vosotras haríais
él/ella/usted haría ellos/ellas/ustedes harían
ad

When do we use the Conditional tense in Spanish

The Conditional tense is used in Spanish in several ways:

  • Talking about hypothesis, possibility, probability, doubt, wonder

    ¿Cómo describirías tu vida en una sola frase?
    How would you describe your life in just one sentence?
    A mi también me gustaría saberlo hoy, pero tenemos que esperar hasta mañana.
    I would also like to know it today, but we have to wait until tomorrow.
    ¿Por qué razón te cambiarías de trabajo?
    For what reason would you change your job?
    Creo que él iría con nosotros, pero no tiene suficiente dinero.
    I think he would go with us, but he doesn’t have enough money.
    ¿Le mostrarías tu camioneta a mi hermano el sábado?
    Would you show my brother your truck on Saturday?
  • In conditional statements

    Si tuviera más dinero, compraría este coche.
    If I had more money, I would buy this car.
    ¿Qué harías si ganaras un millon de dolares en la lotería?
    What would you do if you won a million dollars in lottery?
    Si pudiera, no volaría con ellos, pero no tengo alternativas.
    If I could, I would not fly with them, but I have no alternatives.
    Si Ricardo volviera a la ciudad, ¿podría quedarse en tu casa?
    If Ricardo returned to the city, could he stay at your place?
  • To make hypothesis and express suppositions or inacuracy in the past

    Después de caminar tanto tiempo sin agua, tendrían sed.
    After walking without water for so long, they were probably thirsty.
    After walking without water for so long, they must have been thirsty.
    After walking without water for so long, they would have been thirsty.
    Aquél mes Pedro vendría más de cien conejos.
    That month Pedro must have sold more than a hundred rabbits.
    - ¿Dónde estaba tu gato en ese momento?
    - Estaría en casa, pero no lo sé.
    - Where was your cat at that moment?
    - It was probably at home, but I don’t know.

    Note that to make hypothesis in the present, we would use the Future tense.

  • In reported speech Futuro changes to Condicional

    Otra vez se promete que mañana dejará de fumar.
    Otra vez se prometió que el día siguiente dejaría de fumar.
    He promises himself again that tomorrow he will quit smoking
    He promised himself again that the next day he would quit smoking
    Yo sé que lo harán tarde o temprano.
    Yo sabía que lo harían tarde o temprano.
    I know that they will do it sooner or later
    I knew that they would do it sooner or later.
  • To make requests and desires sound more polite

    Si me permiten, me gustaría comenzar con hacer una declaración.
    If you allow me, I would like to start with making a statement.
    ¿Podría decirme qué autobús va a la estación de trenes?
    Could you tell me which bus goes to the train station?
    Querría pagar con la tarjeta de crédito, si no es un problema.
    I would like to pay by credit card, if it’s not a problem.

When should we not translate would to the Spanish Conditional

As you could see in the examples, most often the Spanish Conditional translates to the English would or could. It usually works in the opposite direction as well, but not always. An important exception to this is that the English would should be translated to the Spanish Imperfecto de Indicativo when we talk about repeated actions in the past. It’s easier to recognize these cases trying to change the would to used to. If the sentence makes sense after the change, use the Imperfect tense:

Cuando yo era niño, pescaba con mi padre casi cada sábado.
When I was a kid, I would go fishing with my dad almost every Saturday.
When I was a kid, I used to go fishing with my dad almost every Saturday.

Next Steps

  • For exercises and examples for practicing conjugation in the Conditional tense, visit our Exercise section. In order to practice this tense only, go to the Select tenses to include in exercises and conjugation configuration section and leave only the Condicional tense checked
  • To see conjugation charts for all tenses, including Condicional, visit the Conjugator and type any Spanish verb into the search box
  • To explore other learning materials visit the Study section or use the Search to find articles and step by step conjugation guides for particular verbs



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