Spanish Language Blog

The conditional tense in Spanish I: Form Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in Spanish Grammar

The conditional tense I:  Form.

The conditional tense is one of the most complicated tenses in Spanish. It does not only refer to a concrete moment in time (past, present or future), but it is used to express probability, possibility, wonder or conjecture. It is very connected to the future tense, that´s why we call it both condicional and futuro hipotético (hypothetical future).

Let´s take a look on  how to form it. We use the same stem as for some other tenses, the infinitive, and the same endings as for the imperfect of -er and -ir verbs (-ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían).

–         Cantar (to sing): Cantaría contigo si supiese la canción. (I would sing with you if I knew the song.)

–         Beber (to drink): ¿Beberías conmigo un vaso de vino? (Would you drink a glass of wine with me?)

–         Vivir (to live): Viviríamos en París si pudiésemos. (We would live in Paris if we could.)

The most common verbs that are irregular in the future tense are also irregular in the conditional tense. Their endings are regular, but their stems change in the same way they change in the future tense:

decir to say dir- diría, dirías, diría, …
haber there to be [impersonal];
to have [helping verb]
habr- habría, habrías, habría, …
hacer to make, do har- haría, harías, haría, …
poder to be able podr- podría, podrías, podría, …
poner to put, place, set pondr- pondría, pondrías, pondría, …
querer to want, love querr- querría, querrías, querría, …
saber to know [a fact] sabr- sabría, sabrías, sabría, …
salir to leave, go out saldr- saldría, saldrías, saldría, …
tener to have tendr- tendría, tendrías, tendría, …
valer to be worth valdr- valdría, valdrías, valdría, …
venir to come vendr- vendría, vendrías, vendría, …

The conditional perfect is formed by using the conditional forms of the helping verb haber with the past (or passive) participle:

–         Sí, yo habría ido a la fiesta. (Yes, I would have gone to the party.)

–         Le habrían dicho algo si la hubieran visto. (They would have told her something, if they had seen her.)

–         Si nosotros hubiésemos estado allí, le habríamos ayudado. (We would have helped him if we had been there.)

Second part about conditional tense soon!

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About the Author: Magda

Hi all! I’m Magda, a Spanish native speaker writing the culture posts in the Transparent Language Spanish blog. I have a Bachelor’s in English Philology and a Master’s in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Granada, in Spain. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults. In my free time, I’m an avid reader and writer, editing and collaborating in several literary blogs. I have published my first poetry book recently. And last but not least, I love photography!


  1. Daisy Ross:

    I am learning Spanish by myself. I hope your site will help. Thanks.

  2. Santanu Dey:

    Cantaría contigo si supiese la canción. (I would sing with you if I knew the song.),

    Aquí tengo una duda cual quier “supiese” o “sabía” o “supe” es correcto.

  3. George:

    You created a great work of writing. Thank you for the content! And the interesting, informative post