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Spanish Grammar A1 ⮟
Ser and Estar in Spanish for Beginners
Está and Hay in Spanish to Express Location
The Present Indicative in Spanish
The verb querer in Spanish: how to use it
The Verb Gustar in Spanish
Demonstratives in Spanish and Adverbs of Place
Possessive Adjectives in Spanish
The Present Continuous in Spanish: Estar + Gerund
The Gerund in Spanish: Form and Basic Uses
Expressions of Quantity in Spanish: Muy and Mucho
Spanish Grammar A2 ⮟
Present Perfect Indicative in Spanish
The Past Simple in Spanish
The Preterite Imperfect Indicative in Spanish
Indicative past tenses in Spanish
How to Express Future in Spanish
How to use por and para in Spanish
Possessive Pronouns in Spanish
Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
Ya in Spanish: Meaning and Usage
Subject Personal Pronouns in Spanish
Expressing Obligation in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B1 ⮟
The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish
The Future Simple in Spanish
The Conditional Simple in Spanish
The imperative mood in Spanish
The present subjunctive in Spanish
Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
General Rules of Accentuation in Spanish
Expressing Wishes with the Subjunctive in Spanish
The Use of Cuando with Indicative and Subjunctive
Position of Object Pronouns in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B2 ⮟
Advanced Uses of Conditional Simple
The Future Perfect in Spanish
The Conditional Perfect in Spanish
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How do I use the past imperfect subjunctive?
The Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How to express probability in Spanish
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
Verbs of Change in Spanish
Reported Speech in Spanish
Spanish Grammar C1 ⮟
The passive Voice in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish
Clauses of Purpose in Spanish
Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish
Uses of the Pronoun SE with Syntactic Function
Uses of the Pronoun Se as a Verb Mark
The Indeterminate Feminine in Spanish

The Conditional Simple in Spanish

The conditional simple in Spanish (also imperfect conditional) is a verb tense of indicative with which we can express hypothetical situations, advices, formal requests or wishes. It is closely related to the future and, in fact, its construction is very similar. In this article you can review everything you need to know about the future simple of indicative in Spanish.

As its name indicates, it refers to conditioned actions, which depend on others to come true (conditional), which are not finished (imperfect) and which are expressed with a single verb form (simple).

About its Origin and Evolution

Before talking about how this verb tense is formed, let’s know something about its origin. The conditional simple in Spanish has no equivalent in classical Latin. Actually, the language of the Caesars used other tenses (usually the subjunctive ones) to express the uses that we give to the conditional. In late Latin, the concept of conditional is introduced through a verbal periphrasis. In this article you can remember what verbal periphrases are.

This verbal periphrasis was formed by the infinitive of the main verb and the imperfect of indicative of the verb haber. This is how it evolved:

Cantare habebam > cantar había > cantar hía > cantaría

How is the Conditional Simple in Spanish Formed?

The conditional simple in Spanish is quite irregular. However, the good news is that if you already know the future simple indicative, you will have no problem conjugating this verb tense. As we saw before, the base of the conditional is the infinitive of the main verb. Then, we must add the endings, which are constant in all conjugations (-ar, -er, -ir). Let’s start with regular verbs.



Conjugation of regular verbs

The conjugation of regular verbs in the conditional simple in Spanish is as easy to learn as in the future simple. All conjugations share the same endings, and the stem is limited to using the infinitive.

The conditional simple in Spanish: regular verbs

Me gustaría tener un Ferrari; mis amigos estarían envidiosos.

Other regular verbs are: trabajar, terminar, beber, correr, escribir, abrir…

Conjugation of Irregular Verbs

The conditional simple is very irregular, as is the future tense. However, if we already know the changes that occur in the stem in the future imperfect, we will not have to learn anything new, because the endings remain regular.

Verbs with Change from Vowel (e, i) to Consonant (d)

In this first group of irregular verbs, the stem undergoes a change in the final syllable of the infinitive. The vowels –e- / -i- disappear and are replaced by a -d-:

Tener > tenería > ten e ría > ten d ría > tendría

The conditional simple in Spanish: irregular verbs with a change from a vowel into d

Other irregular verbs in this group are:

  • Poner = pondría
  • Valer = valdría
  • Salir = saldría

Quizás ayer mis amigos saldrían por la noche; yo, en su lugar, pondría más orden en su vida.

Verbs with Vowel Suppression

These verbs, like the previous group, lose the vowel of the infinitive. However, it is not replaced by any consonant:

Poder > podería > pod e ría > pod ría > podría

The conditional simple in Spanish: irregular verbs with a supression of a vowel

Other irregular verbs of this type are:

  • Querer = querría
  • Saber = sabría
  • Haber= habría
  • Caber= cabría

Here are some sentences with these verbs:

Cuando sea mayor, querría ser veterinario y en mi clínica, habría todo tipo de animales.

Verbs with Vowel and Consonant Loss

In this last group of irregulars in the conditional simple in Spanish, the verbs lose a consonant and a vowel from the stem:

Hacer > hacería > ha ce ría > ha ría > haría

Decir > deciría > d ec iría > d iría > diría

The conditional simple in Spanish: irregular verbs with a loss of a vowel and a consonant

Here we can see an example:

Yo haría el examen DELE para comprobar tu nivel; diría que el curso de preparación en es la mejor opción para prepararlo.

How Do You Use the Conditional Simple in Spanish?

In this article we are going to explain the most common B1 level uses of this verb tense.

First of all, the conditional simple in Spanish can express courtesy, in the form of a request. In this case, we do not convey the meaning of hypothesis or improbability. We simply show more politeness, for formal situations or with unfamiliar people.

¿Podría indicarme cómo llegar al centro de la ciudad, por favor?

Querría una copa de vino, por favor.

Likewise, with the conditional we can express advice. What we do is to put ourselves in the place of our interlocutor and use the first person. We usually reinforce these sentences with expressions like si fuera tú, yo, en tu lugar…

Yo, en tu lugar, no comería tantas grasas y azúcar. Si fuera tú, haría más deporte.

Finally, we can also use the conditional with a meaning of modesty. With its use, we attenuate the strength of our expression. It is very normal when we want to give opinions.

Yo diría que su propuesta no es muy acertada.

In conclusion, the conditional simple in Spanish is a tense that expresses hypothesis and courtesy. If you want to go deeper into its uses and put them into practice, don’t hesitate to try our Spanish classes for different levels, where you can learn all the grammar with a communicative and conversational approach: at nos gustaría ayudarte.

Infographic: the conditional simple in spanish