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The Indispensable Guide to the Spanish Conditional Tense

The conditional tenses are used for various purposes. They have a tendency toworry Spanish learners at the outset, as conditional tenses are not part of the “main” Spanish verb tenses (i.e. present tense, preterite, imperfect and simple future). You don’t have to disquiet, if you’ve never learned the Spanish conditional tenses in the past. This post will give a crystal clear idea on how to conjugate the tense, the correct usage and why is it difficult to use.After reading the blog, it is sure that you will fall in love with the tense.

Conjugating the Spanish Conditional Tense

There are two types of conditional tenses in Spanish language; the simple conditional (el condicional simple) and conditional perfect (el condicional compuesto).

It is better to begin with the simple conditional, which is what many people really mean when they talk about “conditional” tense.

The below points have to be kept in mind while conjugating the conditional tense:

  1. All three verb categories (-AR/-ER/-IR) have the similarconclusions.
  2. You tag on the conclusions to the infinitive.


The simplest conditional tense and simple future tenses are similar and both of them follow the above given rules. Moreover, they even have the similar irregular verbs, and similar irregularities! It is better to discuss on conjugation of the regular verbs, before going deeper into the “Realm of Irregularities.

Regular Spanish Verbs in the Conditional Tense

-AR Verbs: Cantar (to sing)

cantaría       cantaríamos
cantarías     cantaríais
cantaría       cantarían

-ER Verbs: Comer (to eat)

comería       comeríamos
comerías     comeríais
comería       comerían

-IR Verbs: Vivir (to live)

viviría        viviríamos   
vivirías      viviríais
viviría        vivirían


The accent mark over í in all the persons—singular and plural should be kept in mind. There should be a special attention for adding it.

Irregular Spanish Verbs in the Conditional Tense

While moving to the irregular verbs, the list will be small. It will be good to learn the irregularities of Irregular Spanish Verbsby heart, aswe use them on a daily basis. To some extent, it’s just the stem varies. So instead of using the infinitive, you’ll use the bold stems given below:

  • salir       saldr-   (to leave/go out)
  • tenir      tendr–   (to have)
  • valer     valdr–   (to cost/be worth)
  • querer   querr–  (to want/love)
  • decir      dir–      (to say/tell)
  • hacer     har–      (to do/make)
  • poner    pondr–  (to put/place)
  • venir     vendr–  (to come)
  • caber     cabr–    (to fit)
  • haber    habr–    (have)
  • saber    sabr–     (to know)


Here is the sample to make clarity on this. The verb haber, which is given below, is completely conjugated in the simple conditional.


habría      habríamos
habrías    habríais
habría      habrían


Conjugating the Spanish Conditional Perfect Tense

The conditional perfect is made by the simple conditional of the verbhaber (conjugated Top) and the past participle of the main verb. The realmeaning of the combination is“would have ~ed.” The below given example (using theverb –amar (to love))make everything clear.

habría amado         habríamos amado
habrías amado       habríais amado
habría amado         habrían amado


If you translate into English, the final output will be “would have loved” for each usage. From the above explanation, the method to conjugate the Spanish conditional tenses will be vivid.


Usage of the Spanish Simple Conditional Tense

A number of uses are there for the simple conditional Tense. It can be said that learning of the Tense will be easy. Take a look at the below given instructions and follow them to become a master in Simple Conditional Tense.

When to use Simple Conditional Tense

  1. To guess about the past.

Se casarían a las 4 de la tarde.
(They must have gotten married at 4 p.m.)

  1. To express softening or deference (commonly with appeals).

Querría sertuesposo.
(I would like to be your husband.)

  1. To ask for information.

¿Qué harías sitedejara?
(What would you do if he left you?)

  1. To talk about what would be done in a particular circumstances.

¿Tecasarías con él?
(Would you marry him?)

  1. To speak about events that may or may not happen

Sería románticocasarse en Madrid.
(It would be romantic to get married in Madrid.)


Usage of Spanish Conditional Perfect Tense

It will be easy to understand the usage of conditional perfect, as it is used only in two situations only.

  1. To express supposition or the possibility of a past action that has already happened.


Habríaestado muynerviosocuando le pidiómatrimonio.
(He must have been—possibly was—very anxious when he asked her to marry him.)

  1. To speak about activities that would have occurred but didn’t.
    Si hubiéramostenidodinero,noshabríamoscasadoel añopasado.
    (If we had had money, we would have gotten married last year.)


Now you are convinced by the truth that Spanish conditional tenses are not so fear-provoking as they look. You have to keep in mind the conjugation and their usages, and then it will be easy.

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