Spanish Grammar tip – The Simple Conditional
El condicional simple
The condicional simple (simple conditional) tense in Spanish allows us to express hypothesis, ask for advice, make requests in a courteous way, make suggestions, as well as talk about probabilities when we do not know something with certainty.
While this tense is introduced by would in English, the Spanish simple conditional is formed with the infinitive of the verb plus the endings of the imperfect tense of -er/-ir verbs.
Let’s look at some examples:
Me gustaría ir al cine esta noche. → I would like to go to the movies tonight.
¿Te importaría pasarme la sal? → Would you mind passing me the salt?
Yo que tú, me compraría los zapatos azules. → If I were you, I would buy the blue shoes.
However, there is a number of irregular verbs that present a slightly different form from their infinitive before taking the conditional endings.
caber (to fit) = cabr-
haber (to have/there be) = habr-
querer (to like/love) = querr-
poner (to put) = pondr-
salir (to go out) = saldr-
valer (to be worth) = valdr-
decir (to tell) = dir-
hacer (to do/make) = har-
poder (to can) = podr-
saber (to know) = sabr-
tener (to have) = tendr-
venir (to come) = vendr
Here are more examples:
Tendría que limpiar mi cuarto antes de que lleguen mis padres. → I should clean my room before my parents come.
Me dijo que saldría del trabajo a las cinco. → She told me he would leave work at 5.
Creo que otro armario aquí no cabría. → I believe that another wardrobe would not fit here.