Spanish Conditional Tense – Learn It and Practice!

Spanish Conditional Tense, Learn and Practice with Exercises

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the Spanish Conditional Tense (“El Condicional”).

We use the Conditional mainly to talk about what would happen in hypothetical situations.

This lesson will teach you everything about the Conditional Tense: how to conjugate verbs and how to use it, providing example sentences.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and Exercises for practice.

Conjugation of verbs in Conditional Tense

Regular verbs

Conjugating regular verbs in Conditional tense is easy, because of 2 reasons:

  • It doesn’t matter if the verb’s infinitive ends in “-AR”, “-ER” or “-IR”. The endings are the same for all types.
  • We simply attach the endings at the end of the Infinitive.


The endings are shown in the following table:

PersonEnding
yo-ía
-ías
él-ía
nosotros-íamos
vosotros-íais
ellos-ían


For example, here are the conjugations of “amar”, “ser” and “sentir” in Conditional Tense:

 amarsersentir
yoamaríaseríasentiría
amaríasseríassentirías
élamaríaseríasentiría
nosotrosamaríamosseríamossentiríamos
vosotrosamaríaisseríaissentiríais
ellosamaríanseríansentirían


Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs have the same endings as regular verbs, but the stem has some irregularity.

The following table shows the most important irregulars.

In the middle column we see the irregular stem we need to use in Conditional Tense, and in the right column the full conjugation of the verb by adding the endings:

VerbNew stemFull conjugation
decirdir-diría, dirías, diría, diríamos, diríais, dirían
haberhabr-habría, habrías, habría, habríamos, habríais, habrían
hacerhar-haría, harías, haría, haríamos, haríais, harían
poderpodr-podría, podrías, podría, podríamos, podríais, podrían
ponerpondr-pondría, pondrías, pondría, pondríamos, pondríais, pondrían
quererquerr-querría, querrías, querría, querríamos, querríais, querrían
sabersabr-sabría, sabrías, sabría, sabríamos, sabríais, sabrían
salirsaldr-saldría, saldrías, saldría, saldríamos, saldríais, saldrían
tenertendr-tendría, tendrías, tendría, tendríamos, tendríais, tendrían
venirvendr-vendría, vendrías, vendría, vendríamos, vendríais, vendrían

Similarities between the Conditional Tense and the Future Tense

The Spanish Conditional and Future Tenses have very similar conjugations. Click here to learn the Future Tense.

Except for the endings, everything else is the same in these two tenses: they have the same irregular verbs with the same irregular stems.

We invite you to compare them and observe how similar they are.

Uses of the Conditional Tense

In general, we must associate the Conditional Tense to the English word “would”: Most times, English sentences including “would” translate to Spanish in Conditional tense.

Let’s study the most frequent uses of the Conditional:

Conditional Statements (If A happened, then B would happen)

We use the Conditional tense to express what would happen if a hypothetical condition was fulfilled.

The hypothetical condition is expressed in another tense called Imperfect Subjunctive (Click to learn this tense), and the consequence in Conditional Tense:

Si estudiaras más, aprobarías el examen.
If you studied harder, you would pass the exam.

Compraría esta chaqueta si tuviera más dinero.
I would buy this jacket if i had more money.

Si ganáramos la lotería, viajaríamos por todo el mundo.
If we won the lottery, we would travel all over the world.

Ellos te defenderían si alguien te atacara.
They would defend you if someone attacked you.


For English words “could” and “should”

We use the verbs “poder” and “deber” in Conditional Tense to express the English concepts “could” and “should”.

 "poder" in Conditional (English "could")"deber" in Conditional (English "should")
yopodríadebería
podríasdeberías
élpodríadebería
nosotrospodríamosdeberíamos
vosotrospodríaisdeberíais
ellospodríandeberían

In sentences, they are always followed by another verb in the Infinitive:

Si tuviéramos las herramientas, podríamos arreglar la radio.
If we had the tools, we could fix the radio.

Deberías ver esto.
You should see this.

Roberto no debería hablar tanto.
Roberto shouldn’t talk so much.


Expressing a wish or a request

Sometimes we use the Conditional Tense to express a wish or a request:

Me gustaría tener una casa bonita.
I would like to have a beautiful house.

¿Podría traerme la carta, por favor?
Could you bring me the menu, please?

De primer plato, querría una sopa de tomate.
For the first course, I’d like a tomato soup.

Practice

Quiz

Take this short Quiz about the Spanish Conditional Tense!:


Exercise 1

Conjugate the following regular verbs in Conditional Tense:

yo ___ 1.(conducir)
___ 2.(caminar)
él ___ 3.(patinar)
nosotros ___ 4.(bailar)
vosotros ___ 5.(leer)
ellos ___ 6.(cantar)

Solutions:
1) conduciría
2) caminarías
3) patinaría
4) bailaríamos
5) leeríais
6) cantarían


Exercise 2

Conjugate the following irregular verbs in Conditional Tense:

yo ___ 1.(poner)
___ 2.(querer)
él ___ 3.(poder)
nosotros ___ 4.(saber)
vosotros ___ 5.(decir)
ellos ___ 6.(venir)

Solutions:
1) pondría
2) querrías
3) podría
4) sabríamos
5) diríais
6) vendrían


Exercise 3

In this exercise, we practice the first use of the Conditional we have learned in this lesson: talking about what would happen if a hypothetical condition was fulfilled.

What would these people do if they won the lottery? Fill the gaps with the Conditional Tense of the verbs in brackets:

¿Qué ___ 1.(hacer) estas personas si ganasen la lotería?
What would these people do if they won the lottery?

Marta ___ 2.(viajar) alrededor del mundo.
Marta would travel around the world.

Carlos y Luis no ___ 3.(trabajar) un día más en toda su vida.
Carlos and Luis would not work another day in their entire lives.

Tú ___ 4.(tener) todos los videojuegos del mundo.
You would have all the video games in the world.

Nosotros ___ 5.(comprar) varios coches de lujo.
We would buy several luxury cars.

Vosotros ___ 6.(salir) a las discotecas más caras.
You would go out to the most expensive discos.

Solutions:
1) harían
2) viajaría
3) trabajarían
4) tendrías
5) compraríamos
6) saldríais


Exercise 4

This exercise is about the second use of the Conditional we have learned in this lesson: to translate the English “could” and “should”:

Tú ___ 1.(could) ganar el partido si entrenaras más.
You could win the game if you trained more.

Nosotros ___ 2.(should) ayudar a mamá a limpiar la casa.
We should help Mom clean the house.

Yo creo que el gobierno ___ 3.(should) gastar menos.
I think the government should spend less.

¿Vosotros ___ 4.(could) explicar el problema?
Could you guys explain the problem?

Solutions:
1) podrías
2) deberíamos
3) debería
4) podríais

A related tense: The Conditional Perfect

The Conditional Perfect is another tense in Spanish.

We use it to talk about things that could have happened, but didn’t. Click here to learn the Conditional Perfect