Chapter 10   --   Expressing a Conditional Action


We continue our study of the verb forms with the Conditional Tense (could, may, might, ought, should, or would in English).   In this tense, one set of endings is added to the infinitive.   The English words could, may, or might are translated as poder; ought or should are translated as deber.   There is no additional translation for the word would, as the tense alone is sufficient.


The endings are -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían.

Group 1     regular verbs         example: nadar, to swim

Infinitive               Ending             Spanish                                    English

nadar                       ía                yo nadaría                                I would swim

nadar                       ías               nadarías                               You would swim

nadar                       ía                él nadaría                                 He would swim

nadar                       ía                ella nadaría                               She would swim

nadar                       ía                usted nadaría                            You would swim

nadar                       ía                 quién nadaría                           Who would swim

nadar                       íamos          nosotras nadaríamos                We would swim

nadar                       íais              vosotras, -os nadaríais              You would swim

nadar                       ían              ellas, -os nadarían                      They would swim

nadar                       ían              ustedes nadarían                       You would swim

nadar                      ían               quienes nadarían                       Who would swim

In group 1, there are no irregular verbs.


Group 2     regular verbs         example: vencer, to win

Infinitive               Ending           Spanish                                       English

vencer                    ía                yo vencería                                I would win

vencer                    ías               vencerías                               You would win

vencer                    ía                él vencería                                 He would win

vencer                    ía                ella vencería                              She would win

vencer                    ía                usted vencería                           You would win

vencer                    ía                 quién vencería                           Who would win

vencer                    íamos          nosotras venceríamos                We would win

vencer                    íais              vosotras, -os venceríais             You would win

vencer                    ían              ellas, -os vencerían                    They would win

vencer                    ían              ustedes vencerían                      You would win

vencer                    ían               quienes vencerían                      Who would win

In group 2 the following verbs are irregular:

          caber (to fit), haber (to have), poder (to be able), querer (to want), saber (to know)

                  - the infinitive is shortened by dropping the final vowel; thus cabr-, habr-, podr-, querr-, sabr-

          poner (to put), tener (to have), valer (to be worth) - the final vowel is changed to d; thus pondr-, tendr-, valdr-

          hacer (to do) is changed to har; thus haría, harías, haría, haríamos, haríais, harían

Compound forms have the same irregularities as the basic form.

          thus , componer becomes compondría, compondrías, compondría, compondríamos, compondríais, compondrían


Group 3     regular verbs         example: escribir, to write

Infinitive      Ending           Spanish                                       English

escribir          ía                yo escribiría                              I would write

escribir          ías               escribirías                             You would write

escribir          ía                él escribiría                               He would write

escribir          ía                ella escribiría                            She would write

escribir          ía                usted escribiría                          You would write

escribir          ía                 quién escribiría                         Who would write

escribir          íamso          nosotras escribiríamos              We would write

escribir          íais              vosotras, -os escribiríais            You would write

escribir          ían              ellas, -os escribirían                  They would write

escribir          ían              ustedes escribirían                     You would write

escribir          ían               quienes escribirían                     Who would write


In group 3, the following verbs are irregular

          decir (to say) is changed to dir; thus, diría, dirías, diría, diríamos, diríais, dirían

          salir (to go out), venir(to come) - the final vowel is changed to d; thus saldr-, vendr-

Compound verbs have the same irregularities as the base verb.

          thus bendecir becomes bendiría, bendirías, bendiría, bendiríamos, bendiríais, bendirían


The conditional tense is also used as a polite way to ask for things, just as it is in English.

examples :   ¿Podría mostrarme el vaso?               Could you show me the vase?

                   ¿Le gustaría una bebida?                  Would you like a soft drink?

                   ¿Deberíamos irnos ahora?                 Should we leave now?

                   ¿Le interesaría una mesa de vidrio?   Would a glass table interest you?

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