As we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, what makes Spanish such a difficult language to learn for English speakers is not the vocabulary or pronunciation, but rather the grammar, and in particular, the verbs. Conjugating verbs in Spanish can be an absolute nightmare for Americans, as the English language typically has only one or two conjugations for any verb in any tense. As seen in a previous post, the future tense in Spanish in perhaps the easiest to conjugate of the lot. Today, however, we’ll see that the conditional tense in Spanish is just as straightforward.

The Conditional in Spanish verbs

 

The conditional regular endings

Just as in the future tense, the conditional has the same endings for all three types of verbs: -ar, -er, -ir. This is definitely a well-deserved break from the present simple and past simple tenses in Spanish. Let’s see what they are:

-ar -er -ir
ía ía ía
ías ías ías
ía ía ía
íamos íamos íamos
íais íais íais
ían ían ían

 

In order to form the conditional, however, remember that the infinitive verb ending is not dropped like most other verb tenses. Instead, the conditional ending is added directly onto the infinitive.  We’ll have a look at some examples:

amar conocer ir
yo amaría conocería iría
amarías conocerías irías
él/ella/usted amaría conocería iría
nosotros amaríamos conoceríamos iríamos
vosotros amaríais conoceríais iríais
ellos/ellas amarían conocerían irían

 

Conditional irregular forms

In addition to using the same endings for all verbs — and not even having to remove the infinitive ending — there are very few irregular forms in the conditional tense. What’s more, as seen in the table above, many verbs that are typically irregular are often regular in the future and conditional tenses — a welcomed change. An irregular verb in the conditional, such as salir, would not be saliría, but rather, saldría. Let’s take a look at some more examples:

valer poder salir
yo valdría podría saldría
valdrías podrías saldrías
él/ella/usted valdría podría saldría
nosotros valdríamos podríamos saldríamos
vosotros valdríais podríais saldríais
ellos/ellas valdrían podrían saldrían

 

The conditional in Spanish

The complete list of irregulars is the same in both the future and conditional tenses, which is the following:

caber cabr-
decir dir-
haber habr-
hacer har-
poder podr-
poner pondr-
querer querr-
saber sabr-
salir saldr-
tener tendr-
valer valdr-
venir vendr-

 

What would you say?

So what would you say if all of the tenses in Spanish were this simple? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, but it’s certainly a nice thought. After mastering the present and past tenses, however, all the others will definitely seem easy!