Simple Conditional in Spanish

The Spanish name for this tense is: "condicional simple del indicativo".

Conjugation of the Conditional tense

As always, we will study the three verbal conjugations:

First Conjugation "-ar"

First, we will learn the conjugation of the "ar" verbs:

enviar (to send)

[stem] + "-ar"
yo enviaríaI would send
enviaríasyou would send
él enviaríahe would send
nosotros enviaríamoswe would send
vosotros enviaríaisyou would send
ellos enviaríanthey would send

Second Conjugation "-er"

Now, we will see the conjugation of the "er" verbs:

coser (to sew)

[stem] + "-ar"
yo coseríaI would sew
coseríasyou would sew
él coseríahe would sew
nosotros coseríamoswe would sew
vosotros coseríaisyou would sew
ellos coseríanthey would sew

Third Conjugation "-ir"

First, we will see the conjugation of the "ir" verbs:

saltar (to jump)

[stem] + "-ir"
yo escribiríaI would write
escribiríasyou would write
él escribiríahe would write
nosotros escribiríamoswe would write
vosotros escribiríaisyou would write
ellos escribir íanthey would write

Summary of 'imperfect' endings

If you notice, the simple conditional does not have many differences between the different conjugations. The endings are the same except for one letter which tells you which conjugation it is. Therefore, you can use the infinitive of each regular verb and add simple conditional endings.

[stem] + "-ar"
[stem] + "-er"
[stem] + "-ir"

Uses of the simple conditional

In Spanish, the simple conditional is used in the following cases:

  1. To ask for something from someone in a polite way

    ¿Podrías bajarme ese libro?
    Could you get that book down for me?

    ¿Te importaría venir conmigo?
    Would you mind coming with me?

  2. To give advice

    Deberías cortarte el pelo
    You should cut your hair

    Podrías ponerte el vestido rojo
    You could wear the red dress

  3. In the past, when you say or think some event will happen in the future but that doesn´t end up happening and you refer back to that same event.

    Pensé que suspenderías el examen
    I thought you would suspend the exam

    Me prometiste que recogerías tu habitación
    You promised you would pick up your room

  4. to discuss theories

    Terminando pronto los deberes podrías jugar más rato con tus amigos
    If you finished your homework son, you could play with your friends longer

    Pintando más a menudo mejorarías mucho
    If you painted more often, you could improve a lot

  5. For past assumptions. When you're not sure of something that happened but you take a guess.

    Pregunta: ¿Quién te arregló ayer la bicicleta?
    Respuesta: No sé, sería Óscar, le vi salir de la tienda.

    Question: Who fixed your bike yesterday?
    Answer: I don´t know, it might have been Oscar. I saw him leave the store.

    Pregunta: ¿Cuántos niños hubo en el cumpleaños?
    Respuesta: No estoy seguro, habría unos treinta

    Question: How many children were at the birthday party?
    Answer: They were twenty six. They were my classmates

The question with the simple conditional indicative

When we ask a question, generally, we switch the position of the verb to that of the personal pronoun.

First conjugation
Second conjugation
Third conjugation
¿enviaría yo?
could I send?
¿cosería yo?
could I sew?
¿escribiría yo?
could I write?
¿enviarías tú?
could you send?
¿coserías tú?
could you sew?
¿escribirías tú?
could you write?
¿enviaría él?
could he send?
¿cosería él?
could he sew?
¿escribiría él?
could he write?
¿enviaríamos nosotros?
could we send?
¿coseríamos nosotros?
could we sew?
¿escribiríamos nosotros?
could we write?
¿enviaríais vosotros?
could you send?
¿coseríais vosotros?
could you sew?
¿escribiríais vosotros?
could you write?
¿enviarían ellos?
could they send?
¿coserían ellos?
could they sew?
¿escribirían ellos?
could they write?

Negation of the simple conditional indicative

To make the negative form, simply put the word "no" before the verb, or, in other words, to the left of the verb.

First conjugation
Second conjugation
Third conjugation
yo no enviaría
I could't send
yo no cosería
I could't sew
yo no escribiría
I could't write
tú no enviarías
you could't send
tú no coserías
you could't sew
tú no escribirías
you could't write
él no enviaría
he could't send
él no cosería
he could't sew
él no escribiría
he could't write
nosotros no enviaríamos
we could't send
nosotros no coseríamos
we could't sew
nosotros no escribiríamos
we could't write
vosotros no enviaríais
you could't send
vosotros no coseríais
you could't sew
vosotros no escribiríais
you could't write
ellos no enviarían
they could't send
ellos no coserían
they could't sew
ellos no escribirían
they could't write