Using deber to say should

To say should or ought to in Spanish, you use:

Auxiliary verb deber conjugated in El Condicional Simple + second verb in the infinitive.


Read and listen to these examples of deber conjugated in El Condicional Simple:

Yo debería probar tus cócteles.
I should try your cocktails.

deberías hacer un buen pastel de chocolate.
You should make a good chocolate cake.

El pastor debería cuidar a las ovejas.
The shepherd should look after the sheep.

Nosotros deberíamos contratar a más trabajadores.
We should hire more employees.

Vosotras deberíais coger el toro por los cuernos.
You should take the bull by the horns.

Las bailarinas deberían repetir la coreografía.
The dancers should rehearse the choreography.



Examples and resources

Vosotras deberíais coger el toro por los cuernos.
You should take the bull by the horns.


Las bailarinas deberían repetir la coreografía.
The dancers should rehearse the choreography.


Nosotros deberíamos contratar a más trabajadores.
We should hire more employees.


deberías hacer un buen pastel de chocolate.
You should make a good chocolate cake.


Yo debería probar tus cócteles.
I should try your cocktails.


El pastor debería cuidar a las ovejas.
The shepherd should look after the sheep.


Q&A

Alan

Kwiziq community member

6 July 2018

2 replies

Why Conditional?

Usually the conditional tense adds "would" to the verb. E.g. comería, would eat; habría, would have; vendría, would come, etc. But "should" is not the same as "would". It implies a duty or obligation, whereas "would" does not.

So debería etc. seems to be an exception because it means "should" not "would"!

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

7 July 2018

7/07/18

Hi Alan


I see what you mean, but regardless of the use or meaning, in Spanish we conjugate Deber in the conditional, to express a suggestion actually, more than obligation. As it is a modal verb, it works different to other verbs. The "would" meaning wouldn't work with "deber" the same way in English you wouldn't say "You would must" or anything like that. 


Inma

Alan

Kwiziq community member

7 July 2018

7/07/18

Thanks for tackling this question! Alan.
I'll be right with you...