Using El Condicional to express hypothesis/wish/suggestion in the present or future

In Spanish, El Condicional Simple is used to express something hypothetical, not real, that might happen in the present or the future. 

This use happens generally in two different contexts:

When expressing a wish/intention

Ahora mismo me comería un helado grande. Hace mucho calor.
Right now I'd eat a big ice cream. It is very hot.

Mañana me quedaría en casa y no iría a trabajar.
Tomorrow I would stay at home and wouldn't go to work.

In the examples above the speaker is expressing a wish that something will happen or an intention either at the moment of speaking or in the future.

When suggesting or giving advise

Yo que tú, me pondría ese bikini tan bonito. El bañador es más feo.
If I were you, I'd wear that pretty bikini. The swimming costume is uglier.

Yo que ella, rompería con Eduardo. No la trata muy bien.
If I were her, I'd break up with Eduardo. He doesn't treat her very well.

No puedo decidirme. Eva, ¿cuál comprarías tú? ¿el rojo o el negro?
I can't make up my mind. Eva, which one would you buy? The red one or the black one?

Pues, yo me compraría el rojo. Es más barato.
Well, I'd buy the red one. It is cheaper.

It is common to find "Yo que tú...", "Yo que él..." (If I were you..., If I were him...) in the first part of the sentence, to direct the suggestion/advice to someone specific. This phrase is equivalent to the conditional phrase "Si yo fuera tú...", "Si yo fuera él..." (If I were you..., If I were him...).

Reminder:

Verbs conjugated in the conditional tense take the written accent [´] on the  of the endings, e.g. compraría, comprarías, compraría, compraríamos, compraríais, comprarían.

See also:

Conjugate regular verbs in El Condicional Simple (conditional)

Using El Imperfecto Subjuntivo in hypothetical clauses introduced by si followed by El Condicional Simple

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Mañana me quedaría en casa y no iría a trabajar.
Tomorrow I would stay at home and wouldn't go to work.


Pues, yo me compraría el rojo. Es más barato.
Well, I'd buy the red one. It is cheaper.


Ahora mismo me comería un helado grande. Hace mucho calor.
Right now I'd eat a big ice cream. It is very hot.


Yo que tú, me pondría ese bikini tan bonito. El bañador es más feo.
If I were you, I'd wear that pretty bikini. The swimming costume is uglier.


No puedo decidirme. Eva, ¿cuál comprarías tú? ¿el rojo o el negro?
I can't make up my mind. Eva, which one would you buy? The red one or the black one?


Yo que ella, rompería con Eduardo. No la trata muy bien.
If I were her, I'd break up with Eduardo. He doesn't treat her very well.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

TomC1Kwiziq community member

I had thought that in order to express a hypothesis, wish or suggestion in the present or future we used the subjunctive. i am confused to see the co


Asked 2 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Tom

Both, the conditional and the subjunctive, can be used to express wish, suggestion, hypothesis, but in different ways. For example:

If I were you, I'd talk to the boss.

Si you fuera tú, hablaría con el jefe. (conditional)

I hope you talk to the boss.

Espero que hables con el jefe. (present subjunctive)

He suggested that I talked to the boss.

Me sugirió que hablara con el jefe. (Imperfect subjunctive)

I hope this helps,

un saludo

Inma

 

I had thought that in order to express a hypothesis, wish or suggestion in the present or future we used the subjunctive. i am confused to see the co


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