In Spanish, to express "if I were you" we normally use one of the following structures:
- Si yo fuera tú...
- Yo que tú...
- Yo de ti...
Si yo fuera tú translates literally as "if I were you". It uses the verb ser in El Imperfecto Subjuntivo. The other two structures that do not include a verb are more idiomatic and are used in more colloquial contexts.
They all mean the same and are used in hypothetical sentences followed by a clause using El Condicional Simple or El Condicional Perfecto.
Here are some examples:
Si yo fuera tú llamaría a la policía ahora mismo.If I were you I'd call the police right now.
Si yo fuera tú lo habría dejado plantado en el altar.If I were you I'd have left him waiting at the altar.
Yo que tú me disculparía antes de que sea tarde.If I were you I'd apologise before it's too late.
Yo que tú le habría dicho la verdad.If I were you I'd have told him the truth.
Yo de ti hablaría con ellos para aclarar las cosas.If I were you I'd talk to them to clarify things.
Yo de ti habría aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.
Each construction is a set phrase, be careful not to mix them up. For example, yo que tú and yo de ti do not start with "si" (if):
- Si yo de ti no iría.
- Yo que ti no iría.
- Yo de tú no iría.
Bear in mind that this type of hypothetical sentence, also accepts El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo (instead of El Condicional Perfecto). For example:
Yo de ti hubiera aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.
There are similar phrases with the same meaning that can also be used, for example:
- Si yo estuviera en tu lugar/en tu situación...
- Si dependiera de mí...
Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident?
We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your
gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »