Irregular verbs in the conditional tense

We have already spoken about the twelve common irregular verbs in the future. Well, the same verbs are also irregular in the conditional tense.

Their endings are regular (-ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían), but their stems change.

There are patterns in how the infinitive stem changes so they can be grouped to make learning them a bit easier.

The twelve irregular verbs shown in three groups. The infinitive of each one appears with its first-person singular (yo) form in the conditional tense.

Group 1 (-ría, -rías, -ría, -ríamos, -ríais, -rían)

· caber to fit, have enough room: yo cabría.

Si estuviera más delgada cabría en ese armario. If I were thinner I would fit in that wardrove.

· haber to have (auxiliary): yo habría.

Yo habría terminado el libro si hubiera tenido más días. I would have finished the book if I would have had more days. (Perfect Conditional).

· poder to be able to: yo podría.

Antonio podría comprar una casa nueva, ahora tiene mucho dinero. Antonio would be able to buy a new house, he has a lot of money now.

· querer to want: yo querría.

Ella querría ir a la playa pero tiene que trabajar hoy. She would want to go to the beach but she has to work today.

· saber to know a fact, know how: yo sabría.

Sabríamos la verdad si nos la dijeras. We would know the truth if you told us.

Group 2 (-dría, -drías, -dría, -dríamos, -dríais, -drían)

· poner to put, place: yo pondría.

María pondría los zapatos en el baño pero no hay suficiente sitio. María would put the shoes in the bathroom but there is not enough space.

· salir to leave: yo saldría.

Nos dijeron que saldrían a las ocho del aeropuerto. They told us they would leave the airport at 8pm.

· tener to have, hold: yo tendría.

Tendrías muchos amigos si fueras más agradable. You would have a lot of friends if you were nicer.

· valer to be worth: yo valdría.

¿Cuánto valdría mi casa si la restauro? How much would my house be worth if it´s restored?

· venir to come: yo vendría.

¿Vendrías a nuestra fiesta? Would you come to our party?

Group 3

· decir to say, tell: yo diría.

¿Qué dirían tus padres si supieran lo que hiciste? What would your parents say if they knew what you did?

· hacer to do, make: yo haría.

¿Qué harías si ganaras la lotería? What would you do if you won the lottery?

Compounds of irregular verbs

As in the future tense, some of the irregular verbs in the conditional have compounds that are irregular in the same way. For example, the first-person singular (yo) form of tener (“to have”) in the conditional tense is tendría, and for obtener (“to obtain, get”) it is obtendría.

Yo tendría un barco. I would have a boat.

Yo obtendría más dinero si trabajara más horas. I would get more money if I worked more hours.

Él haría la tarea. He would do the homework.

Él rehará la tarea. He would redo the homework.

Some common compounds irregular verbs in the conditional:

abstenerse de to abstain from (doing something): me abstendría de

atenerse a to depend on, rely on: me atendría a

componer to compose: compondría

contener to contain, hold: contendría

convenir en, to agree to (do something): convendría en

deshacer to undo, untie (a knot): desharía

detener to detain, stop, arrest: detendría

mantener to maintain: mantendría

obtener to obtain, get: obtendría

oponerse to oppose: me opondría

rehacer to redo, remake reharía

suponer to suppose, assume: supondría

*Exception: bendecir , to bless, is regular in the conditional tense.

El sacerdote te diría la verdad. The priest would tell you the truth.

El sacerdote te bendeciría. The priest would bless you.

Habría (there would be)

The third-person singular of haber in the conditional, habría, is the future form of hay (there is, there are).When used alone, habría translates as “there will be”.

· Remember: “habría” is used for both, singular and plural form.

Habría más dinero pero tuvimos que comprar mucha ropa. There would be more money but we had to buy a lot of clothes.

Habría veinte personas en la fiesta si todas pudieran venir. There would be twenty people at the party if everyone could come.

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