The conditional mode (in Spanish modo condicional) is used to express an action of which the fulfilment depends on a condition. This article describes the way the conditional is used in Spanish.

Conditional simple Condicional simple

The simple conditional (in Spanish: condicional simple) expresses an action that could take place depending on wheter or not a certain condition is met:

Si yo comiera más, estaría muy gordo.
If I ate more, I would be very fat.

It can also be used to express an advice. For example:

Si yo fuera tú, no dejaría pasar esta oportunidad.
If I were you, I would not miss this opportunity.

You might have noticed the English equivalent of the conditional is formulated with would.

Conditional perfect Condicional perfecto

The conditional perfect (in Spanish: condicional perfecto) is the compound tense of the conditional. It is used when the primary clause is in pluperfect subjunctive. It is formed by the auxiliar verb haber in simple conditional and the participle of the conjugated verb.

Si lo hubiera explicado mejor, lo habrías entendido.
If I would have explained it better, you would have understood it.

 

Mode or tense?

Sometimes it is considered that the conditional is not an independent mode, but a verbal tense in the indicative mode.