In our first post about Spanish power verbs, we learned how to use necesitar (to need). Since we’ve learned how to express needs, we might as well move on to learn how to express wants. In this post, we’ll look at the Spanish power verb querer (to want).
Conjugation in Simple Present
Once again, we’re going to stick to the simple present tense for this post, as it’s aimed at beginners. Once you are able to comfortably use the simple present, you can begin to practice other tenses. Here’s the simple present conjugation for the power verb querer:
You want (familiar)
You want (formal)
You want (plural)
You may have noticed that the spelling of the root verb changes when you conjugate it for all forms except “we want.” Just remember that it’s queremos and not quieremos.
I’ll once again note that I’ve been learning Spanish in Mexico and Colombia, where the pronoun vosotros (you all, informal) is not used. If you’re learning Spanish to travel in Spain, you can add vosotros queréis to the list.
As is usually the case, you can drop the pronouns yo, tú, and nosotros, as they are implied. Therefore, you can simply say quiero to express “I want,” quieres to express “you want (informal),” or queremos to express “we want.”
Now let’s look at how to make positive statements with the power verb querer. Here are some examples with English translations:
Quiero una botella de agua, por favor.
I want a bottle of water, please.
Quieres ir a la playa.
You want to go to the beach.
Usted quiere jugar futbol.
You want to play football.
Él quiere tomar un taxi.
He wants to take a taxi.
Ella quiere comer más tarde.
She wants to eat later.
Queremos bailar esta noche.
We want to dance tonight.
Ustedes quieren ver una película.
You want to see a movie.
Ellos quieren beber cerveza.
They want to drink beer.
Ellas quieren invitar a sus amigas.
They want to invite their friends.
Go ahead and practice at home. See if you can make a positive sentence for each pronoun using the verb querer. Next let’s take a look at forming negative statements.
To make a negative statement, simply add no before the correct form of querer. Here are a few examples:
No quiero trabajar mañana.
I do not want to work tomorrow.
No quieres venir a mi casa.
You do not want to come to my house.
Usted no quiere manejar hoy.
You do not want to drive today.
Él no quiere hacer su tarea.
He does not want to do his homework.
Ella no quiere dormir ahora.
She does not want to sleep now.
No queremos cocinar la cena.
We do not want to cook dinner.
Ellos no quieren vivir en una ciudad grande.
They do not want to live in a big city.
Ellas no quieren escuchar esta musica.
They do not want to listen to this music.
Now it’s your turn! See if you can come up with negative statements using the power verb querer.
To ask a yes/no question meaning “Do you need…?”, you simply add a question mark to the end of a positive statement and alter the tone of your voice. Here are a few examples of simple yes/no questions:
Quieres ir a la fiesta esta sábado?
Do you want to go to the party this Saturday?
Él quiere vender su coche?
Does he want to sell his car?
Ellas quieren aprender inglés?
Do they want to learn English?
Now let’s look at a few other examples of questions to see how they are structured:
Qué libro quieres leer?
What book do you want to read?
Adónde queremos viajar?
Where do we want to travel?
Cuándo quieren llegar ellos?
When do they want to arrive?
See if you can form a few yes/no questions as well as some others using what, when, or where. While you’re at it, make sure you’re at least learning a new Spanish word every day. In the next power verb post, we’ll learn how to use the verb tener, meaning “to have.”
About the Author:sasha
Sasha is a teacher, student, writer, photographer, web designer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently planning a trip through Central/South America.
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