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Querer, Conjugating the verb “Querer” in Spanish

Querer is a very significant verb in Spanish. Querer can mean “to want”, but it can also mean “to love”. The verb querer is irregular, which means it does not follow the usual conjugation patterns.

Querer is a transitive verb, which means it typically takes on only one object. It is followed by either a noun, an infinitive verb (ending in er, ar, or ir), or que + subjunctive. When it comes to conjugation, querer is an irregular, stem-changing er verb.

Querer conjugation video lesson

Different verbals of querer

You can use querer in a sentence by conjugating it or using a verbal. Before we get into the querer conjugation, consider how the three verbals interact with this verb.

Infinitive: querer (to want/to love)


Te voy a querer por toda la vida.

I am going to love you for life.

Gerund: queriendo (wanting/loving)


Mi hijo está queriendo salir.

My son is wanting to leave.

Participle: querido (wanted/loved)


Deberías disfrutar de tu vida, es lo que Annie habría querido.

You should enjoy your life, it is what Annie would have wanted.

Now let’s move towards some basic forms of the verb querer conjugation.

Basic forms of the verb Querer conjugation

él, ella, Ustedquierequisoquerráquería
ellos, ellas, ustedesquierenquisieronquerránquerían

Querer conjugation in the present tense


  • ¿Quieres que me quede más tiempo? (Do you want me to stay longer?).
  • Adam no lo admite, pero yo sé que quiere mucho ir de paseo. (Adam doesn’t admit it, but I know he really wants to go out).
  • Los amigos de María la quieren mucho, es súper bonito. (Maria’s friends love her so much, it’s really nice).

Despite the fact that querer in the present tense is an irregular verb, all of the conjugations follow the same pattern.

Querer conjugation in the past preterite tense


  • Alejandra me pidió una bebida pero yo no quise invitar. (Alejandra asked me for a drink but I didn’t want to shout).
  • Los alumnos quisieron burlarse de mí, por eso dijeron aquello. (The students really wanted to make fun of me that is why they said that).

The past preterite form of querer is not commonly used. This is because using the imperfect form when talking about wanting something in the past makes more sense.

Querer conjugation in the future tense


  • Ahora Paulo dice que no le interesa el amor, pero seguro que algún día querrá. (Today he says he’s not interested in love, but surely one day he will want (it)).

The stem is shortened to only querr for the future tense. The future is conjugated as usual from there. Again, this is not a widely used form of the verb querer. When discussing future desires, it is more common to use the “going to” equivalent, which is ir a + infinitive verb.

Querer conjugation in past imperfect tense

  • Yo siempre quería entender por qué la gente discrimina a otros sólo por raza. (I always wanted to understand why people discriminate against others just because of race).
  • Helena quería mucho escribirle a su ex-novio, pero nunca lo hizo.( Helena really wanted to text her ex-boyfriend, but she never did).
  • Si ustedes querían tanto verme bailando, ¿por qué no me dijeron? (If you (pl.) wanted so much to see me dancing, why didn’t you say so?).

This past imperfect form of the verb querer is the best way to express past desires. This expresses a longing that existed until a certain point.

Advanced forms of the verb Querer conjugation

SubjectPresent Subjunctive (that you) wantImperfect Subjunctive
(if I) wanted…
(I) would want
él, ella, Ustedquieraquisieraquerría
ellos, ellas, ustedesquieranquisieranquerrían

Querer conjugation in the present subjunctive


  • Cuando quieras salir, mándame un mensaje. (When you want to go out, send me a message).
  • Haz lo que quiera, no me importa. (Do whatever you (formal) want, I don’t care).
  • Me gustaría que mis colegas me quieran. (I would like my workmates to love me).

The subjunctive form of the Spanish verb querer takes the stem of the first-person present tense, as is customary for irregular verbs. The ending of a plus the regular pattern consonant is then added.

Querer conjugation in the imperfect subjunctive


  • Si yo quisiera ser madre, ya habría tenido hijos. (If I wanted to be a mother, I would have already had children).
  • Si quisieramos quedarnos en silenco, no estaríamos aquí. (If we wanted to stay silent, we wouldn’t be here).
  • Me habría gustado que quisieran comer mi pastel. (I would have liked it if you had wanted to eat my cake).

Querer is one of the most commonly used imperfect subjunctive verbs. This is because, unlike other verbs in this form, quisiera can stand alone and has its own meaning.

Querer conjugation in the conditional mood


  • Quien querría comer aquella cosa asquerosa? (Who would want to eat that disgusting thing?)

The conditional form of querer, like the past preterite form, is not widely used. This is because the imperfect subjunctive (quisiera) is more commonly used to express conditional desire.

It is common in Spanish to use the Spanish verb querer in a sentence with no obvious subject. This is due to the fact that the object is implied. So, rather than saying “I want it” or “I want to,” they simply say “quiero.”

For example:

  • Yo le pedí a Daniel que me acompañara pero no quiere. (I asked Daniel to come with me, but he doesn’t want to).

To conclude

This guide was all about how to use basic and advanced forms of the verb Querer conjugation. In order to master them, you need to practice them again and again. We have added a few examples in this guide. Look for other examples as well to enhance your knowledge.