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Spanish Verb Tenses: Conditional

written by: Tricia Wegman • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 10/31/2013

Incorporate critical thinking into your next conditional tense Spanish lesson. Includes students completing sentences about hypothetical situations in Spanish.

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    Conditional The conditional tense allows students to enter into the world of possibilities in Spanish. As students work with this tense, they become more aware of how to use the language theoretically, which will help them in the future as they move to subjunctive verbs. This lesson plan is a foundational plan that functions as an introduction to the conditional tense.

    Lesson 5 Objectives:

    • Students will become familiar with conditional tense conjugations for regular verbs with –ar, -er, and –ir endings.
    • Students will be able to use conditional tense verbs in a sentence successfully.
    • Students will become familiar with the conditional tense of twelve irregular verbs.


    • Notebooks
    • Pencils
    • Blank sheets of paper
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    Lesson Procedure:

    1. Write the subject pronouns on the board (i.e. yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros(as), ustedes, ellos(as)). *Note: vosotros(as) may be added in if necessary.

    2. Describe how to use conditional tense: when describing possibilities and probabilities. Describe that in English, we use the words would and could to express this tense.

    3. Remind the students of how in Spanish, verbs are conjugated to express tense. Also explain to students that conditional tense is similar to future in that –ar, -er, and –ir endings all are the same and that the verb stays the same and letters are added to the end.

    4. Create a chart on the board and allow students to copy down in their notebooks. Give an example verb for each.

    • –ar verbs: add -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -ían. (hablaría, hablarías, hablaría, hablaríamos, hablarían)
    • –er verbs: add -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -ían. (bebería, beberías, bebería, beberíamos, beberían)
    • –ir verbs: add -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -ían. (viviría, viviría, viviría, viviríamos, vivirían)

    5. Put sentences on the board and have students come up and conjugate.

    • Él ______________ (estar) muy feliz. (estaría)
    • Yo ______________ (ganar) miles de dólares. (ganaría)
    • Ustedes ______________ (ir) mañana. (irían)
    • Nosotras _________________ (cometer) muchos errores. (cometeríamos)
    • Tú ________________ (cantar) en el estadio nacional. (cantarías)

    6. Explain that there are twelve irregular conjugations in the conditional tense just like the future tense. Have the students write them in their notes. While practicing these conjugations will require another lesson, it is important to at least introduce the irregulars so that students don’t make mistakes and pick up bad habits. (12 irregulars: caber- cabría, decir-diría, haber-habría, hacer-haría, poder-podría, poner-pondría, querer-querría, saber-sabría, salir-saldría, tener-tendría, valer-valdría, venir-vendría)

    7. Write hypothetical situations on the board and have the students choose one to write about. Have the students come up with at least 5 things they would or could do in relation to the situation and illustrate.

    • If I had a million dollars…
    • If I was the president…
    • If I could end five social injustices…
    • If I could learn five new talents…

    8. If there is time, have students share their ideas with the class.

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    Collect the papers in which the students responded to the hypothetical situations. This is an excellent exercise to put on the bulletin board or hang in the hallway because it demonstrates the students’ ability to use the conditional tense and allows them to express themselves in thoughtful ways.

    This lesson plan not only helps students work on their conditional tense usage, but also allows for some critical thinking, an extremely important learning tool in every area of life. Through creativity and critical thinking, students will become comfortable and confident as they learn their second language!

Teaching the Spanish Verb Tenses

This unit goes through all the Spanish verb tenses: Present, Future, Preterite, Imperfect, and Conditional. These lessons are appropriate for beginner students in grades 8-12.
  1. Spanish Lesson Plan: Present Verb Tense
  2. Spanish Lesson Plan: The Future Verb Tense
  3. Spanish Lesson Plan: Preterite Verb Tense
  4. Spanish Lesson Plan on the Imperfect Verb Tense
  5. Spanish Verb Tenses: Conditional