Spanish Verb Querer Conjugation

Learn How to Use and Conjugate the Irregular Spanish Verb Querer

Car salesperson with a customer
Ella quiere un carro nuevo. (She wants a new car). kali9 / Getty Images

The Spanish verb querer is a common verb that means "to want," "to wish," "to love" or "to like," and its conjugation is highly irregular. Both its stem and endings often depart from the norm in unpredictable ways. This article includes querer conjugations in the present, past, conditional and future indicative, the present and past subjunctive, the imperative, and other verb forms.

There are only three verbs that are conjugated in the same way as querer, and all three are derived from it: bienquerer (to like or be fond of), desquerer (to cease wanting or loving) and malquerer (to dislike). None of them are particularly common.

Using the Verb Querer

The verb querer can be translated to English in several different ways. The most common meaning is "to want" or "to wish," as in El niño quiere muchos regalos para su cumpleaños (The boy wants a lot of presents for his birthday), or Ella quiere que todos los niños sean felices (She wishes for all children to be happy).

When used with people (or pets), the verb querer can also mean "to love." Although the verb amar means to love, it is often used in more profound or romantic relationships. You can use the verb querer as in Quiero mucho a mi mejor amigo (I really love my best friend) or La niña quiere a sus maestros (The girl loves her teachers). In the last example, querer has a connotation of "to appreciate" more than "to love." Also, notice that when used in this way with people or pets, the personal a is always used before the direct object.

Querer Present Indicative

In the present indicative tense, the verb querer is stem-changing. This means that the e in the stem of the verb changes to ie when part of a stressed syllable.

Yo quiero I want Yo quiero viajar a España.
quieres You want Tú quieres un carro nuevo.
Usted/él/ella quiere You/he/she wants Ella quiere a sus amigos.
Nosotros queremos We want Nosotros queremos tener paz en el mundo.
Vosotros queréis You want Vosotros queréis aprender italiano.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas quieren You/they want Ellos quieren mucho a sus mascotas.

Querer Preterite Indicative

In the preterite tense, querer is irregular, since the stem changes to quis-. The preterite is used to talk about completed actions in the past. When using the verb querer in the preterite, it has the meaning of something that someone wanted but did not obtain. For example, Quise ir a la fiesta means "I wanted to go to the party but I ended up not being able to go."

Yo quise I wanted Yo quise viajar a España.
quisiste You wanted Tú quisiste un carro nuevo.
Usted/él/ella quiso You/he/she wanted Ella quiso a sus amigos.
Nosotros quisimos We wanted Nosotros quisimos tener paz en el mundo.
Vosotros quisisteis You wanted Vosotros quisisteis aprender italiano.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas quisieron You/they wanted Ellos quisieron mucho a sus mascotas.

Querer Imperfect Indicative

The imperfect tense conjugation of querer is regular. You start with the stem quer- and add the imperfect ending for -er verbs (ía, ías, ía, íamos, íais, ían). In the imperfect tense the verb querer usually means "wanted," but can also be translated as "was wanting" or "used to want." The imperfect is used to talk about ongoing actions in the past. With the verb querer it means that someone wanted something, but we don't know if they obtained it or not.

Yo quería I used to want Yo quería viajar a España.
querías You used to want Tú querías un carro nuevo.
Usted/él/ella quería You/he/she used to want Ella quería a sus amigos.
Nosotros queríamos We used to want Nosotros queríamos tener paz en el mundo.
Vosotros queríais You used to want Vosotros queríais aprender italiano.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas querían You/they used to want Ellos querían a sus mascotas.

Querer Future Indicative

To conjugate the future tense you start with the infinitive (querer) and add the future tense endings (é, ás, á, emos, áis, án). However, the verb querer is irregular because there is an extra r in the stem, so it ends up being querr-.

Yo querré I will want Yo querré viajar a España.
querrás You will want Tú querrás un carro nuevo.
Usted/él/ella querrá You/he/she will want Ella querrá a sus amigos.
Nosotros querremos We will want Nosotros querremos tener paz en el mundo.
Vosotros querréis You will want Vosotros querréis aprender italiano.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas querrán You/they will want Ellos querrán a sus mascotas.

Querer Periphrastic Future Indicative 

The periphrastic future is formed with the present indicative conjugation of the verb ir (to go), the preposition a, and the infinitive querer.

Yo voy a querer I am going to want Yo voy a querer viajar a España.
vas a querer You are going to want Tú vas a querer un carro nuevo.
Usted/él/ella va a querer You/he/she going to want Ella va a querer a sus amigos.
Nosotros vamos a querer We are going to want Nosotros vamos a querer tener paz en el mundo.
Vosotros vais a querer You are going to want Vosotros vais a querer aprender italiano.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas van a querer You/they are going to want Ellos van a querer mucho a sus mascotas.

Querer Present Progressive/Gerund Form

The gerund or present participle for the verb querer is formed regularly, by starting with stem of the verb quer- and the ending the ending -iendo (for -er and -ir verbs). The present participle can be used to form progressive tenses like the present progressive, which usually requires the auxiliary verb estar. However, it is rare to use the verb querer in progressive tenses, since "to want" already implies an ongoing action. Therefore, it sounds redundant to say está queriendo (is wanting) and it is simpler to say quiere (wants). The form queriendo is more commonly used as an adverb, as in Queriendo ayudar, hicimos un gran esfuerzo (Wanting to help, we made a great effort).

Present Progressive of Querer está queriendo She is wanting Ella está queriendo a sus amigos.

Querer Past Participle

The past participle is formed with the stem quer- plus the ending -ido. It can be used to form perfect tenses, such as the present perfect. The present perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb haber and the past participle querido.

Present Perfect of Querer ha querido She has wanted Ella ha querido a sus amigos.

Querer Conditional Indicative

The conditional tense is usually translated to English as "would + verb." Similar to the future tense, it is conjugated by starting with the infinitive form. However, just like in the future tense, the verb querer is irregular because it has an extra r, so it uses the stem querr-.

Yo querría I would want Yo querría viajar a España si no me diera miedo viajar en avión.
querrías You would want Tú querrías un carro nuevo, pero están muy caros.
Usted/él/ella querría You/he/she would want Ella querría a sus amigos si fueran más amables.
Nosotros querríamos We would want Nosotros querríamos tener paz en el mundo, pero sabemos que es muy difícil.
Vosotros querríais You would want Vosotros querríais aprender italiano, pero preferisteis aprender francés.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas querrían You/they would want Ellos querrían mucho a sus mascotas si se portaran mejor.

Querer Present Subjunctive

The present subjunctive is used for subjective situations like desires, doubts and recommendations. It is formed starting with the first person singular present indicative conjugation (yo). It is also stem-changing (e to ie) when the e falls on the stressed syllable.

Que yo quiera That I want El agente de viajes espera que yo quiera viajar a España.
Que tú quieras That you want El vendedor espera que tú quieras un carro nuevo.
Que usted/él/ella quiera That you/he/she want Mamá espera que ella quiera a sus amigos.
Que nosotros queramos That we want Los diplomáticos esperan que nosotros queramos tener paz en el mundo.
Que vosotros queráis That you want El maestro espera que vosotros queráis aprender italiano.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas quieran That you/they want Papá espera que ellos quieran mucho a sus mascotas. 

Querer Imperfect Subjunctive

There are two options for conjugating the imperfect subjunctive.

Option 1

Que yo quisiera That I wanted La agente de viajes esperaba que yo quisiera viajar a España.
Que tú quisieras That you wanted El vendedor esperaba que tú quisieras un carro nuevo.
Que usted/él/ella quisiera That you/he/she wanted Mamá esperaba que ella quisiera a sus amigos.
Que nosotros quisiéramos That we wanted Los diplomáticos esperaban que nosotros quisiéramos tener paz en el mundo.
Que vosotros quisierais That you wanted El maestro esperaba que vosotros quisierais aprender italiano.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas quisieran That you/they wanted Papá esperaba que ellos quisieran mucho a sus mascotas. 

Option 2

Que yo quisiese That I wanted La agente de viajes esperaba que yo quisiese viajar a España.
Que tú quisieses That you wanted El vendedor esperaba que tú quisieses un carro nuevo.
Que usted/él/ella quisiese That you/he/she wanted Mamá esperaba que ella quisiese a sus amigos.
Que nosotros quisiésemos That we wanted Los diplomáticos esperaban que nosotros quisiésemos tener paz en el mundo.
Que vosotros quisieseis That you wanted El maestro esperaba que vosotros quisieseis aprender italiano.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas quisiesen That you/they wanted El papá esperaba que ellos quisiesen mucho a sus mascotas.

Querer Imperative

The imperative mood is used to give orders or commands. It is not common to use commands with the verb querer, because usually you don't tell people to want something. However, it is possible that you would tell someone to love someone else, which is one of the meanings of the verb querer. Therefore, the examples below were changed to show more realistic situations of querer in the imperative.

Positive Commands

quiere Love! ¡Quiere a tus amigos!
Usted quiera Love! ¡Quiera a su madre!
Nosotros queramos Let's love! ¡Queramos a nuestros hermanos!
Vosotros quered Love! ¡Quered a vuestra familia!
Ustedes quieran Love! ¡Quieran a sus padres!

Negative Commands

no quieras Don't love! ¡No quieras a tus amigos!
Usted no quiera Don't love! ¡No quiera a su madre!
Nosotros no queramos Let's not love! ¡No queramos a nuestros hermanos!
Vosotros no queráis Don't love! ¡No queráis a vuestra familia!
Ustedes no quieran Don't love! ¡No quieran a sus padres!