Spanish Verb Desear Conjugation, Translation, and Examples

Asian women pray from her birthday cake in the night of happiness. - stock photo
Ella desea la felicidad. (She wishes for happiness).

Pramote Polyamate / Getty Images

The verb desear in Spanish means to wish, want, or desire. Desear is a regular -ar verb, so it follows the same conjugation pattern as other regular -ar verbs like necesitar, arreglar, and hablar.

In this article you will learn several ways to use the verb desear, as well as the conjugations of desear in the most common verb tenses: the present, past, conditional, and future indicative, the present and past subjunctive, the imperative mood, and other verb forms.

Using the Verb Desear

The verb desear can be used in several ways. It can be followed by a noun, to mean to want something, such as Deseo un carro nuevo (I want a new car), or it is often followed by a verb in the infinitive, to mean to want to do something, such as Deseo aprender a bailar (I wish to learn how to dance). The verb desear is also commonly used in sentences with two clauses, where the main clause includes a subject who wants another subject to do something. For example, Deseo que mi hijo hable español (I wish for my son to speak Spanish).

Another use of the verb desear is when used in the present progressive, to say that you can't wait for something. For example, Estamos deseando que sea Navidad can be translated as "We can't wait for it to be Christmas."

Present Indicative

Yo deseo Yo deseo aprender a bailar. I wish to learn how to dance.
deseas Tú deseas ganar la lotería. You wish to win the lottery.
Usted/él/ella desea Ella desea encontrar un mejor trabajo. She wants to find a better job.
Nosotros deseamos Nosotros deseamos abrir un negocio. We wish to open a new business.
Vosotros deseáis Vosotros deseáis la paz mundial. You desire world peace.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas desean Ellas desean visitar a su familia. They wish to visit their family. 

Preterite Indicative

Notice that the preterite tense and other verb conjugations include the vowel "e" followed by another vowel. Whenever the stress falls on the second vowel, as in yo deseé, tu deseaste, etc., in spoken Spanish the first "e" in this vowel combination is commonly pronounced as an "i," as in desié and desiaste (but note that the spelling doesn't change).

Yo deseé Yo deseé aprender a bailar. I wished to learn how to dance.
deseaste Tú deseaste ganar la lotería. You wished to win the lottery.
Usted/él/ella deseó Ella deseó encontrar un mejor trabajo. She wanted to find a better job.
Nosotros deseamos Nosotros deseamos abrir un negocio. We wished to open a new business.
Vosotros deseasteis Vosotros deseasteis la paz mundial. You desired world peace.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas desearon Ellas desearon visitar a su familia. They wished to visit their family. 

Imperfect Indicative

The imperfect tense can be translated to English as "was wishing" or "used to wish."

Yo deseaba Yo deseaba aprender a bailar. I used to wish to learn how to dance.
deseabas Tú deseabas ganar la lotería. You used to wish to win the lottery.
Usted/él/ella deseaba Ella deseaba encontrar un mejor trabajo. She used to want to find a better job.
Nosotros deseábamos Nosotros deseábamos abrir un negocio. We used to wish to open a new business.
Vosotros deseabais Vosotros deseabais la paz mundial. You used to desire world peace.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas deseaban Ellas deseaban visitar a su familia. They used to wish to visit their family. 

Future Indicative

Yo desearé Yo desearé aprender a bailar. I will wish to learn how to dance.
desearás Tú desearás ganar la lotería. You will wish to win the lottery.
Usted/él/ella deseará Ella deseará encontrar un mejor trabajo. She will want to find a better job.
Nosotros desearemos Nosotros desearemos abrir un negocio. We will wish to open a new business.
Vosotros desearéis Vosotros desearéis la paz mundial. You will desire world peace.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas desearán Ellas desearán visitar a su familia. They will wish to visit their family. 

Periphrastic Future Indicative 

The periphrastic future is formed with the present tense conjugation of the verb ir (to go), plus the preposition a, plus the infinitive verb desear. It is translated to English as "going to + verb."

Yo voy a desear Yo voy a desear aprender a bailar. I am going to wish to learn how to dance.
vas a desear Tú vas a desear ganar la lotería. You are going to wish to win the lottery.
Usted/él/ella va a desear Ella va a desear encontrar un mejor trabajo. She is going to want to find a better job.
Nosotros vamos a desear Nosotros vamos a desear abrir un negocio. We are going to wish to open a new business.
Vosotros vais a desear Vosotros vais a desear la paz mundial. You are going to desire world peace.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas van a desear Ellas van a desear visitar a su familia. They are going to wish to visit their family. 

Present Progressive/Gerund Form

The gerund or present participle is used to form progressive tenses like the present progressive. Remember that the present progressive of the verb desear is often translated to English as "can't wait to do something."

Present Progressive of Desear está deseando Ella está deseando encontrar un mejor trabajo. She can't wait to find a better job.

Past Participle

The past participle is a verb form that is sometimes used as an adjective or to form perfect tenses like the present perfect.

Present Perfect of Desear ha deseado Ella ha deseado encontrar un mejor trabajo. She has wished to find a better job.

Conditional Indicative

Yo desearía Yo desearía aprender a bailar si fuera más coordinada. I would wish to learn how to dance if I were more coordinated.
desearías Tú desearías ganar la lotería, pero no lo necesitas. You would wish to win the lottery, but you do not need it.
Usted/él/ella desearía Ella desearía encontrar un mejor trabajo, pero es muy difícil. She would wish to find a better job, but it is very difficult.
Nosotros desearíamos Nosotros desearíamos abrir un negocio si tuviéramos el dinero. We would wish to open a new business if we had the money.
Vosotros desearíais Vosotros desearíais la paz mundial, pero sois realistas. You would desire world peace, but you are realistic.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas desearían Ellas desearían visitar a su familia si estuvieran más cerca. They would wish to visit their family if they were closer. 

Present Subjunctive

Que yo desee Mi madre quiere que yo desee aprender a bailar. My mother wants me to wish to learn how to dance.
Que tú desees Tu esposo espera que tú desees ganar la lotería. Your husband hopes that you wish to win the lottery.
Que usted/él/ella desee Carla recomienda que ella desee encontrar un mejor trabajo. Carla recommends that she wishes to find a better job.
Que nosotros deseemos Marco espera que nosotros deseemos abrir un negocio. Marco hopes that we wish to open a new business.
Que vosotros deseéis La maestra quiere que vosotros deseéis la paz mundial. The teacher wants you to wish for world peace.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas deseen La abuela espera que ellos deseen visitar a su familia.  The grandmother hopes that they wish to visit their family.

Imperfect Subjunctive

You can conjugate the imperfect subjunctive in two different ways.

Option 1

Que yo deseara Mi madre quería que yo deseara aprender a bailar. My mother wanted me to wish to learn how to dance.
Que tú desearas Tu esposo esperaba que tú desearas ganar la lotería. Your husband hoped that you wished to win the lottery.
Que usted/él/ella deseara Carla recomendaba que ella deseara encontrar un mejor trabajo. Carla recommended that she wish to find a better job.
Que nosotros deseáramos Marco esperaba que nosotros deseáramos abrir un negocio. Marco hoped that we wish to open a new business.
Que vosotros desearais La maestra quería que vosotros desearais la paz mundial. The teacher wanted you to wish for world peace.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas desearan La abuela esperaba que ellos desearan visitar a su familia.  The grandmother hoped that they wished to visit their family.

Option 2

Que yo desease Mi madre quería que yo desease aprender a bailar. My mother wanted me to wish to learn how to dance.
Que tú deseases Tu esposo esperaba que tú deseases ganar la lotería. Your husband hoped that you wished to win the lottery.
Que usted/él/ella desease Carla recomendaba que ella desease encontrar un mejor trabajo. Carla recommended that she wish to find a better job.
Que nosotros deseásemos Marco esperaba que nosotros deseásemos abrir un negocio. Marco hoped that we wish to open a new business.
Que vosotros deseaseis La maestra quería que vosotros deseaseis la paz mundial. The teacher wanted you to wish for world peace.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas deseasen La abuela esperaba que ellas deseasen visitar a su familia.  The grandmother hoped that they wished to visit their family.

Imperative

The imperative mood includes affirmative and negative commands. Note that the verb desear is not used in the imperative form very often, since one usually does not command others to wish something. Therefore, the commands with desear below sound somewhat awkward.

Positive Commands

desea ¡Desea ganar la lotería! Wish to win the lottery!
Usted desee ¡Desee encontrar un mejor trabajo! Wish to find a better job!
Nosotros deseemos ¡Deseemos abrir un negocio! Let's wish to open a new business!
Vosotros desead ¡Desead la paz mundial! Wish for world peace!
Ustedes deseen ¡Deseen visitar a su familia! Wish to visit your family!

Negative Commands

no desees ¡No desees ganar la lotería! Don't wish to win the lottery!
Usted no desee ¡No desee encontrar un mejor trabajo! Don't wish to find a better job!
Nosotros no deseemos ¡No deseemos abrir un negocio! Let's not wish to open a new business!
Vosotros no deseéis ¡No deseéis la paz mundial! Don't wish for world peace!
Ustedes no deseen ¡No deseen visitar a su familia! Don't wish to visit your family!