Spanish The Verb "to want"


Querer is used to mean "to want," it can be used almost exactly the same way as the English verb. However, querer is also a common way of expressing romantic affection, and "Te quiero" is a common way of saying "I love you."

I want this!

We all have things that we want, but how do we express these wants in Spanish? We use the verb QUERER! This verb is another verb that we call irregular in the Spanish language. We don’t mean that it sounds funny, but rather that it does not follow the traditional conjugation rules as our other rule-following “regular” verbs. Let’s take a look at the conjugation of the verb querer in the chart below:


Yo quiero – I wantNosotros(as) queremos – We want
Tú quieres – You wantVosotros(as) queréis – You all want
Él quiere – He wants Ella quiere – She wants Usted quiere – You (formal) wantEllos quieren – They want Ellas quieren – They (feminine) want Ustedes quieren – You all want

We now know that QUERER is an irregular verb, but what makes it irregular? Notice the change in the spelling of the verb as it is conjugated in its different forms (underlined in the chart below). This is called a STEM CHANGE VERB because you will notice that the spell change occurs in the stem of the verb (the part that comes before the -er ending).

FUN FACT! The two shaded boxes in this chart will never have a stem change spelling for any verb. They are exempt from this irregular verb pattern.

The Verb QUERER and Infinitives

We have now mentioned infinitives in two previous modules and have worked with them with a few verbs. Let’s see how to use infinitives with the verb querer in order to express things that you or others want to do.

In order to use an infinitive with querer, all we have to is conjugate querer, then place the infinitive directly afterward. Remember, an infinitive is a verb in its original form, or an unchanged verb. For example: Quiero salir = I want to leave, Queremos visitar con amigos = We want to visit with friends.  

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.