ASK A QUESTION Tengo una pregunta para todos!!!!
No entiendo cómo utilizar el condicional. Es el único tiempo que ha sido un problema para mí.
Por ejemplo: ¿Qué hora sería? lo que significa "What time could it have been"
Acabo de empezar las lecciones, pero parecen muy difícil a mi. He estado aprendiendo español durante dos meses, por lo tanto, ayudar con mi gramática sería genial también.
Por favor, escribe (escriban?) tus respuestas en inglés.
Well, let's talk about the conditional in spanish and its corresponding tense in english. I'm going to conjugate in spanish and english the same verb and in both cases it will be in the conditional form. So the verb will be: jugar (to play). Here we go:
First in spanish
- Yo jugaría
- Tú jugarías
- Él jugaría
- Ella jugaría
- Nosotros jugaríamos
- Ustedes jugarían
- Ellos jugarían
Now here we go with the corresponding tense in english:
- I would play
- You would play
- He would play
- She would play
- We would play
- You would play
- They would play
The conditional is used as a consequence of a condition. Let me see if I can make it clear. Let's think about this sentence: If I were a bird, I would fly around. So, in this sentence we have a condition and a consequence if that condition ocurred. The condition is being a bird. Let's suppose that the condition occurs, this is to say, let's suppose that I am a bird, then I can fly around. Well, but the reality is that I am not a bird, and if i am not bird then it means that the consequence didn't occur either. - Well, this is the way in wich the conditional is used. As you can see, the conditional is represented by the sentence constructed with "would". The other sentense that represents the condition (If I were a bird) is known in spanish as "the subjunctive".
Now I'm going to explain how to construct the conditional in spanish. There is one requirement to understand this: you have to know what a verb in its ifinitive form is. It would be long to explain here what it is, so I will only tell you that a verb in the infinitive form in spanish may have three different endings: -ar (jugar, cantar, pensar, etc.); -er (correr, comer, oler, etc.); -ir (sentir, ir, dormir, etc.). So, if you want to construct the conditional, you have to take the verb in its infinitive form and then you have to add to the verb the following endings depending on the person: -ía, ías, íamos, ían. Let's see some examples. I'm going to take the verb in its infinitive form and I'm going to add it the corresponding ending:
- Yo cantaría Yo correría Yo dormiría
- Tú cantarías Tú correrías Tú dormirías
- Él cantaría Él correría Él dormiría
- Ella cantaría Ella correria Ella dormiría
- Nosotros cantaríamos Nos. correríamos Nos. dormiríamos
- Ustedes cantarían Uds. correrían Uds. dormirían
- Ellos cantarían Ellos correrían Ellos dormirían
Notice how I took the verb in its infinitive form and then i just added the corresponding endings. In the other hand, notice that this only work for regular verbs, not for irregular. Finally, this is the way we use the conditional in México, in Spain some endings change, but you can be understood in any spanish speaking country using these endings to construct the conditional.
Now, i think that the question "¿Qué hora sería?" is not exactly conditional but your translation (what time could it have been?) is correct. I will try to give an explanation for this tomorrow. In fact, as a spanish native speaker i can tell you that this question may be ambiguous. Tomorrow I will tell you why.
Finally, I would say: escriban sus respuestas en Inglés.
The conditional tense is the way we would say "would." Therefore, "¿Qué hora sería? means "what time would it be?"
Also, for general grammar in your question
It's more natural to say "me parece(n)" instead of"parece(n) a mi." I'm not even sure if the second one is grammatically correct.
"He estado aprendiendopor dos meses" instead of "durante"
Other than that, you're doing really well with your Spanish for only two months.
A really nice question. You should keep on posting questions like that (I'm constantly learning new things through that ).
Actually the translation "What time would it be?" is incorrect.
The conditional is used to express speculations, probabilities and possibilities. That's why you can normally translate it with would, could or probably.
It should be clear that ¿Qué hora sería? is an question about a speculation of the time. But it is a question regarding the past, so the translation "What time could it have been?" is correct. This is the case because the future tense is used when talking about speculation in the present. So "What time can/would it be?" would be translated into ¿Qué hora será?.
Sounds a little bit weird I know, but you can read the long version of my text as well on: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/conditional.htm
Hello again, let me explain what I think of the question ¿qué hora sería?. If we look at the construction of this sentence it fits the pattern of a conditional and it should be translated as smettems has said: What time would it be? As a matter of fact, we could say: what time would It be If... or in spanish: ¿que hora sería si...? But there are some cases in spanish which are a little bit strange. For example:
- No sé qué hora sería cuando Oscar llegó.
This sentence has nothing to do with the definition of a conditional, although the verb has the form of a conditional. If I wanted to translate this sentense then it woud be like this:
- I don't know what time it could have been when Oscar arrived. (neither is this a conditional)
If you notice there is no condition here, so it is not a conditional. In fact, I think that in spanish we should say:
- No sé qué hora habrá sido cuando Oscar llegó.
So, if you see, in spanish we use sometimes the verb "ser" in its conditional form to express somethig that is not exactly a consequence of a condition. That is why I think you are confused with the question "¿qué hora sería?" and also that is why I say that smettems is correct in his answers, but your translation is also correct (what time could it have been?) if we take into account that in spanish sometimes we use the conditional to express something that is not a conditional. I have to keep on thinking on this case, i think that it is something that looks exactly as a conditional but is not a condinal at all. I hope you undrstand what I say.
Let me be more specific.
It's simple for me to get when it means "would"
"Yo sabía que abrirían la tienda a las siete." "Sería interesante estudiar chino." "Yo viajaría pero no tengo dinero."
Okay, all simple... but when you go into things like "Qué hora sería" as to means "what time could it have been" (as the guide translated it) (what time could it have been) I don't get exactly how I should know to read it in that context.
But if I say ¿podría decirme a qué hora abre la gasolinera? - it makes perfect sense... it gives me poder and in the conditional form, it's obviously gonna mean "Could you (usted form in that place)"
Do you see better how this confuses now.