Querer – to want, to love

Querer - to want to love
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Wanting a Spanish verb

The Spanish verb querer has two distinct meanings in most tenses and moods, plus two more in the préterito. It’s stem-changing in the present tense and irregular just about everywhere else.

Querer = to want

Quiero ser médico.   I want to be a doctor.
Quiere más dinero.   He wants more money.

Querer = to love

¿Me quieres?   Do you love me?
¡Quiero a mis perros!   I love my dogs!

Querer + another verb

Semi-auxiliary verb: querer plus the infinitive (no preposition in between).

Quiero ir.   I want to leave.
Queremos comer.   We want to eat.

Main clause verb: querer que must be followed by the subjunctive.

Quiero que te vayas.   I want you to leave.
Queremos que se lo coman.   We want them to eat it..

Querer in the conditional

You can use querer in the conditional to soften a request:

Querría un bocadillo.   I’d like a sandwich.
Querríamos dos cafés.   We’d like two coffees, please.

 Querer in the pretérito

In the imperfect, querer keeps its normal meanings of "to want" or "to love," but it has different meanings in the pretérito.

Affirmative: to try to

Quise terminar el proyecto.   I tried to finish the project.
¿Quisiste salir antes?   Did you try to leave early?

Negative: to refuse to

No quise terminar el proyecto.   I refused to finish the project.
No quiso leer.   He refused to read.

More examples: Querer in pretérito vs imperfecto

Querer in action

 Related lessons

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Querer - Spanish verb

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