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Querer: “want” and “love”

Let’s learn the Spanish verb Querer, which means “to want” and “to love”. We’ll practice using the unconjugated forms (querer and querido), along with all the present-tense forms (quiero, quiere, quieres, quieren, and queremos).

Full Podcast Episode


Quiero que tengan esto.

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to start learning how to say “want” and “wants” in Spanish. This is gonna let us use a whole bunch of our sentence templates entirely in Spanish, such as “I want her to be here” or “they wanted me to do that” — so after this week, we’ll be almost done relying on any Spanglish!

The verb we’re learning is querer, spelled q-u-e-r-e-r. This is most simply translated as “to want”. For example:

She isn’t going to want that.

Ella no va a querer eso.

The most frequent form of this verb is quiero, which means “I want”. This is spelled q-u-i-e-r-o. For example:

I want it now.

Lo quiero ahora.

Of course, by default, “wanting something” involves a direct object. As another example:

I want a house.

Quiero una casa.

But very often, what you actually want is for an entire sentence to be the case. For example:

I want it to be here.

In these cases, you use a que phrase with a subjunctive. So this one would literally be phrased as “I want that it be here.”

Quiero que esté aquí.

Some other common conjugations are quiere for “he/she wants”, quieres for “you want”, and quieren for “they want”. Let’s practice all of these with a mini-quiz.

Do you want that?

¿Quieres eso?

I want the girls to be at home.

Quiero que las chicas estén en casa.

They want me to be their friend(f).

Quieren que yo sea su amiga.

She wants you to have this.

Ella quiere que tengas esto.

I don’t want those things.

No quiero esas cosas.

Do you want me not to be here?

¿Quieres que no esté aquí?

You(formal) want their things?

¿Usted quiere sus cosas?

Let’s learn a couple more forms. The word for “we want” is queremos, which is very regular — it’s like the infinitive, querer, but with mos at the end. For example:

Yes, we want this.

Sí, queremos esto.

And the participle is querido. For example:

She hasn’t wanted it.

No lo ha querido.

Let’s get some practice with these.

He has wanted this.

Él ha querido esto.

We want those things.

Queremos esas cosas.

We want her to be his friend.

Queremos que ella sea su amiga.

I have wanted the gentleman to be here for a while.

He querido que el señor esté aquí por un tiempo.

The verb Querer is also often followed by the infinitive of another verb, specifically when the person who intends something is intending it for themselves. Compare the following two sentences:

Ella quiere que yo tenga una casa.

Ella quiere tener una casa.

So in the first sentence, she intends that I have a house. But in the second sentence, she intends to have a house for herself. So she just wants to have it, using the infinitive of tener.

Let’s practice using conjugations of Querer followed by infinitives. But I’ll also throw in a few examples where you need to use a que phrase, specifically when someone’s intention is not for themselves, but for someone else.

She wants to be my friend.

Ella quiere ser mi amiga.

We want her to have this.

Queremos que ella tenga esto.

I want to go home.

Quiero ir a casa.

Do you want to be there?

¿Quieres estar ahí?

They have wanted to have those things.

Han querido tener esas cosas.

I’m going to want him to leave.

Voy a querer que él se vaya.

They want to be here.

Quieren estar aquí.

Let’s learn one more thing that this verb can do. Querer can mean not only “to want”, but also “to love”, specifically when you use a person or a group of people as the direct objects. For example:

The boy loves her.

El chico la quiere.

This is pretty easy to do when the direct object is a direct object pronoun, such as “him”, “her”, or “us”. As another example:

They(f) love us.

Ellas nos quieren.

Things get a little trickier when you actually name the person who is loved. Check out this sentence, for example:

The boy loves the girl.

You might expect this to be El chico quiere la chica. But remember that in Spanish, when a named direct object is a person, we have to put a right before the person. So this would be:

El chico quiere a la chica.

This takes some getting used to, so let’s practice this a bit.

We love those guys.

Queremos a esos chicos.

They love the miss.

Quieren a la señorita.

I love the man.

Quiero al hombre.

The boy loves the woman.

El chico quiere a la mujer.

You don’t love the gentleman?

¿No quieres al señor?

You have to love the girl.

Tienes que querer a la chica.

I have loved the boy for many years.

He querido al chico por muchos años.

Remember that you can get more practice with anything in particular at LCSPodcast.com/71. Otherwise, if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz. And — surprise! This quiz has no Spangish in it. We’re finally at the point where we’re rarely going to need to throw English words into our Spanish sentences. So enjoy trying to translate all of these sentences entirely into Spanish.

First example:

How is it going? We want to have you at the party!

¿Cómo te va? ¡Te queremos tener en la fiesta!

Once we go, we can do it once and for all.

Una vez que vayamos, podemos hacerlo de una vez por todas.

(formal) How is it going? Are you going to want this?

¿Cómo le va? ¿Va a querer esto?

In the past, this place was very safe.

En el pasado, este lugar era muy seguro.

You want to go this week, but they want to go tonight.

Quieres ir esta semana, pero ellos quieren ir esta noche.

He wants to throw a party.

Quiere hacer una fiesta.

This instant we want to be happy.

Ya mismo queremos estar felices.

She has wanted to do that at this hour.

Ella ha querido hacer eso a esta hora.

We can do it all at once in the morning.

Podemos hacerlo todo a la vez por la mañana.

At the same time, we don’t have a place to be.

Al mismo tiempo, no tenemos dónde estar.

Back then was the moment to do it.

En ese entonces era el momento de hacerlo.

He has wanted to do it himself.

Ha querido hacerlo él mismo.

You want to do this once in a while.

Quieres hacer esto de vez en cuando.

You’re going to want 2 minutes in order not to be alone(m).

Vas a querer dos minutos para no estar solo.

He wants the same thing that I want.

Él quiere lo mismo que yo quiero.

(All of you) How is it going? Do you want to go now?

¿Cómo les va? ¿Quieren ir ahora?

We want to be sure, give it time.

Queremos estar seguros, tiempo al tiempo.

It’s clear that it is time to leave.

Está claro que es tiempo de irse.

It’s the moment to do it this month.

Es el momento de hacerlo este mes.

I want to be sure(f), but sometimes I’m not.

Quiero estar segura, pero a veces no lo estoy.

They want what you want and what she has always wanted.

Quieren lo que tú quieres y lo que ella siempre ha querido.

I want to be in that place for one month.

Quiero estar en ese lugar por un mes.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/71.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the rest of Querer’s conjugations.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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