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Querer Preterite Tense Conjugation

The Spanish verb Querer meaning ‘to want‘ is frequently used and is also irregular in all but the imperfect tense. Querer preterite conjugation is a stem changing irregular tense as the stem of querer changes from ‘quer’ to ‘quis’ as detailed in the table below.

Querer Preterite Conjugation

yo quise I wanted
quisiste You wanted
él, ella, usted quiso He/She/You wanted
nosotros/as quisimos We wanted
vosotros/as quisisteis You wanted
ellos, ellas, ustedes quisieron They/You wanted

How to Conjugate the Spanish Verb Querer

Spanish Verb QuererLearning the conjugation of irregular Spanish verbs is never easy and querer is one such verb that is both highly irregular and, at the same time, very widely used. This article explores the irregularities of the verb querer and provides specific conjugations of the most used irregular tenses.

The Spanish verb querer is a commonly used verb that is highly irregular, and as such will require special attention from the student. Querer is more commonly used as the Spanish equivalent to the English verb, to want but is also used as an alternative to amar, meaning, to love.

Querer is a stem changing verb which is a verb that is often referred to as a regular irregular verb because the verb endings are consistent to those of a regular verb, with the exception of the preterite. In the case of querer the e in the stem changes to ie when conjugated in some tenses and in other tenses the single r will change to a double rr. However, the most drastic change is when the verb is used in the past tenses, the stem quer– changing to quis– for no apparent reason!

I will start by highlighting the Present tense. The verb endings, as mentioned, follow the pattern of a regular –er verb, but the stem changes subtly. This specific change to the stem also occurs in the Subjunctive Present tense and the Imperative.

Present Tense Conjugation

  • yo quiero – I want
  • tú quieres – you want
  • usted/él/ella quiere – you, he or she wants
  • nosotros/as queremos – we want
  • vosotros/as queréis – you (all) want
  • ustedes/ellos/ellas quieren – you (all), they want

It is worth noting that the stem in the first and second person plural do not change, and this is also the case for the other tenses affected by this irregularity.

The preterite is a tense that is very often irregular for many verbs and querer is no exception, with the stem changing drastically as highlighted here and also the regular –er endings for yo and él/usted are replaced by –e and –o respectively:

Preterite Conjugation

  • yo quise – I wanted
  • tú quisiste – you wanted
  • usted/él/ella quiso – you, he or she wanted
  • nosotros/as quisimos – we wanted
  • vosotros/as quisisteis – you (all) wanted
  • ustedes/ellos/ellas quisieron – you (all), they wanted

Unlike the present tense the irregularity covers all persons. This specific irregularity is also experienced in the conjugations of the Subjunctive Imperfect and Future tenses and again applies to every form.

The final irregularity is encountered when using querer is when the –r changes to –rr and this happens when the verb is used in the Future and Conditional Tenses, again the irregularity covers all formations in both tenses.

Future Tense Conjugation

  • yo querré – I will want
  • tú querrás – you will want
  • usted/él/ella querrá – you, he or she will want
  • nosotros/as querremos – we will want
  • vosotros/as querréis – you (all) will want
  • ustedes/ellos/ellas querrán – you (all), they will want

So, as you can see, querer will take some getting to know but with the use of a Spanish verb conjugator for verb training there is no reason why Querer cannot be learned quickly and used confidently.