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This lesson is part of the Intermediate Spanish Course
(69 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 8 mins)

Intermediate Spanish Course

In this free Spanish video lesson we will see various very useful Spanish phrases to ask or demand formally such as Me gustaría que… (I would like…) and Sería conveniente que… (It would be convenient if…). All of these Spanish structures use the Imperfecto de Subjuntivo; following-on from the previous four lessons which looked in detail at the Spanish Past Simple Subjunctive – El Pretérito Imperfecto de Subjuntivo. If you haven’t already watched those Spanish lessons I recommend that you take a look before or just after this new lesson. Formal Spanish phrases, like the ones discussed in this lesson, are mainly used when you are looking to make a good impression with someone, for example in a job interview, at work, or at a dinner party. You might also like to use them when talking with older people who will really appreciate the effort you have taken in wording your sentence so politely. In general, Spanish people speak quite directly and with no airs and graces. We are not impolite, but it is unusual to use as many obviously “polite” phrases in conversation as say the British. We do, however, have distinct formal and informal versions of “You” (both singular and plural): Usted and Ustedes. As a general rule, these are used when you are speaking to someone older than you or someone who is in a superior position at work.

Lesson notes:

Me gustaría que + imperfecto de subjuntivo: I would like ….:
Me gustaría que fueras a comprar la comida: I would like you to go to buy the food

Sería conveniente que + imperfecto de subjuntivo: It would be convenient if…:
Sería conveniente que vinieses pronto: It would be convenient if you came early

Te/os/le/les pediría que + imperfecto de subjuntivo: I would ask you…:
Le pediría que apagara el cigarrillo: I would ask you to put out the cigarette

Te/os/le/les agradecería que + imperfecto de subjuntivo: I would appreciate it if…:
Te agradecería que fueras más tranquilo: I would appreciate it if you were more relaxed

Te/os/le/les importaría que + imperfecto de subjuntivo: Would you mind if…:
¿Le importaría que abriera la ventana?: Would you mind if I opened the window?

Activity:

Translate the following sentences…

I would appreciate it if you came with me
I would like him to study more
It would be convenient if we travelled next month
Would you mind (one person/formal) if we go to the cinema?

Here are some possible answers to the last activity:

Quizás fuera al supermercado
No me parecía que estuvieses cansado
Estaba interesado en un libro que tuviera fotografías de paisajes
Ramón me dijo que empezaría a trabajar cuando terminase los estudios

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