Spanish brings you many benefits: traveling around the world, working in international business, getting a better job, and making new friends. It is also the official language of 22 countries! So, it’s not a surprise that Spanish is one of the most learned languages in the world. But some people find it hard to learn and give up before they get confident speaking. If you want to improve your Spanish skills, music is definitely the way to go as a really fun way (and effective) to learn.
Music has accompanied us in our learning process since we were kids. It’s a great tool to learn many different things, from the alphabet to numbers. Listening to music helps improve memory, stress levels, reasoning, and cognitive skills overall. That’s why it’s the perfect instrument to improve your language skills.
In this article we’re going to focus on learning Spanish with songs using the conditional tense.
First, let’s talk about what the heck the conditional tense is! I call it the IA tense.
You’ll find it as modo condicional (conditional mood) in Spanish, but it’s also considered a verb tense.
It’s used to talk about possibilities:
- Mañana podría llover. (It could rain tomorrow.)
To make an assumption:
- Yo creí que la fiesta sería más divertida. (I thought the party would be more fun.)
To express a desire:
- Desearía ser millonaria. (I wish I were a millionaire.)
To ask for things:
- ¿Me harías el honor de bailar conmigo? (Would you do me the honor of dancing with me?)
To give advice or make a suggestion:
- El examen será muy difícil, deberías estudiar más. (The exam will be very difficult, you should study more.)
To express past actions talking about future actions:
- Ted creyó que lo visitarías hoy. (Ted believed you would visit him today.)
If you’re looking to improve your usage of the Spanish conditional tense, here’s a list of Spanish songs that you might find helpful.
7 Songs in Conditional Tense to Improve Your Spanish
Soda Stereo is an Argentinian alternative rock band, composed by Zeta Bosio, Charly Alberti, and Gustavo Cerati. They have been very important for rock music in the Spanish language. Their album “Sueño Stereo” reached 4th place in Rolling Stone’s 2012 “The 10 Greatest Latin Rock Albums of All Time” list. Their lead vocalist died in 2014, but Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti are still touring together.
This song is perfect if you are just learning the conditional tense in Spanish. It is easy to practice because it is very repetitive, with short verses that are basically composed of verbs. Only one of those verbs is in the conditional tense; it accompanies all the other verbs, so it’s repeated a lot. Hearing that verb over and over again will help you memorize the ending of the verbs in conditional: ría.
- Podrías divertirte (You could have fun)
- Podrías intentarlo (You could try it)
- Si no fuera por… (If it weren’t for…) – Useful phrase alert: though this is not in conditional, it is a great phrase to complete a conditional thought. For example: Si no fuera por el tráfico, ya habría llegado. (If it weren’t for the traffic, I would have arrived already.)
Enjoy the Music Video:
Diego Verdaguer was an Argentinian singer and producer. Though he was mostly known for his pop music and ballads, he also dabbled in ranchera music, and became really successful in that genre too. He was even nominated to the Latin GRAMMYs twice because of his ranchero albums. He is well known around Latin America, but his music has also reached the USA, Europe, and even Japan.
“Usted qué haría?” is a song about redoing things if it were possible to go back in time. It’s a great song to learn many verbs conjugated in the conditional tense in Spanish. The title itself is conditional.
It’s a fun song because the singer speaks directly to the listener by asking him the question from the title. It’s also a great song to learn another way of saying ‘you’ in Spanish: ‘usted’.
- ¿Usted qué haría? (What would you do?)
- Yo correría (I would run)
- Yo haría (I would do)
- Sería más bueno (I would be a better person)
- Nunca tendría (I would never have)
Enjoy the music video:
You’ve probably heard of Beyoncé. She is a renowned American singer, who started her career in the famous 90s group Destiny’s Child. Her first solo album earned her five GRAMMY Awards! So far, she has had a great career, with many albums and many awards. Currently, she is the female artist with more GRAMMY Awards, a total of 28. If that weren’t enough, Beyoncé has also published some of her songs in Spanish.
“Si yo fuera un chico” is the Spanish version of “If I were a boy”, one of Beyoncé’s greatest hits. This makes it a good song to compare the lyrics and, therefore, learn many expressions and vocabulary in another language. It will also help you learn how to use the conditional for hypothetical situations. She has great Spanish pronunciation, so it’s easy to understand what she says.
- Yo me vestiría como quiero (I would dress as I want)
- Sé que podría (I know I could)
- Saldría (I would go out)
- Si yo fuera (If I were…) – Useful phrase alert: This is not in conditional, but it’s a helpful expression to start a conditional thought. Like it says in the song: si yo fuera un chico, […] sabría escuchar (If I were a boy, […] I’d listen to her).
Enjoy the music video:
Enrique Iglesias is a famous Spanish singer. Better known for his ballads. He won the “Best Latin Pop Performance” GRAMMY Award for his debut album, and has five Latin GRAMMYs. He mainly sings in Spanish and English but also has released songs in Italian and Portuguese. You can look up those songs if you’re interested in other languages.
“Por amarte” is a song from his debut album; it’s about what love truly is. The chorus of the song is conditional and it narrates what the singer would do for love. The repetition of the chorus will help you memorize the conditional conjugation of the different verbs.
- Te la regalaría (I would give you (as in a gift)
- Cruzaría los mares (I would cross the sea)
- Daría la vida (I would give my life)
Enjoy the music video:
5. Te Robaría – Massimo Ranieri
Massimo Ranieri is an Italian singer. He participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 placing fifth. He participated again in 1973 and came in tenth place. He is also a famous actor in his country. He even won a Globo D’Oro, an important Italian cinematography award, for Best Revelation Actor in 1970.
“Te robaría” is the Spanish version of the Italian song “Ti Ruberei”, both sang by Ranieri. This song is very small, which makes it easier to memorize. It has many verbs in the conditional tense. Most of the verbs are repeated throughout the song, so you can truly learn their conditional conjugation by hearing them many times.
- Te robaría el corazón (I would steal your heart)
- Cambiarías de actitud (You would change your attitude)
- Serías… (You would be…)
Enjoy the song:
6. Si Yo Fuera un Carpintero – Sandro
Sandro was a renowned Argentinian actor and rock & roll, pop, and ballad singer. He is considered a father of Argentinian rock. Sandro was compared to Elvis Presley to the point that he was named “the Latin Elvis”. He was so famous that in 2018 an Argentinian tv network aired a tv show about his life.
This song is the Spanish version of “If I Were a Carpenter” by Bobby Darin. There’s also a French version “Si j’étais un charpentier” by Johnny Hallyday. You can hear them all and compare the translations. This is another song that has the phrase “si yo fuera” (if I were), great to start a conditional thought.
- Te haría (I would make you (something)
- Pondría yo (I would put (something, somewhere)
- El amor […] nunca faltaría (Love would never be missing/lacking)
Enjoy the song:
7. Si yo fuera rico – El violinista en el tejado
This is a popular song from the musical “El violinista en el tejado”. This song is the perfect example of how to use the conditional for hypothetical situations. The conditional helps the main character to describe the things that he would do if he were rich. It has many verbs in this tense, both regular and irregular. The song will also help you understand the conditional verbs with many different personal pronouns, like ‘I’, ‘she’, and ‘they’.
- Querría yo tener (I would like to have)
- Me ganaría (He/She) would win me (over)
- Pedirían mi consejo (They would ask for my advice)
- Nada importaría (Nothing would matter)
Enjoy the song:
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
As you can see, there are many Spanish phrases that help build a conditional sentence. One of the most popular ones is si yo fuera (If I were), but there are many others. It’s also very common to hear si yo fuera tú or yo que tú, (both mean “if I were you). These expressions are perfect to give advice in the conditional tense.
- Si yo fuera tú, no me preocuparía demasiado. (If I were you, I wouldn’t worry that much.)
- Yo que tú, no haría eso. (If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.)
A lot of times the conditional is used when there’s an ‘if’ clause (in the subjunctive mood of the imperfect tense):
- Si yo fuera rico, me compraría una casa. (If I were rich, I would buy myself a house.)
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