Spanish conditional simple: “Yo, en tu lugar”, “Yo que tú”

yo en tu lugar yo que tu spanish conditional 1

In Spanish, we use expressions like Yo, en tu lugar, and Yo que tú to put ourselves in the place of the other person when speaking. Many Spanish students have doubts about the relationship of these two phrases with el condicional simple. It’s because of the grammar rules and other things that, sometimes, might make learning Spanish a wave hard to surf. In this article, you will learn how to use these phrase and what’s the matter with them and el condicional simple.


What is a condicional simple?


Spanish speakers use the condicional simple as a verb tense to express hypothetical situations or actions. You can even use el condicional simple to ask questions in a tone of courtesy or wishes. To conjugate a verb in the condicional simple, you have to add some endings such as -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían. In this conditional, the endings of regular verbs are always the same. This is regardless of whether the infinitive verb ends in -ar, -er, -ir.


Here are some examples,


Supongo que le gustaría ir primero con nosotros al cine.

I suppose you’d like to go to the movies with us first.


Para evitar problemas, debería consultarle a sus padres primero.

To avoid problems, you should check with your parents first.


El condicional simple has several uses simple, like these below.


First, you can use the condicional simple to ask for a favor. For example,


¿Me mostraría el patio de su casa? / Would you show me the patio of your house?


Another way to use it is when you need to extend an invitation with courtesy. For example,


¿Desearían ir con nosotros al teatro? / Would you like to go with us to the theater?


In a few situations, native speakers use it to pronounce an assumption or hypothesis. For example,


Probablemente me quería ir. / I probably wanted to go.


It’s also common to see Spanish speakers using el condicional simple to express a suggestion, wish, uncertainty, or doubt about something that happened in the past. For example,


Deberías ir al doctor para que te chequee.

You should go to the doctor to get checked out.


No sabía si tendría ganas de acompañarme al doctor.

I didn’t know if he wanted to go with me to the doctor.


Lastly, you can use el condicional simple to assume the future by placing the start time of the action in the past. For example,


Sara me comentó que se iría de la casa apenas culmine la fiesta.

Sara told me that she would leave the house as soon as the party was over.


How to use yo, en tu lugar


In Spanish, Yo, en tu lugar is a phrase that can be translated as “if I were you” in English. It’s pretty common to hear it even more if you visit a Latin American country. Spanish speakers generally use it when they want to give someone advice or guidance on what to do. The formula, in this case, would be the following.


Yo, en tu lugar + condicional simple


Let’s see some examples,


Yo en tu lugar le diría que no, después de todo lo que hizo, no se lo merece.

If I were you, I would tell him, no, after everything he did, he doesn’t deserve it.


Bueno yo en tu lugar si iría, quien sabe y conozcas al amor de tu vida en esa fiesta.

Well, If I were you, I would go, who knows and you meet the love of your life at that party.


As you may see, we use el condicional simple verb after the expression Yo, en tu lugar. When we put ourselves in someone’s shoes we show more empathy. Therefore, your audiences will feel you understand better their situation.


Sometimes, some Spanish speakers use this expression with an authoritative tone. Here are some examples.


Yo en tu lugar recogería esa basura antes de que llegue mamá, lo vea y te regañe.

If I were you, I’d pick up that trash before mom comes, sees it, and scolds you.


Yo en tu lugar haría más ejercicio o vería más a mi familia, dicen que eso ayuda con la tristeza. If I were you, I would exercise more or see my family more, they say that helps with sadness.


How to use Yo que tú


Yo que tú is a Spanish colloquial expression that you can use when you want to put yourself in someone’s place. It’s very similar to yo, en tu lugar. This expression has a conditional value and we can build it with the verb in the conditional or the imperfect. Yo que tú is equivalentl to si yo fuera tú, or yo, en tu lugar. The formula for Yo que tu is


Yo que tú + condicional simple


Let’s see some examples.


Yo que tú, no la abandonaría, es una buena mujer y en estos tiempos encontrar mujeres así, es difícil.

If I were you, I wouldn’t abandon her, she is a good woman and in these times finding women like that is difficult.


Yo que tú no viera esa película, da mucho miedo y después no vas a poder dormir por la noche. If I were you, I wouldn’t watch that movie, it’s very scary and then you won’t be able to sleep at night.


You can use this expression if you want to refer to a past event. For example,


Yo que tú, me quedaba con el dinero y dejaba de apostar. / If I was you, I’d keep the money and stop betting.


As you may see, Yo que tu and Yo, en tu lugar are translated to “If I were you”. There isn’t a huge difference between these two Spanish phrases in terms of meaning. But, Yo que tu is more popular in some countries because makes building sentences much more comfortable. After all, it uses no punctuation marks, and the word “que” makes simpler to connect “Yo” with the rest of the sentence.


Generally speaking, Yo en tu lugar and Yo que tú are phrases Spanish speakers use in colloquial conversations in Spanish. Then, we would not recommend you to use them if you want to be formal or if you are in a professional environment. Use these phrases when you you want to give advice, guide, or empathize with the other person. Start praticing and become a master of el condicional simple. It’s the best way to make of out the most of Yo que tu and Yo, en tu lugar. Keep in mind that they have the same meaning and you can change one for another. It will help you make your speeches more interesting!


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