How to Say “Want” in Spanish with Querer

The verb querer  (to want) is one of the first you’ll learn in Spanish: It’s incredibly common and will come up time and time again in conversations.

Querer is an irregular verb, which makes it slightly harder to learn—but definitely not impossible. Here we’ll go through how to conjugate it and different ways you can start using it. 


How to Use Querer (to Want) in Spanish

The verb for expressing your wants in Spanish is querer To say that you want to do something, just follow this formula:

(Yo) quiero + infinitive 

And if you want an item, use this one:

(Yo) quiero + (article) noun

As you can see, the yo (I) is implied in the formulas above, so you can just leave it out. Here are some examples: 

Conjugating Querer

As you’ve noticed by now, the verb querer, like all Spanish verbs, changes forms depending on who’s doing the wanting. 

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Unfortunately, querer is an irregular Spanish verb. Fortunately, it follows a pattern that’s pretty simple to remember. It’s a stem-changing verb, which means that it changes in a fairly predictable way. 

 Here’s a quick look at the conjugation of querer in the present tense for reference:

You can see the verb’s conjugations in other tenses over at SpanishDict and practice them on Conjuguemos. For more context, see the verb in use by native Spanish speakers on the video-based learning program, FluentU.

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More Ways to Use Querer

The Spanish verb querer has more uses than the simple “to want.” Here are some more common ways to use querer in Spanish:

  • Asking for something: Querer + Noun

    Example: ¿Quieres café?  (Do you want coffee?)

  • Expressing love or affection: Querer + a + Person

    Example: Quiero mucho a mi hija. (I love my daughter so much.)

  • Talking about preferences: Querer + Noun

    Example: Quiero la camisa azul.  (I want the blue shirt.)

  • Expressing willingness or readiness: Querer + Infinitive

    Example: Quiero ayudarte (I want to help you).

  • Making offers: Querer + Infinitive

    Example: ¿Quieres que te ayude?  (Do you want me to help you?)

Common Phrases that Use Querer

And finally, there are some phrases where the verb is used in other contexts. Here are a few of the most common phrases with querer that you might hear in everyday conversation: 

Other Ways to Say “I Want” in Spanish

Do you want to move beyond querer? There are a few other ways to say “I want” in Spanish that don’t use the most common verb. To add some variety to your conversations, use these other ways for expressing desires in Spanish: 


If you want to say “I want” in Spanish, these are all the phrases you can use. Plus, you’ve  mastered how to use the Spanish verb querer. Now you can talk about your wants with ease!

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