Using querría, quería and quisiera to politely say "I would like"

In Spanish, the verb querer (to want/wish) is used in different ways as a form of courtesy and politeness, in order to ask for things.

Querría = I would like
Quisiera = I would like           +  [something] / + [to do something]
Quería = I would like

Have a look at these examples:

Querría un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.

Quisiera un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.

Quería un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.

Querría hablar con el Señor Gómez, por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.

Quisiera hablar con el Señor Gómez por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.

Quería hablar con el Señor Gómez por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.

These courtesy formulas are generally used in specific situations, like when ordering food and drink, on the telephone, or in a bank, for example. However, it is more common in Spanish to use verb gustar to express: "I would like to do something" in a more general way.

 See a more advanced lesson: Using gustar in El condicional = would like [to do something]

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Querría hablar con el Señor Gómez, por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.


Quería hablar con el Señor Gómez por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.


Quisiera un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.


Quería un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.


Querría un vino blanco por favor.
I would like a glass of white wine please.


Quisiera hablar con el Señor Gómez por favor.
I would like to speak with Mr. Gómez please.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

HeatherC1Kwiziq community member

Can you explain the inclusion of quería as a translation of I would like?

I would translate quería as I wanted or was wanting.  Thank you.

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Heather,

Quería, as you say, is the Imperfect of querer and generally translated as: "I wanted", however, in Spanish we can also use this form of verb querer, especially in the yo form or nosotros form "quería/queríamos" as a polite request, the same way we would use the conditional form "querría" or the subjunctive "quisiera". This is when you go to a shop, for example and as a client you say what you "would like", e. g. "Por favor, quería una botella de vino blanco", or for example if you go to the bank and say (imagine you are with your partner) "Buenos días, queríamos ver al director, por favor".

So, as well as the Imperfect tense to say things in the past, you can use it as a polite request to say what you would like.

Hope this helps,

Saludos

Inma

Can you explain the inclusion of quería as a translation of I would like?

I would translate quería as I wanted or was wanting.  Thank you.

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