Yo que tú / Si yo fuera tú / Yo de ti for If I were you

In Spanish, to express "if I were you" we normally use one of the following structures:

  • Si yo fuera tú...
  • Yo que tú...
  • Yo de ti...

Si yo fuera tú translates literally as "if I were you". It uses the verb ser in El Imperfecto Subjuntivo. The other two structures that do not include a verb are more idiomatic and are used in more colloquial contexts.

They all mean the same and are used in hypothetical sentences followed by a clause using El Condicional Simple or El Condicional Perfecto.

Here are some examples:

Si yo fuera tú llamaría a la policía ahora mismo.If I were you I'd call the police right now.

Si yo fuera tú lo habría dejado plantado en el altar.If I were you I'd have left him waiting at the altar.

Yo que tú me disculparía antes de que sea tarde.If I were you I'd apologise before it's too late.

Yo que tú le habría dicho la verdad.If I were you I'd have told him the truth.

Yo de ti hablaría con ellos para aclarar las cosas.If I were you I'd talk to them to clarify things.

Yo de ti habría aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.

Each construction is a set phrase, be careful not to mix them up. For example, yo que tú and yo de ti do not start with "si" (if):

  • Si yo de ti no iría.
  • Yo que ti no iría.
  • Yo de tú no iría.

Bear in mind that this type of hypothetical sentence, also accepts El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo (instead of El Condicional Perfecto). For example:

Yo de ti hubiera aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.

There are similar phrases with the same meaning that can also be used, for example:

  • Si yo estuviera en tu lugar/en tu situación...
  • Si dependiera de mí...

See also:

 

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Examples and resources

Yo de ti hubiera aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.
Si yo fuera tú lo habría dejado plantado en el altar.If I were you I'd have left him waiting at the altar.
Yo de ti habría aceptado su oferta.If I were you I'd have accepted their offer.
Yo que tú me disculparía antes de que sea tarde.If I were you I'd apologise before it's too late.
Yo que tú le habría dicho la verdad.If I were you I'd have told him the truth.
Si yo fuera tú llamaría a la policía ahora mismo.If I were you I'd call the police right now.
Yo de ti hablaría con ellos para aclarar las cosas.If I were you I'd talk to them to clarify things.
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