Comer in the Conditional Tense

Name in Spanish: Condicional Simple de Indicativo

The conditional tense, also referred to as a mood, is one of the more pleasant verb conjugations for English speakers to learn due to the way it maps neatly on to the constructions 'could eat', 'should eat' and ‘would eat’. This fact, along with the fact that there are a few simple rules of when to use the ‘conditional simple’ will mean you’ll be up and running in no time.

The conditional tense deals with expressing what one would like to do, stating desires, giving advice, giving polite opinions and making suggestions, stating the consequence(s) of a hypothetical action, asking for something politely, speculating about the past, and reporting on what someone said they “will do” (indirect speech). If these explanations sound confusing, don’t worry; we’ll break it down a little bit more below, and of course as ever, don't worry about memorising these uses, just understand them and then practice reading and listening.

First of all, seeing as this site is about conjugating the verb comer, we’ll briefly touch on the times when you can use the conditional without touching the verb comer itself. I.e., leaving it in its infinitive form (comer). Whenever you would use the 'could or should + eat' construction, you can always use the conjugated conditional form of the verb ‘poder' (could) and ‘deber’ (should). Let’s see how this works with giving advice, making suggestions, expressing desires, and asking for something politely.

Giving advice and making suggestions

You should eat less spicy food - Deberías comer menos comida picante.

You (all) should eat more protein if you want to build muscle - Deberíais comer más proteínas si queréis ganar músculo.

We could eat out tonight - Podríamos comer fuera esta noche.

They could eat more fish - Podrían comer más pescado.

Asking for something politely

Could you eat more slowly, please?- ¿Podrías comer más despacio, por favor?

Could I eat something? - ¿Podria comer algo?

The conditional is also used when expressing what one ‘would like to do’. Again, with these constructions, the infinitive of the verb comer remains untouched and is formed using the conditional form of the reflexive verb ‘gustar (se)’ (to please oneself).

I would like to eat at a vegan restaurant tonight - Me gustaría comer en un restaurante vegano esta noche.

Would you like to eat at a fish restaurant tonight? - ¿Te gustaría comer en un restaurante de pescado esta noche?

So that leaves us with the times in which we would actually conjugate the verb comer to form the conditional. See below for some examples and brief explanations

When to use this tense with comer

Stating the consequence(s) of a hypothetical action in the current situation

The conditional is used when stating what would happen as a consequesnce of some other condition being met.


Él comería pescado si fuese fresco - He would eat fish if it were fresh.

Nosotros comeríamos más verduras si fuesen más sabrosas. - We would eat more vegetables if they were tastier.

Si estuviera allí contigo, nosotros comeríamos un helado en la playa.

Examples where the condition is not explicitly defined:

Ahora mismo me comería una vaca entera del hambre que tengo - I could eat a whole cow right now from the hunger I have.

Here you might be wondering why we are not using the 'podria comer' construction, considering that we have translated it with could?! In fact, it would be perfectly fine to use podria comer in this case, but it's also fine to use the 'me comería' conjugation because there is a condition that is not clearly defined, that being that they would eat a cow if only they had one!

Me comería el helado pero está derretido - I would eat the ice cream but it's melted

Here the condition that would need to be met is infered from the fact it was stated which condition wasn't being met. In other words we could equally say "I would eat the ice cream if it were frozen"

Indirect Speech - Reporting on what someone said they “will do”

Rob said he would eat the pork tonight - Rob dijo que comería el cerdo esta noche.

Specualting about the past

Rob no cenó en casa, comería algo en el trabajo - Rob didn't have dinner at home, he must have eaten something at work.

What you would do to reach a hypothetical goal

Yo comería menos hidratos de carbono para perder peso - I would eat less carbohydrates in order to lose weight

Read a dialog with Comer in the Conditional Tense

There's nothing quite like reading to hammer home the lessons learnt above, without thinking too much about the grammar and all of its accompanying rules. Below is a great little dialog with comer conjugated in the conditional!

Mini Dialog for the Tense

Dos hermanos van en el coche, ella va conduciendo.

Two siblings are in the car, she is driving.

José:   ¿Vamos a tardar mucho en llegar? Estoy hambriento. Yo comería algo ahora.

Are we going to be long before we get there? I'm starving. I'd eat something now.

Helena:   No sé cuanto falta para llegar, pero tu comerías todo el día, porque siempre tienes hambre.

I don't know how long it will be, but you would eat all day, because you are always hungry.

José:   Seguro que nosotros comeríamos en el primer restaurante que viésemos si tu tuvieras hambre.

I'm sure we'd eat at the first restaurant we saw if you were hungry.

Helena:   No protestes, ahora pararemos.

Don't protest, we'll stop now.

Conjugation chart for comer in the conditional tense

Here is the conjugation chart for the conditional, we have added English translations for

Yo comeríaI would eat
Tú comeríasYou would eat
Vos comerías(voseo) You would eat
Usted comería(formal) You would eat
Él / Ella comeríaHe / she would eat
Nosotros / Nosotras comeríamosWe would eat
Vosotros / Vosotras comeríaisYou (all) would eat
Ustedes comerían(formal) You (all) would eat
Ellos / Ellas comeríanThey would eat

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