This is the sixth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course looking at the Spanish verb Querer To Want. We will practice using it in the context of a Spanish-speaking bar or cafeteria when ordering drinks.
In our two previous lessons we have focused on two other fundamental Spanish verbs: Ser (To Be) and Tener (To Have). We learned that verbs are doing/action words and every sentence has one. Querer is another extremely useful Spanish verb. Let’s learn how to conjugate it and practice using it with some new vocabulary…
El verbo Querer (The verb To Want)
(Yo) Quiero: I want
(Tú) Quieres: You want
(Él/Ella) Quiere: He/She wants
As explained in the previous lessons, the pronouns Yo, Tú, Él, Ella are all in brackets because they are optional.
To practice using Querer let’s first learn some useful Spanish vocabulary relevant to bars and cafeterias:
(El) Café: Coffee
(El) Té: Tea
(La) Cerveza: Beer
(La) Coca Cola: Coca Cola
(El) Vino: Wine
(El) Zumo de naranja: Orange juice
(El) Cóctel: Cocktail
(El) Batido: Milkshake
(La) Infusión: Herbal tea
(La) Sidra: Cider
Masculine & Feminine
You will see that each drink has either an El or La before it. El and La both mean The in Spanish. El is used with ‘masculine’ nouns/things and La is used with ‘feminine’ nouns/things. In English nouns do not have gender, but in Spanish they do. Every noun is either masculine or feminine and it is important to be aware of the gender of each noun you are using as other elements of your sentence will need to be altered according to this. For example, if you wish to say “A milkshake” you will say “Un batido” (not “Una batido”) because Batido is a masculine noun and if you wish to say “A herbal tea” you will say “Una infusión” (not “Un infusión”) because Infusión is a feminine noun.
Un: A/An (for masculine nouns/things)
Una: A/An (for feminine nouns/things)
Let’s practice now using the Spanish verb Querer To Want, our new drinks vocabulary, and Un or Una:
Quiero una cerveza: I want a beer
No quiero una cerveza: I don’t want a beer
¿Quieres una cerveza?: Do you want a beer?
Ella quiere un cóctel: She wants a cocktail
Ella no quiere un cóctel: She doesn’t want a cocktail
¿Ella quiere un cóctel?: Does she want a cocktail?
Asking for things in Spanish
It is important to be aware that in Spain people are quite ‘direct’ when ordering things such as drinks and food. It is not rude to say “Quiero…” (I want…). You will also hear people saying “Ponme…” (Put me…) or “Dame…” (Give me…) in bars and cafes. Spanish people would not use “Me gustaría…” (I would like…) when ordering drinks or food.
Let’s take a look at a typical conversation in a Spanish speaking bar:
Waiter: Hola, buenas tardes. (Hello, good afternoon.)
Customer: Hola. Quiero/Dame/Ponme una Coca Cola. (Hello. I want/Give me/Put me a Coca Cola.)
Waiter: Muy bien. ¿Algo más? (Very good. Anything else?)
Customer: Nada más. (Nothing else.)
Waiter: Toma. (Here you are.)
Customer: Gracias. (Thank you.)
That is all for this lesson about the Spanish verb Querer To Want. Please try to practice what you have learned by creating your own similar sentences using Querer.