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I usually use "me gustaría" when asking for something or expressing myself towards something I would like to do. How about "quisiera" and "querría" can both be used the same way and what are the differences between them? Muchas gracias.

Me gustaría vivir en Hawaii.

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I try to think of it in two ways.

Me gustaria vivir en Hawaii

I would see more as, the prospect/thought of living in Hawaii is pleasing to me. Whereas something like quisiera I would use in different contexts. I think of it like the past subjunctive tense of querer, meaning something that could be possible but perhaps in more of an active sense.

For example if I wanted to express the english for, 'I would have liked you to tell me how things were' I probably wouldn't say "me hubiera gustado si me hubieras dicho como fueran las cosas" (plus it doesn't sound right) I would say:

quisiera que me dijeras las cosas tal cual I wanted you to tell me things as they are.

It feels more active.

Because in present tense I would say

Quiero que me digas las cosas

I'm not sure there is much difference but I have always felt quisiera to be more of an active word or question. Also I rarely hear people say, te gustaría ir al cine? o quisieras tomar un cafe? as we might say in English, would you like this or that. Mostly people just ask "¿quieres?" and not whether or not it would please you.

Si quisiera vivir en Francia, ¿vivirías conmigo?

(If I wanted to live in France would you live with me?)

Hope this helps, and lets see what natives have to say

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Thanks for the explanation :) – Omar Mar 3 '13 at 10:32
@Andaluci You're welcome. Spanish is a really fun language and full of great nuances :) – Adam Brown Mar 3 '13 at 10:34
Claro, pero es fácil ;) muchas gracias por todo Adam :) more questions to come! He terminado nivel uno curso, pues tengo que practicar y hablar con la gente :) – Omar Mar 3 '13 at 10:38

I think there are a few minor differences between them:

  • Me gustaría is more of a long term wish, that can only be satisfied over time, maybe a few years. Por ejemplo, Me gustaría ser doctor cuando sea grande would be an example of something a kid would say.
  • Quisiera is more of an immediate wish. You're expressing a desire, that you'd like to satisfy immediately or in the near future. In this context Quisiera ser doctor would be more like "I wish I was a doctor" (implying right now), instead of "I want to become a doctor" (in the future sometime).
  • Querría has a very similar meaning to me gustaría, but is used much less often (at least in normal, colloquial spoken Spanish). In my opinion, it sounds a bit too formal, but I think it's a matter of preference.
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Both answers are informative. I use me gustaría when I want to call someone on the phone in a formal way. Por ejemplo me gustarîa hablar con José rather than using quiero hablar con María OR puedo hablar con Jesus. – Omar Mar 3 '13 at 10:36

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