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I have a basic understanding of subjunctive in Spanish, but I must admit it is one of my weaker points.

As an example, when using the words "quieres" and "quieras", I often get corrected for using the wrong word--regardless of which one I use. I think the most common phrases I get wrong with these two words are:

Si quieres/as.

Como quieres/as.

I don't think subjunctive ever makes sense with si, so I believe in the former case, Si quieres should always be right.

In the latter case, is the subjunctive form, Como quieras, always correct, or does it depend on context?

Why?

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4 Answers

Si quieres... is the right way to say it. Always. Meaning If you want...

Si quieras... simply does not make sense (at least in Spain). It is true that it can be understood (as @EmilioGort mentions) like you think that the person who you are talking to probably does not want what you are asking. But this is some kind of interpretation. It could be something like Maybe, if you want..., but again, it shouldn't be a valid sentence.

Siquiera... is a different word that means 'even', but honestly, is barely used, not like Ni siquiera..., which means 'not even', and is used a lot.

¿Cómo quieres... most of the times will be used in a question, where cómo would mean how (and by the way it should be cómo with the acute diacritic mark in the first o). An example: ¿Cómo quieres que salga de aquí?, meaning How do you expect me to get out of here?(Note that the second verb is indeed in its subjunctive form). There is a way to use this in a different case than the question. For example: Como quieres salir, deberías ponerte un abrigo, which means Since you want to go out, you should wear a coat. (Weird, but totally valid)

Como quieras... may be translated as as you want. So in this case, como would mean as not how. (Of course) you could use it in a different way, like Voy a comprarte este juguete, como quieras luego el otro, me enfadaré contigo, meaning, I am going to buy this toy for you, if you want the other later, I will be mad at you. It is something more like a "threat" (But ok, maybe this is a bit complicated situation :P )

Hope it helps :)

EDIT

When I say that something is not used or used in a way, in general, I mean in Spain. There are some things that are pretty generic, but some of them are from a specific region. ;-)

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Por lo menos en Cuba siquiera y ni siquiera son bastante usadas, seria bueno que dijeras en que lugares es poco usada o que lugares tu tienes conocimientos que esto es asi –  Emilio Gort Feb 13 at 21:41
    
Cierto, lo puse arriba en el primer comentario, pero a lo mejor no se entiende que lo demás también. Gracias ;) –  makeMonday Feb 13 at 21:48
    
Siquiera no tiene nada que ver con su pregunta. –  Zane Edward Dockery Feb 15 at 18:28
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Gracias por el apunte. Creo que se entiende que lo pongo porque, al ser una palabra tan parecida (en realidad, lo único que las diferencia es un espacio), para una persona aprendiendo el idioma puede serle útil saberlo. –  makeMonday Feb 16 at 0:59
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Aquí puedes ver una buena discusión sobre ese tema.

¿Si quieras ...? en mi opinión por sí sola no es correcta, en su lugar usaría ¿Si quisieras ...? para que tenga el mismo significado de ¿Si quieres ...? que se usa para preguntar por el deseo o ganas de alguien acerca de alguna acción. O ¿No sé si quieras ...? que tendría el mismo significado pero imprimiéndole un matiz de duda.

Otra frase que he escuchado es Ni siquiera y siquiera

Respecto a Como quieres/as

¿Cómo quieres ...? y Como quieras

Tienen significados totalmente distintos, la primera es una pregunta directa, y la segunda es una afirmación de que la acción o lo que sea, se hará como tú deseas, as you like sería la forma de decir esta última en Inglés.

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¿Cómo quieres? =  How do you want it?
Como quieras = As you want
si quieres = If you want
si quieras = (doesn't exist)
siquiera = at least

PS: Don't forget that cómo quieres always has accent, because it denotes a question, not necessary between question marks, but in a sentence too, without accent is just to express (affirmative) a particulary way , "do that as I told you" (hazlo como te dije).

Update:

Quieras:
    2nd person singular - present subjunctive

Quieres:
    2nd person singular - present indicative
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I think you have done a good job of explaining which forms are correct, but can you elaborate as to why? –  Flimzy Feb 13 at 19:27
    
Saying como quieres is acceptable, but it refers to as you want to, writing it with accent means you're asking how do you want it –  El_Mochiq Feb 13 at 19:41
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"Quieras" is a real word used mostly for future tense. Cuando quieras! (Whenever you want) is a common expresion in our language. "Quieres" can be used in a question or sentence and works in the present and sometimes future tense form of the verb. "Quieres un poco?"- Do you want some?- Question "No quieres ser parte del grupo".- "You do not want to be part of the group."- Sentence present tense. "Es cierto que quieres ser parte del grupo?"-Is it true you want to be part of the group. It is though a constant that quieres might be involved in a present, past or future tense sentence and is actually dependent on the spoken of subject, the individual (him or her/ el o ella) and it's use is then also related to what el o ella feels. "No puedo creer que no quieras ser parte del grupo"- I can't believe you do not want to be partt of the group.- Present tense as well. In this sentence, I would used and find more proper to use the word desear (to desire, to want) instead of quieras though quieras is still correct.

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It is not mostly used for future tense. –  Dzyann Feb 26 at 16:01
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