1

I used Google Translate for various forms of "to walk" and got these translations:

I walk = Yo camino (or simply "Camino"; so: [Yo c,C]amino)
I am walking = Estoy caminando
I walked = Caminé
I want to walk = Quiero caminar
I wanted to walk = Quería caminar
I will walk = Caminaré
I would have walked = Me habría caminado
I will have walked = Yo he caminado

I know that "I walk" could also simply be "Camino", but they seem right to me except for "I walked" and "I will walk". Are these really correct? And if so, are they the most common/natural way of expressing those statements?

4
  • 1
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying "caminé" and "caminaré" don't sound natural to you? They sound perfectly okay to me, except "I walked" can also be translated as "caminaba". – Yay Apr 29 '16 at 17:01
  • Si, eso es exactamento que yo preguntra; gracias; y que es mejor para "I will walk" o de menos mas comun? – B. Clay Shannon Apr 29 '16 at 17:05
  • 1
    Depende de la región. Hasta donde yo sé, en Latino América la forma "voy a caminar" es mucho más común, mientras que en España se usa con más frecuencia "caminaré" que lo que se usaría en LaA, aunque la forma "voy a caminar" también es común. También hay algunos cambios de significado entre ambas formas, similares al inglés "I will walk" y "I'm going to walk", aunque no existe una correspondencia perfecta entre las formas verbales españolas y las inglesas. – Yay Apr 29 '16 at 17:11
  • 1
    Ex: I will walk to your house = Iré caminando a tu casa. That is a very common way to say it. – Andres Calle Apr 29 '16 at 17:51
2

This is a question primarily about verb tenses, so let's see what we have, only in those cases where there have been any trouble (with the tense by its Spanish name):


Tiempo pasado imperfecto (modo indicativo):

I walked = Caminaba

Tiempo pasado indefinido (modo indicativo):

I walked = Caminé

The English language doesn't differentiate between these two forms of past tense:

  • Pasado imperfecto: An event from the past, that wasn't finished.
  • Pasado indefinido: An event from the past, that was finished.

Tiempo condicional perfecto (modo indicativo):

I would have walked = Yo habría caminado

A complex tense, that tells about something that could have happened IF something else had occurred:

Yo habría caminado, si no hubiese caído nieve.


Tiempo futuro perfecto (modo indicativo):

I will have walked = Yo habré caminado
  • Another complex tense, that tells about a fact that will happen in the future AFTER something else has happened:

    Yo habré caminado hasta mi casa cuando tú me llames.

  • It is also used to tell about a guess (assumption) related to something for what we don't have all the information:

    — ¿Sabes por qué él no ha devuelto el libro?
    — Habrá tenido algún inconveniente en el camino, creo yo.

2
  • will have walked is what they call future perfect, and it's used for an event that will be completed before a specific time in the future. It's not an hypothetical fact. – Alejandro Apr 29 '16 at 19:37
  • @Ustanak You're right, it is not about an hypothetical fact. But it has a second use related to an hypothesis. These cases have been updated in my answer. – Nicolás Ozimica May 1 '16 at 15:41
2
  • Caminaré = I will walk (at some unspecified time in the future, a prediction)

  • Camino mañana = I will walk tomorrow (the present tense is used when the time is made explicit: Te llamo esta noche = I will call you tonight.)

N.B. The future in Spanish, unlike English, is often used to express conjecture or probablity:

¿Dónde estará mi hermano? = I wonder where my brother is

So, te llamaré esta noche, while still "correct", may also express I wonder if I will call you tonight? In fact, this is precisely how you express "I wonder" in Spanish. Similarly, if it's about some past event, you use the conditional:

¿Dónde estaría mi hermano? = I wonder where my brother was.

Obviously, we don't do this in Enlish, so it's worth getting a good grasp of the Spanish usage now.

This is also why it's perhaps better to forget the future (except to express probability as indicated above) and use ir + infinitive instead: voy a caminar, etc. This is the most common way to express English's simple future.


  • Quería caminar/caminaba = I wanted to walk (and may still want to or may not have walked/I walked, was walking, and may still be). Completion is not implied.

  • Quise caminar/caminé = I wanted to walk (and did walk at some (usually) specified time, or couldn´t walk, or wanted to but now longer want to/ ditto, I walked, done deal, completion implied.) Note the difference in the verb querer below, depending on the tense.

  • No quería caminar = I didn´t want to walk (but may have).

  • No quise caminar = I refused to walk (and didn't). Interesting, eh?

  • Caminaba = I walked/was walking (and kept walking or may still be)

  • Caminé ayer = I walked yesterday (and now I'm resting)

Hope some of this helps.

1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.