The sentence I would like to translate is:

I would have liked to go, but I could not.

When translating this, I suggested the conditional form of haber: habría, but Google's translation suggests the subjunctive conjugation hubiera.

My question is: is one of these demonstrably correct? Are they both correct depending on context, and if so, what would an appropriate context for each be? The reason I chose conditional is there seems to be no uncertainty or frequency to the desire to go (to wherever), so I geared towards indicative.

Thanks in advance for your help.

  • You're not wrong in being confused: SpanishDict conjugation tables perhaps correctly translate "hubiera gustado" as "I had liked", even though all the usage examples I have found clearly mean "I would have liked". – Andy Jun 11 '19 at 17:46

Historically, the conditional is the correct (note the italics) form, but nowadays the subjunctive is also accepted and widely used, I would roughly say 50% and 50%. The same speaker can use either, regardless of any condition, context, etc.

By the way, you are using gustar incorrectly. Just check that out in your A1 level book ;)

  • Thank you for your response! Isn't gustado the participle form of gustar? In which case, doesn't haber gustado translate correctly to to have liked? – Tom Dec 17 '16 at 17:37
  • 3
    @Tom it's not the tense. You don't say "yo habría gustado ir", but "me habría gustado ir". – Charlie Dec 17 '16 at 18:20
  • @CarlosAlejo Great for the clarification, thanks! – Tom Dec 17 '16 at 18:25

Both are wrong. The right sentence is

Me hubiera gustado ir

gustar uses an indirect object construct.

In English it would be something like:

Going would have been liked TO ME

  • Thanks for your response! I understand from this and from the comments above that I certainly needed me rather than yo. Nonetheless, the main reason I asked was to distill the reason why hubiera is a better option than habría. Can you elaborate on why me hubiera gustado ir is better than me habría gustado? – Tom Dec 18 '16 at 5:01
  • You cannot translate gustar like that. It doesn't mean ‘like’, but ‘please’, which in English takes a direct object (not an indirect one) that cannot be replaced with a prepositional phrase: Me habría/hubiera gustado ir = To go/going would have pleased me = I would have liked to go. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 18 '16 at 17:27
  • Of course. That is not correct english. It is a made up example easy to remember – Bruno9779 Dec 18 '16 at 17:29

You can use all these phrases in the espefic context of your phrase. An action in the past that not happen but you like it would be.

Me hubiera gustado ir
Me hubiese gustado ir
Yo habria gustado de ir
Yo hubiera gustado de ir

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