I've heard that quisiera can be used to mean "I would like ..."

When the subordinate clause in the sentence must take the subjunctive, like in the lyrics:

Yo quisiera que vivieras/
De mí siempre enamorada

(from Reik)


Quisiera que sepas que lloro en silencio

(from Christian Daniel), should we follow up with the subjunctive imperfect like Reik does, or with the subjunctive present like Christian Daniel? Or are both correct, with different meanings?

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    I think that "quisiera que sepas" is a little sloppy; but I guess one can get away with sloppiness in songs and informal conversations. I think that if you are a Spanish learner, it would be a good idea to train yourself to say, "Yo quisiera que vivieras." Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


The proper way is to use the subjunctive imperfect. Bear in mind the songwriters may use colloquial or incorrect expressions if the lyrics fit better in the melody. If you want to know how it is written it's better to look at books. In the Spanish Orthography by the Royal Spanish Academy you can read these two examples when speaking about the use of querría/quisiera in paragraph 23.15u:

Yo querría que este momento durara siempre.
Yo quisiera que tú la conocieras.

Yes, you can use both tenses querría and quisiera as "I would like". But if what follows is a relative clause you must then use the subjunctive imperfect. If not, you can use the infinitive:

Quisiera ser un pez para tocar mi nariz en tu pecera.

(Yes, this is from another song by Juan Luis Guerra.)

To use the subjunctive present you should change the tense of the verb querer:

Quiero que este momento dure siempre.
Quiero que la conozcas.

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    I imagine in this case because it's the quisiera = polite form, it's still being interpreted in the present tense, hence quisiera (=quiero, presente, con cortesía) que sepas (también presente) Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 11:12
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    Good job, @Charlie, this subject cannot be properly explained in this day and age without "quisiera ser un pez". I would also encourage Spanish language learners working on the subjunctive to study "Que Alguien Me Diga" by Gilberto Santa Rosa Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 8:37

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