Spanish -

How To Say "Want" In Spanish

If you are learning Spanish, you may find yourself wondering how to say "want" in Spanish. Whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or simply trying to communicate with Spanish speakers in your community, knowing how to express your desires is essential. In this article, we will explore the meaning of "want" in Spanish, provide different translations and regional variations, and give you practical examples of how to use it in sentences.

Fast track your vocabulary with the 10.000 most common Spanish words!

What is "Want" in Spanish?

The verb "to want" in Spanish is "querer" (IPA: /ke.ˈɾeɾ/). The word "want" is often used to express a desire or a wish, and querer is the most common verb to convey this meaning. Querer is a regular -er verb, meaning it follows the same conjugation patterns as other verbs ending in -er. Here is the present tense conjugation of querer, along with its phonetic transcription in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

  • Yo quiero (IPA: /ˈkjeɾo/)
  • Tú quieres (IPA: /ˈkjeɾes/)
  • Él/Ella/Usted quiere (IPA: /ˈkjeɾe/)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras queremos (IPA: /keˈɾemos/)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras queréis (IPA: /keˈɾeis/)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes quieren (IPA: /ˈkjeɾen/)

Meaning of "Want" in Spanish

In addition to expressing desires, querer can also mean "to love" or "to like" someone or something. For instance, when you say "Quiero a mi familia" (I want my family), it can also mean "I love my family". Similarly, querer can be used to express a preference, as in "¿Quieres ir al cine o al teatro?" (Do you want to go to the cinema or the theater?) In this context, it could also mean "Do you prefer to go to the cinema or the theater?".

4 eBooks of the Spanish Frequency Dictionaries series by MostUsedWords

Translating "Want" to Spanish

To translate "want" to Spanish, you can use the verb "querer" in the appropriate tense:

  • I want: Yo quiero (IPA: /ʝo ˈkje.ɾo/) 
  • You want (informal): Tú quieres (IPA: /tu ˈkje.ɾes/)
  • He/She wants: Él/ella quiere (IPA: /el/ˈe.ʝa ˈkje.ɾe/)
  • We want: Nosotros queremos (IPA: /noˈsotɾos keˈɾe.mos/)
  • You want (formal): Ustedes quieren (IPA: /usˈte.des ˈkje.ɾen/)
  • They want: Ellos quieren (IPA: /ˈe.ʝos ˈkje.ɾen/)

Regional Differences

Like any language, Spanish can vary in vocabulary and grammar depending on the region. In some countries or regions, you may hear different words or phrases for "want". Here are a few examples:

  • In Mexico, gustar (IPA: /ɡusˈtaɾ/) is often used to express liking or preference. So instead of saying "Quiero el café con leche" someone from Mexico might say "me gusta el café con leche".

  • In some parts of Spain, "querer" is used more for romantic love than for general desires. In these regions, you might hear "me apetece" or "me gustaría" instead of "quiero" to express wanting something.

  • In some Latin American countries, necesitar (IPA: /neθesiˈtaɾ/) is used instead of "querer" to express a strong desire or need. So instead of saying "Quiero un coche" (I want a car.), someone from these regions might say "Necesito un coche" (I need a car.)

You can find the paperbacks on Amazon (we have frequency dictionaries for beginnersintermediatesadvanced and near-fluent students), or get the eBooks directly from us here. (They are affiliate links. That means we might get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links, at no extra cost to you.) 

How to Say "Want" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "want" in Spanish:

  • Quiero una hamburguesa con queso.

(I want a cheeseburger.)

  • No quiero ir a trabajar mañana.

(I don't want to go to work tomorrow.)

  • Ella quiere estudiar medicina en la universidad.

(She wants to study medicine at university.)

  • ¿Quieres salir a bailar conmigo?

(Do you want to go out dancing with me?)

  • Los niños quieren jugar al fútbol en el parque.

(The children want to play football in the park.)


Knowing how to say "want" in Spanish is essential for effective communication with Spanish speakers. While "querer" is the most common translation of "want" in Spanish, other translations such as "desear" may be more appropriate depending on the context. It is important to note that there are regional differences in how "want" is expressed in Spanish.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published