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Conducir Conjugation: Command & Subjunctive

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

In this lesson we will learn about the verb ''conducir'' ('to drive'). We will see how to use it in context, giving orders or making suggestions with the imperative, and expressing wishes or doubts with the subjunctive.

Using the Verb Conducir

Can you drive? What kind of vehicle do you or your family drive? Would you like to drive abroad? Driving is a recurrent topic in daily conversations, so it will be useful to learn about the verb conducir (kohn-doo-SEER; 'to drive') and conjugate it adequately in context in order to talk about driving, transports you prefer, or warn and make requests to other people in Spanish.

Conducir = To drive
drive

The verb conducir can be used on its own, when referring to the ability of driving. In this case, we can use an adverb that indicates how we drive.

  • conducir con precaución ('to drive with caution')
  • conducir demasiado rápido ('to drive too fast')

But it will be followed by an object when we want to specify the type of vehicle someone drives.

  • conducir una camioneta ('to drive a van')
  • conducir un todoterreno ('to drive a four-wheel')

Imperative of Conducir

In order to give a direct order or command we need to use the imperative.

Take a look at these forms and their spelling. What do you notice?

Subject Pronouns Conducir: Imperative Pronunciation Translation
conduce kohn-DOO-seh (you) drive
usted conduzca kohn-DOOS-kah (you formal) drive
nosotros/as conduzcamos kohn-doos-KAH-mohs (we) let's drive
vosotros/as conducid koh-doo-SEED (you all) drive
ustedes conduzcan kohn-DOOS-kahn (you all formal) drive

As you probably noticed, the second person (in both singular and plural) keeps the regular stem conduc-, but for the rest of the subject pronouns, the stem is conduzc-. This is because we use the verb stem from the present, and more specifically, from the first person singular (yo conduzco), which is irregular in this case.

Now let's see how to use these forms in context.

Imperative Uses & Examples

Warnings

You can use the imperative forms to warn other people to drive safely:

  • ¡Conduce con cuidado! ('Drive with caution!')
  • ¡Conducid prudentemente! ('Drive carefully!')

In more formal situations, and especially in written signs and warnings, you might find the formal way of addressing (usted and ustedes):

  • Conduzcan con prudencia. ('Drive with caution'.)

Translation: Drive with caution
warning

Making Suggestions

Also, we can use the first person plural (nosotros) to make suggestions. Let's say your friend's family has a new van and they want to do a road trip this weekend. Your friend says:

  • ¡Conduzcamos la camioneta este fin de semana! ('Let's drive the van this weekend!')

Subjunctive of Conducir

We use the present subjunctive to express wishes and requests, doubts, possibilities in the present or the future, or to make negative suppositions.

In order to conjugate the present subjunctive, we will take the stem from the first person singular of the present indicative (conduzc-) and we will add the endings -a, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an.

VERB: conducir (kohn-doo-SEER) - to drive

Subject Pronouns Conducir: Present Subjunctive Pronunciation Translation
yo conduzca kohn-DOOS-kah I drive
conduzcas kohn-DOOS-kahs you drive
él/ella/usted conduzca kohn-DOOS-kah he/she drives - you formal drive
nosotros/as conduzcamos kohn-doos-KAH-mohs we drive
vosotros/as conduzcáis kohn-doos-KIYS you all drive
ellos/ellas/ustedes conduzcan kohn-DOOS-kahn they/you all formal drive

Subjunctive Uses & Examples

Expressing Wishes

In order to express wishes or desires we can use the structure Espero que… ('I hope that…'), and Ojalá (oh-hah-LAH; 'Hopefully') followed by any subjunctive form.

You have just joined the driving school but are looking forward to having your license already! So you say:

  • ¡Ojalá conduzca pronto! ('Hopefully I will drive soon!')

Your best friend is also looking forward to having a drive with you, so she says:

  • ¡Espero que conduzcas lo antes posible! ('I hope you drive as soon as possible!')

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