Monday, 7 November 2011

Tell Me When You Want Me To Go To...

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. The other person has agreed to come and pick you up to take you home or somewhere else at an unspecified time. He/ she wants you to clarify that point and decides to say to you: "tell me when you want me to pick you up". 

He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime cuando quieres que vaya a buscarte

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
Dígame cuando quiere (usted) que vaya a buscarle


You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in what your relative/ friend/ colleague says to you. Whether the other person uses a more/ less formal register is irrelevant to your choice of reply.

Your answer depends only on what you want to say about when you picked up. There are a variety of ways to reply. Maybe you want to say that you:
  • Want him/ her to come now
  • Want him/ her to come in five minutes
  • Want him/ her to come at 10:00

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Quiero que vengas ahora (I want you to come now)*
  • Quiero que vengas dentro de cinco minutos (I want you to come in five minutes)*
  • Quiero que vengas a las 10:00 (I want you to come at 10:00 o'clock)*

Now you should practise replying to:
Dime cuando quieres que vaya a buscarte

*Please see grammar below

Please note the use of subjunctive mood in expressions of wanting, such as:
  • "I want {something to happen}
  • "I want you {to do something}"
  • "I want him/ her {to do something}"
  • "I want us {to do something}"
  • "I want them {to do something}"

In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "quiero que <subjuntivo>..." 

An example of this is the reply above: "quiero que vengas ahora".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • Quiero que llueva (I want it to rain)
  • Quiero que descanses (I want you to rest)
  • Quiero que Pedro me llame (I want Pedro to call me)
  • Quiero que sigamos juntos (I want us to stay together)
  • Quiero que me digáis algo (I want you to say something to me)
  • Quiero que lleguéis pronto (I want you to arrive soon)
  • Quiero que Pedro y María estén bien (I want Pedro and María to be well)

Now you should practise this use of the subjunctive with some more sentences of your own

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:
© Copyright 2011 by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved
Post a Comment