How would you translate if I were you, for example, when giving advice? Although you could say si yo fuera tú, Spanish has a handy shortcut that doesn’t even use the subjunctive: yo que tú. Note that some of the examples below use the imperfect where the conditional would have been expected in the standard language. For example, pensaba instead of the expected pensaría.
- Yo que tú, lo pensaba mejor. If I were you, I’d think it over again.
- Yo que tú no le decía nada. I wouldn’t say anything to him if I were you. That would be a bad idea.
- Yo que tú andaría con cuidado. I’d be careful if I were you. You’re in danger.
Workers, Mexico City
Although there’s no requirement to use shortcut expressions like these, they do make your Spanish sound more natural and relaxed.