32 Common Used Phrasal Verbs in Spanish & Types and Tips

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Phrasal Verbs in Spanish
  • Luis Ronson
  • 18 Feb, 2024
  • 7 Mins Read

Phrasal verbs in Spanish are the cornerstone of grammar for speaking Spanish fluently. Learning Spanish phrasal verbs will also make it easier to form sentences and speak Spanish fluently. Knowing the meanings of Spanish phrasal verbs and when to use them is an introductory course to fluent Spanish.

What is a Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal verbs are words combined with adverbs or prepositions to change the sentence’s meaning. They are often used to indicate actions.

A phrasal verb is usually a conversational or less formal way of saying something and, as such, can be a bit confusing for those learning the Spanish language.

What is the Spanish Phrasal Verb?

Spanish phrasal verbs(Los verbos compuestos en español) are phrasal verbs that significantly change the verb’s meaning by adding prepositions and adverbs.

Phrasal verbs are commonly used in Spanish, especially in informal conversations.

Why are Spanish Phrasal Verbs Important?

Knowing Spanish phrasal verbs will add to your language skills, fluency, and vocabulary. Spanish phrasal verbs are very common in informal conversations. Learning to use phrasal verbs will make your everyday speech more fluent. By improving your language skills, you can speak Spanish more fluently and more comprehensively. Spanish Phrasal verbs will make communication faster and easier. Learning Spanish phrasal verbs will also help you expand your vocabulary.

How to Learn Spanish Phrasal Verbs?

How to learn Spanish phrasal verbs is listed below.

  • Introduce Spanish Phrasal Verbs In Context
  • Use Visuals
  • Provide Practice Exercises
  • Make It Fun
  • Read & listen!

When learning Spanish phrasal verbs, you should get plenty of exercise. You must memorize words that have different meanings in different types of sentences. You should learn the more basic scopes of phrasal verbs and prepositions and think holistically.

What are the Most Common Spanish Phrasal Verbs?

Examples of frequently used Spanish phrasal verbs are listed below.

1: Dejar de(Break Down)

Meaning: to stop, or to give up, broke down

Example Phrase: Siento Llegar tarde. El coche dejó de funcionar.

(Sorry, I’m late. The car broke down.)

2: Acabar de

Meaning: finish or finalize

Example Phrase: Acabo de terminar el proyecto. ¡Qué alivio!

(I just finished the project. What relief!)

3: Alegrarse de

Meaning: To be happy

Example Phrase: Me alegro muchísimo de verte bien.

(I’m really pleased to see you’re doing well.)

4: Caer bajo

Meaning: falling low

Example Phrase: Eso sería caer bajo.

That would be low.

5: Caer bien

Meaning: to like

Example Phrase: ¿Te cae bien la nueva profesora de inglés?

( Do you like the new English teacher?)

6: Caer en

Meaning: to come to understand or to come into a situation.

Example Phrase: No caigas en provocaciones.

Do not fall for provocations.

7: Caer mal

Meaning: to fall ill, to not like

Example Phrase: A mi perro le cae mal todo el mundo.

( My dog doesn’t like anybody.)

8: Casarse con

Meaning: to marry

Example Phrase: Ana se casó con Javier, su novio de la secundaria. ¿Te acuerdas de él?

( Ana married Javier, her high school sweetheart. Do you remember him?)

9: Contar con

Meaning: to rely on

Example Phrase: La tienda cuenta contigo para llegar a la hora.

(The store relies on you to get here on time.)

10: Dar con

Meaning: to come upon

Example Phrase: Tengo que dar con el puente.

(I just got to come up with a bridge.)

11: Darse prisa

Meaning: to hurry up

Example Phrase: Entonces date prisa y llama para preguntar dónde está.

(Then hurry and call him to ask where he is.)

12: Darse cuenta de

Meaning: to notice that

Example Phrase: Entonces empecé a notar que cada persona llevaba un colgante.

(I then began to notice that every person was wearing a pendant.)

13: Echarse a

Meaning: to begin to

Example Phrase: La beba empezó a llorar porque tenía hambre.

(The baby began to cry because she was hungry.)

14: Echar de menos

Meaning: to miss

Example Phrase: Echo de menos a mi país y a su gente.

(I miss my country and its people.)

15: Estar para

Meaning: to be in the mood for

Example Phrase: No estoy de humor para una película seria. Veamos una más ligera.

I’m not in the mood for a serious movie. Let’s watch a lighter one.

16: Estar por

Meaning: to be near

Example Phrase: Esa calle está por la estación, ¿no?

That street is near the station, isn’t it?

17: Enamorarse de

Meaning: to fall in love with

Example Phrase: Me enamoré de él a primera vista.

(I fell in love with him at first sight.)

18: Fijarse en

Meaning: to pay attention to

Example Phrase: Fíjate bien en estas dos imágenes y dime si encuentras alguna diferencia entre ellas.

(Pay close attention to these two pictures and tell me if you can find any difference between them.)

19: Hacer constar

Meaning: to record

Example Phrase: Ana hace constar que no sabe nada de esta situación.

(Ana states that she doesn’t know anything about this situation.)

20: Ilegar a ser

Meaning: to become

Example Phrase: Es posible que llegue a ser el próximo primer ministro del país.

(There’s a chance he could become the country’s next prime minister.)

21: Ilevar a cabo

Meaning: to carry out

Example Phrase: Un equipo interdisciplinario llevará a cabo este proyecto.

(An interdisciplinary team will carry out this project.)

22: Meterse en

Meaning: to go into

Example Phrase: Me metí en este negocio con la idea de hacerme millonario

(I went into this business with the idea of becoming a millionaire.)

23: Pensar de

Meaning: to think that

Example Phrase: Y yo realmente no quería pensar de ese modo.

(And I didn’t really want to think that way.)

24: Pensar en

Meaning: to think about

Example Phrase: Pensaba en la vez que fuimos a la Torre Eiffel.

(You might lose capital or run out of money.)

25: Pasar por

Meaning: to go past

Example Phrase: El bus pasa por nuestra puerta.

(The bus goes past our house.)

26: Quedarse sin

Meaning: run out of

Example Phrase: Podría perder capital o quedarse sin dinero.

(You might lose capital or run out of money.)

27: Reírse de

Meaning: to laugh at

Example Phrase: Lo creas o no, solían reírse de mí.

(Believe it or not, people used to laugh at me.)

28: Responder por

Meaning: to be responsible for something

Example Phrase: Yo respondo por todo mi equipo.

I’m responsible for my whole team.

29: Soñar con

Meaning: to dream about

Example Phrase: Soñé con estar con esa chica muchas veces.

I dreamt of being with that girl so many times.

30: Tener que

Meaning: to have to

Example Phrase: Pero vais a tener que ser como Nolan y Sydney.

(But you’re gonna have to be like Nolan and Sydney.)

31: Volver a

Meaning: return to

Example Phrase: Se inclina bien y puede volver a su posición original.

He bends well and can return to its original position.

32: Salir de

Meaning: to leave a place

Example Phrase: Este objetivo en el juego para salir de su cónyuge.

(This goal in the game is to leave your spouse.)

What are the Types of Phrasal Verbs in Spanish?

Phrasal verb types are listed below.

  1. Transitive Phrasal Verbs: Have a direct object and contain three words.
  2. Intransitive Phrasal Verbs: They do not have a direct object and cannot be separated.
  3. Separable Phrasal Verbs: They can take a direct object and can be used apart from each other.
  4. Inseparable Phrasal Verbs: They can take a direct object but can’t be separated from one another.

What is the Difference Between Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs in Spanish?

The distinction between phrasal verbs is whether the verbs are separable or inseparable. The differences between separable and inseparable phrasal verbs are explained below;

  • Separable phrasal verbs have a particle that can be separated from the verb and moved to different positions in the sentence. It does not affect the meaning of the sentence.
  • Inseparable verbs have particles that cannot be separated from the verb. It affects the grammatical structure and meaning of the sentence.
  • It should be noted that some phrasal verbs can be both separable and inseparable depending on the context.

What are Some Common Mistakes Made When Using Phrasal Verbs?

Spanish Phrasal verbs can be difficult to use. Spanish learners often make common mistakes.

Some examples of errors to avoid are listed below.

  • Using the wrong particle with the verb.
  • Failing to separate the verb and the particle inseparable phrasal verbs.
  • Trying to separate the verb and particle in inseparable phrasal verbs.

It’s also essential to learn the correct phrasal verb usage and the particle that goes with it. Practice and exposure to different contexts can help learners become more comfortable using phrasal verbs in their communication.

What is the Difference Between “Phrasal Verbs” and “Verb Phrases?”

Phrasal verbs and verb phrases are related but different concepts in Spanish grammar. The differences of phrasal verbs and verb phrases are explained below;

  • A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and the adverb/preposition or both. It can be separable or inseparable, depending on whether the particles can be separated from the verb, in other words. This combination will create a different meaning of the word.
  • A verb phrase combines a main verb and its complements and modifiers. A verb phrase is a group of words that function as a verb. When it takes more than one word to make a verb, we call it a verb phrase.
Luis Ronson

Luis Ronson is a Spanish teacher at onlinelearnspanish.com. He's a bilingual Spanish-English. She has a master's in "vocabulary" and is responsible for our Spanish vocabulary-related articles.

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