Common Spanish Expressions with Verbs

As you will discover while learning Spanish, many verbs can take on different meanings than what you initially learned, and are used idiomatically to create other various expressions. Dar generally means “to give”; however in combination with other words as you will see, a whole new useful vocabulary list emerges.

Today, we’ll start a two-part mini-series on common expressions with verbs in Spanish.  Specifically, expressions with: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haber and Hacer.

Expressions with ACABAR

acabar de + infinitive ­– to have just

acabar por + infinitiveto end by, to finally

For example:

  • Acabo de volver de la escuela.I have just returned from school.
  • Se enfermó gravemente y acabó por morir.He became seriously ill and finally died.

Image

(dar de beber (comer) a)

Expressions with DAR

dar a ­– to face, to look out upon

dar un abrazo ­– to embrace

dar con ­– to come upon, to run into, to find

dar cuerda (a)to wind

dar de beber (comer) ato give a drink to (to feed)

dar ento strike against, to hit

dar las gracias (a) – to thank

dar gritosto shout

dar la horato strike the hour

dar un paseoto take a walk, to go for a ride

dar por + past participleto consider

dar una vueltato take a stroll

darse cuenta deto realize

darse la manoto shake hands

darse prisato hurry

For example:

  • Las ventanas dan a la avenida.The windows face the avenue.
  • Al llegar, le dio un abrazo a su madre.On arriving, he embraced his mother.
  • Dimos con Juan en el cine anoche.We ran into Juan at the movies last night.
  • Cada mañana le doy cuerda a mi reloj.Each morning I wind my watch.
  • Pedro le dio de beber a su perro.Peter gave his dog a drink.
  • La pelota dio en el techo.The ball hit the ceiling.
  • Le di las gracias por el regalo.I thanked him for the gift.
  • Los niños dieron gritos de alegría.The children shouted with joy.
  • Dio voces, pidiendo ayuda.He shouted, asking for help.
  • El reloj dio la una.The clock struck one.
  • Dimos un paseo en su carro.We took a ride in his car.
  • El profesor dio por terminada la lección.The teacher considered the lesson ended.
  • Por la tarde doy una vuelta por el parque.In the afternoon I take a stroll in the park.
  • No se dio cuenta de su error.He did not realize his mistake.
  • Al encontrarse, se dieron la mano.Upon meeting, they shook hands.
  • ¡Dense prisa! Ya son las ocho.Hurry! It is already eight o’clock.

Expressions with DEJAR

dejar caerto drop

dejar de + infinitiveto fail to, to stop, to neglect to

For example:

  • Juanita dejó caer el vaso de leche.Johnny dropped the glass of milk.
  • Dejó de estudiar y cerró el libro.He stopped studying and closed the book

Expressions with ECHAR

echarse ato start to

echar al correoto mail

echar la culpa ato blame

echar de menosto miss

For example:

  • Al ver al policía, el ladrón se echó a correr.On seeing the policeman, the thief started to run.
  • No te olvides de echar las cartas al correo. – Don’t forget to mail the letters.
  • Le echó la culpa a su hermana.He blamed his sister.
  • Los niños echaron de menos a su vecino.The children missed their neighbor.

Expressions with HABER

haythere is, there are

hubo / habíathere was, there were

habráthere will be

habríathere would be

ha habidothere has (have) been

haber de + infinitiveto be (supposed) to, to have to

haber que + infinitiveto be necessary

haber (mucho) lodoto be (very) muddy

haber lunato be/have moonlight

haber neblinato be foggy, misty

haber (mucho) polvoto be (very) dusty

haber solto be sunny

For example:

  • He de salir a las nueve.I am to leave at nine o’clock.
  • Habrá que salir temprano.It will be necessary to leave early.
  • Después de la lluvia había lodo.After the rain it was muddy.
  • Anoche hubo luna.There was moonlight last night.
  • Esta mañana había neblina.This morning it was foggy.
  • Hay mucho polvo por el camino.It is very dusty on the rood.
  • No hubo sol ayer y llovió.It wasn’t sunny yesterday and it rained.

Expressions with HACER

hacer + time expression + que + preteriteago

preterite + hace + time expressionago

hace pocoa little while ago

hacer buen (mal) tiempoto be good (bad) weather

hacer (mucho) frío (calor)to be (very) cold (warm)

hacer (mucho) viento.to be (very) windy.

hacer casoto pay attention, to heed

hacer deto work as, to act as

hacer el papel deto play the role of

hacer pedazos (añicos)to break to pieces, to smash

hacer una preguntato ask a question

hacer una visitato take a trip

hacer un viajeto take a trip

hacerse + nounto become

hacerse tardeto become (grow) late

hacer(se) dañoto harm, to damage, to hurt (oneself)

For example:

  • Hace una semana que vino a verme. – He came to see me a week ago.
  • Vino a verme hace una semana. He came to see me a week ago.
  • El tren salió hace poco.The train left a little while ago.
  • Ayer hizo buen tiempo.Yesterday the weather was good.
  • En el invierno hace frio.It is cold in the winter.
  • Ayer no salí porque hacía viento.Yesterday I didn’t go out because it was windy.
  • Ese muchacho no hizo caso de mis consejos.That boy didn’t heed my advice.
  • Diego hizo de capitán en el juego.In the game, Diego acted as captain.
  • La actriz se negó a hacer el papel de condesa.The actress refused to play the role of countess.
  • El muchacho hizo pedazos el papel.The boy tore the paper to shreds.
  • Me hizo una pregunta, pero no contesté.He asked me a question, but I didn’t answer.
  • Anoche le hice una visita a mi amigo.Last night I paid a visit to my friend.
  • Hice un viaje a México el año pasado. – I took a trip to Mexico last year.
  • Para hacerse médico, es necesario estudiar mucho.In order to become a doctor, it is necessary to study a lot.
  • Se hicieron muy buenos amigos.They become very good friends.
  • Se hizo tarde y tuvimos que marcharnos.It became very late and we had to leave.
  • El frío hizo daño a los árboles.The cold damaged the trees.
  • Se cayó y se hizo daño.He fell and hurt himself.

 

 

photo credit: Ben McLeod via photopin

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5 comments on “Common Spanish Expressions with Verbs

  1. Pingback: The Spanish Verb HACER – Meanings and Everyday Uses | Let's Go Spanish

  2. Pingback: Explanations and Essential uses of the Spanish verb: DAR | Let's Go Spanish

  3. Pingback: The Spanish Verb DAR – Meanings and Everyday Uses | Let's Go Spanish

  4. Pingback: How to use “Acabar de” y “Estar a punto de” in Spanish? | Let's Go Spanish

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