More Spanish Expressions with Verbs

This is the second edition on learning some common Spanish Expressions with Verbs.  Don’t miss the first-part which focuses on the verbs: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haver and Hacer.

Today, we’ll focus on: Perder, Ponerse, Tener, Volver, and some other commonly used expressions.


(ponerse + adjective – to become)

Expressions with PERDER

echarse a perderto be spoiled, to be ruined

perder cuidadonot to worry

perder de vistato lose sight of

For example:

  • La leche se echó a perder.The milk was spoiled.
  • Pierda usted cuidado, todo saldrá bien.Don’t worry, everything will turn out right.
  • Lo siguieron, pero pronto lo perdieron de vista. – They followed him, but they soon lost sight of him.

Expressions with PONERSE

ponerse + adjectiveto become, to turn

ponerse a + infinitiveto begin to, to set about

ponerse de acuerdoto come to an agreement

For example:

  • Al oír la noticia, el niño se puso pálido.On hearing the news, the child became pale.
  • El día se puso gris.The day turned grey.
  • La alumna se puso a llorar.The pupil began to cry.
  • Por fin se pusieron de acuerdo.Finally, they came to an agreement,

Expressions with TENER

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

tener cuidadoto be careful

tener dolor de cabeza (estómago, etc.)to have a headache (stomach ache, etc.)

tener éxitoto be successful

tener ganas deto feel like

tener (mucha) hambre (sed)to be (very) hungry (thirsty)

tener la culpa (de)to be to blame (for)

tener lugarto take place

tener miedo deto be afraid of

tener porto consider

tener prisato be in a hurry

tener que ver conto have to do with

tener (la) razón (no tener (la) razón)to be right (to be wrong)

tener (mucho) sueñoto be (very) sleepy

tener (mucha) suerteto be (very) lucky

tener vergüenza (de + infinitive)to be ashamed (of)

For example:

  • Tenía calor y se quitó el suéter.He was warm and took off his sweater.
  • Tengan cuidado al cruzar la calle.Be careful when crossing the street.
  • Ayer tuve dolor de estómago.Yesterday I had a stomach ache.
  • Él tiene éxito en todo lo que hace.He is successful in everything he does.
  • A veces tengo ganas de bailar.At times I feel like dancing.
  • Cuando tengo sed, tomo agua.When I am thirsty, I drink water.
  • El muchacho tiene la culpa de lo que pasó.The boy is to blame for what happened.
  • ¿Cuándo tendrá lugar la fiesta?When will the party take place?
  • El niño tiene miedo de la oscuridad.The child is afraid of the dark.
  • Lo tengo por persona honrada.I consider him an honest person.
  • Tenía prisa y no pude detenerme a platicar.I was in a hurry and could not stop to chat.
  • No tengo nada que ver con eso.I have nothing to do with that.
  • ¿Tengo razón? No, no tienes razón.Am I right? No, you are wrong.
  • María tenía sueño y se acostó.Mary was sleepy and went to bed.
  • No tuvo suerte y perdió el dinero.He wasn’t lucky and lost the money.
  • ¿No tienes vergüenza?Aren’t you ashamed?


(tener (mucho) sueño)

Expressions with VOLVER

volver a + infinitiveto … again

volver en síto regain consciousness, to come to

volverse + adjectiveto become

For example:

  • El cantante volvió a cantar.The singer sang again.
  • El herido nunca volvió en sí.The wounded man never regained consciousness.
  • Mi papa se ha vuelto imposible.My father has become impossible.

Here is a list of some expressions used with verbs that aren’t categorized, but are quite common in the Spanish language.

Other common verbal expressions

encogerse de hombrosto shrug one’s shoulders

guardar camato stay in bed

hacer saber – to inform, to let (someone) know

llegar a ser ­to become, to get to be

llevar a caboto carry out, to carry through

oír decir queto hear about

pensar + infinitiveto intend to

quedarse conto keep, to hold on to

quedar en que … (quedar en + infinitive)to agree that, to agree to

querer decirto mean

sacar una fotografíato take a picture

valer la penato be worthwhile


For example:

  • Al oír la noticia, solo se encogió de hombros.On hearing the news, he only shrugged his shoulders.
  • Tenía fiebre y tuvo que guardar cama por dos días.He had a fever and had to stay in bed for two days.
  • Me hizo saber que no volvía hoy.He let me know that he wouldn’t return today.
  • Después de muchos años de estudio, logró llegar a ser médico.After many years of studying, he managed to become a doctor.
  • El capitán llevó a cabo las órdenes del general.The captain carried out the general’s orders.
  • En la clase de historia oímos hablar de Simón Bolívar.In history class, we heard about Simon Bolivar.
  • Oí decir que te vas a Venezela.I heard that you are going to Venezuela
  • Pienso viajar a España este verano.I intend to travel to Spain this summer.
  • Se quedó con mi pluma.He kept (walked off with) my pen.
  • ¿En qué quedaste con Miguel?What did you and Miguel agree to?
  • Quedamos en encontrarnos aquí.We agree to meet here.
  • ¿Qué quiere decir esta palabra?What does this word mean?
  • Me gusta sacar fotografías.I like to take pictures.
  • A veces vale la pena escuchar las noticias.Sometimes it’s worthwhile to listen to the news.

photo credit: Albuquerque BioPark via photopin

photo credit: deadoll via photopin

One comment on “More Spanish Expressions with Verbs

  1. Thanks for this list of verb expressions. There were a few I had never heard of and even more that I had forgotten about. I especially enjoyed the photo that went along with “Tener (mucho) sueño.”

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