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  • Writer's pictureMaría Molina

Spanish verbs: Explain the changes

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Another obstacle that students face when learning Spanish is the correct use of change verbs. The verbs of change in Spanish express the alteration of the current state of something or someone, or of some physical or emotional trait.


These verbs have differences, sometimes very subtle.


As in other blog posts, I hope it will serve as a complement to the online Spanish classes.


The verbs we are talking about, and how they are used, are the following:


  • The verb PONERSE is used for transitory changes, that is, they can be reversed. It applies to physical appearance, color, mood or health.

  • QUEDARSE indicates a more lasting change, which can even become permanent. It applies, above all, to the physical state.

  • The verb HACERSE informs about a gradual change of ideology or religion. Also a change of profession and age.

  • VOLVERSE also indicates a gradual change but produced by a cause beyond the control of the subject. It applies, above all, to character traits.

  • The verb CONVERTIRSE is applied to radical changes of matter or ideology. Sometimes you can use the verb TRANSFORMARSE.

  • Verbal periphrasis LLEGAR A SER suggests a progressive change to a better situation in the professional, sports or personal development field.

Take a look at this video that I have prepared for you.



It seems complicated doesn't it? Spanish teachers work hard with these verbs. I have made a table that will be very useful to you. But, to understand it well, I will give you some keys:


In the column TIPO DE CAMBIO I indicate the significant nuances that each verb has:

  • TRANSITORIO: The change is temporary and can be reversed.

  • DURADERO: The change will last for a while.

  • PERMANENTE: The change will remain indefinitely

  • GRADUAL: The change has been produced after a process.

  • INVOLUNTARIO: The change has been made for a cause beyond the control of the subject.

  • RADICAL: Drastic and rapid change.

  • PROGRESIVO: Change after an improvement process.

If you look at the examples, you will see that, in many cases, the boundaries between verbs are not clear and that the meanings they suggest are not sharp and clearly separable.For this reason, the most important thing is to practice and speak Spanish for as long as possible.


After the name of the verb, I indicate the complement that the verb follows: Nouns (SUSTANTIVOS) or adjectives, sometimes with prepositions or articles. I recognize that it is also a complicated subject.


In the APLICACIÓN column I will indicate the aspect to which the verb is usually applied.


Spanish change verbs table
Spanish change verbs table

In Spanish there is also a series of verbs that, in their reflexive form, acquire a meaning of change. For example, "apagarse" means to go from on to off, but we will see this in another post.


We also leave for another entry to introduce you to the numerous idiomatic idioms that are based on exchange verbs.


Exercices


1. Me preguntaron por mi novia y me [puse / volví] rojo

2. Mi primo estudió matemáticas y se ha [hecho / vuelto] profesor

3. Me gustaría [volverme / llegar a ser] un gran científico

4. Mi mujer se ha [vuelto / quedado] embarazada

5. Jesús lo ordenó y el agua se [hizo / convirtió] en vino

6. Mi padre se [ha vuelto / ha quedado] muy precavida tras el accidente

7. El presentador se [ha puesto/ha quedado/ha vuelto] muy popular con su programa

8. La carne se [ha puesto/ha hecho/ha convertido] muy cara

9. El corredor [se ha quedado/ha llegado a ser/se ha convertido] campeón del mundo

10.Antonio ha perdido su trabajo y se [ha puesto/ha quedado/ha vuelto] en paro

11.El concierto se [quedó/volvió/convirtió] muy aburrido al rato de empezar

12.Uno de mis mejores amigos se [ha convertido/ha hecho/ha puesto] budista


Solutions


1. Me preguntaron por mi novia y me puse rojo

2. Mi primo estudió matemáticas y se ha hecho profesor

3. Me gustaría llegar a ser un gran científico

4. Mi mujer se ha quedado embarazada

5. Jesús lo ordenó y el agua se convirtió en vino

6. Mi padre se ha vuelto muy precavida tras el accidente

7. El presentador se ha vuelto muy popular con su programa

8. La carne se ha puesto muy cara

9. El corredor ha llegado a ser campeón del mundo

10.Antonio ha perdido su trabajo y se ha quedado en paro

11.El concierto se volvió muy aburrido al rato de empezar

12.Uno de mis mejores amigos se ha convertido budista


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