Available on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Transcript 1
Transcript 2
Lesson
Quiz 1
Quiz 2
Quiz 3

Verbs of Change - Part I



Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation
Change verbs explain the changes that have ocurred in an object, person or situation. These kind of verbs are related to "ser" and "estar". "Ser" and "estar" explain the current state of an object, person, or situation. Change verbs explain the process from the old situation to the new situation.

Original state------------------------> Final state
Change Verbs

These verbs are also related to the reflexive verbs. They are conjugated with a reflexive pronoun or an indirect object pronoun.
Reflexive Indirect Object
Pronouns Pronouns
Yo meme
tete
Él/Ella/Ustedsele
Nosotros nosnos
Vosotros osos
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedesseles

These verbs are usually translated into English as "to become", "to turn" or "to get", although in some specific situations there might be other verbs that can be used to express these ideas.

Ponerse

This change verb is related to estar. They express an involuntary and provisional change.

They are usually followed by an adjective of:
- color : rojo, verde, azul...
- physical state : enfermo, bueno...
- mood : contento, furioso...

Examples:

Tu hermano se pondrá muy furioso cuando se entere que le has cogido su moto.
Your brother will get very mad when he finds out that you have taken his motorbike.

¡Los mentirosos compulsivos me ponen enfermo!
Compulsive liars make me sick!

Volverse

This change verb is related to ser. They express a total and permanent change.

They are usually followed by an adjective of:
- personality : antipático, egoísta...
- ideology : ecologista, vegetariano...

Mi mejor amiga se ha vuelto vegetariana. Ahora ya no come nada de carne.
My best friend has become a vegetarian. Now she doesn't eat meat at all.

Como tu hijo siga sin compartir sus juguetes con los otros niños, se va a volver muy egoísta cuando crezca.
If your son keeps not sharing his toys with the other kids, he will become very selfish when he grows up.

Quedarse

This change verb is related to estar. They can express an involuntary and provisional change (when it is referred to a reaction to something else) or a total and permanent change (in this case, it's usually a negative change).

They are usually followed by an adjective or a participle of:
- temporary : helado, boquiabierto, parado...
- permanent : ciego, mudo, cojo, viudo...

Cuando mi vecina se quedó viuda, se compró un gato para llenar el vacío que su marido le dejó.

When my neighbor became a widow, she bought a cat to fill in the empty space her husband left in her life.

Al ver que hubo un accidente, me quedé parado y no supe cómo reaccionar.
When I saw there was an accident, I stood still and didn't know how to react.