Despertar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses | Tell Me In Spanish (2023)

In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘despertar’ in Spanish:

  1. What does ‘Despertar’ mean?
  2. ‘Despertar’ Conjugations
  3. How to Use ‘Despertar’ in Spanish
    • To describe that a person wakes up
    • To express that an idea, desire, feeling, or memory arised
    • Expressing reflection or thinking
  4. Synonyms of ‘Despertar’ in Spanish

What does ‘Despertar’ mean?

Definition – ‘Despertar’ means to wake up, to awaken, or to come to your senses. It’s more commonly used to express that a person’s sleep has finished or interrupted. As a result, despertar is more commonly translated as ‘to wake up’.

However, depending on the context, this verb has several meanings in Spanish. Below there are some common situations where you can use ‘despertar’ along with their corresponding translations.

  1. When describing that a person woke up, ‘despertar’ is translated as ‘to wake up’ or ‘to awake
  2. If talking about bringing back memories or describing feelings or desires caused by a certain situation, this verb is translated as ‘to awaken’ or ‘to arise’.
  3. If used to express that a person needs to think or reflect about something, despertar means ‘to wake up’ or ‘to come to your senses’.

Take Note: In Spanish, despertar is a transitive verb. This means that ‘despertar’ works with an object. So, if you’re describing that you did and receive the action of waking up, ‘despertar’ will be a reflexive verb.

‘Despertar’ Conjugations

In most tenses, despertar is a regular verb, meaning that you’ll use the same stem. However, when conjugating in present, imperative and present subjunctive, despertar has some small irregularities that you need to keep in mind.

Below there are some conjugation charts that will show you how to conjugate ‘despertar’ in Spanish. Notice that the conjugation patterns that you’ll see below will also be applied to the reflexive form despertarse. However, you’ll also need to add a reflexive pronoun.


Present tense conjugation

In order to make the pronunciation easier, when conjugating ‘despertar’ in the present tense, you’ll use the stem despiert. This stem will be used for all the subjects and all you need to do is add the corresponding endings for each person.

YodespiertoI wake up
despiertasYou wake up
Él / Ella / UsteddespiertaHe/She wakes up
NosotrosdespertamosWe wake up
VosotrosdespertáisYou wake up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdespiertanThey/You wake up

Preterite tense conjugation

Despertar in preterite tense is a regular verb. This means that you just need to remove the -AR ending, which will leave you with the stem despert- and then add the proper ending.

YodespertéI woke up
despertasteYou woke up
Él / Ella / UsteddespertóHe/She woke up
NosotrosdespertamosWe woke up
VosotrosdespertasteisYou woke up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdespertaronThey/You woke up

Imperfect tense conjugation

(Video) Spanish conjugation - El verbo reflexivo despertarse - To wake up in Present tense

YodespertabaI woke up
despertabasYou woke up
Él / Ella / UsteddespertabaHe/She woke up
NosotrosdespertábamosWe woke up
VosotrosdespertabaisYou woke up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdespertabanThey/You woke up

Future tense conjugation

To conjugate despertar in the future tense, just add the endings underlined in the table below to the infinitive form of the verb.

YodespertaréI will wake up
despertarásYou will wake up
Él / Ella / UsteddespertaráHe/She will wake up
NosotrosdespertaremosWe will wake up
VosotrosdespertaréisYou will wake up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdespertaránThey/You will wake up

Conditional tense conjugation

In the conditional tense, despertar doesn’t have any irregularities since we work with its infinitive form to conjugate it to the conditional tense. Just make sure to add the proper endings.

YodespertaríaI would wake up
despertaríasYou would wake up
Él / Ella / UsteddespertaríaHe/She would wake up
NosotrosdespertaríamosWe would wake up
VosotrosdespertaríaisYou would wake up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdesperataríanThey/You would wake up

Progressive Tenses

Despertar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses | Tell Me In Spanish (1)

El bebé se está despertando.
The baby is waking up.

Esta semana no nos estemos despertando temprano.
This week we’re not waking up early.

Perfect Tenses

Despertar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses | Tell Me In Spanish (2)

Marta ha despertado a mis hermanas.
Marta has waken my sisters up.

(Video) Difference between DESPERTARSE and LEVANTARSE in Spanish

En unas horas, los niños habrán despertado.
In a few hours, the kids will have awakened.

Despertar Subjunctive Conjugations

Present subjunctive conjugation

In the present subjunctive, despertar has some spelling irregularities. So, to conjugate to this mood, you’ll use the stem ‘despiert’ for most of the subjects. Notice that only ‘nosotros’ and ‘vosotros’ don’t have these changes in spelling of the stem.

YodespierteTo wake up
despiertesTo wake up
Él / Ella / UsteddespierteTo wake up
NosotrosdespertemosTo wake up
VosotrosdespertéisTo wake up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdespiertenTo wake up

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

For the imperfect subjunctive, keep the stem ‘despert’ and add the ending according for each corresponding pronoun as shown in the table below.

YoDespertara / depertaseI wake up
Despertaras / despertasesYou wake up
Él / Ella / UstedDespertara / despertasesHe/She wakes up
NosotrosDespertáramos / despertásemosWe wake up
VosotrosDespertarais / despertaseisYou wake up
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasDespertaran / despertasenThey/You wake up

Perfect subjunctive

Despertar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses | Tell Me In Spanish (3)

Ojala se hayan despertado temprano.
I hope they woke up early.

Si te hubieras despertado temprano, habríamos llegado a tiempo.
If you had woken up early, we would have arrived on time.


Imperative conjugation

For the positive imperative in Spanish, the irregular stem ‘despiert’ is used for and ustedes. However, for vosotros and nosotros, you’ll use the regular stem ‘despert’.

despiertesWake up
NosotrosdespertemosLet’s wake up
VosotrosdespertadWake up
UstedesdespiertenWake up
(Video) Spanish Reflexive Verbs

Take Note: The negative imperative works slightly differently than the positive imperative shown above. To conjugate the negative imperative, you need to use the present subjunctive conjugation (despierte, despiertes, etc.). Just make sure to add the word No before the verb and have a bossy voice tone 😉

No despiertes a mamá, necesita descansar.
Don’t wake mom up, she has to rest.

How to Use ‘Despertar’ in Spanish with Examples

  1. To describe that a person stopped sleeping
  2. To express that an idea, desire, feeling, or memory arised
  3. When someone reflects or thinks about something

Below, I’ll explain how to use this verb in your daily conversations.

To describe that a person stopped sleeping

In Spanish, we use ‘despertar’ to talk about stopping or interrupting someone’s sleep. So in this context, despertar can be translated as ‘to wake up’ or ‘awaken’. Keep in mind that with this meaning, ‘despertar’ can have a reflexive form.

[Despertar conjugated] + [complement]

¡Ya despiértense! ¡Son las 7!
Wake up! It’s 7 already!

Ana Laura no me despertará mañana.
Ana Laura will not wake me up tomorrow.

Me desperté tarde y ya no había nadie en casa.
I woke up late and no one was home.

Julia me dijo que la despertara en caso de que su alarma no funcionara.
Julia told me to wake her up in case her alarm didn’t work.

Take Note: Notice that in this context we use direct object pronouns if the person awaking is different from the person performing the action. However, if I wake up myself without the help of another, I’ll use a reflexive pronoun. Check the examples below.

Clara te despertó ayer.
Clara woke you up yesterday.

¿Podrás despertarte mañana a las 7 a.m.?
Will you be able to wake up tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.?

To express that a desire, feeling, or memory arised

‘Despertar’ is also used to refer to bringing out memories, feelings, desires or ideas. In this context, it can be translated as ‘arise’ or ‘bring back’.

[‘Despertar’ conjugated] + [complement]

(Video) REFLEXIVE VERBS. VERBOS REFLEXIVOS in Spanish. BASIC A1 me, te, se, myself, yourself, himself

Caminar desde el centro de la ciudad a la casa despertó mi apetito.
Walking from the city center to the house whetted my appetite.

Ver las fotos del campamento despertó buenos recuerdos en la familia.
Seeing the photos of the camp awakened good memories in the family.

Ir al volcán despertó nuevas emociones en los excursionistas.
Going to the volcano awakened new emotions in the hikers.

Expressing reflection or thinking

‘Despertar’ is also used to refer to making someone reflect or be aware of something. As a result, in this situation, it can be translated as ‘wake up to’, ‘to come to your senses’ or ‘raise’.

El objetivo de las conferencias es despertar la conciencia en los estudiantes.
The aim of the lectures is to raise awareness among students.

Afortunadamente despertó ante la situación que le afectaba.
Fortunately, he woke up to the situation affecting him.

¡Despierta! ¿No te das cuenta del daño ocasionado?
Wake up! Don’t you realize the damage you have done?

Despertar Expressions & Idioms

There are some Spanish expressions with ‘despertar’ that you can use to improve your vocabulary and communication.

Despertar interés: In Spanish, despertar el interés is used when talking about the curiosity or attention that a person or thing provokes in someone. It can be translated as ‘awaken interest’.

Ser una persona despierta: this Spanish expression is used to describe a clever person or kids that learn something very quick and easily. It’s closer in meaning to ‘sharp’, ‘smart’ or ‘clever’.

Despertar el hambre: this phrase is used to express that the feeling of hunger is being stimulated or aroused. It means ‘to whet your appetite. Although this expression is common in Spanish, its variation abrir el apetito is more popular.

Synonyms of ‘Despertar’ in Spanish

Levantarse: In Spanish, levantarse is also used when referring to stopping or interrupting someone’s sleep. As a result, Spanish speakers use this verb as a synonym of ‘despertarse’. Levantarse means ‘to wake up or ‘to get up.

Despabilar: Despabilar or espabilar are used to express that a person needs to wake up or be more energetic. Both of these verbs are slightly more formal than ‘despertar’. ‘Despabilar’ can be translated as ‘to wake up’, ‘to pay attention’ or ‘to liven up.

Recordar: Recordar can be a synonym of ‘despertar’ when used to talk about bringing back memories, feelings, desires or ideas. ‘Recordar’ means ‘to remember’ or ‘to recall’.

Avivar: In Spanish, avivar can be an informal synonym of ‘despertar’ when referring to becoming aware of something. It means ‘to spark off’ or ‘to reflect’.

(Video) Most Useful Reflexive Verbs in Spanish


How do you use Despertarse in a sentence in Spanish? ›

Examples in Present Tense

Yo siempre me despierto a las 6 a.m., pero mis amigos nunca se despiertan temprano. (I always wake up at 6 a.m., but my friends never wake up early).

How do you conjugate Despertarse in the past tense? ›

Despertarse is conjugated as a reflexive verb in the preterite tense.
Despertarse Conjugation: Preterite Tense.
yo medesperté
ns. nosdespertamos
vs. osdespertasteis
ellos/as sedespertaron
2 more rows

What is Despertarse? ›

Despertarse is a Spanish irregular reflexive verb meaning to wake up.

What are the 4 conjugations? ›

The Present Indicative (amō), showing the Present Stem. The Present Infinitive (amā-re), showing the Present Stem. The Perfect Indicative (amāv-ī), showing the Perfect Stem. The neuter of the Perfect Participle (amāt-um), or, if that form is not in use, the Future Active Participle (amāt-ūrus), showing the Supine Stem.

What are conjugate words? ›

Conjugate is what you do to a word to make it agree with other words in a sentence. If you've studied a foreign language, you know that sometimes you can conjugate a verb just by changing its endings. To conjugate the verb to be, you'd say “I am,” “you are,” “she is,” and so on.

What type of verb is Despertarse? ›

The verb despertarse is a reflexive verb, which means that the action remains entirely with the person who performs it. This is why this verb ends in se, which means its conjugation includes a reflexive pronoun.

What is the TU command for Despertarse? ›

Mode: Imperative
Personal PronounConjugation
Tute despiertes
El/Ellase despierte
Nosotrosnos despertemos
2 more rows

How does Despertarse stem change? ›

The verb despertarse is irregular in the present tense. It's stem changes from e → ie in all conjugations except for the nosotros and vosotros forms. Apart from these modifications in the present tense, despertarse is conjugated regularly in all other indicative forms.

Is Despedirse stem changing? ›

Despedirse is a stem-changing verb, so its main vowel changes in part of its conjugation. To conjugate it in the present, use its irregular stem despid- in all forms, EXCEPT FOR nosotros/as and vosotros/as, which keep the regular stem (desped-).

What are the six reflexive pronouns in Spanish? ›

Reflexive verbs are a type of pronominal verb, which means they include or relate to a pronoun. In Spanish, the reflexive pronouns (or pronombres reflexivos) “me, te, se, nos, os” are used in the same way.

How do you use reflexive verbs in Spanish? ›

You can identify reflexive verbs by paying attention to the verb ending, which always include the reflexive pronoun “se” at the end of a verb when in the infinitive form (for example: Conocerse – to know each other).

What are the 6 conjugations? ›

To be verb conjugation

In English, we have six different persons: first person singular (I), second person singular (you), third person singular (he/she/it/one), first person plural (we), second person plural (you), and third person plural (they). We must conjugate a verb for each person.

What are the 5 forms of all verbs? ›

All English verbs (except to be) have five forms: base, past tense, past participle, present participle, and third-person singular.

What are conjugations examples? ›

Conjugation is the change that takes place in a verb to express tense, mood, person and so on.
The irregular verb to go conjugated into the future tense:
  • I will go.
  • You (singular) will go.
  • He/she/it/John/Jane will go.
  • We will go.
  • You (plural) will.
  • They/John & Jane will go.
  • Will we go?
  • You will not go.

What is a conjugate give an example? ›

What is a conjugate in maths? In maths, Conjugates are defined as a pair of binomials with identical terms but parting opposite arithmetic operators in the middle of these similar terms. For example, p – q is the conjugate of p + q.

How do you conjugate a reflexive verb? ›

Reflexive verbs are always conjugated with the reflexive pronoun that agrees with the subject: me (myself), te (yourself), se (himself, herself, itself, themselves), nous (ourselves), and vous (yourself, yourselves). These pronouns generally precede the verb.

How do you say Vestirse? ›

  1. behs. - teer. - seh.
  2. bes. - tiɾ - se.
  3. ves. - tir. - se.

How do you say Acostarse? ›

  1. ah. - kohs. - tahr. - seh.
  2. a. - kos. - taɾ - se.
  3. a. - cos. - tar. - se.

How do you use Despedirse? ›

You use the reflexive form, despedirse when two or more people say goodbye to each other: Se despidieron con un beso. They said goodbye with a kiss, or They kissed one another goodbye.

What are the 4 types of stem changing verbs in Spanish? ›

What Are The Five Types of Stem Changing Verbs In Spanish?
  • Stem Changing Verbs: E to IE change.
  • Stem Changing Verbs: O to UE change.
  • Stem Changing Verbs: E to I change.
  • Stem Changing Verbs: U to UE change.
  • Stem Changing Verbs: I to IE change.

What is the verb to say goodbye in Spanish? ›

Despedirse (“to say goodbye”) is a reflexive verb that belongs to the third group of Spanish verbs.

What are the 12 pronouns in Spanish? ›

That's why the complete list of all subject pronouns have 13 options: yo, tú, vos, usted, él, ella, nosotros, nosotras, vosotros, vosotras, ustedes, ellos, and ellas.

What are 10 reflexive verbs in Spanish? ›

List of reflexive verbs:
  • aburrirse - to get bored.
  • acercarse - to get close to.
  • acordarse de - to remember.
  • acostarse - to go to bed.
  • acostumbrarse a - to get accustomed to (to get use to)
  • afeitarse - to shave.
  • aficionarse a - to become interested in.
  • alegrarse - to become (be) happy.

What are the 9 Spanish pronouns? ›

The 12 Personal Subject Pronouns of Spanish
  • yo — I.
  • tú — you (singular familiar)
  • usted — you (singular formal)
  • él, ella — he, she.
  • nosotros, nosotras — we.
  • vosotros, vosotras — you (plural familiar)
  • ustedes — you (plural formal)
  • ellos, ellas — they.
7 Aug 2019

What are the two parts of a Spanish reflexive verb give 3 examples? ›

How are Spanish reflexive verbs formed?
  • person: (yo) me levanto.
  • person: (tú) te levantas.
  • person: (él/élla) se levanta.
6 Jun 2019

How do you use me te se in Spanish? ›

If the subject in a sentence performs an action on itself, then the verb is considered to be reflexive, and the pronoun used to receive the action is reflexive. The singular reflexive pronouns are: me (myself), te (yourself), and se (yourself (formal), himself, herself).

How do you stem change Despertar? ›

The verb despertarse is irregular in the present tense. It's stem changes from e → ie in all conjugations except for the nosotros and vosotros forms. Apart from these modifications in the present tense, despertarse is conjugated regularly in all other indicative forms.

How do you conjugate the verb? ›

To conjugate a verb, you add unique suffixes to its base verb form. The right suffix depends on the person in a sentence you refer to, who is also known as the subject of the sentence.

What are the steps to conjugate? ›

Follow these basic steps for conjugation:
  1. Subject: Select the subject of your sentence. ...
  2. Action: Select the main verb of a sentence by finding the word expressing the action. ...
  3. General Time: Choose the tense by figuring out whether the action takes place in the present, the past, or the future.
10 Nov 2019

What is the conjugate form? ›

In linguistics, conjugation (/ˌkɒndʒʊˈɡeɪʃən/) is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection (alteration of form according to rules of grammar). For instance, the verb break can be conjugated to form the words break, breaks, broke, broken and breaking.

Is Despertar a stem changing verb? ›

Despertar is a stem-changing verb.

What does stem change mean? ›

What are "Stem-Changing Verbs"? Stem-changing verbs are a distinctive class of verb, some of whose forms are irregular in a patterned, predictable way. Here's how they work: The stem of a verb is its infinitive minus -ar, -er, -ir. EG: pens|ar, entend|er, prefer|ir, dorm|ir.

What are the two types of stem changes? ›

1. Stem Changing Verbs: E to IE change. 2. Stem Changing Verbs: O to UE change.

What are examples of conjugations? ›

Conjugation is the change that takes place in a verb to express tense, mood, person and so on.
The irregular verb to go conjugated into the future tense:
  • I will go.
  • You (singular) will go.
  • He/she/it/John/Jane will go.
  • We will go.
  • You (plural) will.
  • They/John & Jane will go.
  • Will we go?
  • You will not go.

What are the 8 forms of the verb to be? ›

The verb be is irregular. It has eight different forms: be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been. The present simple and past simple tenses make more changes than those of other verbs.

How do Spanish conjugations work? ›

According to the Spanish conjugation rules, different forms of the verb are created by removing the infinitive ending, such as ‒ar, ‒er, or ‒ir, and replacing it with the required ending that specifies who is performing an action depending on the used tense and mood (indicative, subjunctive or imperative).

How do you conjugate words in Spanish? ›

Basic Concepts for Verb Conjugation in Spanish language

To conjugate a verb in the present indicative, remove the infinitive ending from the regular verb, in this case -ar , -er or -ir, and replace it with an ending indicating "the person" who performs the action of the verb.

What are the 3 forms for conjugate the to be verb in past? ›

To Be: Past Simple

You were. You were. He/She/It was.

What is a conjugate of 2? ›

However, you're trying to find the complex conjugate of just 2 . While this may not look like a complex number in the form a+bi , it actually is! Think of it this way: 2+0i. So, the complex conjugate of 2+0i would be 2−0i , which is still equal to 2 .


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