10 meanings of the verb PONER in Spanish
1-To put someone or something in a place.
It is the simplest of the meaning, the first we learn, and the easiest to translate 🙂
For example if you are talking about your routines and where you use to put/leave things:
-Siempre pongo las llaves en la mesa del salón- I always put the keys in the living room table
Or if you are going to a familiar meeting and your mum is explaining you were to position yourself during the photoshoot:
-Tienes que ponerte al lado de tu hermano en la foto –You need to put (yourself) next to your brother in photo
#watchout-remember that poner in the present tense is irregular for “yo”
2-To put someone or something in the right place
It is similar to the one above, but this one has a figurative meaning
Imagina that one of your friends at school missed the school trips because he was naughty and his parents wanted him to learn the lesson, you could explain what happened saying:
-Sus padres le castigaron sin ir a la excursión para intentar ponerle en vereda-His parents punished him and he could not go to the trip in order to try to put him back into line.
#extra-poner en vereda is a Spanish expression which means “put someone back into line”
3-To set up something with a finality
Ok right-o, similar again, but in this case we do not put something in a place, or in the right place, we put or we set up something for a specific end
Like if you the routine to set up the table so you can all eat when your mum finishes cooking, you can explain:
Siempre pongo la mesa mientras mi madre cocina –I always set up the table while my mother cooks
We use poner as the verb to consider
Imagine you are into a work meeting and you want to run a project, but you do not know where just yet you could say like an example, it is something similar like to put something as an example, to frame the fact
Pongámos que tiene lugar en Berlín –let’s take into account/consider that it is carried out in Berlin
Or if you are talking with a frien about something that another friend did but you are not sure that it happened, and you will try to keep the calm saying:
-¿Fue José a la fiesta? No lo sabía –Did José go to the party? I did not know…
If still your friend is amd at José could reply with an imaginary situation:
-Yo tampoco, pero pongamos que fue, no nos dijo nada…-neither did I , but let’s consider he went…he did not say anything…
When you are betting an amount of money you can say, imagine an evening in the casino with your friends, you feel like gambling to red, you can say:
Pongo £5 a color rojo. –I bet £5 to the colour red
6-To leave something to someone
You are talking to your partner about a party you do not really want to go but you don’t really mind either, so when your partner asks if you whether you want to go or not, the conversation could be something like
Your partner-¿Quieres ir a la fiesta el viernes? –Do you want to go to the party on Friday?
You-Ya te he dicho que me da igual, lo pongo en ti.-I told you already I do not mind,it is up to you
7-To write something
When you are doing something and remember you need to do something you probably write it down so you do not forget, like if you are explain how you organize your meetings:
-Pongo todos las reunions en mi claendario- I write all my meeting in my calendar.
You can also use it when you refer to something is written down, if you go to a class with a friend and you have your notebook with you but your friends does not, and he asks what you have the notebook for…You could answer:
-Ponía en la carta que era obligatoria traer un cuaderno-It says in the letter that to bring a notebook was mandatory
8-You push someone to do something
It is a bit figurative as well.
If you are talking with a friend about a party you did not want to go but you are going to because María asked you why you would not go in front of the people who is hosting the party, you could complain saying:
-Yo no quería ir a la fiesta, pero María me puso en un compromiso-I did not want to go to the party but María put me in an ackward position
Or if you are in a work meeting and a strange question is coming your boss could introduce it as:
-Espero no poner a nadie en un compromiso con esta pregunta- I hope not to put anyone in an ackward position with this question.
9-To send or to organize
You are waiting for Miguel as you and your friends agreed to go all together to Marta’s birthday
-¿Todavía no ha llegado Miguel? Le pongo un mensaje ahora mismo –Is Miguel not here yet? I am going to send him a message right now
10-To release an egg
The simplest example to explain this is
Las gallinas ponen huevos-Hens lay eggs. 🙂
As all the good things, this post comes to an end-boooh hooo!
But…before you leave I want to give you soon actionable thing to master your Spanish, homework, leave a comment below where you use the verb “poner” in any of its different meanings, it might seem like something insignificant, but I promise it will make a difference in your learning, so come on… challenge on!
And if you like this blog, please do not keep it as a secret, share it with your Spanish fellow learners 🙂
Also, I would love to hear from you:
-What are your thoughts about “poner”?
-Did you learn something new in this blog?
-Did you know a verb could have so many meaning?
-Which is the meaning of “poder” that has surprised you the most?
-Have you been using “poner” in the wrong way or with any other meaning?
I am looking forward to reading you.
We will speak soon!- ¡ Hablamos pronto!