Spanish phrasal verbs Prepositions are difficult in every language you try to learn, they all behave different and what about when you try to use prepositions with verbs? Like if they were not hard enough on their own!

I find a lot of students (and myself in English) get confused or use the wrong prepositions, as in every language they work different, that is why today I am giving you a few Spanish phrasal verbs you need to learn  ( lo siento) in order to take your Spanish to the next level.

Let’s put a bit of context, by context I mean to define phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs are verbs that change their meaning when a preposition or an adverb is added to them. Let ‘s take for instance “Find out” it does not literally mean you need to go out and find something, it is just to discover.

So the preposition changes the meaning of the main verb.

Phrasal verbs are constructed by adding a preposition or an adverb to a main verb

Take off-leave the ground

Blow out-explode

I could give you so many examples  (in English are difficult as well!-trust me!) but since you are here to learn Spanish let’s see some of the most common Spanish phrasal verbs.

To make things easier I would say that the most common preposition we add to verbs are “a, de, con”


Reir that means to laugh

But if we add the preposition “de” the meaning changes so “reírse de” is to make fun of/to laugh at (someone or something)

Why would I learn phrasal verbs you might be thinking…well phrasal verbs are the best of common way to express something for example “acabar de” we use this one to say we have just done something, there is not other or better way to say it, in Spanish we just ignore “just” and use a phrasal verb instead, and like this plenty of examples, so let’s have a look to some of them



Spanish phrasal verbs


1-Dejar de

Meaning: to fail to, to stop, to neglect to.


Some cases you can use it :

-Estoy muy contenta, he dejado de fumar y me siento genial- “I am very happy I stopped smoking and I feel great.”

Sometimes we can use it as a command

-!Deja de hablar! Necesito estudiar-“ Stop talking I need to study!”

2-Volver a

Meaning: to return to doing something


Sometimes you just stop smoking but you do not last so will say

Llevaba 5 semanas sin fumar pero he vuelto a hacerlo-“I was 5 weeks without smoking but know I just come back to it”

Necesitaba repasar los verbos irregulares en español, asi que volví a estudiarlos-“I needed to review the irregular verbs in Spanish so I go back and review them”

3-Pensar de

Meaning : to think about, to have an opinion about


So if you have a new teacher you can ask what your classmate think about them asking

¿Qué piensas de la nueva profesora?- “What do you think about the new teacher?”

4-Pensar en

Meaning: to think of, to direct your thoughts to


Probably if you are in love

No puedes dejar de pensar en esa persona you like-“you can’t stop thinking of that person.”

5-Soñar con

Meaning: to dream about


Sometimes you can remember your dreams, and when you do you probably want to share it with the world, so you can saying

Anoche soñé con Juan,, estabamos en la playa y algo increíble sucedió-“I dreamt about Juan last night, we were at the beach at something unbeliable happened”

6-Contar con

Meaning: to rely on, to count on


You know you have good friend if…

Siempre puedes contar con ellos-“You can always can count on them”

7-Alegrarse de

Meaning: to be glad


If your friend has got the job she wants to and worked so hard to get, you will congratule her saying

Me alegro de que hayas conseguido el trabajo, !te lo merecers!-“ I am so glad you got the job, you deserve it!”

8-Enamorarse de

Meaning: to fall in love with


When you meet a guy or a girl en español

Te enamoras de él o ella, while in English “you fall in love with him or her”

9-Casarse con

Meaning: to marry


When someone decides to make the big movement in Spanish ,we will gossip about it

¿Has oído? !María se va a casar con Alfonso por fin!-Have you hear Mary is marrying Alfonso, finally!”

10-Echar de menos

Meaning: to miss



Probably if you live far apart from your family you have moment where

Echas de menos a tu familia-“You miss your family”


That is it amigos,! You have a few Spanish phrasal verbs to practice now, so as usual


IT IS YOUR TURN-Leave a comment below and let us know

-do you use Spanish phrasal verbs often?

-Is there any Spanish phrasal verbs that drives you crazy?

-Which one is the one you are going to focus on until you speak as a native?


Looking forward to reading all your comments.


And as you know that I am going to ask you to do a bit of HOMEWORK, as practice makes perfection, so the one for this week is easy…pick one and make a sentences with it, it does not need to be fancy, it is better good and simple than bad and complicated. So have a look to the examples above and write something similar, feel free to write it on the comments so I can give you some advice.

As always I hope you enjoyed the post, and find it useful 🙂

Keep in touch!


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3 Responses to “Spanish phrasal verbs”

  1. B. Parsons

    “as in every language they work different” should be “as in every language they work differentLY.” This is an adverb, not an adjective, but typical of sloppy speech and writing by anglophones (native-speakers of English), who should know better, but apparently don’t.

    Thank you for tips on the use of phrasal verb forms in Spanish. While I know that these forms are very common, if not essential in English, their importance has never been explained to me for other languages, Spanish included.

    Again, gracias.

  2. Matt

    Hola, Blanca.

    Llegué a esta página de una manera tortuosa.
    Estaba pensando en tu vídeo sobre las 4 formas de ‘porque’
    y decidí que tenía que centrarme en ‘por que’ porque era la más difícil de entender para mí.

    Entonces descubrí que otra posible situación en la que necesitarás usar ‘por que’ es cuando tienes ‘phrasal verbs’ (‘verbos frasales o ‘verbos compuestos’) como abogar por, preocupar por o luchar por seguidas de ‘que’.

    Después de buscar un poco más, encontré este ejemplo usando ‘poder’ seguido de ‘por que’ en

    Hice lo que pude por que no llegáramos tarde.
    (I did what I could so that we wouldn’t be late).

    El ejemplo anterior me desconcertó porque busqué y busqué pero no pude encontrar
    poder’ en ningún lugar como ‘verbo frasal’ (phrasal verb).

    Estos son los que he encontrado:

    Phrasal Verbs con ‘por’:

    – abogar por To advocate for
    – Apurarse por To worry about
    – Asustarse por To be frightened by
    – Cambiar por To exchange for
    – Comenzar por To start with
    – Decidirse por To decide on
    – Desvelarse por To be concerned about*
    – Disculparse por To apologize for
    – Esforzarse por To struggle to
    – Estar por To be in favor of, to be yet be completed, to be in the direction of
    – Interesarse por To be interested in, to ask about
    – Jurar por To swear by, to swear on
    – Luchar por To fight for
    – Molestarse por To bother with
    – Optar por To opt for
    – Pagar por To pay for
    – Preguntar por To ask about
    – Preocuparse por To worry about
    – Rezar por To pray for
    – Salir por To leave via
    – Ser decidido por To be decided by
    – Tomar por To take for
    – Viajar por To travel by
    – Votar por To vote for

    He buscado mucho y no he podido encontrar ‘poder’ categorizado como ‘phrasal verb’.
    ¿Se equivocó el artículo de FluentU al incluir este ejemplo?

    Hice lo que pude por que no llegáramos tarde.
    (I did what I could so that we wouldn’t be late).

    Siento ser una molestia.
    Sólo intento ordenar toda esta información.
    Integrar ‘por que’ con ‘phrasal verbs’

    ¡Gracias, Blanca!
    ¡Eres la mejor!

    • blancadt

      Matt, acabo de encontrar tu comentario. Como siempre muchísimas gracias por tu aportación. NUNCA eres una molestia. El enlace es excelente como referencia y tus ejemplos de “phrasal verbs” son super útiles.


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