31 Spanish Phrasal Verbs That Will Take Your Fluency to the Next Level
Spanish phrasal verbs are an essential component you need to excel on your journey to becoming a fluent Spanish speaker.
Intuitively mastering Spanish grammar requires you to know how to build sentences and choose the correct verbs for expressing yourself.
Tackle this challenge with this list of 31 Spanish phrasal verbs that will take your fluency to the next level.
What Are Spanish Phrasal Verbs?
Los verbos compuestos en español (Spanish phrasal verbs) are the verbs that vary in meaning when a preposition or adverb is added to them.
These verbs exist both in English and Spanish grammar, and are accompanied by prepositions in Spanish such as:
- a (to)
- en (in, on)
- con (with)
- de (of, from)
- por (for, by)
- and more.
Refresh your knowledge of las preposiciones (prepositions) with this Ultimate Guide to Spanish Prepositions.
Spanish phrasal verbs are also joined by adverbs that provide a description of the verb’s action.
Let’s take a look at a few Spanish sentences with phrasal verbs.
¡Deja de morderte las uñas!
Stop biting your nails!
Me reía de ti porque te caíste.
I was making fun of you because you fell.
As you can see, these two examples show that the action is followed by a preposition that adds to the meaning of the sentence.
The verb dejar + de means in English “to stop,” however the translation isn’t literal. The verb dejar on its own means “let” and de stands for “from” in Spanish.
Noticing these small changes allows you to recognize Spanish phrasal verbs easily. These differences have a big impact on a sentence’s meaning.
Let’s see a few examples of phrasal verbs in English to amplify this explanation.
The English phrasal verb “put out” means to extinguish (a candle or bonfire, as examples)—however the two words “put” and “out” each have different meanings on their own. Another example in English is “get up,” which means to rise or to stand up.
Finally, let’s look at the English example “call off,” which means to cancel. The verb “call” on its own means to name, yet combined with the word “off” its meaning changes completely.
How To Use Spanish Phrasal Verbs
The verb echar (throw) is connected to the preposition de. Even though the literal meaning of echar de is “to throw off,” echar de menos actually means “to miss” in Spanish.
¿Me echas de menos?
Do you miss me?
The verb dejar (to leave) with the preposition de means to stop or to cease an action.
Deja de distraerte y pon atención.
Stop getting distracted.
Spanish phrasal verbs are easier to understand as you start using them regularly. Including them in daily conversations is actually quite simple once you start getting used to them. You have probably already used several of them without even noticing because they’re so common.
The more you expose yourself to these verbs, the more naturally you’ll use them in your conversations.
31 Spanish Phrasal Verbs to Increase Your Fluency
Learn to handle Spanish phrasal verbs like a professional with this lengthy list with meanings and examples.
1. acabar de
Meaning: To just finish or finalize.
Acabo de ver esa serie y no me gustó.
I just watched that series and I didn’t like it.
Learn more: The Only Guide You Need to Use the Spanish Verb ‘Acabar’
2. alegrarse de
Meaning: To be happy for.
Me alegro de hacer amistad contigo.
I’m glad to make friends with you.
3. caer bajo
Meaning: To plunge or to hit rock bottom.
Caíste bajo con ese comentario.
That comment was low.
4. caer bien
Meaning: To like or to please.
Te va a caer bien salir de la ciudad.
You are going to like getting out of town.
5. caer en
Meaning: to come to understand or to come into a situation.
No caigas en provocaciones.
Do not fall for provocations.
6. caer mal
Meaning: to fall ill, to not like
Me cae mal la comida rápida.
Fast food makes me ill.
Me cae mal ese tipo.
I don’t like that guy.
7. casarse con
Meaning: to marry someone.
Andrea se casó con mi primo.
Andrea married my cousin.
8. contar con
Meaning: to rely on something or someone, to include.
Siempre contaba con mi suegra.
I always relied on my mother-in-law.
9. dar con
Meaning: to come up with.
¿Ya diste con la dirección?
Have you found the address?
10. dejar de
Meaning: to fail, to stop, or to give up.
Voy a dejar de venir a este lugar.
I’m going to stop coming here.
11. darse prisa
Meaning: to hurry up.
¿Te puedes dar prisa? Vamos a llegar tarde.
Can you hurry up? We’ll be late.
12. darse cuenta de
Meaning: to realize, to notice.
¿Ya te diste cuenta de que eres el único que no trajo regalos?
Did you notice you’re the only one who didn’t bring presents?
Learn more: A Quick Guide to Using ‘Darse Cuenta’ in Spanish Conversations
13. echar a
Meaning: to begin to or to start.
Voy a echar a andar la lavadora.
I’m going to start the washing machine.
14. echar de menos
Meaning: to miss a place or a person.
Echo de menos mi antiguo apartamento.
I miss my old apartment.
Learn more: 25 Essential Ways to Use the Verb ‘Echar’ in Spanish
15. estar para
Meaning: to be in the mood for.
Estoy para dejar todo e irme a la playa.
I feel like stopping everything and going to the beach.
16. estar por
Meaning: to be in favor of something, to be about to.
Este lugar es aburridísimo; estoy por irme a mi casa.
This place is so boring; I’m about to go home.
Learn more: What’s the Difference Between ‘Estar Por’ and ‘Estar Para’?
17. enamorarse de
Meaning: to fall in love with a place or a person.
Me enamoré de Pablo a primera vista.
I fell in love with Pablo at first sight.
18. fijarse en
Meaning: to realize or to notice.
¿Te fijaste en el hoyo de tu camisa?
Did you notice the hole in your shirt?
19. hacer constar
Meaning: to declare or to set the record.
Ana hace constar que no sabe nada de esta situación.
Ana states that she doesn’t know anything about this situation.
20. llegar a ser
Meaning: to become.
Espero llegar a ser tan exitoso como mi padre algún día.
I hope to become as successful as my father one day.
21. llevar a cabo
Meaning: to carry out or to accomplish.
Mi mamá llevó a cabo una recaudación de fondos para el hospital.
My mom carried out a fundraiser for the hospital.
22. meterse en
Meaning: to interfere in, or to meddle.
No te metas en asuntos de alguien más.
Don’t interfere in other people’s business.
23. pensar de
Meaning: to have thoughts and an opinion.
¿Qué piensas de la nueva presidenta?
What are your thoughts on the new president?
24. pensar en
Meaning: to think about.
No puedo pensar en nada más que mi gato.
I can’t think about anything but my cat.
25. pasar por
Meaning: to pick up or to collect something or someone.
¿Puedes pasar por mí al trabajo?
Can you pick me up at work?
26. quedarse sin
Meaning: to run out of something.
Nos hemos quedado sin papel de baño.
We ran out of toilet paper.
27. reírse de
Meaning: to laugh at and make fun of a person, or situation.
Me reí de tus chistes toda la noche.
I laughed at your jokes all night.
28. responder por
Meaning: to be responsible for something or to vouch for.
Yo respondo por todo mi equipo.
I’m responsible for my whole team.
29. soñar con
Meaning: to dream about.
Soñé con correr en un bosque.
I dreamed about running in a forest.
30. tener que
Meaning: must, to have to.
Tengo que pagar el recibo de luz.
I must pay the electric bill.
Learn more: 20 Idiomatic Expressions in Spanish Using the Verb ‘Tener’
31. volver a
Meaning: to restart an action again.
Volví a la actuación.
I started acting again.
If this list of Spanish phrasal verbs piqued your interest, read this fun list of 100+ Common Phrases For Any Conversation.
Practice Spanish Phrasal Verbs With a Native Speaker
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Don’t miss out on the opportunity of becoming bilingual and expanding your professional horizons to the next level of greatness.
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