How to Use the Verb ‘Soler’ in Spanish
Learn how to use a very unusual verb: the soler conjugation! Soler translates to “to usually do something” in English.
The soler verb is an irregular and stem-changing verb with an -er ending. Other irregular verbs with the root -er are: ser (to be), haber (to have as an auxiliary verb), tener (to have), hacer (to do), poder (being able to).
Normally, I cover all tenses in Spanish encompassing three moods:
- Indicative (present, past, conditional, and future)
- Subjunctive (present and past)
But since the soler conjugation is highly unusual it doesn’t make sense in each form. So get ready for a quick, short lesson about a verb that will make you sound like a native!
The Ultimate Guide to Soler Conjugation
If you are not familiar with some of the tenses shown here, don’t worry! With enough practice, they will be easy to remember.
Read ahead to find not only the complete guide to soler meaning and conjugation, but also examples, and exercises in a PDF to practice your new skills!
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Soler Conjugation: Verbals
For these soler conjugations, there are two forms of soler that you need to learn.
- Conjugation of haber + past participle of soler
- Conjugation of estar + gerund form of soler
The infinitive form of the verb is soler.
The past participle of soler is solido.
The gerund form of soler is soliendo.
These compound tenses involve using the helping verbs haber and estar. The soler conjugation changes in these tenses happen within the helping verbs, while the form of soler stays the same.
Let’s see them in action:
El soler venir a casa era signo de respeto a tus padres.
Being used to coming home was a sign of respect to your parents.
El que tu hayas solido ir a la escuela no significa que hayas aprendido algo.
Just because you have used to go to school does not mean that you have learned anything.
Ella dejó de tener amigos, soliendo ser muy social.
She stopped having friends, usually being very social.
This last example is here to illustrate the grammar structure of the word soliendo, but frankly it’s rarely used.
Soler Conjugation: Indicative Mood
The present tense is one of the most common forms of the soler conjugation, and it translates to “normally” or “usually”. As you can see in this chart, the stem changes to suel- in most cases.
|Él, ella, usted||suele|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||suelen|
Before getting to the examples of the verb soler, here are some notes with details you need to know:
- Be careful! The verb conjugation suelo is not to be confused with the noun suelo that means floor.
- Keep in mind that for the verb soler, usted is the formal construction of tú (you) and its tenses are the exact same as él and ella.
- Most actions that have to do with habits and daily routines are reflexive verbs. Since the soler conjugation sometimes refers to an act you do to yourself and others, it occasionally needs the use of reflexive pronouns: me, te, se, nos.
- In the case of soler vosotros is a pronoun exclusively used in Spain but it is still taught in some parts of Latin America.
Yo suelo maquillarme todas las mañanas antes de ir a la escuela.
I usually put makeup on every morning before going to school.
Nosotros solemos ir al bar los viernes.
We normally go to the bar on Fridays.
Vosotros soléis ir por tacos todos los fines de semana.
You guys usually go for tacos every weekend.
Tú sueles terminar la tarea después de comer.
You normally finish homework after eating.
Check out The Key to Reflexive Pronouns in Spanish!
The past imperfect tense is another one that you can find very useful. This verb conjugation translates to “used to”.
|Él, ella, usted||solía|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||solían|
Ella solía verse bonita con ese sombrero.
She used to look pretty with that hat on.
Ustedes solían caminar por el centro de la mano.
You used to walk downtown holding hands.
Usted solía enviar cartas navideñas todos los años.
You used to send Christmas cards every year.
Vosotros solíais buscar nueces en el parque.
You used to look for nuts at the park.
Soler Conjugation: Subjunctive Mood
We use the subjunctive mood to talk about hypotheses, hopes, wishes, or uncertainty. The word que (that) normally is located a couple of words before the verb soler, if not immediately before the reflexive pronoun.
|Él, ella, usted||suela|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||suelan|
El que suela dormir tan tarde desordena mi horario.
The fact that I usually sleep late messes up my schedule.
Me gusta que suelas comer sano.
I like that you usually eat healthy.
Me opongo a que suelan entregar sus trabajos hasta el último día.
I am opposed to the idea that you usually turn in your work until the last day.
|Yo||Soliera o soliese|
|Tú||Solieras o solieses|
|Él, ella, usted||Soliera o soliese|
|Nosotros||Soliéramos o soliésemos|
|Vosotros||Solierais o solieseis|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||Solieran o soliesen|
El que yo soliera ir al cine es algo que cambió.
That I used to go to the cinema is something that changed.
Si ellos se soliesen asolear, tendrían color.
If they were used to sunbathe, they would have color.
Me perturba que tu solieses tener animales comiendo en la mesa.
It disturbs me that you used to have animals eating at the table.
The soler conjugation in past subjunctive tense can either end in -era or –ese. Both ways are accepted although -era is more common and informal. When writing a formal letter, I suggest you use the verb ending -ese.
Past Perfect Subjunctive
|Yo||hubiera o hubiese + solido|
|Tú||hubieras o hubieses + solido|
|Él, ella, usted||hubiera o hubiese + solido|
|Nosotros||hubiéramos o hubiésemos + solido|
|Vosotros||hubierais o hubieseis + solido|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||hubieran o hubiesen + solido|
For the past perfect subjunctive tense, we use the auxiliary verb haber and the past participle of soler.
Si yo hubiera solido estudiar, no hubiera reprobado.
If I had used to study, I would not have failed.
Be sure to not mix up the verb solido with the adjective sólido. The only difference is a written accent.
Keep in mind this form of the verb soler is rarely used since there are simpler ways of saying the exact same phrase.
Present Perfect Subjunctive
|Yo||haya + solido|
|Tú||hayas + solido|
|Él, ella, usted||haya + solido|
|Nosotros||hayamos + solido|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||hayan + solido|
For the perfect subjunctive tense, we use the auxiliary verb haber and the past participle of afeitar.
El que yo haya solido estudiar, me ayudó mucho en la vida.
The fact that I used to study has helped me a lot in life.
Soler Conjugation Exercises
Check your understanding of soler conjugation with the following exercises! Be sure to check each answer with the answer key. ¡Buena suerte!
1. Choose the mood that corresponds to this sentence: Yo suelo enojarme cuando me gritan (I normally get angry when I’m being yelled at).
2. What is the participle and gerund form of the verb soler?
3. Select the correct sentarse conjugation of the past imperfect: Usted se ________ sentar en esa banca (You used to sit on the bench).
4. Which ones are the reflexive pronouns?
5. Which meaning of the word is suelo not supposed to be confused with?
6. When solido has an accent, it means solid. Where should this accent be written?
7. What mood is used to talk about hypotheses, hopes, wishes, or uncertainty?
8. Fill in the blank with a past perfect tense conjugation and its respective reflexive pronoun: Me gusta que tú _______ salir a correr (I like that you normally go for a run).
9. El que yo soliera ir al cine es algo que cambió. (That I used to go to the cinema is something that changed.) is one of these tenses:
10. Which of these auxiliary verbs is used in a formal context?
See Yourself Speaking Spanish!
Congratulations! You’ve learned about soler conjugation in Spanish and uses of the verb soler. Now you need to practice this lesson so you don’t forget your new skills! The best way to make it happen is with one of our native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. Ask them for tips that help you memorize all of the uses and tenses of the soler conjugation. Join the HSA community of over 24,000 monthly enrolled students and let our 10 years of experience back us up. Engage in real-life conversations today by signing up for a free class!
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