In this lesson we are going to take a look at “Perífrasis Verbales” (Verbal Periphrasis). “Perífrasis Verbales” are constructions of 2 or more words that form an idea, but they sometimes don’t translate literally from Spanish to English. We use these phrases by conjugating a principal verb and following it with an infinitive verb. This might sound confusing at first but once we take a look at some examples it should make some more sense. Lets dive straight into it!!

Pensar + Infinitive: means making a plan.

“Pienso comprar un televisor nuevo cuando reciba mi próximo sueldo.” (I think I’m going to buy a new TV when I receive my next salary.)

Querer + Infinitive: indicates a desire.

“Queremos pasar un fin de semana juntos en la montaña.” (We want to spend a weekend together in the mountain.)

Poder + Infinitive: is used to express a talent or to ask for permission.

Talent: “Christian es un buen mago, él puede hacer desaparecer un conejo.” (Christian is a good magician, he can make a rabbit dissappear.)

Permission: “Cuando suene el timbre, pueden salir al recreo.” (When the bell rings, you can go take a break.)

Preferir + Infinitive: to express a preference.

“Prefiero el café al té.” (I prefer drinking coffee to tea.)

Deber + Infinitive: is used to express an obligation or to give advice.

Obligation: “Deben entregar las respuestas del examen mañana por la tarde.” (You must provide the test answers tomorrow afternoon.)

To give advice: “Si vas a Argentina, debes visitar Bariloche.”(If you go to Argentina, you must visit Bariloche.)

Necesitar + Infinitive: indicates necessity.

“Necesito encontrar mis anteojos.” (I need to find my glasses.)

Saber + Infinitive: to express to know how to do something well.

“Mi marido sabe cocinar.” (My husband knows how to cook.)

Tener que + Infinitive: is to express a personal obligation.

“Anoche tuve que trabajar.” (Last night I had to work.)

Tratar de + Infinitive: to try to do something.

“Trato de hablar español cuando puedo.” (I try to speak Spanish when I can.)

Dejar de + Infinitive: is used to express the ending of an action.

“Ana dejó de fumar hace 3 meses.” (Ana stopped smoking 3 months ago.)

Hay que + Infinitive: is impersonal or general advice.

“Hay que tomar 2 litros de agua por día.” (You have to drink 2 liters of water per day.)

Acabar de + Infinitive: to finish doing something or to have finished an action recently.

To finish: “Cuando acabe de cenar voy a salir.” (When I finish eating dinner i’m going to go out.)

Action done recently: “No tengo hambre. Acabo de cenar.” (I’m not hungry. I just ate dinner.)

Empezar a + Infinitive: to start doing something.

“Empecé a trabajar a los 17 años” (I started working when I was 17 years old.)

Ir a + Infinitive: to do something in the future.

“Vamos a casarnos en agosto” (We are going to get married in August.)

Hopefully this article will provide you with some additional vocabulary to speak more fluently. If you can incorporate some of these phrases into your daily vocabulary, you will already be on the path to speaking more naturally since these “Periphrasis” are very common in Spanish! Don’t forget let me know if you have questions about this subject. Good luck!

via Learning Spanish Reviews Blog » Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish.

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