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How to conjugate Empezar in Spanish

To start, to begin Irregular

Introduction

Empezar is the Spanish verb for to start, to begin. It is an irregular verb. Read on below to see how it is conjugated in the 16 major Spanish tenses!

SpanishSpanishEnglish
Infinitiveempezarto start, to begin
Past participleempezadostarted
Gerundempezandostarting

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Indicative Tenses of Empezar

Empezar in the Indicative Present

The Indicative Present of empezar is used to talk about situations, events or thoughts that are happening now or in the near future. It is also used to talk about facts and truths. For example, "empiezo corriendo", meaning "I start running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempiezoI start
empiezasyou start
Ella / Él / Ustedempiezas/he start, you (formal) start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezamoswe start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezáisyou (plural) start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempiezanthey start, you (plural formal) start
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Empezar in the Indicative Preterite

The Indicative Preterite of empezar is used to talk about actions completed in the past, at a specific point in time. For example, "empecé corriendo", meaning "I started running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempecéI started
empezasteyou started
Ella / Él / Ustedempezós/he started, you (formal) started
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezamoswe started
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezasteisyou (plural) started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezaronthey started, you (plural formal) started
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Empezar in the Indicative Imperfect

The Indicative Imperfect of empezar is used to describe regular and repeated actions that happened in the past and descriptions of things you used to do. For example, "empezaba corriendo", meaning "I used to start running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempezabaI used to start
empezabasyou used to start
Ella / Él / Ustedempezabas/he used to start, you (formal) used to start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezábamoswe used to start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezabaisyou (plural) used to start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezabanthey used to start, you (plural formal) used to start
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Empezar in the Indicative Future

The Indicative Future of empezar is used to talk about something that will happen in the future. For example, "empezaré corriendo", meaning "I will start running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempezaréI will start
empezarásyou will start
Ella / Él / Ustedempezarás/he will start, you (formal) will start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezaremoswe will start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezaréisyou (plural) will start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezaránthey will start, you (plural formal) will start
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Empezar in the Indicative Conditional

The Indicative Conditional of empezar is used to talk about something that may happen in the future, hypothesis and probabilities. For example, "empezaría corriendo", meaning "I would start running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempezaríaI would start
empezaríasyou would start
Ella / Él / Ustedempezarías/he would start, you (formal) would start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezaríamoswe would start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezaríaisyou (plural) would start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezaríanthey would start, you (plural formal) would start
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Empezar in the Indicative Present Perfect

The Indicative Present Perfect of empezar is used to describe actions that started recently (in the past) and are still happening now or things that have been done recently. For example, "he empezado corriendo", meaning "I have started running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohe empezadoI have started
has empezadoyou have started
Ella / Él / Ustedha empezados/he has started, you (formal) have started
Nosotras / Nosotroshemos empezadowe have started
Vosotras / Vosotroshabéis empezadoyou (plural) have started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshan empezadothey have started, you (plural formal) have started
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Empezar in the Indicative Past Perfect

The Indicative Past Perfect of empezar is used to talk about actions that happened before another action in the past. For example, "había empezado corriendo", meaning "I had started running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabía empezadoI had started
habías empezadoyou had started
Ella / Él / Ustedhabía empezados/he had started, you (formal) had started
Nosotras / Nosotroshabíamos empezadowe had started
Vosotras / Vosotroshabíais empezadoyou (plural) had started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabían empezadothey had started, you (plural formal) had started
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Empezar in the Indicative Future Perfect

The Indicative Future Perfect of empezar is used to talk about something that will have happened in the future after something else has already happened. For example, "habré empezado corriendo", meaning "I will have started running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabré empezadoI will have started
habrás empezadoyou will have started
Ella / Él / Ustedhabrá empezados/he will have started, you (formal) will have started
Nosotras / Nosotroshabremos empezadowe will have started
Vosotras / Vosotroshabréis empezadoyou (plural) will have started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrán empezadothey will have started, you (plural formal) will have started
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Empezar in the Indicative Conditional Perfect

The Indicative Conditional Perfect of empezar is used to talk about something that would have happened in the future but didn’t due to another action. For example, "habría empezado corriendo", meaning "I would have started running".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabría empezadoI would have started
habrías empezadoyou would have started
Ella / Él / Ustedhabría empezados/he would have started, you (formal) would have started
Nosotras / Nosotroshabríamos empezadowe would have started
Vosotras / Vosotroshabríais empezadoyou (plural) would have started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrían empezadothey would have started, you (plural formal) would have started
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Want a better way to learn conjugations?

Ella Verbs guides you through 30 levels of bite sized lessons and verb drills, helping you to master the 16 main Spanish tenses from our verb library of over 1,000 verbs.

Subjunctive Tenses of Empezar

Empezar in the Subjunctive Present

The Subjunctive Present is used to talk about situations of uncertainty, or emotions such as wishes, desires and hopes. It differs from the indicative mood due to the uncertainty of the events which are being spoken about. For example, "empiece", meaning "I start".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempieceI start
empiecesyou start
Ella / Él / Ustedempieces/he start, you (formal) start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempecemoswe start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempecéisyou (plural) start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempiecenthey start, you (plural formal) start
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Empezar in the Subjunctive Imperfect

The Subjunctive Imperfect is used to speak about unlikely or uncertain events in the past or to cast an opinion (emotional) about something that happened in the past. For example, "empezara", meaning "I started".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempezaraI started
empezarasyou started
Ella / Él / Ustedempezaras/he started, you (formal) started
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezáramoswe started
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezaraisyou (plural) started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezaranthey started, you (plural formal) started
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Empezar in the Subjunctive Future

The Subjunctive Future is used For example, "empezare", meaning "I will start".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoempezareI will start
empezaresyou will start
Ella / Él / Ustedempezares/he will start, you (formal) will start
Nosotras / Nosotrosempezáremoswe will start
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezareisyou (plural) will start
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempezarenthey will start, you (plural formal) will start
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Empezar in the Subjunctive Present Perfect

The Subjunctive Present Perfect is used to describe past actions or events that are still connected to the present day and to speak about an action that will have happened by a certain time in the future. For example, "haya empezado", meaning "I have started".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohaya empezadoI have started
hayas empezadoyou have started
Ella / Él / Ustedhaya empezados/he has started, you (formal) have started
Nosotras / Nosotroshayamos empezadowe have started
Vosotras / Vosotroshayáis empezadoyou (plural) have started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshayan empezadothey have started, you (plural formal) have started
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Empezar in the Subjunctive Past Perfect

The Subjunctive Past Perfect is used to speak about hypothetical situations, and actions/events that occurred before other actions/events in the past. For example, "hubiera empezado", meaning "I had started".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiera empezadoI had started
hubieras empezadoyou had started
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiera empezados/he had started, you (formal) had started
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéramos empezadowe had started
Vosotras / Vosotroshubierais empezadoyou (plural) had started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieran empezadothey had started, you (plural formal) had started
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Empezar in the Subjunctive Future Perfect

The Subjunctive Future Perfect is used For example, "hubiere empezado", meaning "I will have started".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiere empezadoI will have started
hubieres empezadoyou will have started
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiere empezados/he will have started, you (formal) will have started
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéremos empezadowe will have started
Vosotras / Vosotroshubiereis empezadoyou (plural) will have started
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieren empezadothey will have started, you (plural formal) will have started
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Imperative Tenses of Empezar

Empezar in the Imperative Affirmative

The Imperative Affirmative is used to give orders and commands, to tell someone to do something. For example, "empiece", meaning "(to you formal) start!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
empieza(to you) start!
Ella / Él / Ustedempiece(to you formal) start!
Nosotras / Nosotrosempecemos(to we) start!
Vosotras / Vosotrosempezad(to you plural) start!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesempiecen(to you plural formal) start!
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Empezar in the Imperative Negative

The Imperative Negative is used to give orders and commands, telling someone not to do something. For example, "no empiece", meaning "(to you formal) don't start!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
no empieces(to you) don't start!
Ella / Él / Ustedno empiece(to you formal) don't start!
Nosotras / Nosotrosno empecemos(to we) don't start!
Vosotras / Vosotrosno empecéis(to you plural) don't start!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesno empiecen(to you plural formal) don't start!
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Example sentences and usage

  • ¡Date prisa! Empieza el concierto. Hurry up! The concert is starting.
  • Planta estas semillas antes de que empiece el verano. Plant these seeds before summer sets in.
  • La semana pasada empecé a aprender chino. I started learning Chinese last week.
  • La vida empieza cuando te das cuenta de quién eres realmente. Life begins when we realize who we really are.
  • La película empezó a las 2. The film started at 2 o'clock.
  • Hace sólo una hora que empezaste este trabajo. You only started this job an hour ago.
  • Empezaremos cuando estés listo. We'll start whenever you are ready.
  • Él empezó a trabajar para esa compañía el año pasado. He began to work for that company last year.
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Want to explore other verb conjugations?

Why not check out preguntar – to ask, to question or see the complete list of verbs here.

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Ella Verbs guides you through 30 levels of bite sized lessons and verb drills, helping you to master the 16 main Spanish tenses from our verb library of over 1,000 verbs.

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