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How to conjugate Poder in Spanish

To be able to Irregular

Introduction

Poder is the Spanish verb meaning "to be able to / to can". This verb can be used to ask for permission, e.g. ¿Podría usar el baño?, or to to express tolerance for something "No puedo más", meaning "I can't do any more". In it's purist form, it is used to express capability to do something. For example: "Mi hermano puede nadar 1 kilómetro sin parar" - "My brother can swim 1km without stopping".

Similar verbs to poder include: ser capaz (to be competent), lograr (to be able to).

SpanishSpanishEnglish
Infinitivepoderto be able to
Past participlepodidobeen able to
Gerundpudiendobeing able to

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Indicative Tenses of Poder

Poder in the Indicative Present

The Indicative Present of poder 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, "puedo hablar español", meaning "I am able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopuedoI am able to
puedesyou are able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpuedes/he is able to, you (formal) are able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodemoswe are able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospodéisyou (plural) are able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespuedenthey are able to, you (plural formal) are able to
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Poder in the Indicative Preterite

The Indicative Preterite of poder is used to talk about actions completed in the past, at a specific point in time. For example, "pude hablar español", meaning "I was able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopudeI was able to
pudisteyou were able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpudos/he were able to, you (formal) were able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospudimoswe were able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospudisteisyou (plural) were able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespudieronthey were able to, you (plural formal) were able to
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Poder in the Indicative Imperfect

The Indicative Imperfect of poder is used to describe regular and repeated actions that happened in the past and descriptions of things you used to do. For example, "podía hablar español", meaning "I used to be able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopodíaI used to be able to
podíasyou used to be able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpodías/he used to be able to, you (formal) used to be able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodíamoswe used to be able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospodíaisyou (plural) used to be able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespodíanthey used to be able to, you (plural formal) used to be able to
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Poder in the Indicative Future

The Indicative Future of poder is used to talk about something that will happen in the future. For example, "podré hablar español", meaning "I will be able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopodréI will be able to
podrásyou will be able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpodrás/he will be able to, you (formal) will be able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodremoswe will be able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospodréisyou (plural) will be able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespodránthey will be able to, you (plural formal) will be able to
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Poder in the Indicative Conditional

The Indicative Conditional of poder is used to talk about something that may happen in the future, hypothesis and probabilities. For example, "podría hablar español", meaning "I would be able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopodríaI would be able to
podríasyou would be able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpodrías/he would be able to, you (formal) would be able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodríamoswe would be able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospodríaisyou (plural) would be able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespodríanthey would be able to, you (plural formal) would be able to
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Poder in the Indicative Present Perfect

The Indicative Present Perfect of poder 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 podido hablar español", meaning "I have been able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohe podidoI have been able to
has podidoyou have been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedha podidos/he has been able to, you (formal) have been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshemos podidowe have been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshabéis podidoyou (plural) have been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshan podidothey have been able to, you (plural formal) have been able to
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Poder in the Indicative Past Perfect

The Indicative Past Perfect of poder is used to talk about actions that happened before another action in the past. For example, "había podido hablar español", meaning "I had been able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabía podidoI had been able to
habías podidoyou had been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhabía podidos/he had been able to, you (formal) had been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshabíamos podidowe had been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshabíais podidoyou (plural) had been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabían podidothey had been able to, you (plural formal) had been able to
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Poder in the Indicative Future Perfect

The Indicative Future Perfect of poder is used to talk about something that will have happened in the future after something else has already happened. For example, "habré podido hablar español", meaning "I will have been able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabré podidoI will have been able to
habrás podidoyou will have been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhabrá podidos/he will have been able to, you (formal) will have been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshabremos podidowe will have been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshabréis podidoyou (plural) will have been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrán podidothey will have been able to, you (plural formal) will have been able to
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Poder in the Indicative Conditional Perfect

The Indicative Conditional Perfect of poder is used to talk about something that would have happened in the future but didn’t due to another action. For example, "habría podido hablar español", meaning "I would have been able to speak Spanish".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabría podidoI would have been able to
habrías podidoyou would have been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhabría podidos/he would have been able to, you (formal) would have been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshabríamos podidowe would have been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshabríais podidoyou (plural) would have been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrían podidothey would have been able to, you (plural formal) would have been able to
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Subjunctive Tenses of Poder

Poder 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, "pueda", meaning "I am able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopuedaI am able to
puedasyou are able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpuedas/he is able to, you (formal) are able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodamoswe are able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospodáisyou (plural) are able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespuedanthey are able to, you (plural formal) are able to
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Poder 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, "pudiera", meaning "I was able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopudieraI was able to
pudierasyou were able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpudieras/he were able to, you (formal) were able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospudiéramoswe were able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospudieraisyou (plural) were able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespudieranthey were able to, you (plural formal) were able to
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Poder in the Subjunctive Future

The Subjunctive Future is used For example, "pudiere", meaning "I will be able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YopudiereI will be able to
pudieresyou will be able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpudieres/he will be able to, you (formal) will be able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospudiéremoswe will be able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospudiereisyou (plural) will be able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespudierenthey will be able to, you (plural formal) will be able to
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Poder 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 podido", meaning "I have been able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohaya podidoI have been able to
hayas podidoyou have been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhaya podidos/he has been able to, you (formal) have been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshayamos podidowe have been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshayáis podidoyou (plural) have been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshayan podidothey have been able to, you (plural formal) have been able to
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Poder 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 podido", meaning "I had been able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiera podidoI had been able to
hubieras podidoyou had been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiera podidos/he had been able to, you (formal) had been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéramos podidowe had been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshubierais podidoyou (plural) had been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieran podidothey had been able to, you (plural formal) had been able to
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Poder in the Subjunctive Future Perfect

The Subjunctive Future Perfect is used For example, "hubiere podido", meaning "I will have been able to".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiere podidoI will have been able to
hubieres podidoyou will have been able to
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiere podidos/he will have been able to, you (formal) will have been able to
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéremos podidowe will have been able to
Vosotras / Vosotroshubiereis podidoyou (plural) will have been able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieren podidothey will have been able to, you (plural formal) will have been able to
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Imperative Tenses of Poder

Poder in the Imperative Affirmative

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

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
puede(to you) be! able to
Ella / Él / Ustedpueda(to you formal) be! able to
Nosotras / Nosotrospodamos(to we) be! able to
Vosotras / Vosotrospoded(to you plural) be! able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedespuedan(to you plural formal) be! able to
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Poder in the Imperative Negative

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

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
no puedas(to you) don't be! able to
Ella / Él / Ustedno pueda(to you formal) don't be! able to
Nosotras / Nosotrosno podamos(to we) don't be! able to
Vosotras / Vosotrosno podáis(to you plural) don't be! able to
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesno puedan(to you plural formal) don't be! able to
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Example sentences and usage

  • A veces él puede ser un chico raro. Sometimes he can be a strange guy.
  • Algunas veces no puedo evitar mostrar mis sentimientos. Sometimes I can't help showing emotions.
  • Te sorprendería lo que puedes aprender en una semana. You'd be surprised what you can learn in a week.
  • No podemos dormir por el ruido. We can't sleep because of the noise.
  • Cuando no puedas hacer lo que quieras, haz lo que puedas. When you can't do what you want, you do what you can.
  • Puedes terminar tu ensayo ahora. You can finish your essay now.
  • ¿Cuándo se puede decir que una persona tiene problemas con el alcohol? When can one say that a person has alcohol issues?
  • "¿Alguien puede ayudarme?" "Yo lo haré". Can somebody help me?" "I will.
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Want to explore other verb conjugations?

Why not check out convertir – to convert 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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