«estar a punto de…» in Spanish – Learn and Practice

estar a punto de

Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on the Spanish phrase «estar a punto de».

«estar a punto de» means «to be about to…». We use it to express that something will happen very soon.

Two sentences with "estar a punto de"
Two sentences with «estar a punto de»

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to use this expression correctly in sentences.

You will also find a Quiz and Exercises to practice.

Use in Present Tense

For sentences in present tense, we must simply conjugate the verb estar for the right person, as shown in this table:

 Present Tense
yoestoy a punto de
estás a punto de
élestá a punto de
nosotrosestamos a punto de
vosotrosestáis a punto de
ellosestán a punto de


After de, we must always place a verb in the Infinitive.

Examples:

Yo estoy a punto de comer.
I am about to eat.

La peli está a punto de empezar.
The film is about to start.

Estamos a punto de hacer el examen.
We are about to take the exam.

Mis amigos están a punto de llegar.
My friends are about to arrive.

Use in Past Tenses

Here’s the conjugation in 3 different past tenses: Present Perfect, Preterite and Imperfect.

 Present PerfectPreteriteImperfect
yohe estado a punto deestuve a punto deestaba a punto de
has estado a punto deestuviste a punto deestabas a punto de
élha estado a punto deestuvo a punto deestaba a punto de
nosotroshemos estado a punto deestuvimos a punto deestábamos a punto de
vosotroshabéis estado a punto deestuvisteis a punto deestabais a punto de
elloshan estado a punto deestuvieron a punto deestaban a punto de


Something interesting happens with this expression when we are talking about the past. Depending on the tense we use, it means something different.

In Imperfect, it still means «to be about to do something»:

Cuando ellos estaban a punto de irse, sonó el teléfono.
As they were about to leave, the phone rang.

Yo llegué cuando la fiesta estaba a punto de terminar.
I arrived just as the party was about to end.


But in Present Perfect and in Preterite, it means «almost having done something»:

El chico ha estado a punto de caerse.
The boy almost fell. (Present Perfect)

Vosotros estuvisteis a punto de ganar.
You guys almost won. (Preterite)

Practice

Quiz


Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the necessary words:

1) Algo bueno está a punto de ocurrir.
Something good is about to happen.

2) Está a punto de llover.
It’s about to rain.

3) Nosotras estamos a punto de ganar.
We are about to win.

4) El avión está a punto de aterrizar.
The plane is about to land.

Exercise 2

These sentences are about the past. Reading the English translations, complete them with the verb «estar», choosing between Preterite and Imperfect tense:

1)estabas a punto de cometer un grave error.
You were about to make a serious mistake.

2)estuviste a punto de cometer un grave error.
You almost made a serious mistake.

3) El hombre estuvo a punto de enojarse.
The man almost got angry.

4) El hombre estaba a punto de enojarse.
The man was about to get angry.