Spanish Verbs of Change

Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on Spanish verbs of change and transformation.

Here we will learn the most common verbs to express change in Spanish, and how to use them in sentences, with many examples.

Two sentences with Spanish verbs of change
Two sentences with verbs of change

Let’s start!

List of verbs of change

The most common verbs of change and transformation are:

convertirse en
transformarse en

All those verbs can be translated as “to become”, “to turn into”… or other similar expressions.

Note: All these verbs are reflexive

All verbs in the list above are reflexive.

That means every time we use them, we need to place a reflexive pronoun somewhere in the sentence.

Click here to learn more about reflexive verbs

In the rest of the lesson, we will learn the slight differences between these verbs and read example sentences.


Characteristics of ponerse:

  • it expresses a rather quick change

El semáforo se pone verde.
The traffic light turns green.

Me pongo colorado.
I blush. (I “become red”)

Te pones como un tomate.
You blush bright red. (You “become like a tomato”)

Nos hemos puesto enfermos.
We have gotten sick.


Characteristics of volverse:

  • it expresses a slower, gradual change

Con el tiempo, estos perros se vuelven muy cariñosos.
With time, these dogs become very affectionate.

Londres se ha vuelto muy cara.
London has become very expensive.

Con los años me he vuelto optimista.
Over the years I have become optimistic.


Characteristics of hacerse:

  • it expresses a personal change that is usually about money, profession, religion or ideology
  • it tends to introduce an adjective or the name of a profession

Nos hacemos ricos.
We get rich.

Felipe se ha hecho policía.
Felipe has become a police officer.

Mi amigo se hizo budista.
My friend became buddhist.

Ellos se hicieron anarquistas.
They became anarchists.


Characteristics of quedarse:

  • it can mean “to end up”, “to be left…” or something similar
  • it expresses the result of some process or experience

Yo me quedo solo.
I end up alone.

te quedas calvo.
You go bald.

María se ha quedado embarazada.
María has got pregnant.

Pablo se queda con cara de tonto.
Pablo is left looking stupid. (with a stupid face)

convertirse en – transformarse en

Characteristics of these two verbs:

  • they express a drastic change or transformation
  • they tend to introduce a noun

El agua se convierte en hielo.
Water turns to ice.

Él se convierte en un lobo todas las noches.
He turns into a wolf every night.

La madera se transformó en oro macizo.
The wood transformed into solid gold.

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