Spanish Verbs with Prepositions

Welcome to our grammar lesson about Spanish verbs with prepositions.

Some verbs are usually followed by a preposition, forming a kind of “team” to express an action.

For example, take the verb “pensar”, which means “to think”. Just like in English “to think” is usually followed by the preposition “about”, in Spanish pensar is usually followed by the preposition en:

Two Spanish sentences with "pensar en"
Two sentences with “pensar en…”

In this lesson we will review the most common verbs with prepositions, and read example sentences that include them.

We will also learn how to make questions with these verbs.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.

List of verbs with prepositions

The following table shows many Spanish verbs with prepositions:

Verbs with "en"
pensar ento think about...
confiar ento trust...
insistir ento insist on...
convertirse ento turn into...
quedar ento agree to...
Verbs with "con"
quedar conto arrange to meet with...
quedarse conto keep smth
contar conto count on...
soñar conto dream of...
amenazar conto threaten smth
Verbs with "de"
acordarse deto remember...
dejar deto stop doing smth
terminar deto finish doing smth
cansarse deto get tired of...
depender deto depend on...
enterarse deto hear about...
enamorarse deto fall in love with...
morir deto die of...
quejarse deto complain about...
alegrarse deto be happy about...
tratar deto try to do smth
alejarse deto move away from...
Verbs with "a"
acercarse ato approach / get closer to...
llamar ato call someone
dedicarse ato be dedicated to...
empezar ato start doing smth
parecerse ato look like...
jugar ato play smth
Verbs with "por"
disculparse porto apologize for...
interesarse porto be interested in
optar porto opt for...


Let’s read an example sentence with each verb:

Verbs with “en”

  • pensar en… (to think about)

Marta piensa en su novio.
Marta thinks about her boyfriend.


  • confiar en… (to trust someone or something)

Yo confío en ti.
I trust you.


  • insistir en… (to insist on something)

Insisto en esa idea.
I insist on that idea.


  • convertirse en… (to turn into something, to become something)

Cada noche, Roberto se convierte en lobo.
Every night, Roberto becomes a wolf.


  • quedar en… (to agree to do something)

Hemos quedado en comprar una tele nueva.
We have agreed to buy a new TV.


Verbs with “con”

  • quedar con… (to arrange to meet with someone)

Nosotros hemos quedado con nuestros amigos.
We have arranged to meet with our friends.


  • quedarse con… (to keep something)

Yo me quedo con este libro hasta la semana que viene.
I keep this book until next week.


  • contar con… (to count on something or someone)

Contamos con vosotros.
We count on you guys.


  • soñar con… (to dream of something)

Anoche soñé con mi madre.
Last night I dreamt of my mother.


  • amenazar con… (to threaten something)

El presidente amenaza con una nueva guerra.
The President threatens a new war.


Verbs with “de”

  • acordarse de… (to remember something)

Yo me acuerdo de ti.
I remember you.


  • dejar de… (to stop or quit doing something)

El año pasado dejé de fumar.
Last year I quit smoking.


  • terminar de… (to finish doing something)

¿A qué hora terminas de trabajar?
What time do you finish work?


  • cansarse de… (to get tired of something)

Nunca me canso de jugar.
I never get tired of playing.


  • depender de… (to depend on something)

El precio depende del supermercado.
The price depends on the supermarket.


  • enterarse de… (to hear about something)

Me he enterado de algo increíble.
I’ve heard about something incredible.


  • enamorarse de… (to fall in love with someone)

Yo me enamoré de mi compañera.
I fell in love with my colleague.


  • morir de… (to die of something)

El hombre murió de hambre.
The man died of hunger.


  • quejarse de... (to complain about something)

Voy a quejarme del servicio.
I’m going to complain about the service.


  • alegrarse de… (to be happy / glad about something)

Me alegro de vivir en este país.
I’m glad I live in this country.


  • tratar de… (to try to do something)

Ella trata de arrancar el coche.
She tries to start the car.


  • alejarse de… (to move away)

Los coches se alejan de la casa.
The cars move/drive away from the house.


Verbs with “a”

  • acercarse a… (to approach / get closer)

La chica se acerca a su profesora.
The girl approaches her teacher.


  • llamar a… (to call someone or something)

Ellos llaman a la farmacia.
They call the pharmacy.


  • dedicarse a… (to be dedicated to)

Laura se dedica a la investigación médica.
Laura is dedicated to medical research.


  • empezar a… (to begin / start to do something)

Los músicos empiezan a tocar.
The musicians begin to play.


  • parecerse a… (to look like)

Ana se parece a su hermana.
Ana looks like her sister.


  • jugar a… (to play something: games, sports… but NOT instruments)

Vamos a jugar a las cartas.
We are going to play cards


Verbs with “por”

  • disculparse por… (to apologize for something)

Me disculpo por mi comportamiento.
I apologize for my behavior.


  • interesarse por… (to be interested in something)

Clara se interesa por la política.
Clara is interested in politics.


  • optar por… (to opt for)

La estudiante ha optado por una carrera de ciencias.
The student has opted for a science degree/career.

Questions including verbs with prepositions

When we make a question that includes a verb with a preposition, and there is also a question word (qué, quién, etc…), the formula is:

Formula:

¿preposition + question word + verb …?

Examples

¿En quién confías?
Who do you trust?
Confío en él.
I trust him.

¿Con quién quedaste ayer?
With whom did you arrange to meet yesterday?
Quedé con mis amigos.
I arranged to meet with my friends.

¿De qué te acuerdas?
What do you remember?
Me acuerdo de la playa.
I remember the beach.

¿A qué jugáis hoy?
What are you guys playing today?
Jugamos a un juego de ordenador.
We are playing a computer game.

¿Por qué te disculpas?
What do you apologize for?
Me disculpo por mi error.
I apologize for my mistake.

Practice

Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about Spanish verbs with prepositions:

Exercise 1

Now we are going to practice verbs with prepositions in sentences.

Fill the gaps choosing between “en / con / de / a / por”:

1) De día pienso pienso ___ ella.
During the day I think of her

2) Por la noche sueño ___ ella.
At night i dream of her.

3) Contamos ___ Carlos para organizar la fiesta.
We count on Carlos to organize the party

4) Deja ___ preocuparte.
Stop worrying.

5) Tengo que empezar ___ estudiar.
I have to start studying.

6) ¿ ___ qué depende la decisión?
What does the decision depend on?

Solutions:
1) en

2) con
3) con

4) de
5) a

6) De

Exercise 2

Even more sentences!

Fill the gaps choosing between “en / con / de / a / por”:

1) Ella confía ___ él.
She trusts him.

2) La niña sueña ___ una casa de chocolate.
The girl dreams of a chocolate house.

3) ¿Quieres jugar ___ las cartas?
Do you want to play cards?

4) No me intereso ___ sus problemas.
I’m not interested in his problems.

5) Ellos se cansan ___ leer.
They get tired of reading.

6) ¿ ___ quién te has enamorado?
Who have you fallen in love with?

Solutions:
1) en
2) con
3) a
4) por
5) de
6) De