Perífrasis verbales en español

¡Hola a todos!

Many of my students usually ask me about this topic: perífrasis verbales. That’s why I’d like to try to quickly explain this.

The verbal periphrases are groups of two or more verbs meaning something together. They usually are made up from a conjugated verb, a link (but many periphrases don’t need it) and another verb in a non personal form (infinitive, gerund or participle).

In Spanish, periphrases may talk about the aspect of the verb or the speaker’s attitude. Let’s see some examples of each.

If we talk about the aspect, we will find different categories: actions about to start, ended actions, actions happening right now… Well, here are some examples:

  • Imminent actions: Estoy a punto de salir de casa.
  • Starting actions: Mi hijo empezó a hablar el mes pasado.
  • Happening actions: Se ha pasado estudiando toda la noche.
  • Ending actions: Los obreros han dejado de utilizar el martillo eléctrico. ¡Menos mal!
  • Usual actions: Suelo cenar con mis amigos todos los sábados.

If we talk about the speaker’s attitude, we can say, for example:

  • Obligation: Tienes que comprar huevos para la tortilla.
  • Permission: Papá dice que puedo ir al cine, ¿a qué hora nos vemos?
  • Probability: Debe de haber pasado algo grave, han venido incluso los bomberos.
  • Certainty: El ciervo tuvo que asustarse mucho con el disparo.
  • Approximation: El texto viene a decir que todos somos iguales.

I hope that you liked it and that it’s been crystal clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here. You can find a list (not complete, but very long) with Spanish periphrases.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Publicado en Grammar.

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