Learn Spanish Online: Verbs “to turn”

Learn Spanish Online: Verbs “to turn”

Learn Spanish Online: Verbs “to turn”

Learn Spanish Online with Your Native Speaking Spanish Tutor – Learning Spanish Verbs: “to turn”


The last verb in the series “Learning Spanish Verbs” is “to turn”.  The verb “to turn” can be used in various situations in English; “turn left at the corner”; “it is your turn”; “turn off on the light”; “you need to take turns; and “he turned into a different person”.  When you translate turn into Spanish, you need use different Spanish verbs in each situation because  there isn’t one Spanish verb equivalent to the English verb “turn”.

Let’s learn which Spanish verb you would use in the following situations?

  • When you want to change the direction on the street

girar, doblar (to turn to change direction)

– Al banco, giren a la izquierda en frente de la panaderia.
(At the bank, turn left in front of the bakery.)

– Doble a la derecha en el siguiente semáforo para ir a la escuela.
(Turn right at the next traffic signal to go to the school.)

  • When you are turning a key

girar (to turn)

– Si no puede abrir la puerta, gire la llave a la derecha.
(If you can’t open the door, turn the key to the right.)

  • When finding out whose turn it is…

tocar a alguien (to be someone’s turn)

– ¿A quién le toca?
(Whose turn is it?)

– ¡Te toca a ti!
(It is your turn!)

This phrase is very common but it sounds odd when you translate it directly.  “Tocar” literally means “to touch”.  So, you are touched and it is your turn now!

  • When you tell the kids to take turns

turnarse (to take turns)

– Siempre se turnen y comparten con sus amigos.
(Always take turns and share with your friends.)

  • When you turn on/off the light

apagar (to turn off something)

You need to use two different Spanish verbs “to turn on” or “to turn off” the light or any switches.

– Mi mamá siempre apaga las luces cuando sale de los cuartos.
(My mom always turns off the light when she leaves the rooms.)

encender (to turn on something)

– Mi papá le gusta encender todas las luces en la casa en la noche.
(My dad likes to turn on all the lights in the house at night.)

  • When you turn on/off the water.

abrir (to open), cerrar (to close)

In Spanish, you don’t really turn on/off the water, you open or close the faucet.

– Si abres el grifo, hace un sonido raro.
(If you turn on the water (open the faucet) it makes a strange noise.)

– Cuando estoy trabajando en la plomería, tienes que cerrar el grifo.
(When I am working on the plumbing you have to turn off the water (close the faucet).)

  • When a person turns into a completely different person

transformarse (to transform), convertirse (to convert)

– José se transformó en una persona totalmente diferente después de que empezó a salir con María.(Jose turned into a totally different person after he started dating Maria.)

We hope you have enjoyed the Spanish verb series.  Let’s recapture all Spanish verbs we have learned in this series.  Remember “Repetition is the mother of learning”, especially when you are learning languages.  Our native speaking, online Spanish personal tutors are ready to get you started at www.Spandango.net. You will schedule you own classes anytime and anywhere at your convenience. Try it now with a free first lesson.

  • 3 Spanish verbs for  “to add”

(1) sumar: to add numbers, to sum up
(2) añadir: to add something into other things (used in non-mathematical situation, not with numbers)
(3) agregar: to add something into other things (used in non-mathematical situation, not with numbers)

  • 4 Spanish verbs for  “to admit”

(1) ingresar: to admit (to a hospital)
(2) admitir: to admit (to an institution such as a hospital or a college / to make a mistake), to accept, to hold
(3) reconocer: to recognize, to acknowledge
(4) confesar: to admit (to commit a crime, bad actions)

(noun) la entrada: entrance

  • 4 Spanish verbs for  “to ask”

(1) preguntar:  to ask (for information)
(2) pedir:  to ask, to request (someone to do something)
(3) solicitar:  to ask, to request (someone to do something)
(4) invitar:  to ask (someone out), to invite

  • 5 Spanish verbs for  “to answer”

(1) contestar:  to answer (the phone), to respond (to an email)
(2) corresponder:  to correspond (to an email, to a letter)
(3) responder:  to respond (to an email, to a letter)
(4) abrir:  to open, to answer the door
(5) atender:  to answer the door (used in Latin America)

(noun) la respuesta:  an answer (to a question)
(noun) la solución:  an answer (to a problem), a solution
(noun) ser escuchado: to be heard (an answer to prayers)

  • 12 Spanish verbs for  “to break”

(1) quebrar: to break a hard object
(2) quebrarse: to break a body part
(3) romper: to break up with someone, to break a promise
(4) terminar: to finish a relationship
(5) romper el hielo: to break the ice
(6) estropearse: machine to break down
(7) descomponerse: machine to break down
(8) violar: to break a law / a rule
(9) quebrantar: to break a law / a rule
(10) cortar: to break / cut / turn off an electrical circuit
(11) interrumpir: to interrupt
(12) descansar: to rest, to have a break

(noun) la noticia de última hora: a breaking news

  • 4 Spanish verbs for  “to meet”

(1) conocer:  to meet someone for the first time, to know
(2) encontrar:  to meet someone by chance, to find
(3) reunir:  to meet someone in a formal meeting, to reunite
(4) encontrarse con alguien:  to meet someone for an informal meeting, to find oneself with someone

  • 4 Spanish verbs for  “to play”

(1) jugar:  to play (games or sports)
(2) tocar:  to play (musical instruments)
(3) representar:  to play (theatrical play)
(4) poner:  to play music (on radio)

  • 5 Spanish verbs for “to save”

(1) ahorrar:  to save, not to spend
(2) salvar: to save
(3) rescatar: to rescue
(4) guardar: to save (a space), to keep, to put away
(5) economizar: to save, to economize

  • 6 Spanish verbs for “to take”

(1) llevar:  to take with someone
(2) robar:  to steal
(3) quitar:  to take away
(4) tomar:  to take (seat, bus, train, class)
(5) tardarse:  to take (time)
(6) aguantar: to put up with

  • 4 Spanish verbs for “to throw”

(1) tirar:  to throw – tirar can be used in sports such as “throw a baseball”.
(2) echar:  to throw – echar can’t be used in sports, but any other situation “to throw something”.
(3) lanzar:  to throw – lanzar is used in the situation that you throw something with force.
(4) arrojar: to throw – arrojar is also used in the situation that you throw something with force.

  • 4 Spanish verbs for “to turn”

(1) girar:  to turn to change direction
(2) doblar:  to turn to change direction
(3) volver:  to turn (key)
(4) tocar a alguien:  to be someone’s turn
(5) turnarse:  to take turns
(6) apagar:  to turn on light
(7) encender:  to turn off light
(8) transformarse:  to transform
(9) convertirse:  to convert

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