A2 Level. Using the Verb Poner vs. Ponerse

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

Poner Present Indicative

In the present indicative tense, the first person singular (yo) conjugation of the verb poner is irregular, but the rest of the conjugations follow a regular verb pattern.

Meanings of Poner

The Spanish verb poner is one of those verbs that can be difficult to translate. It has a wide variety of meanings — just as does the English verb "put," which is perhaps the verb's most common translation into English.

The verb poner generally means "to put" or "to place," but its meaning can vary when used in some common expressions like poner la mesa (to set the table), or poner huevos (to lay eggs). It can also mean "to turn on," as in poner música (to play music on the radio) or "poner la televisión" (to turn the television on). Let's see some of its uses

- Placing Objects or Arranging

-Siempre pone las llaves en el escritorio. (He always puts the keys on the desk.)

- Todos los días sale de su casa a las 8:30 de la mañana y pone el teléfono celular en la consola de su auto. (Every day she leaves her house at 8:30 a.m. and places her cell phone on the console of her car.)

-Puso la mesa para la mañana siguiente. (He set the table for the next morning.)

Using the Verb Poner vs. Ponerse

The verb poner can also be used reflexively —ponerse. Ponerse can mean to put something on, such as clothing or accessories. For example, Juan se puso el abrigo y Ana se puso el sombrero (Juan put the coat on and Ana put the hat on).

In addition, ponerse can mean "become" when referring to a change in state of being, such as ponerse triste (become sad), ponerse rojo (to become red in the face), ponerse flaco (to become skinny), etc. Keep in mind that poner is conjugated highly irregularly. Irregularities occur in both the stem and the endings. 

Let's practice

Listening Activity No. 1: Video with subtitles.

Let's see the verb poner in context by watching this video “¿Qué te pones para la fiesta?”. Watch the video as many times as you need and after that answer the questions below, write your answers in the comments.

Writing Activity No. 2: Prendas de vestir

¿Qué tienen puestas estas personas?. ¿Qué prendas de vestir llevan?

1. _____________________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________

4. _____________________________________________________________

5. _____________________________________________________________

Listening Activity No.3: Clothes in Spanish

Learn clothes in Spanish by listening to this easy Spanish conversation. Two native speakers from Mexico use basic Spanish phrases in a dialogue about their clothes and what to wear to a party. The conversation has easy Spanish phrases, words for clothing in Spanish, and other basic Spanish vocabulary

Listening Activity No. 4: Expresiones en español: Ponerse las pilas.

According to the video, what does the expression "Put on batteries" mean? Write your answers in the comments

Ponerse las pilas significa_______________ y ________________ para hacer algo.

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See you next week. ¡Hasta la vista!

Español Latino Team.

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