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The Spanish verb Dejar means a variety of things, including “to leave” and “to let”. Let’s learn this verb’s common forms and practice it in a variety of real-life Spanish sentences.

Full Podcast Episode


¡Déjame hacer esto!

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to learn a new verb that ends with AR and is conjugated exactly like Hablar. This verb is Dejar, which most literally means “to leave”, as in “to leave something behind”. But it’s also used to mean “to stop” doing something, as in “to leave off” doing something. Here are some examples of both uses:

I want to leave my car here.

Quiero dejar mi auto aquí.

I want to stop doing that.

Quiero dejar de hacer eso.

Notice that when you use this verb to describe stopping doing something, you put the preposition de after Dejar, and then you use an infinitive. In this case, dejar de hacer.

Try it yourself in the next example, which uses the third person singular deja.

He stops passing by here.

Deja de pasar por aquí.

Now see if you can predict another version of this same sentence, this time in the preterite tense.

He stopped passing by here.

Dejó de pasar por aquí.

Next, I’m going to throw a few different present-tense conjugations at you. See if you can predict all of the Spanish in these fairly simple examples:

The boy stops doing those things.

El chico deja de hacer esas cosas.

You leave your things at my house.

Dejas tus cosas en mi casa.

They don’t stop doing this.

No dejan de hacer esto.

We stop doing that.

Dejamos de hacer eso.

I leave her alone.

La dejo sola.

This last use is pretty common: The idea of leaving someone in some state. In fact, one of the most commonly used forms of Dejar is the imperative contraction déjame, literally “leave me”, which is used in situations like this:

Leave me alone!

¡Déjame solo!

An even more common way to say “leave me alone” in Spanish is literally “leave me in peace”:

¡Déjame en paz!

There’s another way this verb is used. When you allow someone to do something, in Spanish you’re literally “leaving” them to do it, kind of like in English we sometimes say we “give leave” for someone to do something. Typically, you’ll use a direct object and then an infinitive. Here’s an example:

He lets her do this.

La deja hacer esto.

Let’s practice this, using the participle dejado as well as the imperative déjame.

We have let you go there.

Te hemos dejado ir ahí.

We have not let you do that.

No te hemos dejado hacer eso.

Let me do this!

¡Déjame hacer esto!

Let’s do some more quizzing of Dejar in fairly simple sentence examples, but shuffling up some other conjugations, including imperative and preterite forms.

I have left my things at their house.

He dejado mis cosas en su casa.

Stop doing that!

¡Deja de hacer eso!

Yesterday, he let her see his house.

Ayer, la dejó ver su casa.

Don’t stop doing that.

No dejes de hacer eso.

I will let them(f) do something else.

Las dejaré hacer algo más.

(formal) Stop doing that!

¡Deje de hacer eso!

I left her alone.

La dejé en paz.

All right, let’s revisit this sentence template:

She lets them talk about that.

Los deja hablar de eso.

There are also some more complex cases where Dejar is used before an entire que phrase that is subjunctive. For example, to expand that sentence a little bit:

She allows her kids to talk about that.

Deja que sus hijos hablen de eso.

To make sentences like this easier, I recommend practicing rewording them in your mind in English first. For example, take this next sentence:

He allows his friends to do those things.

Let’s reword this as: “He allows that his friends do those things.” All right, now see if you can predict the Spanish before you hear it.

Deja que sus amigos hagan esas cosas.

Let’s practice this sentence structure in a few examples.

The mother allows her son to go to those places.

La madre deja que su hijo vaya a esos lugares.

He allowed them to be with those people. 

Dejó que ellos estuvieran con esas personas.

Allow the boys to do whatever they want!

¡Deja que los chicos hagan lo que quieran!

I’ve allowed them to do that.

He dejado que hicieran eso.

Don’t allow them to talk about that kind of things!

¡No dejes que hablen de ese tipo de cosas!

In general, in our quizzing, you can expect this specific sentence structure when we use the word “allow” in English.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/111. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

They don’t let us go to that place.

No nos dejan ir a esa parte.

The people allowed them to do that.

El pueblo dejó que hicieran eso.

From outside you can see that the room is in the back.

Desde afuera puedes ver que el cuarto está atrás.

He always leaves that anywhere, but it has to be inside the house.

Siempre deja eso en cualquier lado, pero tiene que estar dentro de la casa.

(formal) Let the kids be there, near the house!

¡Deje que los niños estén allí, cerca de la casa!

I have to stop talking about the problems of the world.

Tengo que dejar de hablar de los problemas del mundo.

Allow us to be there(vague) with him!

¡Deja que estemos allá con él!

We never stop being here atthe hospital.

Nunca dejamos de estar acá en el hospital.

Let me go downstairs with everybody!

¡Déjame ir abajo con todo el mundo!

We have to be in another place, where the door is.

Tenemos que estar en otro lado, donde está la puerta.

He had to go backwards, but it has nothing to do with that.

Tuvo que ir hacia atrás, pero no tiene nada que ver con eso.

They had let me go over there(vague) in the past.

Me habían dejado ir para allá en el pasado.

Let me go over there(specific)!

¡Déjame ir por allí!

He was from here to there all day and he left through the back door.

Estuvo de aquí para allá todo el día y se fue por la puerta de atrás.

He left us very far away from home.

Nos dejó muy lejos de casa.

Don’t allow them to go to the town!

¡No dejes que vayan al pueblo!

(formal) Stop doing that, please! You have to go upstairs.

¡Deje de hacer eso, por favor! Tiene que ir arriba.

We stopped going to that hotel because we don’t go to those places anymore.

Dejamos de ir a ese hotel porque ya no vamos a esos lugares.

I left the car in front, he never leaves it there.

Dejé el auto adelante, él nunca lo deja ahí.

Where do you leave it? In the city?

¿Dónde lo dejas? ¿En la ciudad?

He’s going to stop doing it outside because he has to come over here.

Va a dejar de hacerlo afuera porque tiene que venir para acá.

The country has many problems, but the Earth has more.

El país tiene muchos problemas, pero la Tierra tiene más.

Our school is by that street, can you see it?

Nuestra escuela está por esa calle, ¿la puedes ver?

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/111.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the Spanish verb for “hope”.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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