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The verb Entender mean “to understand”. Let’s practice using this verb in a variety of contexts, including all its common conjugations.

Full Podcast Episode


Ya lo entiendo.

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

Today we’ll learn the verb Entender, which means “to understand”. So for example:

Tell me that again; I want to understand.

Dime eso otra vez, quiero entender.

The participle is entendido. So for example:

I haven’t understood anything that he has told me.

No he entendido nada de lo que me ha dicho.

Let’s practice entender and entendido.

You have to understand me.

Me tienes que entender.

She hasn’t understood and the train is almost here.

No ha entendido y el tren casi está aquí.

I don’t want to understand, but please don’t die.

No quiero entender, pero por favor no mueras.

I hadn’t understood before.

No había entendido antes.

She had understood something different.

Había entendido algo diferente.

In that last example, we say that she “understood something different”. In Spanish, this expression often means that she thought she heard one thing even though another thing was said. So here’s another, similar example:

You had said “brother”, but he had understood “in the hand”.

Habías dicho “hermano”, pero él había entendido “en la mano”.

In English, in situations like this, we’ll often say that someone “thought they heard something”, but in Spanish you’ll simply say that they “understood” something. Here’s one more example:

If you say “going to be”, he might think he hears “going to do”.

Si dices “va a ser”, puede entender “va a hacer”.

Now let’s learn to conjugate this verb. Entender is slightly irregular, but in a predictable way. When the stem is stressed, the vowel bends; so for example, instead of “entendo”, we have entiendo. For example:

Ah, now I understand it.

Ah, ya lo entiendo.

So once again, this is because the Spanish language REALLY likes the sound of the syllable “yen”, as we learned in episode 117 with the verb Pensar. So the present tense forms are entiendo, entiende, entiendes, entienden, and then entendemos, which doesn’t bend because the “ten” syllable isn’t stressed.

Let’s go ahead and practice all the present-tense forms.

Yes, I understand and it’s possible.

Sí, entiendo y es posible.

You always understand, but I never understand.

Siempre entiendes, pero yo nunca entiendo.

We understand that they could die.

Entendemos que ellos podrían morir.

They understand better than I thought.

Entienden mejor de lo que creía.

He doesn’t understand you, but we do understand you.

Él no te entiende, pero nosotros sí te entendemos.

When you conjugate this verb in the past, the preterite forms are pretty common. So for example:

They told me it but I didn’t understand it.

Me lo dijeron pero no lo entendí.

These preterite forms are all conjugated exactly like the corresponding forms of Deber, so see if you can predict them.

How would you say “he/she understood”?

…That’s entendió.

How would you say an informal “you understood”?


How would you say “we understood”?


How would you say “they understood”?


All right, let’s practice these forms in context.

I didn’t understand what you said before.

No entendí lo que dijiste antes.

We understood that it was in the car, but they understood something different.

Entendimos que estaba en el coche, pero ellos entendieron algo diferente.

You understood that they died, but that’s not what she understood.

Entendiste que ellos murieron, pero eso no es lo que ella entendió.

Let’s also learn the subjunctive forms. Most of them are based on entienda, the most common form. So for example.

I said it again so that he would understand it.

Lo dije otra vez para que él lo entienda.

So all the subjunctive forms are entienda, entiendas, entiendan, and then entendamos, which doesn’t have the stem change.

Let’s practice these.

He wants me to understand that he is strong.

Él quiere que yo entienda que es fuerte.

Maybe you’ll understand it when I die.

Quizás lo entiendas cuando yo muera.

I hope they understand it soon.

Espero que lo entiendan pronto.

I told it to you (formal) so that you understand it.

Se lo dije para que usted lo entienda.

They want us to understand them.

Quieren que los entendamos.

Before we go on to today’s final quiz, there’s something you should know about the verb Morir. Sometimes it is used pronominally… but the meaning doesn’t really change. So for example:

She told me that and I'm dying!

¡Ella me dijo eso y me estoy muriendo!

Literally “I’m dying myself”, which doesn’t make any sense in English.

The thing is, Morir sometimes takes reflexive pronouns particularly in colloquial contexts. When it’s used more seriously, it’s less common to do this.

In general, you don’t necessarily need to practice this. You should just be aware that you’ll encounter it very frequently in Spanish. If you run across a phrase like me estoy muriendo, it can be very confusing, because the me isn’t really doing anything. And in our quizzing, you’ll generally be expected to use the non-pronominal version, without reflexive pronouns. But they might pop up once in a while.

All right, for more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/142. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

You don’t understand me like they understand me.

No me entiendes como ellos me entienden.

I want her to understand that we have more than ten children here.

Quiero que entienda que tenemos más de diez niños aquí.

She didn’t understand the movie.

No entendió la película.

We understand that maybe I will die.

Entendemos que quizás yo muera.

We understood the third boat was better than the second one.

Entendimos que el tercer barco era mejor que el segundo.

I like this so much that I’m dying.

Me gusta tanto que me muero.

You didn’t understand what they said on the plane.

No entendiste lo que dijeron en el avión.

I have understood that maybe you die.

He entendido que quizás mueras.

If you die, you want us to understand that it isn’t easy.

Si mueres, quieres que entendamos que no es fácil.

They didn’t understand that they could die.

No entendieron que podían morir.

I want you to understand that we need more air.

Quiero que entiendas que necesitamos más aire.

They want to understand this picture, because they hadn’t understood it.

Quieren entender esta foto, porque no la habían entendido.

He understands his dog has died, that’s why he is sad.

Entiende que su perro ha muerto, por eso está triste.

I don’t understand why the fourth car is so small.

No entiendo por qué el cuarto coche es tan pequeño.

I understand this is difficult, she is dying.

Entiendo que esto es difícil, ella está muriendo. 

Do you understand that he died?

¿Entiendes que él murió?

I understood that the path was long.

Entendí que el camino era largo.

I want them to understand he is the oldest brother.

Quiero que entiendan que él es el hermano mayor.

I don’t think she understands what happens when they die.

No creo que entienda qué pasa cuando ellos mueren.

We have to understand that if she dies, we can’t do anything.

Tenemos que entender que si ella muere, no podemos hacer nada.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/142.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn more numbers, and we’ll also learn how to multiply in Spanish.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. 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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