Let’s learn the Spanish verb Esperar so that we can talk about “hoping” and “waiting” in Spanish. Speak along to get lots of out-loud practice with the verb Esperar!
¡Espera! Yo tengo uno.
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 another regular verb ending with AR, conjugated exactly like the verb Hablar. Today’s verb is Esperar, which means “to hope”. The most common conjugations are espera and espero. For example:
I hope she’s here.
Espero que esté aquí.
She hopes that they’re friends.
Ella espera que sean amigos.
So the basic sentence template uses Esperar in the same way that we’ve sometimes used Querer, with a que phrase that has a subjunctive in it. Let’s practice this, and I’m going to throw in all of the present-tense conjugations of Esperar for this quiz.
He hopes it’s good.
Espera que sea bueno.
She hopes you go to the party.
Ella espera que vayas a la fiesta.
They hope you are at home.
Esperan que estés en casa.
I hope he is over there(specific).
Espero que esté por allí.
We hope she isn’t outside the house.
Esperamos que no esté fuera de la casa.
I hope we can go to another place.
Espero que podamos ir a otro lado.
Now, this verb isn’t just used to refer to hoping that something be the case; Esperar can also mean “to await” something or to “expect” something. In Spanish, “hoping” for something, “waiting” for something, and “expecting” something are all very similar things. Here’s an example:
He waits for her at the hospital.
Él la espera en el hospital.
So as you can see, this uses a direct object instead of using the word “for” like we do in English. This may take a little bit of getting used to, so let’s practice this. Once again we’ll mix and match several different forms of Esperar, and this time we’ll include the imperfect form esperaba; this is the most common way to put Esperar in the past, since hoping isn’t typically a one-time action but rather an ongoing thing.
We are waiting for it.
You (formal) were waiting for her yesterday.
Usted la esperaba ayer.
She is waiting for you in her country.
Te espera en su país.
I’m waiting for him at the door.
Lo espero en la puerta.
I was waiting for them in the new part of the city.
Los esperaba en la nueva parte de la ciudad.
Sometimes Esperar is used without a direct object just to refer to the action of “waiting”. You might also add a period of time to this; for example:
We waited for a couple of hours.
Esperamos un par de horas.
Notice that we didn’t use por here; typically you’ll just throw the amount of time right after the form of Esperar.
Let’s practice a few different uses of Esperar with a mini-quiz. We’ll freely use a bunch of different forms of this verb, including the imperatives, as in this first example.
Wait! I have one.
¡Espera! Yo tengo uno.
We have to wait for three hours.
Tenemos que esperar tres horas.
She hopes that we go to the party.
Espera que vayamos a la fiesta.
(formal) Wait here, please.
Espere aquí, por favor.
We’re waiting for him.
Lo estamos esperando.
The woman was hoping that I was her friend(f).
La mujer esperaba que yo fuera su amiga.
They hope that you come to their house tomorrow.
Esperan que vengas a su casa mañana.
I was hoping that you would do it.
Esperaba que lo hicieras.
I hope they don’t leave.
Espero que no se vayan.
(all of you) Wait at home until he is here.
Esperen en casa hasta que él esté aquí.
She was waiting for him.
Ella lo esperaba.
We wait for your friend.
Esperamos a tu amigo.
You hope that she doesn’t do it?
¿Esperas que no lo haga?
For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/112. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.
We hope you don’t go backwards.
Esperamos que no vayas hacia atrás.
She was hoping you were going over there(vague).
Ella esperaba que fueras para allá.
I was hoping for you not to go outside.
Esperaba que no fueras afuera.
I hope you can see my city some day.
Espero que puedas ver mi ciudad algún día.
You expect me to go to your town.
Esperas que yo vaya a tu pueblo.
You never wait for me.
Nunca me esperas.
(Formal) Wait! The thing is under there.
¡Espere! La cosa está ahí abajo.
She is waiting in her room.
Está esperando en su cuarto.
We’re waiting for him, but it doesn’t have anything to do with you.
Lo estamos esperando, pero no tiene nada que ver contigo.
We hope she can go behind that place.
Esperamos que pueda ir atrás de ese lugar.
You have to wait there(3rd place).
Tienes que esperar allí.
They hope to be able to have a room in the hotel.
Esperan poder tener un cuarto en el hotel.
(Plural) Wait! That is too far.
¡Esperen! Eso está demasiado lejos.
I was hoping we could see the Earth from here.
Esperaba que pudiéramos ver la tierra desde acá.
She hopes they are the best on the team.
Espera que sean los mejores del equipo.
You can wait anywhere.
Puedes esperar en cualquier lado.
I wait in the back street.
Espero en la calle de atrás.
She waits near the school, but she’s coming over here.
Espera cerca de la escuela, pero viene para acá.
Wait inside the hospital!
¡Espera dentro del hospital!
Everybody was waiting yonder, in the town.
Todo el mundo esperaba allá, en el pueblo.
(Formal) Wait! You don’t have to go all around.
¡Espere! No tiene que ir de aquí para allá.
They hope you are here with them.
Esperan que estés aquí con ellos.
(Plural) Wait! You have to see the world from above.
¡Esperen! Tienen que ver el mundo desde arriba.
Wait! Let’s go in front of the hospital.
¡Espera! Vayamos adelante del hospital.
For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/112
In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll work on some more essential adverbs.
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.