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Existir, Extrañar, Soñar

Let’s learn the Spanish verb Existir, which means “to exist”, Extrañar, which means “to miss”, and Soñar, which means “to dream”. We’ll practice all three verbs in all of their most common forms and uses.

Full Podcast Episode


¿Me extrañaste?

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 three new verbs, all of which are pretty easy to use and follow conjugation patterns that we’re already familiar with.

The first verb is Existir, which means “to exist”. For example:

Those things don’t exist.

Esas cosas no existen.

Here’s a pretty typical example using an imperfect form:

I didn’t know that such a thing existed!

¡No sabía que existía tal cosa!

So in this sentence, the subject occurs at the end, with the verb before it; literally “not I knew that existed such a thing”. Try it yourself in this next one.

Do you believe that a place like that exists?

¿Crees que existe un lugar así?

Now in English, we more often talk about existence using “there is”. For example, “I didn’t know that there was such a thing” or “do you believe that there is such a place”. Of course, Spanish can do this too, using the verb Haber; for example: no sabía que había tal cosa or ¿crees que hay un lugar así?

The difference is that Spanish leans just slightly more towards using the verb Existir than English does; in other words, in Spanish, the verb Existir is slightly more common than the verb “to exist” in English. As a consequence, in translations, when we say “there is” or “there was” something in English, it’s usually translated into Spanish as Haber, but sometimes it’s actually translated as Existir, especially in situations where we’re talking about whether something is or isn’t mythical, like in these examples that we just gave. Here’s another one:

I don’t think there is any such thing.

No creo que exista tal cosa.

But to make things easier for you, we’ll consistently translate Existir simply as “to exist”, or sometimes “there exists”, so that you know whether to predict Existir or Haber.

Let’s get some practice with Existir. It’s conjugated exactly like Vivir, so you should be able to predict the Spanish.

If you’re bored, there exists a bar near here.

Si estás aburrido, existe un bar por aquí.

He doesn’t want it to exist.

No quiere que exista.

The only thing you need to do is exist.

Lo único que tienes que hacer es existir.

You don’t know they exist? They have always existed.

¿No sabes que existen? Siempre han existido.

Before, there used to exist a school here.

Antes existía un colegio aquí.

I don’t think those friends really exist, he’s always busy.

No creo que de verdad existan esos amigos, siempre está ocupado.

Our next verb is Extrañar, spelled e-x-t-r-a-ñ-a-r. Extrañar. This verb means “to miss”, as in to feel nostalgic about something, or to be sad about someone’s absence. Here’s a typical example:

They told me that they miss her.

Me dijeron que la extrañan.

So this verb tends to take direct objects, such as lo, la, me, and nos. Try it yourself in this next one:

Does she miss him?

¿Ella lo extraña?

So of course the strange thing about this verb is that some of the conjugations sound exactly like our adjective for “strange”, especially extraño, which means “I miss”, and extraña, which means “he/she misses”. The verb has a totally different meaning than the adjective; it has nothing to do with something being weird. Here’s another example:

Come back, I miss you a lot!

¡Vuelve, te extraño mucho!

Let’s get some practice with Extrañar. It’s conjugated exactly like Hablar, so you should be able to predict the Spanish.

I don’t miss the store.

No extraño la tienda.

We missed you last week.

Te extrañamos la semana pasada.

I missed you at the party.

Te extrañé en la fiesta.

They don’t miss anything.

No extrañan nada.

I will miss this library, it’s my favorite.

Extrañaré esta biblioteca, es mi favorita.

Do you think she misses him?

¿Crees que ella lo extraña?

She missed them when she was in prison.

Los extrañaba cuando estaba en prisión.

She is going to miss you if you go to that city.

Te va a extrañar si vas a esa ciudad.

Did you miss your parents that day? Do you still miss them?

¿Extrañaste a tus padres ese día? ¿Aún los extrañas?

I missed my coworkers when I worked at that bank.

Extrañaba a mis compañeros cuando trabajaba en ese banco.

We don’t miss anything from that town, except the supermarket.

No extrañamos nada de ese pueblo, salvo el supermercado.

Our last verb today is Soñar, which means “to dream”. For example:

Last night I dreamed that I lived in Colombia.

Anoche soñé que vivía en Colombia.

And just like the English verb “to dream”, Soñar can refer either to literal dreams at night or to dreams as in hopes and dreams. For example:

Sometimes I dream that I have a big house next to the sea.

A veces sueño que tengo una casa grande al lado del mar.

Notice the stem change in sueño. When the first syllable of this verb is stressed, instead of an O, we get a U-E. So the present-tense forms are sueño, sueña, sueñas, sueñan, and then soñamos, which is regular.

Another interesting thing about this verb happens when you dream “about” something at night. For example, consider this English sentence:

I dreamed about a little white dog.

In English, we say “about”. But the correct preposition to use in Spanish is con. So this sentence would be:

Soñé con un perrito blanco.

Literally “I dreamt with a little white dog”. Here are a couple more examples that sound pretty strange to English speakers but it’s quite natural in Spanish.

The other night I dreamt about you.

La otra noche soñé contigo.

She used to dream about living in Argentina.

Ella soñaba con vivir en Argentina.

One more thing to note about this verb for nocturnal dreams: In modern English we rarely say “I dreamt about you”; we more often say “I had a dream about you”. In Spanish, you technically can say tuve un sueño contigo, but it’s much more common to say soñé contigo, which is literally “I dreamt about you”. In our quizzing, we’ll use the more literal translation in English just to help you predict the correct Spanish.

So now let’s get some quizzing practice with Soñar.

Did you dream about a cat?

¿Soñaste con un gato?

This is the wrong house, I didn’t dream about it.

Esta es la casa equivocada, no soñé con ella.

She always dreams about her doggies.

Siempre sueña con sus perritos.

He didn’t dream about anything, how boring.

No soñó con nada, qué aburrido.

I used to dream about living in a big house.

Soñaba con vivir en una casa grande.

She used to dream about going to college.

Ella soñaba con ir a la universidad.

I always dream about yummy food.

Siempre sueño con comida rica.

You have to dream of good things.

Tienes que soñar con cosas buenas.

You have to keep dreaming like you have dreamt your whole life.

Tienes que seguir soñando como has soñado toda tu vida.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/241. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

This only exists in her mind.

Esto solo existe en su mente.

I’ll miss the market when it’s not open anymore.

Extrañaré el mercado cuando ya no esté abierto.

I was missing my family.

Extrañaba a mi familia.

You miss her because you’re smart.

La extrañas porque eres inteligente.

You don’t have to miss us, we’ll be with you.

No tienes que extrañarnos, estaremos contigo.

Did you miss her at the restaurant?

¿La extrañaste en el restaurante?

She misses her cat, that’s why she dreamt about him.

Extraña su gato, por eso soñó con él.

I don’t think that thing I dreamt about exists.

No creo que esa cosa con la que soñé exista.

We miss it because it’s necessary.

Lo extrañamos porque es necesario.

I was awake last night and that’s why I’m tired.

Estaba despierto anoche y por eso estoy cansado.

That can’t exist, it would be dangerous.

No puede existir, sería peligroso.

I was dreaming about fake things.

Soñaba con cosas falsas.

I missed you at school yesterday.

Te extrañé en el colegio ayer.

I don’t know why I dream about her, I don’t miss her anymore.

No sé porque sueño con ella, ya no la extraño.

I was dreaming he was kind to me.

Soñaba que era amable conmigo.

I haven’t dreamt about the club in months.

No he soñado con el club en meses.

I don’t think those stations exist anymore; if they exist, they must be closed.

No creo que esas estaciones existan más, si existen, deben estar cerradas.

Did you dream about something sweet?

¿Soñaste con algo dulce?

Keep dreaming and you’ll get it.

Sigue soñando y lo conseguirás.

They miss their friend who is in jail.

Extrañan a su amigo que está en la cárcel.

We missed you at church last week.

Te extrañamos en la iglesia la semana pasada.

She dreams about something horrible.

Sueña con algo horrible.

It didn’t exist, so she didn’t miss it.

No existía, así que ella no lo extrañaba.

Dreaming has existed for a long time.

Soñar ha existido por mucho tiempo.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/241.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the verbs for “to wake up” and “to forget”.

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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