Looking for Accelerated Spanish? We've rebranded!

Click here to learn more.

Olvidar, Despertar, Alegrar

Let’s learn the verbs Olvidar, which means “to forget”, Despertar, which roughly means “to awaken”, and Alegrar, which roughly means “to rejoice” or “to cheer up”. We’ll practice these new verbs in a variety of sentence contexts.

Full Podcast Episode


¡Me alegro!

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, and we’ll start with the verb Olvidar, which means “to forget”. For example:

I always forget my keys.

Siempre olvido mis llaves.

Olvidar is conjugated exactly like Hablar, so go ahead and try this next example:

I forgot what she said yesterday.

Olvidé lo que dijo ayer.

Now, note that the pronominal version of this verb, Olvidarse, is also very common. It’s often used to refer to forgetting “about” something. For example, compare these two sentences:

He forgot his watch.

Olvidó su reloj.

He forgot about my watch.

Se olvidó de mi reloj.

So notice that we use Olvidarse, and then the preposition de. It’s pretty easy to remember to do this when the English is “forget about” rather than simply “forget”.

But there’s also another situation where Olvidarse is used. Olvidar is generally associated with a direct object, such as someone’s keys or a watch or a piece of information. But when you’re talking about forgetting to do something, and you mention the action that you forgot to do, you’re more likely to use Olvidarse and then de. For example:

I forgot to open the door.

Me olvidé de abrir la puerta. 

Let’s get some practice with Olvidar and Olvidarse. Remember that you’ll use the simple version when someone forgets an object or a piece of information, but you’ll use Olvidarse and then de if someone forgets “about” something or forgets to do something.

He already forgot it.

Él ya lo olvidó.

Forget about that!

¡Olvídate de eso!

I always forget about that.

Siempre me olvido de eso.

(formal) Forget that, I already found it.

Olvide eso, ya lo encontré.

I won’t forget about that anymore.

Ya no me olvidaré de eso.

I forgot that it was in the bag.

Olvidé que estaba en la bolsa.

Don’t forget the address because he has already forgotten it.

No olvides la dirección porque él ya la ha olvidado.

Forget it, we can't go to the library because it's closed.

Olvídalo, no podemos ir a la biblioteca porque está cerrada.

I don’t want him to forget it or you to forget it.

No quiero que él lo olvide ni que tú lo olvides.

That exists in other places and you can’t forget it.

Eso existe en otros lugares y no lo puedes olvidar.

I dreamt I was going to miss you because I was in the wrong place.

Soñé que te iba a extrañar porque estaba en el lugar equivocado.

Forget what I said because in the end we’re going to do something else.

Olvida lo que te dije porque al final vamos a hacer otra cosa.

They want me to forget about that because you already forgot it.

Quieren que me olvide de eso porque tú ya lo olvidaste.

Our next verb is Despertar, which means something like “to wake up”, but there’s some nuance. Let’s compare two examples:

I had to wake him up very early.

Lo tuve que despertar muy temprano.

So here we have a direct object, where someone wakes someone else up. But what about this one?

We woke up at 5 this morning.

Nos despertamos a las cinco esta mañana.

In this case, it literally says “we woke ourselves up”. So this verb is very much like Sentar, the verb for “to sit”; remember that when we learned that verb, we learned that you use a direct object to seat someone else, but you use it reflexively to refer to seating yourself, or simply sitting down. The same is true with Despertar: You can use it with a direct object to refer to waking someone else up, but more often it’s used pronominally, with a reflexive pronoun, to refer to simply “waking up”. Here’s another example:

They woke up after I woke up.

Se despertaron después de que yo me desperté.

Let’s get some practice with this.

You haven’t woken her up yet?

¿Todavía no la has despertado?

They woke up and went to church.

Se despertaron y fueron a la iglesia.

You have to wake her up right now.

La tienes que despertar ahora mismo.

You have to wake up at the same time that I woke up today.

Tienes que despertarte a la misma hora que yo me desperté hoy.

OK, there’s one more thing to know about Despertar: It gets a stem change whenever the second syllable is stressed. So in all the forms we’ve practiced so far, we’ve stressed the third syllable, as in desperté or despertaron. But when the syllable that sounds like “per” is stressed, it turns into “pier”. So for example we have despierto, despierta, and despiertas. Of course, this also happens with most of the subjunctives: despierte, despierten, and so on. In this way, this verb behaves a lot like Sentar and Pensar, where we have siento, piensa, and so on.

Let’s get some more practice with Despertar, and we’ll include a lot of common forms that use the stem change.

I always wake up at the same time.

Siempre me despierto a la misma hora.

He wakes up late, but you wake up early.

Él se despierta tarde, pero tú te despiertas temprano.

He’s very tired; I don’t want anyone to wake him up.

Está muy cansado, no quiero que nadie lo despierte.

He’s smart, but he arrives late because he doesn’t wake up early.

Es inteligente, pero llega tarde porque no se despierta temprano.

I need them to wake up early to go to school on time.

Necesito que se despierten temprano para ir al colegio a tiempo.

We’ll do it when she wakes up, but she didn’t wake up yet.

Lo haremos cuando se despierte, pero todavía no se despertó.

Our last verb for today is Alegrar, which means something like “to cheer up” or “to make glad”. Here’s a simple example:

The party cheered her up.

La fiesta la alegró.

So this verb CAN refer to cheering someone up, or to brightening something up. Here’s another example:

We need something to brighten up the living room.

Necesitamos algo para alegrar la sala.

But what’s even more common with Alegrar is the pronominal form, Alegrarse, which means something like “I’m really glad”. You’ll use this to express that you’ve become really happy about something. For example:

You got here! I’m glad!

¡Llegaste! ¡Me alegro!

So actually the literal translation of Alegrarse is “to rejoice”. But we don’t really use the verb “rejoice” in modern English anymore; instead we say something like “it makes me happy” or “I’m glad to hear it”. And in many cases, entire English phrases like “it makes me happy”, or “I’m glad to see it”, or “I’m glad to hear it”, simply translate as me alegro in Spanish. Here’s another example:

She got the job! I’m glad [to hear it].

¡Consiguió el trabajo! Me alegro.

And then to express what you’re rejoicing about, you can use either de or por. You’ll typically use de if there’s an action you’re rejoicing about, where de will be followed by an infinitive. For example:

I’m really glad to see you!

¡Me alegro de verte!

And then if you produce an entire clause stating what you’re happy about, you’ll need de que, and then a subjunctive phrase. For example:

He’s really glad that they’ve come!

¡Se alegra de que hayan venido!

Try it yourself in this next example:

I’m really glad you aren’t sick!

¡Me alegro de que no estés enfermo!

And then if you’re really happy for another person, you’ll use por. For example:

She’s really happy for you!

¡Ella se alegra por ti!

Let’s practice this verb. Remember to use Alegrar with a direct object to refer to cheering up or brightening up, but you’ll use Alegrarse to refer to being really glad about something. Alegrar is conjugated just like Hablar, so you should be able to predict the Spanish.

I’m really glad because she’s really glad.

Yo me alegro porque ella se alegra.

I’m really glad for him and he’s really glad for me.

Yo me alegro por él y él se alegra por mí.

She was really glad to know that all that was false.

Se alegró de saber que todo eso era falso.

I’m really glad you have eaten something yummy at the market.

Me alegro de que hayas comido algo rico en el mercado.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/242. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

I woke up and realized that it didn’t exist.

Me desperté y me di cuenta de que no existía.

Don’t forget us! We miss you a lot.

¡No nos olvides! Te extrañamos mucho.

He woke up very late today and she hasn’t woken up.

Él se despertó muy tarde hoy y ella todavía no se ha despertado.

I’ll never forget that that prison is horrible.

Nunca olvidaré que esa prisión es horrible.

I’m really glad we‘ve gone to the restaurant because I missed you.

Me alegro de que hayamos ido al restaurante porque te extrañé.

She’s really glad if I wake up early.

Ella se alegra si me despierto temprano.

You have to wake up before they wake up.

Te tienes que despertar antes de que ellos se despierten.

He wants me to forget what he said because he was dreaming.

Quiere que olvide lo que dijo porque estaba soñando.

The kid is bored because his sister is still not awake.

El niño está aburrido porque su hermana aún no está despierta.

(formal) Forget what I asked for, I’ll go alone(f) to the station.

Olvide lo que le pedí, iré sola a la estación.

She was really glad to see you at the store.

Se alegró de verte en la tienda.

She likes you; you’re very nice with her.

Le gustas; eres muy amable con ella.

I don’t want him to forget about prison.

No quiero que se olvide de la cárcel.

I’m not going to forget about that day.

No me voy a olvidar de ese día.

I know you’re busy(f) lately, but we miss you.

Sé que estás ocupada últimamente, pero te extrañamos.

It’s necessary to go to the bank because of what I have dreamt.

Es necesario ir al banco por lo que he soñado.

I miss you and I’m really glad to see you.

Te extraño y me alegro de verte.

You forgot it and he also forgot it.

Tú lo olvidaste y él también lo olvidó.

I want you to forget that those things exist because they are very dangerous.

Quiero que olvides que esas cosas existen porque son muy peligrosas.

I always dream about her, but she doesn’t dream about me.

Siempre sueño con ella, pero ella no sueña conmigo.

You have to wake up early. Have you forgotten it?

Tienes que despertarte temprano. ¿Lo has olvidado?

I don’t think that exists, I think you dreamt it.

No creo que eso exista, creo que lo soñaste.

Do you think something like that is going to exist? I think we can only dream.

¿Crees que va a existir algo así? Creo que solo podemos soñar.

They want me to wake up early, but they woke up late.

Quieren que me despierte temprano, pero ellos se despertaron tarde.

Forget what I told you.

Olvida lo que te dije.

Some of those supermarkets have existed here.

Algunos de esos supermercados han existido aquí.

Your friend is very sweet, but he’s also very boring.

Tu amigo es muy dulce, pero también es muy aburrido.

He always wakes up late and forgets what he has to do at the bar.

Siempre se despierta tarde y olvida lo que tiene que hacer en el bar.

You know I’ll miss you here at university.

Sabes que te extrañaré aquí en la universidad.

Forget about that; it’s too early for you because you wake up late.

Olvídate de eso, es muy temprano para ti porque te despiertas tarde.

I’m really glad that your favorite restaurant is open.

Me alegro de que tu restaurante favorito esté abierto.

She misses you. Do you miss her?

Ella te extraña. ¿Tú la extrañas?

She’s really glad that you’ve gone to the club.

Se alegra de que hayas ido al club.

I always forget about the same thing, but I’ll do it when she wakes up.

Siempre me olvido de lo mismo, pero lo haré cuando se despierte.

Forget it, it’s not important… In fact, I already forgot it.

Olvídalo, no es importante… De hecho, yo ya lo olvidé.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/242.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll discuss a couple of advanced things you can do with Spanish grammar to sound more like a native speaker. And this will be one of our last grammar lessons before our entire 250-episode journey comes to an end! So tune in tomorrow and we’ll discuss what’s coming next for the show after this season wraps up.

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.

Get the Free Podcast Materials
Sign up for instant access to the free course that goes with the podcast!
Access the Free Materials