Looking for Accelerated Spanish? We've rebranded!

Click here to learn more.

Quedar and Quedarse

Quedar is a common Spanish verb with many different uses. Let’s explore the many different meanings of Quedar and Quedarse. We’ll get lots of spoken practice with this verb in all its common forms.

Full Podcast Episode


Quedan cincuenta y cinco.

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

The verb Quedar, spelled q-u-e-d-a-r, has a lot of different uses in Spanish. In particular, the pronominal form, Quedarse, has some very important and handy uses. But let’s begin with the simple verb, Quedar, which by itself typically means something like “to remain”, specifically in this sense:

Only three pesos remain.

Solo quedan tres pesos.

So notice what the specific meaning is here: We’re saying that maybe there was more money previously, but all that remains now is three pesos. In English, in situations like this, we typically say “only three pesos are left”. Here’s another example:

There is no gold left in the box.

No queda oro en la caja.

This is literally “not remains gold in the box”. But the sense here is that there was more, but it’s running out. This is the default use of Quedar when it’s not reflexive. Try it yourself with this next example:

There were 80 people at the party, and 70 still remain.

Había 80 personas en la fiesta y aún quedan 70.

So we would probably normally say “there were 80 people at the party and there are still 70.” But Quedar is very frequently used in these situations.

Now let’s look at a preterite use of this verb, where it means something like “was left over”.

After we ate, none of the food was left over.

Después de que comimos, no quedó nada de la comida.

Let’s get some practice with this verb. Quedar is a perfectly regular verb, conjugated exactly like Hablar, so you should be able to predict the Spanish.

There is only one dollar left.

Solo queda un dólar.

Nothing remained from the party.

No quedó nada de la fiesta.

I don’t think there is anything left.

No creo que quede nada.

There wasn’t calm remaining.

No quedaba calma.

There are seventy-eight things left.

Quedan setenta y ocho cosas.

There might be one program left.

Puede quedar un programa.

Now, the reason that Quedar is so common is because of Quedarse, which changes the meaning of the verb to something very handy. Quedarse means “to stay”. For example:

We leave, but they stay.

Nos vamos, pero ellos se quedan.

Obviously we use the verb for “staying” very frequently in English, and so there are all kinds of situations we can use it in in Spanish. Here’s a preterite one.

Most of the group left, but she stayed.

La mayor parte del grupo se fue, pero ella se quedó.

Try this next one yourself:

I stay if you stay.

Yo me quedo si tú te quedas.

Let’s practice Quedarse.

I’ll stay at home all morning.

Me quedaré en casa toda la mañana.

She hadn’t stayed in this hotel before.

No se había quedado en este hotel antes.

She has to stay here.

Tiene que quedarse aquí. 

He never stays at home.

Nunca se queda en casa.

She wants me to stay with her.

Quiere que me quede con ella.

They never stay in the same place.

Nunca se quedan en el mismo lugar.

I always stay at his house for two weeks.

Siempre me quedo en su casa por dos semanas.

We stayed in a place with seventy-one dogs.

Nos quedamos en un lugar con setenta y un perros.

You aren’t staying where she stayed.

No te quedas donde ella se quedó.

I had to stay in a hotel in the seventies.

Tuve que quedarme en un hotel en los años setenta.

Now, imperatives are also very common for the pronominal version of this verb. For example:

Stay at home, I’ll be back soon.

Quédate en casa, volveré pronto.

So all of these imperatives are going to require contractions, because you have to put the reflexive pronoun at the end. Here’s a formal example:

(formal) Stay here a moment, please.

Quédese aquí un momento, por favor.

Let’s get some more practice with Quedarse, including with some imperatives.

We’re staying home today.

Nos quedamos en casa hoy.

I stayed here because of the service.

Me quedé aquí por el servicio.

Don’t stay at that hotel, stay at my house.

No te quedes en ese hotel, quédate en mi casa.

You don’t have to stay there, there are sixty-one men.

No tienes que quedarte ahí, hay sesenta y un hombres.

(Plural) Stay here until there isn’t more danger.

Quédense aquí hasta que no haya más peligro.

One person of the seventy-two will stay here.

Una persona de las setenta y dos se quedará aquí.

(Formal) Stay here! You don’t have the strength to go anywhere.

¡Quédese aquí! No tiene fuerza para ir a ninguna parte.

All right, now let’s go back to Quedar, not the reflexive version. This verb has more meanings than just “to remain”, and they’re going to seem completely unrelated to anything else we’ve covered in this episode. Check out this sentence:

That outfit suits her very well.

Ese traje le queda muy bien.

So in this situation, Quedar means “to suit”, meaning that it corresponds well with someone or something. In these cases it takes an indirect object. Try it yourself with this next example:

It was a small house, but it suited me fine.

Era una casa pequeña, pero me quedaba bien.

And now for a strange twist: Sometimes Quedar is used as basically a synonym for Estar. You’ll occasionally hear it used to talk about where someone is or how someone is doing. Here are a couple of examples:

Where is(Quedar) that city?

¿Dónde queda esa ciudad?

After that she was very happy.

Después de eso quedó muy feliz.

For now, we’re not going to worry about Quedar as a synonym for Estar. Just be aware that you’re going to run into that once in a while.

Now let’s use our final quiz to practice Quedar to mean “to remain”, Quedar to mean “to suit”, and Quedarse to mean “to stay”.

If I stay, I want sixty-seven dollars.

Si me quedo, quiero sesenta y siete dólares.

You have to stay where we stayed.

Tienes que quedarte donde nos quedamos.

Maybe she’ll stay.

Quizás se quede.

I’ll stay so that we’ll be seventy-seven and not seventy-six.

Me quedaré para que seamos setenta y siete y no setenta y seis.

There were seventy-five left, not seventy-three.

Quedaron setenta y cinco, no setenta y tres.

The law says we have to stay until we’re sixty.

La ley dice que tenemos que quedarnos hasta que tengamos sesenta años.

Stay and help me with the system.

Quédate y ayúdame con el sistema.

You’ll stay here, because I stayed here before.

Te quedarás aquí porque yo me quedé aquí antes.

There have to be two left.

Tienen que quedar dos.

I have the right to stay.

Tengo derecho a quedarme.

He can’t stay because there are sixty-one people.

No puede quedarse porque hay sesenta y una personas.

Are you staying here today?

¿Te quedas aquí hoy?

(Formal) Stay, there are already like sixty-nine people.

Quédese, ya hay como sesenta y nueve personas.

This doesn’t suit me and it’s worth sixty-six dollars.

Esto no me queda bien y vale sesenta y seis dólares.

This might suit you well.

Esto te puede quedar bien.

(Plural) Please stay, I don’t like the silence.

Por favor quédense, no me gusta el silencio.

No money was left, even though we had had seventy-four dollars.

No quedaba dinero, aunque habíamos tenido setenta y cuatro dólares.

We didn’t stay, but she stayed.

No nos quedamos, pero ella se quedó.

There was one mode left to do that.

Quedaba un modo de hacer eso.

I was the only person that was left.

Yo era el único que quedaba.

I don’t think there’s anything left.

No creo que quede nada.

This will suit you well in a month.

Esto te quedará bien en un mes.

They have stayed in that hotel before.

Se han quedado en ese hotel antes.

There are only seventy dollars left.

Solo quedan setenta dólares.

 May you have a good time with your freedom!

¡Que lo pases bien con tu libertad!

Don’t stay here, I want you to stay there.

No te quedes aquí, quiero que te quedes ahí.

May it suit you well!

¡Que te quede bien!

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/196.

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

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