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Today we’ll learn the verb Seguir, which is a complex Spanish verb that can mean ”to follow”, “to continue”, or “to keep” doing something. We’ll get lots of spoken practice with Seguir in real sentence contexts. Practice along out loud!

Full Podcast Episode


¡Sigue hablando!

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 explore the Spanish verb Seguir, spelled s-e-g-u-i-r, with a silent U. Seguir. This is a complicated verb with multiple meanings.

At its most simple use, Seguir means “to follow”. Here’s an example:

I’m going to follow him.

Lo voy a seguir.

But more often, Seguir means “to continue”. Here’s an example:

Do you want to continue doing that?

¿Quieres seguir haciendo eso?

So, there’s something important to notice about this sentence. Quieres seguir haciendo eso. Right after Seguir, we’ve used a gerund. Normally we’ve been using gerunds after Estar; for example, estás haciendo algo. But Seguir is another verb that really likes to be followed by gerunds, especially when it means “to continue”. Here’s another example:

He has to continue carrying that.

Tiene que seguir llevando eso.

Now in English, we rarely say “continue doing” or “continue carrying”; instead, we say “keep doing” or “keep carrying”. And that’s because the English verb “keep” means more than one thing; sometimes it means to “keep” a thing, or to maintain something in your possession. But other times it’s a synonym for “continue”. Seguir is used any time that “keep” could mean “continue”.

Let’s get some practice translating sentences just using the infinitive, seguir.

You have to follow me.

Tienes que seguirme.

She can’t keep doing that.

No puede seguir haciendo eso.

The dog likes following him.

Al perro le gusta seguirlo.

You have to keep talking.

Tienes que seguir hablando.

I want to continue working in that position.

Quiero seguir trabajando en ese puesto.

All right, now let’s start conjugating this verb, and we’ll begin with the present tense. By default, since this is a verb that ends in Ir, we would expect this to be conjugated just like Vivir, so we would have “sego”, “segue”, “segues”, and so on. But Seguir gets a stem change when the stem is stressed. The letter E in “seg” turns into an I. So the most common conjugations are sigo, spelled s-i-g-o, and sigues, spelled s-i-g-u-e-s. Sigues. Let’s go ahead and practice just these two conjugations.

I don’t follow you.

No te sigo.

You continue doing the same thing.

Sigues haciendo lo mismo.

I keep working with the group.

Sigo trabajando con el grupo.

If you keep doing this, it will be a problem.

Si sigues haciendo esto, será un problema.

The other present-tense conjugations are sigue, siguen, and then seguimos, which is the only regular one since the stress is not on the stem. Let’s practice all the present-tense forms of Seguir.

In this first one, the English says “we keep being twenty-two years old”. This may seem like a bizarre thing to say, but it’s how you might respond if someone already knew that you were twenty-two several months ago but expects you to be older by now. Of course, in English, we would more likely phrase this response as “we’re still twenty-two years old”. In Spanish, Seguir is often used to replace the word “still” (which otherwise would be either todavía or aún). So this phrasing may be weird in English, but it’s idiomatic in Spanish. Go ahead and try to predict the whole sentence.

We keep being twenty-two years old.

Seguimos teniendo veintidós años.

She keeps working, but they don’t follow her.

Ella sigue trabajando, pero ellos no la siguen.

If you continue straight, you’ll see it around the corner.

Si sigues derecho, lo verás a la vuelta de la esquina.

(Formal) You follow what he says, but I don’t follow him.

Usted sigue lo que él dice, pero yo no lo sigo.

Next let’s learn the preterite forms. Seguir’s preterite has some slight irregularities in the exact same way that Morir does. Most of the forms are regular, including seguí, seguiste, and seguimos. Notice that all of these forms emphasize the letter I near the end: seguí, seguiste, seguimos. The other two forms don’t emphasize that letter I, and for them, the stem changes into a letter I. So we have siguió and siguieron. Again, this is only a very slight irregularity in the preterite, affecting only those two forms, unlike how the present-tense irregularity affects almost all the forms.

We’re going to quiz on the preterite in a second, but first, let’s do a simple conjugation quiz to make sure you can come up with the right form from memory, including each conjugation’s slight irregularity.

So to begin with, what is the present-tense nosotros form of Seguir?


What about the present-tense form?


What’s the present-tense yo form?


What about the preterite nosotros form?


What’s the preterite form?


And what’s the preterite él or ella form?


What’s the present-tense él or ella form?


What’s the present-tense ellos form?


What’s the preterite yo form?


And finally, what’s the preterite ellos form?


All right, if you had trouble with that, I recommend rewinding in this episode for some review, and then getting out a piece of paper to write out all these conjugations from memory. It’s important to have these mentally organized before trying to use them in context. But if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and practice using the preterite forms in sentences.

He followed her for twenty-nine days.

La siguió por veintinueve días.

I kept working until seven.

Seguí trabajando hasta las siete.

You didn’t follow the steps I told you.

No seguiste los pasos que te dije.

They kept talking and we kept listening.

Ellos siguieron hablando y nosotros seguimos escuchando.

Now let’s move on to the subjunctive forms. These all have the stem change, so they’re all based on siga. So we have siga, sigas, sigan, and sigamos. Here’s an example:

They want us to keep thinking about that.

Quieren que sigamos pensando en eso.

Let’s practice the subjunctive forms of Seguir.

I want her to continue talking.

Quiero que siga hablando.

Maybe I’ll continue until I’m twenty-five.

Quizás yo siga hasta que tenga veinticinco.

I hope we continue going to the west.

Espero que sigamos yendo al oeste.

I stopped talking so that you (formal) continue watching the movie.

Dejé de hablar para que usted siga viendo la película.

I want you to follow them and I want them to continue.

Quiero que los sigas y quiero que ellos sigan.

The imperatives are all based on forms that you already know. So the basic informal second-person imperative is sigue. For example:

Keep doing that!

¡Sigue haciendo eso!

It’s actually pretty common to use this imperative to mean “follow”. In this next example, we’ll use a contraction.

Follow me.


And then a negative imperative for the singular second person would use sigas. For example:

Don’t keep doing that.

No sigas haciendo eso.

The other imperatives are all exactly like their corresponding subjunctives. So if you’re using usted, you’ll use siga. Here are a couple of examples:

(formal) Keep searching.

Siga buscando.

(formal) Please follow me, madame.

Por favor sígame, señora.

And then if you’re talking to a group of people, you’ll use sigan, and to say “let’s follow” or “let’s continue”, you’ll use sigamos. Here are a couple of examples:

Let’s keep talking.

Sigamos hablando.

Follow me, everyone!

¡Síganme todos!

Let’s practice the imperatives.

Keep talking so we can know it.

Sigue hablando para que podamos saberlo.

(Formal) Follow that person to your house!

¡Siga a esa persona a su casa!

(Plural) Follow me to the building!

¡Síganme al edificio!

Follow me to the school!

¡Sígueme a la escuela!

(Plural) Keep trying to call her.

Sigan tratando de llamarla.

(Formal) Follow me to the hospital!

¡Sígame al hospital!

Let’s keep working until they run out.

Sigamos trabajando hasta que se acaben.

Don’t keep saying you’re twenty-one, that’s not your age.

No sigas diciendo que tienes veintiuno, esa no es tu edad.

There are just a few other forms of this verb that are fairly common. The participle is seguido, which is regular, and the gerund is siguiendo, which is slightly irregular. Here are a couple of examples:

She has kept doing those things.

Ella ha seguido haciendo esas cosas.

Are you following me?

¿Me estás siguiendo?

Let’s practice these.

They are following us.

Nos están siguiendo.

We have continued working on this.

Hemos seguido trabajando en esto.

She has continued in a queue for hours.

Ha seguido en una fila por horas.

She is twenty-four, so she isn’t following me.

Tiene veinticuatro, así que no me está siguiendo.

And finally, the future-tense forms are particularly common for this verb. For example, it’s very common to word things like this:

I’ll keep doing this.

Seguiré haciendo esto.

Fortunately, all the future-tense forms of Seguir are exactly what you’d expect: seguiré, seguirá, seguirás, seguirán, and seguiremos. Let’s practice these.

You will continue on this path.

Seguirás en este camino.

They’ll continue being friends until they’re twenty-six.

Seguirán siendo amigos hasta que tengan veintiséis.

She won’t follow you, but I’ll follow you.

Ella no te seguirá, pero yo te seguiré.

We’ll continue talking until tomorrow.

Seguiremos hablando hasta mañana.

All right, it’s time for our final quiz. I know this episode has been pretty intense, because it’s always tough to learn a new irregular verb with multiple meanings. We’re going to keep the quiz fairly short and simple, but of course you can always dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/166 for more practice. All right, now for the quiz.

She just now followed the line.

Acaba de seguir la línea.

Let’s continue going to the north.

Sigamos yendo al norte.

She wants me to continue until the city center.

Quiere que siga hasta el centro de la ciudad.

We’ll keep working on this online.

Seguiremos trabajando en esto en línea.

She has been following me.

Me ha estado siguiendo.

(Formal) Follow your ideas!

¡Siga sus ideas!

My friend has followed my work.

Mi amigo ha seguido mi trabajo.

(Plural) Follow the steps I gave you!

¡Sigan los pasos que les di!

I don’t want them to continue.

No quiero que sigan.

He’ll continue until he sees the front.

Seguirá hasta que vea el frente.

Keep talking so we follow you.

Sigue hablando para que te sigamos.

We didn’t follow the steps you gave us.

No seguimos los pasos que nos diste.

We continue living in the south.

Seguimos viviendo en el sur.

He continues to be twenty-seven.

Sigue teniendo veintisiete.

I’ll follow my ideas, so please follow me.

Seguiré mis ideas, entonces por favor sígueme.

(Plural) Follow me east.

Síganme hacia el este.

You continue thinking I’m twenty-three, but I’m twenty-eight.

Sigues pensando que tengo veintitrés, pero tengo veintiocho.

I want her to continue until the corner.

Quiero que siga hasta la esquina.

They continue working, but I’m not continuing.

Ellos siguen trabajando, pero yo no sigo.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/166.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the verb Terminar, which means “to finish” or “to end 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.

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