Conjugating the Irregular Spanish Verb Entender (to Understand/Know About)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like entender, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs to: regular (follows regular conjugation rules for -ar, -er, and -ir verbs), stem-changing (morphs depending on how you use it in a sentence), spelling-changing (has consonant-spelling changes in some forms to follow pronunciation rules), or reflexive (reflects the action back on the subject of the sentence).

In the present tense, entender (ehn-tehn-dehr) (to understand/know about) has an e-to-ie stem change in all but the nosotros and vosotros forms. Here’s the present tense conjugation:

The Present Tense of Entender
Conjugation Translation
yo entiendo I understand
tú entiendes You (informal) understand
él/ella/ello/uno entiende He/she/one understands
usted entiende You (formal) understand
nosotros entendemos We understand
vosotros entendéis You all (informal) understand
ellos/ellas entienden They understand
ustedes entienden You all (formal) understand

The following examples show you entender in action:

  • ¿Entienden lo que decimos? (Do you understand what we are saying?)

  • Sí. Lo entendemos muy bien. (Yes. We understand it very well.)

And that’s the end of entender’s stem change; it conjugates normally in the preterit, imperfect, and future tenses. Take a look at the following tables and examples:

The Preterit Tense of Entender
Conjugation Translation
yo entendí I understood
tú entendiste You (informal) understood
él/ella/ello/uno entendió He/she/one understood
usted entendió You (formal) understood
nosotros entendimos We understood
vosotros entendisteis You all (informal) understood
ellos/ellas entendieron They understood
ustedes entendieron You all (formal) understood

You use the preterit tense like this:

  • ¿Entendió tu hermano esa lección? (Did your brother understand that lesson?)

  • Sí. Mi hermano y yo entendimos esa lección. (Yes. My brother and I understood that lesson.)

The Imperfect Tense of Entender
Conjugation Translation
yo entendía I used to understand
tú entendías You (informal) used to understand
él/ella/ello/uno entendía He/she/one used to understand
usted entendía You (formal) used to understand
nosotros entendíamos We used to understand
vosotros entendíais You all (informal) used to understand
ellos/ellas entendían They used to understand
ustedes entendían You all (formal) used to understand

Here are some examples of the imperfect tense:

  • Mis padres me entendían mucho. (My parents used to understand me a lot.)

  • Nos entendíamos sin palabras. (We used to understand each other without words.)

The Future Tense of Entender
Conjugation Translation
yo entenderé I will understand
tú entenderás You (informal) will understand
él/ella/ello/uno entenderá He/she/one will understand
usted entenderá You (formal) will understand
nosotros entenderemos We will understand
vosotros entenderéis You all (informal) will understand
ellos/ellas entenderán They will understand
ustedes entenderán You all (formal) will understand

The following samples put the future tense to work:

  • ¿Entenderás la novela? (Will you understand the novel?)

  • Por supuesto que la entenderé. (Of course I will understand it.)

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