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Conjugating the Spanish Verb Cambiar (to Change)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like cambiar, 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).

Cambiar (kahm-bvee-ahr) (to change) is a regular -ar verb, so it’s pretty easy to conjugate. Here it is in the present tense:

The Present Tense of Cambiar
Conjugation Translation
yo cambio I change
tú cambias You (informal) change
él/ella/ello/uno cambia He/she/one changes
usted cambia You (formal) change
nosotros cambiamos We change
vosotros cambiáis You all (informal) change
ellos/ellas cambian They change
ustedes cambian You all (formal) change

The following examples show you cambiar at work:

  • Nos cambiamos de ropa todos los días. (We change our clothes every day.)

  • ¿Cambia usted dólares a pesos? (Do you change dollars to pesos?)

If you need to conjugate cambiar in another tense, the following tables show you the preterit, imperfect, and future forms.

The Preterit Tense of Cambiar
Conjugation Translation
yo cambié I changed
tú cambiaste You (informal) changed
él/ella/ello/uno cambió He/she/one changed
usted cambió You (formal) changed
nosotros cambiamos We changed
vosotros cambiasteis You all (informal) changed
ellos/ellas cambiaron They changed
ustedes cambiaron You all (formal) changed

You use the preterit tense like this:

  • Cambié de nombre hace un mes. (I changed my name a month ago.)

  • ¿Cambiaste la jaula del perro? (Did you change the dog's cage?)

The Imperfect Tense of Cambiar
Conjugation Translation
yo cambiaba I used to change
tú cambiabas You (informal) used to change
él/ella/ello/uno cambiaba He/she/one used to change
usted cambiaba You (formal) used to change
nosotros cambiábamos We used to change
vosotros cambiabais You all (informal) used to change
ellos/ellas cambiaban They used to change
ustedes cambiaban You all (formal) used to change

Here are some examples of the imperfect tense in action:

  • Nos cambiábamos los libros cada mes. (We used to change books every month.)

  • ¿Cambiabas tu dinero en ese banco? (Did you use to change your money at that bank?)

The Future Tense of Cambiar
Conjugation Translation
yo cambiaré I will change
tú cambiarás You (informal) will change
él/ella/ello/uno cambiará He/she/one will change
usted cambiará You (formal) will change
nosotros cambiaremos We will change
vosotros cambiaréis You all (informal) will change
ellos/ellas cambiarán They will change
ustedes cambiarán You all (formal) will change

The following samples use the future tense:

  • Vosotros no cambiaréis vuestra conducta. (You will not change your behavior.)

  • Las hojas cambiarán de color en el otoño. (The leaves will change color in the fall.)

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