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Conjugating the Spanish Verb Dormir (to Sleep)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like dormir, 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, dormir (dohr-meer) (to sleep) has an o-to-ue stem change in all but the nosotros and vosotros forms. Here’s the present tense conjugation:

The Present Tense of Dormir
Conjugation Translation
yo duermo I sleep
tú duermes You (informal) sleep
él/ella/ello/uno duerme He/she/one sleeps
usted duerme You (formal) sleep
nosotros dormimos We sleep
vosotros dormís You all (informal) sleep
ellos/ellas duermen They sleep
ustedes duermen You all (formal) sleep

The following examples show you dormir in action:

  • ¿Duermes bien, José? (Do you sleep well, José?)

  • Sí. Yo duermo bien todas las noches. (Yes. I sleep well every night.)

In the preterit, dormir undergoes an o-to-u stem change in the third-person singular and third-person plural forms only. All the other forms conjugate normally. Take a look.

The Preterit Tense of Dormir
Conjugation Translation
yo dormí I slept
tú dormiste You (informal) slept
él/ella/ello/uno durmió He/she/one slept
usted durmió You (formal) slept
nosotros dormimos We slept
vosotros dormisteis You all (informal) slept
ellos/ellas durmieron They slept
ustedes durmieron You all (formal) slept

You use the preterit tense like this:

  • La profesora durmió. (The professor slept.)

  • Cristina y María durmieron en mi casa. (Cristina and María slept in my house.)

You’re off the hook with the stem change in the imperfect and future forms; dormir conjugates normally in these tenses. Check out the following tables and examples.

The Imperfect Tense of Dormir
Conjugation Translation
yo dormía I used to sleep
tú dormías You (informal) used to sleep
él/ella/ello/uno dormía He/she/one used to sleep
usted dormía You (formal) used to sleep
nosotros dormíamos We used to sleep
vosotros dormíais You all (informal) used to sleep
ellos/ellas dormían They used to sleep
ustedes dormían You all (formal) used to sleep

Here are some examples of the imperfect tense:

  • Mi padre dormía y roncaba. (My father used to sleep and snore.)

  • ¿Dormíais vosotros en clase? (Did you used to sleep in class?)

The Future Tense of Dormir
Conjugation Translation
yo dormiré I will sleep
tú dormirás You (informal) will sleep
él/ella/ello/uno dormirá He/she/one will sleep
usted dormirá You (formal) will sleep
nosotros dormiramos We will sleep
vosotros dormiréis You all (informal) will sleep
ellos/ellas dormirán They will sleep
ustedes dormirán You all (formal) will sleep

The following samples put the future tense to work:

  • ¿Dormirán ustedes junto al lago? (Will you sleep near the lake?)

  • No. Dormiremos en la cabina. (No. We will sleep in the cabin.)

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