Conjugation of 'Poder'

Common Verb Is Highly Irregular

Sí se puede for article on conjugating poder
"Sí se puede" can be loosely translated as "Yes, we can" or somewhat literally as "It certainly can be.". Jose Mesa/Creative Commons.

Poder is a common verb that is usually used as an auxiliary verb as the equivalent of "can" or "to be able." Its conjugation is highly irregular; the -o- in the stem usually changes to -u- or -ue-, and the ending also changes at times.

There are no other verbs that follow the same pattern.

Irregular forms are show below in boldface. Translations are given as a guide and in real life may vary with context.

Infinitive of Poder

poder (to be able)

Gerund of Poder

pudiendo (being able)

Participle of Poder

podido (been able)

Present Indicative of Poder

yo puedo, tú puedes, usted/él/ella puede, nosotros/as podemos, vosotros/as podéis, ustedes/ellos/ellas pueden (I can, you can, he can, etc.)

Preterite of Poder

yo pude, tú pudiste, usted/él/ella pudo, nosotros/as pudimos, vosotros/as pudisteis, ustedes/ellos/ellas pudieron (I could, you could, she could, etc.)

Imperfect Indicative of Poder

yo podía, tú podías, usted/él/ella podía, nosotros/as podíamos, vosotros/as podíais, ustedes/ellos/ellas podían (I used to be able, you used to be able, he used to be able, etc.)

Future Indicative of Poder

yo podré, tú podrás, usted/él/ella podrá, nosotros/as podremos, vosotros/as podréis, ustedes/ellos/ellas podrán (I will be able, you will be able, he will be able, etc.)

Conditional of Poder

yo podría, tú podrías, usted/él/ella podría, nosotros/as podríamos, vosotros/as podríais, ustedes/ellos/ellas podrían (I would be able, you would be able, she would be able, etc.)

Present Subjunctive of Poder

que yo pueda, que tú puedas, que usted/él/ella pueda, que nosotros/as podamos, que vosotros/as podáis, que ustedes/ellos/ellas puedan (that I be able, that you be able, that she be able, etc.)

Imperfect Subjunctive of Poder

que yo pudiera (pudiese), que tú pudieras (pudieses), que usted/él/ella pudiera (pudiese), que nosotros/as pudiéramos (pudiésemos), que vosotros/as pudierais (pudieseis), que ustedes/ellos/ellas pudieran (pudiesen) (that I be able, that you be able, that he able, etc.)

Imperative of Poder

puede (tú), no puedas (tú), pueda (usted), podamos (nosotros/as), poded (vosotros/as), no podáis (vosotros/as), puedan (ustedes) (be able, don't be able, be able, let's be able, etc.)

Compound Tenses of Poder

The perfect tenses are made by using the appropriate form of haber and the past participle, podido. The progressive tenses use estar with the gerund, pudiendo.

Sample Sentences Showing Conjugation of Poder

Tengo un consejo importante para poder hablar en público. (I have an important piece of advice for being able to speak in public. Infinitive.)

No hemos podido sacar muchas conclusiones. (We haven't been able to draw out many conclusions. Present perfect.)

Ya no quiero verte, pero no puedo olvidarme de ti. (I still don't want to see you but I can't forget about you. Present indicative.)

Él nunca pudo comprender mis sentimientos. (He could never understand my feelings. Preterite.)

Revisaron los pasaportes y nos indicaron que podíamos viajar sin problemas. (They revised our passports and told us that we could travel without problems. Imperfect.)

No podré estar en casa cuando llegue el repartidor. (I won't be able to be at home when the deliveryman arrives. Future.)

Los ángeles no podrían volar si existieran, según la bióloga. (Angels wouldn't be able to fly if they existed, according to the biologist. Conditional.)

Haz lo que puedas. (Do what you can. Present subjunctive.)

Un cambio de actitud comenzó a limitar las horas que los niños pudieran trabajar. (A change of attitude began to limit the hours that children could work. Imperfect subjunctive.)

Tú puede salir tan pronto como sea posible. Be able to leave as soon as possible. Imperative.)

Te recomiendo este libro para adelgazar pudiendo comer lo que quieras. I recommend this book for losing weight while being able to eat what you want. Gerund.)

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Erichsen, Gerald. "Conjugation of 'Poder'." ThoughtCo, Jul. 22, 2017, thoughtco.com/conjugation-of-poder-3079640. Erichsen, Gerald. (2017, July 22). Conjugation of 'Poder'. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/conjugation-of-poder-3079640 Erichsen, Gerald. "Conjugation of 'Poder'." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/conjugation-of-poder-3079640 (accessed January 24, 2018).