Conjugation of the Spanish Verb ‘Reír’

Pattern also used by ‘freír’ and ‘sonreír’

frying pan with a smile
¡Sonríe! (Smile!).

Fabian Zander / Creative Commons.

The written accent on its final syllable makes reír (to laugh) an unusual verb. But it is still regularly conjugated in terms of pronunciation, although not spelling.

Sonreír (to smile) is conjugated in the same way as reír. So is freír (to fry) with one exception—freír has two past participles, freído and frito. The latter is far more common.

Two of the forms below, rio and riais, used to be spelled with an accent: rió and riáis, respectively. But the Royal Spanish Academy eliminated the accents marks, which did not affect pronunciation, during a spelling overhaul in 2010. You may still see the accented forms in use.

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

Infinitive of Reír

reír (to laugh)

Gerund of Reír

riendo (laughing)

Participle of Reír

reído (laughed)

Present Indicative of Reír

yo río, tú ríes, usted/él/ella ríe, nosotros/as reímos, vosotros/as reís, ustedes/ellos/ellas ríen (I laugh, you laugh, he laughs, etc.)

Preterite of Reír

yo reí, tú reíste, usted/él/ella rio, nosotros/as reímos, vosotros/as reísteis, ustedes/ellos/ellas rieron (I laughed, you laughed, she laughs, etc.)

Imperfect Indicative of Reír

yo reía, tú reías, usted/él/ella reía, nosotros/as reíamos, vosotros/as reíais, ustedes/ellos/ellas reían (I used to laugh, you used to laugh, he used to laugh, etc.)

Future Indicative of Reír

yo reiré, tú reirás, usted/él/ella reirá, nosotros/as reiremos, vosotros/as reiréis, ustedes/ellos/ellas reirán (I will laugh, you will laugh, he will laugh, etc.)

Conditional of Reír

yo reiría, tú reirías, usted/él/ella reiría, nosotros/as reiríamos, vosotros/as reiríais, ustedes/ellos/ellas reirían (I would laugh, you would laugh, she would laugh, etc.)

Present Subjunctive of Reír

que yo ría, que tú rías, que usted/él/ella ría, que nosotros/as riamos, que vosotros/as riais, que ustedes/ellos/ellas rían (that I laugh, that you laugh, that she laugh, etc.)

Imperfect Subjunctive of Reír

que yo riera (riese), que tú rieras (rieses), que usted/él/ella riera (riese), que nosotros/as riéramos (riésemos), que vosotros/as rierais (rieseis), que ustedes/ellos/ellas rieran (riesen) (that I laughed, that you laughed, that he laughed, etc.)

Imperative of Reír

ríe (tú), no rías (tú), ría (usted), riamos (nosotros/as), reíd (vosotros/as), no riais (vosotros/as), rían (ustedes) (laugh, don't laugh, laugh, let's laugh, etc.)

Compound Tenses of Reír

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

Attaching Pronouns to the Reflexive Form, Reírse

The reflexive form, reírse, is usually used with little difference in meaning from the nonreflexive form. When the pronoun is attached to the verb—which occurs only with the infinitive, the gerund, and the imperative mood—a change in the accent for reason of pronunciation is needed only for the gerund (also called the present participle).

Thus the correct form for the gerund of reírse is riéndose; note the accent on the e of the stem. Conjugated forms of the gerund are riéndome, riéndote, riéndonos, and riéndoos.

The pronoun can simply be added for the imperative forms. Thus the reflexive form of ríe is ríete.

Sample Sentences Showing Conjugation

Si ríes, yo reiré contigo. (If you laugh, I will laugh with you. Present indicative, future.)

En fin, ríe como nunca ha reído en su vida. (Finally, he is smiling as he has never smiled in his life. Present indicative, present perfect.)

Siempre nos hemos reído con vosotros y nunca de vosotros. (We have always smiled with you and never at you. Present perfect.)

No estamos riéndonos de nadie. (We aren't laughing at anybody. Present progressive.)

Sonrio después de unos segundos de incomodidad. (She laughed after a few seconds of discomfort. Preterite.)

Quiero que riamos juntos. (I want us to laugh together. Present subjunctive.)

En las fotos tomadas ante del siglo XIX, las personas casi nunca sonreían. (In photos taken before the 19th century, people are almost never smiling. Imperfect.)

Para hacer cebolla frita en conserva, yo la freiría a fuego lento hasta que estuviera transparente. (To make fried onions for canning, I would fry them on a low flame until they're transparent. (Past participle used as an adjective, conditional.)

¡Sonríe incluso si duele! (Smile even if it hurts! Imperative.)

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Erichsen, Gerald. "Conjugation of the Spanish Verb ‘Reír’." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Erichsen, Gerald. (2023, April 5). Conjugation of the Spanish Verb ‘Reír’. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "Conjugation of the Spanish Verb ‘Reír’." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).