Spanish Verb Pagar Conjugation

Pagar Conjugation, Usage, and Examples

Greenhouse workers selling pottered flowers
Él paga con su tarjeta de crédito. (He pays with his credit card).

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The Spanish verb pagar means to pay. Since pagar is an -ar verb, it is conjugated with the same pattern as other regular -ar verbs like necesitar, evitarand desayunar. However, you should note that pagar has a spelling change in some of its conjugations. Whenever the "g" sound is followed by the vowel "e," you must add a "u" in between to maintain the hard "g" sound, like in pague and paguemos.

This article provides the conjugations for pagar in the present, past, and future indicative, the present and past subjunctive, the imperative, as well as other verb forms.

Using the Verb Pagar

The verb pagar can be used in most of the same contexts when you would use the verb to pay in English, with the meaning of giving money in exchange for something. For example, you can talk about paying your bills (pagar las cuentas), to pay a debt (pagar una deuda), pay with cash (pagar con efectivo), and pay for food (pagar por la comida).You can even talk about paying as in taking revenge like in he will pay for his actions (él pagará por sus acciones). However, there are some contexts in which the verb to pay does not translate to pagar in Spanish. For example, to pay a visit in Spanish is simply visitar or pasar a visitar, to pay a compliment is hacer un cumplido, and to pay attention is poner or prestar atención.

Present Indicative

Yo pago Yo pago las cuentas a tiempo. I pay the bills on time.
pagas Tú pagas en efectivo en la tienda. You pay in cash at the store.
Usted/él/ella paga Ella paga por la comida. She pays for the food.
Nosotros pagamos Nosotros pagamos $100 por el boleto. We pay $100 for the ticket.
Vosotros pagáis Vosotros pagáis las deudas de vuestra familia. You pay your family's debts.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas pagan Ellos pagan un buen salario a sus empleados. They pay a good salary to their employees.

Preterite Indicative

The preterite tense is used to talk about actions that were completed in the past. Notice the spelling change that occurs in the yo form of the preterite tense, pagué.

Yo pagué Yo pagué las cuentas a tiempo. I paid the bills on time.
pagaste Tú pagaste en efectivo en la tienda. You paid in cash at the store.
Usted/él/ella pagó Ella pagó por la comida. She paid for the food.
Nosotros pagamos Nosotros pagamos $100 por el boleto. We paid $100 for the ticket.
Vosotros pagasteis Vosotros pagasteis las deudas de vuestra familia. You paid your family's debts.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas pagaron Ellos pagaron un buen salario a sus empleados. They paid a good salary to their employees.

Imperfect Indicative

The imperfect tense is used to talk about ongoing actions in the past, and it can be translated to English as "was paying" or "used to pay." 

Yo pagaba Yo pagaba las cuentas a tiempo. I used to pay the bills on time.
pagabas Tú pagabas en efectivo en la tienda. You used to pay in cash at the store.
Usted/él/ella pagaba Ella pagaba por la comida. She used to pay for the food.
Nosotros pagábamos Nosotros pagábamos $100 por el boleto. We used to pay $100 for the ticket.
Vosotros pagabais Vosotros pagabais las deudas de vuestra familia. You used to pay your family's debts.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas pagaban Ellos pagaban un buen salario a sus empleados. They used to pay a good salary to their employees.

Future Indicative

Yo pagaré Yo pagaré las cuentas a tiempo. I will pay the bills on time.
pagarás Tú pagarás en efectivo en la tienda. You will pay in cash at the store.
Usted/él/ella pagará Ella pagará por la comida. She will pay for the food.
Nosotros pagaremos Nosotros pagaremos $100 por el boleto. We will pay $100 for the ticket.
Vosotros pagaréis Vosotros pagaréis las deudas de vuestra familia. You will pay your family's debts.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas pagarán Ellos pagarán un buen salario a sus empleados. They will pay a good salary to their employees.

Periphrastic Future

The periphrastic future is usually translated to English as "going to + verb."

Yo voy a pagar Yo voy a pagar las cuentas a tiempo. I am going to pay the bills on time.
vas a pagar Tú vas a pagar en efectivo en la tienda. You are going to pay in cash at the store.
Usted/él/ella va a pagar Ella va a pagar por la comida. She is going to pay for the food.
Nosotros vamos a pagar Nosotros vamos a pagar $100 por el boleto. We are going to pay $100 for the ticket.
Vosotros vais a pagar Vosotros vais a pagar las deudas de vuestra familia. You are going to pay your family's debts.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas van a pagar Ellos van a pagar un buen salario a sus empleados. They are going to pay a good salary to their employees.

Conditional Indicative

The conditional is usually translated to English as "would + verb."

Yo pagaría Yo pagaría las cuentas a tiempo si no se me olvidara. I would pay the bills on time if I didn't forget.
pagarías Tú pagarías en efectivo en la tienda si tuvieras el dinero. You would pay in cash at the store if you had the money.
Usted/él/ella pagaría Ella pagaría por la comida si pudiera. She would pay for the food if she could.
Nosotros pagaríamos Nosotros pagaríamos $100 por el boleto, pero es muy caro. We would pay $100 for the ticket, but it's too expensive.
Vosotros pagaríais Vosotros pagaríais las deudas de vuestra familia, pero no es justo. You would pay your family's debts, but it's not fair.
Ustedes/ellos/ellas pagarían Ellos pagarían un buen salario a sus empleados si trabajaran más. They would pay a good salary to their employees if they worked more.

Present Progressive/Gerund Form

To form the present participle, or gerund of -ar verbs, just add the ending -ando. This verb form can be used to form progressive verb forms such as the present progressive.

Present Progressive of Pagar está pagando Ella está pagando por la comida. She is paying for the food.

Past Participle

To form the past participle of -ar verbs, simply add the ending -ado. This verb form can be used to form compound tenses like the present perfect.

Present Perfect of Pagar ha pagado Ella ha pagado por la comida. She has paid for the food.

Present Subjunctive

Notice that all of the conjugations of the present subjunctive include the spelling change (add the vowel "u" in order to maintain the g's hard sound, like in pague).

Que yo pague Mi compañero de cuarto quiere que yo pague las cuentas a tiempo. My roommate wants me to pay the bills on time.
Que tú pagues El vendedor espera que tú pagues en efectivo en la tienda. The salesman hopes that you pay in cash at the store.
Que usted/él/ella pague Su novio pide que ella pague por la comida. Her boyfriend asks that she pay for the food.
Que nosotros paguemos Nuestra amiga sugiere que nosotros paguemos $100 por el boleto. Our friend suggests that we pay $100 for the ticket. 
Que vosotros paguéis El abuelo necesita que vosotros paguéis las deudas de vuestra familia. The grandfather needs for you to pay your family's debts.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas paguen Todos recomiendan que ellos paguen un buen salario a sus empleados. Everyone recommends that they pay a good salary to their employees.

Imperfect Subjunctive

There are two different conjugations for the imperfect subjunctive. These conjugations are used in different Spanish-speaking regions, but both are equally valid.

Option 1

Que yo pagara Mi compañero de cuarto quería que yo pagara las cuentas a tiempo. My roommate wanted me to pay the bills on time.
Que tú pagaras El vendedor esperaba que tú pagaras en efectivo en la tienda. The salesman hoped that you would pay in cash at the store.
Que usted/él/ella pagara Su novio pedía que ella pagara por la comida. Her boyfriend asked that she pay for the food.
Que nosotros pagáramos Nuestra amiga sugirió que nosotros pagáramos $100 por el boleto. Our friend suggested that we pay $100 for the ticket. 
Que vosotros pagarais El abuelo necesitaba que vosotros pagarais las deudas de vuestra familia. The grandfather needed for you to pay your family's debts.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas pagaran Todos recomendaban que ellos pagaran un buen salario a sus empleados. Everyone recommended that they pay a good salary to their employees.

Option 2

Que yo pagase Mi compañero de cuarto quería que yo pagase las cuentas a tiempo. My roommate wanted me to pay the bills on time.
Que tú pagases El vendedor esperaba que tú pagases en efectivo en la tienda. The salesman hoped that you would pay in cash at the store.
Que usted/él/ella pagase Su novio pedía que ella pagase por la comida. Her boyfriend asked that she pay for the food.
Que nosotros pagásemos Nuestra amiga sugirió que nosotros pagásemos $100 por el boleto. Our friend suggested that we pay $100 for the ticket. 
Que vosotros pagaseis El abuelo necesitaba que vosotros pagaseis las deudas de vuestra familia. The grandfather needed for you to pay your family's debts.
Que ustedes/ellos/ellas pagasen Todos recomendaban que ellos pagasen un buen salario a sus empleados. Everyone recommended that they pay a good salary to their employees.

Imperative 

The imperative mood is needed to give orders or commands. You can give either affirmative or negative commands, both shown in the tables below. Notice that there is a spelling change in some of the imperative conjugations.

Positive Commands

paga ¡Paga en efectivo en la tienda! Pay in cash at the store!
Usted pague ¡Pague por la comida! Pay for the food!
Nosotros paguemos ¡Paguemos $100 por el boleto! Let's pay $100 for the ticket!
Vosotros pagad ¡Pagad las deudas de vuestra familia! Pay your family's debts!
Ustedes paguen ¡Paguen un buen salario a sus empleados! Pay a good salary to your employees! 

Negative Commands

no pagues ¡No pagues en efectivo en la tienda! Don't pay in cash at the store!
Usted no pague ¡No pague por la comida! Don't pay for the food!
Nosotros no paguemos ¡No paguemos $100 por el boleto! Let's not pay $100 for the ticket!
Vosotros no paguéis ¡No paguéis las deudas de vuestra familia! Don't pay your family's debts!
Ustedes no paguen ¡No paguen un buen salario a sus empleados! Don't pay a good salary to your employees!