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Verbs of Change

October 6, 2014
Verbs of Change
Italki Language Challenge

Italki Language Challenge

Verbs of Change (Los verbos de cambio)

Today I had my third lesson with Andrés, on Skype, as part of the Italki Language Challenge, and we looked at various verbs that are used to mean ‘to become’.

Unfortunately there are quite a few verbs in Spanish that mean ‘to become’ and I learnt about the subtle differences between them and where to use each one. It was quite a challenging lesson!

My overall aim for the Italki Language Challenge is to learn and practice using different verb tenses so that I can speak with more fluency. Today’s lesson continued with that aim as it is usual to use the various verbs that mean ‘to become’ in the past tense. So I had the opportunity to practice the pretérito indefinido (preterite) and pretérito imperfect (imperfect) past tenses.

Vamos a ver la lección de hoy (Let’s see today’s lesson)

Verbos De Cambio En Español (to become)

Ponerse; volverse; convertirse en; transformarse en; llegar a ser; hacerse; quedarse (can all be used to mean ‘to become’).

General uses of ‘to become’ verbs (Usos generals de los verbos de cambio)


Ponerse is used with physical aspects and temporary conditions and emotions or estado de ánimo (mood).

Ponerse ejemplos:

Me puse enfadada (I became angry), Laura se puso gorda después de Navidad (Laura became fat after Christmas),

Estoy triste

Estoy triste

Me puse muy triste cuando te fuiste. (I became sad when you left).

Se puso muy furioso cuando se dio cuenta de que todo era mentira (S/he became very angry/furious when s/he realised that everything was a lie)

Joselito es tímido. Normalmente, se pone rojo cuando hay mucha gente (Joselito is shy. Usually, he goes/becomes red when there’s a lot of people).


Volverse is used when you want to show there has been a sudden change in personality or attitude. Volverse is normally used with negative adjectives but not always.

Volverse ejemplos:

María se volvió muy antipática (Mary became very nasty). María se volvió una muyer simpática (Mary became a nice woman).

Antes, la señortia Julian era simpática, ahora se volvió desagradable.(Before, Senora Julian was nice, now she’s become unpleasant).

Ana va a volverse loco con todo el trabajo que tiene. (Anna is going to go crazy with all the work that she has).

Nadie sabe porque se volvió alérgica a los gatos. (No one knows why she became alergic to cats).

Antes Joselito era un poco torpe y ahora se ha vuelto inteligente. (Before Joselito was not very smart but now he has become smart/intelligent).

Convertirse en/transformarse en

Convertirse en/transformarse en is used with important transformations or metamorphosis

Convertirse en/transformarse en ejemplos:

 El agua se convierte en hielo a 0 degrees C. (Water becomes ice at 0 degrees C).  Jan se convirtió en la persona más famosa de Leicester (Jan became the most famous person in Leicester).

Pepe era budista pero ahora se ha convertido en el cristianismo (Pepe was Buddhist but now he has become Christian).

Joselito cuenta siempre una fabulosa historia con una bruja y que durante unos días se convirtió/transformó en una rana. (Joselito always told a fabulous story with a witch that became a frog some days).

Joselito se convirtió en un actor muy famosa. (Joselito became a very famous actor).

La casa Antigua se transformó/convirtió en un precioso hostal (The old house became a beautiful hostel)

A veces, los problemas se convierten en oportunidades. (Sometimes, problems become opportunities).

Al-Andalus se transformó/ se convirtió en Andalucía. (Andalus became Andalucia).

La oruga se transformó/ convirtió en una mariposa. (The Caterpillar became a butterfly).

Jan vive en Leicester y es una persona normal. Un día, Jan gana 20 millones de libras en la lotería y se convierte en la persona más rica de Leicester. (Jan lives in Leicester and is an average person. One day Jan won 20 million pounds on the lottery and became the richest person in Leicester).


Hacerse is used with adjectives and nouns that indicate permanent changes, and intended actions.

Hacerse ejemplos:

Se hizo profesora, se hizo ecologista, (she became a teacher, she became an ecologist). Se hace tarde (it’s getting late). Se hace mayor, viejo (S/he’s become old).

Julia estudió mucho y se hizo profesora en tres años. (Julia studied a lot and became a teacher in 3 years).

Me hice rico después de la venta de mi mansión. (I became rich after I sold my mansión).

Nos hicimos liverales después del ultimo president. (We became liberals after the last president).

Antes era fontanero pero ahora se ha hecho electricista. (Before he was a plumber but now he has become an electrician).

Mi amiga Ana era joven pero ahora se hizo mayor. (My friend Ana was young but now she has become old).

Joselito tenía problemas con las matemáticas pero ahora se hizo profesor de matemáticas. (Joselito had problems with maths but now he has become a maths teacher).

Llegar a ser

Llegar a ser is used to show a gradual change as a result of effort or a process.

Llegar a ser ejemplos:

llegó a ser el Presidente de Francia. (He has become President of France).

Estudió política durante muchos años hasta que llegó a ser Presidente. (She studied for many years and has become President).

Joselito llegó a ser un actor muy famoso en Hollywood. (Joselito became a very famous actor in Hollywood).


Quedarse is used to show change as a consequence of an event and is usually used negatively.

Quedarse ejemplos:

Se quedó ciego cuando era niño (he became blind when he was Young).

Desgraciadamente, el abuelo se ha quedado sordo este último año. (Unfortunately, the grandfather has become deaf this last year).

So there we have it. Lesson 3 done and dusted! Lesson 3 wasn’t an easy lesson to begin the week and I’ll certainly have to revise what I’ve done over and over until I can use each verb correctly.

Hasta la próxima lección

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