Desaparecer Conjugation: Preterite & Present Tense

Instructor: Raychelle Heath

Raychelle has a BA in Spanish and an MFA in Writing. She has studied in Puerto Rico and currently lives in Mexico. She has taught Spanish in various settings.

Have your keys ever disappeared just when you were ready to leave the house? When things disappear, we can use the Spanish verb 'desaparecer' to talk about it. This lesson will teach you how to conjugate this verb in the present and preterite tenses. You will also see some helpful examples of how to use 'desaparecer'.

Let's Learn About Desaparecer

At most magic shows, the magician will make something or someone disappear. Things don't just disappear at magic shows, though. A fun prank item is a pen with disappearing ink. And who hasn't been on their way somewhere and discovered that their keys have disappeared? The verb 'to disappear' in Spanish is desaparecer (deh-ah-pah-reh-SEHR). This lesson will show you how to conjugate desaparecer in its present and preterite tense forms. All verbs in this lesson are conjugated in the indicative form of these tenses.

Desaparecer in the Present Tense

Verbs are used in present tense to show repeated actions or things that happen in the moment. The verb desaparecer is almost completely regular in the present tense, but has a -c to -zc shift for the yo pronoun.

VERB: desaparecer (deh-sah-pah-reh-SEHR) to disappear

Present Tense Pronunciation Translation
yo desaparezco deh-sah-pah-RES-koh I disappear
desapareces deh-sah-pah-REH-sehs You (informal) disappear
él, ella,
desaparece deh-sah-pah-REH-say He, she disappears; you (formal) disappear
desaparecemos deh-sah-pah-reh-SAY-mose We disappear
desaparecéis deh-sah-pah-reh-SAY-ees You (plural, informal) disappear
ellos, ellas,
desaparecen deh-sah-pah-REH-sen They (male, female), you (plural, formal) disappear

Examples in the Present

Here are a few examples of desaparecer in the present tense:

  • ¿Por qué siempre desapareces cuando llega el jefe? (Why do you always disappear when the boss arrives?)
  • Cuando este mago hace su truco final, él y su asistente desaparecen. (When this magician does his final trick, he and his assistant disappear.)

Translation: The ink in this pen disappears in an hour.
desaparecer desaparece

Desaparecer in the Preterite Tense

Verbs in the preterite tense show actions that happen in the short term past. The verb desaparecer follows the regular pattern for -ir verbs in this tense.

VERB: desaparecer (deh-sah-pah-reh-SEHR) to disappear

Preterite Tense Pronunciation Translation
yo desaparecí deh-sah-pah-reh-SEE I disappeared
desapareciste deh-sah-pah-reh-SEE-stay You (informal) disappeared
él, ella,
desapareció deh-sah-pah-reh-see-OH He, she, you (formal) disappeared
desaparecimos deh-sah-pah-reh-SEE-mose We disappeared
desaparecisteis deh-sah-pah-reh-see-STAY-ees You (plural, informal) disappeared
ellos, ellas,
desaparecieron deh-sah-pah-reh-see-EH-rone They (male, female), you (plural, informal) disappeared

Examples in the Preterite

Here are some examples of desaparecer in preterite tense:

  • Salimos de la casa cuando las nubes desaparecieron. (We left the house when the clouds disappeared.)
  • ¿Por qué desapareciste antes de que terminó la fiesta? (Why did you disappear before the party ended?)

Translation: The acne disappeared when I started with the new medicine.
desaparecer desparecio


Laura's dog has disappeared. She's talking with her mom about it. Let's listen in.

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