Despertarse Conjugation: Present Tense & Present Progressive

Despertarse Conjugation: Present Tense & Present Progressive
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  • 0:00 ''Despertase'': To Wake Up
  • 0:37 Present Tense
  • 1:56 Examples in Present Tense
  • 3:04 Present Progressive Tense
  • 3:35 Examples in Present…
  • 4:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

'Despertarse' means to 'wake up.' This lesson gives you two conjugation tables to use this verb in the present tense and then in the present progressive tense, and we'll look at examples of each tense in use in everyday conversation.

Despertarse: To Wake Up

We all have different times to wake up and even different feelings when we wake up. But, we share common vocabulary to talk about sleeping and waking. To talk about this subject in Spanish, we need the word despertarse, a verb meaning 'to wake up.'

When we want to talk about habitual facts that accompany the moment when we wake up, we use the present tense. However, sometimes we need to express that we are 'waking up,' or that someone else is waking up. In such cases, we use the present progressive tense.

Let's explore each of these tenses!

Present Tense

Despertarse is a reflexive verb, which you can recognize from the fact that its infinitive form ends in -arse. Let's look at a table to see how we conjugate this verb in the present tense.

Subject Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun Despertarse Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
yo me despierto meh dehs-pee-EHR-toh I wake up
te despiertas teh dehs-pee-EHR-tahs You (informal, singular) wake up
se despierta seh dehs-pee-EHR-tah He/She wakes up, you (formal, singular) wake up
nos despertamos nohs dehs-pehr-TAH-mohs We wake up
os despertáis ohs dehs-pehr-TAH-ees You (informal, plural) wake up
se despiertan seh dehs-pee-EHR-tahn They/You (formal, plural) wake up

Keep in mind that the reflexive pronoun can never be dropped. You could however, drop yo or tu, because the reflexive pronoun indicates who you are talking about.

Now, let's look at some examples of present tense conjugations of despertarse.

Examples in Present Tense

Let's now listen in, as our friend Arturo describes his wake up schedule to a friend. Notice Arturo's use of present tense.

  • Yo siempre me despierto a las 6 a.m., pero mis amigos nunca se despiertan temprano. (I always wake up at 6 a.m., but my friends never wake up early).

Arturo has no option but to wake up at 6 a.m. to make it to work on time. However, his colleague, Esteban, is particularly lucky because he lives right across from the office.

  • Esteban se despierta a las 7:30 a.m. (Esteban wakes up at 7:30 a.m.)

Esteban se despierta un poco tarde. Translation = Esteban wakes up a bit late.

When asked about his daughter, Arturo says that she is immune to the alarm clock, which is very loud. Right now, Lisa is still asleep.

  • Ella no se despierta con facilidad. (She doesn't wake up easily).

As you can see, a negative sentence only requires the word no in front of the reflexive pronoun.

Lisa no se despierta con facilidad. Translation= She does not wake up easily.

As Arturo and his friend talk, Arturo's wife and daughter are in the process of waking up, which is the present progressive tense. Let's move on to this tense now.

Present Progressive Tense

To form the present progressive of despertarse, we need three main components in our formula:

subject pronoun + estar (to be) in present tense + verb despertarse in progressive tense

Let's look at a table to see how to conjugate despertarse in the present progressive tense. Take a few minutes to review the chart, then we'll look at an example conversation in present progressive tense.

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