Llegar Conjugation: Future & Present Tense

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.

''Llegar'' means 'to arrive.' This lesson gives you the present and the future tenses of this verb. We learn both tenses through a fun story that illustrates when and how to use each tense.

Present Vs Future

Llegar (yeh-GAHR) means 'to arrive' or 'to get to a place.' This verb works to express that people arrive i.e. Yo llego temprano. This means 'I arrive early.' Also, llegar can be used to express a season arrives i.e. La Navidad llega en diciembre. This means 'Christmas arrives in December.' As in English, it is for transportation i.e. El tren llega a las 5 pm, which is 'The train arrives at 5 pm.'

When it comes to tenses, just like in English, the Spanish present tense of this verb is to express things like 'I arrive to work at 8 am.' The future is to express things like 'I will arrive early tomorrow.'

This is the first good news here since both tenses have the same purpose in English and Spanish. The second good news is that we learn these tenses through a story. Let's see what happens.

The Present Tense of Llegar

Llegar (yeh-GAHR) - 'to arrive, to get to a place'

Subject Pronoun Llegar Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
yo llego YEH-goh I arrive
llegas YEH-gahs you (singular/informal) arrive
llega YEH-gah he/she arrives - you (singular/formal) arrive
llegamos yeh-GAH-mohs we arrive
llegáis yeh-GAH-ees you (plural/informal) arrive
llegan YEH-gahn they/you (plural/formal) arrive

Now, let's see these verbs in action. We look at Alejandra's daily school routine. She lives in Madrid (Spain) and is a student in high school.

  • Alejandra llega a la estación de metro a las 6:20 am todos los días. (Alejandra arrives at the metro station at 6:20 am every day.)
  • At the station, Alejandra meets Pedro, her best friend. Ellos llegan al colegio a las 6:50 am. ( They arrive to school at 6:50 am.)
  • Next, Alejandra and Pedro arrive to class on time. Their teacher tells them Vosotros siempre llegáis a tiempo. ('You always arrive on time.')
  • Two other students arrive to class late. They say Perdón. Llegamos tarde debido al tráfico. (Sorry. We arrive late due to the traffic.)

The excuse sounds lame since the two other students con frecuencia no llegan a clase a tiempo (frequently don't arrive to class on time). This shows that to make a negative sentence, all we need is the word no in front of the verb llegar. This works for every tense in Spanish: past, present, future, etc.

And this is a normal school day for Alejandra. So far so normal. However, cuando llega el fin de año, dos cartas llegan al buzón de Alejandra. (When the end of the year arrives, two letters arrive to Alejandra's mailbox.)

One letter is from an international exchange corporation, telling Alejandra she is approved for the one year exchange program in San Francisco she always wanted. The second letter is from her host family. We shall see what the letter says, but we need to know the future tense first.

The Future Tense of Llegar

Llegar (yeh-GAHR) - 'to arrive, to get to a place'

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