Llegar Conjugation: Subjunctive & Command

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

Do you normally arrive on time? In this Spanish lesson we study the verb ''llegar'', which means 'to arrive'. Learn both the subjunctive and the imperative and how to use them appropriately in context.

Let's Arrive On Time!

Are you normally punctual or do people have to tell you to hurry up? In this lesson we study the Spanish verb llegar (pronounced: yeh-GAHR) along with Antonio, who is always late!

Learn how to use llegar adequately in the subjunctive, to express wishes or make negative commands, and in the imperative, to give direct orders.

Llegar (To arrive)

Using the Verb Llegar

Before learning its conjugation, we need to point out a couple of things about the verb llegar.

When the destination is implied, we can use llegar on its own. But if we want to specify the place, then we need to add the preposition a. For example:

  • llegar a casa (to arrive home)
  • llegar a la fiesta (to arrive at the party)
  • llegar al cine (to arrive at the cinema)

Note: With masculine nouns, a + el becomes al.

Also, here are some expressions that will come in handy when using the verb llegar:

Spanish Pronounciation Translation
llegar puntual (yeh-GAHR poon-TWAHL) to arrive punctual
llegar a tiempo (yeh-GAHR ah TYEHM-poh) to arrive on time
llegar con tiempo
de sobra

(yeh-GAHR kohn TYEHM-poh
deh SOH-brah)
to arrive with
plenty of time
llegar tarde (yeh-GAHR TAHR-deh) to arrive late

Subjunctive of Llegar

Llegar is a regular verb, which means that, in order to form the subjunctive, we only need to take its stem (lleg-) and add the appropriate endings.

However, since all the endings start we e, we have to add an u to keep the hard sound /geh/ from the stem. Otherwise, g+e would sound like the English /hay/.

Take a look at every conjugated form and their spelling:

VERB: llegar (yeh-GAHR) - to arrive

Subject Pronouns Present Subjunctive Pronunciation Translation
yo llegue (YEH-geh) I arrive
llegues (YEH-gehs) you arrive
él/ella/usted llegue (YEH-geh) he/she arrives -
you (formal) arrive
nosotros/nosotras lleguemos (yeh-GEH-mohs) we arrive
vosotros/vosotras lleguéis (yeh-GAYS) you all arrive
ellos/ellas/ustedes lleguen (YEH-gehn) they/you all (formal)

Examples in the Subjunctive

You can use the subjunctive after sentences that:

  • express wishes or indirect requests: Quiero que… (I want…)
  • give a negative order: No + command (Don't…)
  • express a condition: Como… (If…)

Antonio has a lot of good qualities, but punctuality is not one of them. That's why everyone keeps telling him to hurry up. His aunt is used to this, but this is a very special occasion. It's his parents' silver wedding anniversary, and his aunt really wants him to be there on time for the toast. She says to Antonio and his girlfriend:

Aunt: Quiero que llegues puntual. (I want you to be punctual.)

No lleguéis cuando todos estén en la mesa. (Don't (you both) arrive when everyone is at the table.)

Antonio: Es que Ana tarda mucho en arreglarse. (The thing is that Ana takes a long time to get ready.)

Siempre le digo que quiero que lleguemos a tiempo, pero es muy lenta. (I always tell her I want that we arrive on time, but she is very slow.)

His aunt knows better.

Aunt: Sólo digo que como lleguen todos y vosotros no estéis aquí me enfadaré. (I'm just saying that if everybody arrives and you (both) are not here, I'll be angry.)

Note: In Spanish, todos (everybody) must agree with the third person plural (ellos).

Translation: Do not arrive late at the feast!

Llegar in the Imperative

With the imperative we give direct orders or commands. Also, the first person plural (nosotros/as) is used to make suggestions.

Again, we need to add an u after g when the next vowel is an e.

VERB: llegar (yeh-GAHR) - to arrive

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