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Probar Conjugation: Preterite & Subjunctive

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena teaches Spanish as a foreign language and has a PhD in linguistics.

Learn how to talk about your experiences or what you'd like to try in Spanish with the verb 'probar' (to try/taste). This lesson gives you its conjugation in the preterite and the present subjunctive, and shows you some examples.

Let's Try It!

Let's say you want to tell your friends that you tried a new game yesterday and you loved it, and you're looking forward to trying with them. Or that you tasted the food at the new restaurant in town and it's delicious. To talk about this in Spanish, you'll need the verb probar (pronounced: proh-BAHR), which means 'to try' or 'to taste'.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to talk about past experiences with the preterite of probar. We'll also see how to talk about possibilities or express wishes with its present subjunctive.

Translation: To taste the ice cream.
icecream

Preterite of Probar

Did you try any new dish or restaurant last week? When was the last time you tried a new activity or sport? To talk about these past experiences, we need to use the preterite of probar.

To form it, we'll use the regular stem prob-, to which we'll add the endings below.

VERB: probar (proh-BAHR) - to try/taste

Subject
Pronoun
Preterite
Conjugation
Pronunciation Translation
yo probé (proh-BEH) I tried/tasted
probaste (proh-BAHS-teh) you tried/tasted
él/ella
usted
probó (proh-BOH) he/she tried/tasted
you (formal) tried/tasted
nosotros/
nosotras
probamos (proh-BAH-mohs) we tried/tasted
vosotros/
vosotras
probasteis (proh-BAHS-tays) you all tried/tasted
ellos/ellas
ustedes
probaron (proh-BAH-rohn) they tried/tested
you all tried/tested

Note: You'll only hear the form vosotros/as in Spain, which speakers use to address more than one person in informal situations. In the rest of the Spanish-speaking world, everyone uses the form ustedes.

Quite easy, right? Let's see some examples.

Examples of Probar in the Preterite

Today, Sonia and her friends are at the food market. There's a world cuisine tasting and they're trying lots of different samples.

Sonia: Chicos, ¿probaron la comida tailandesa? (Guys, did you try the Thai food?) Es muy sabrosa. (It's very tasty.)

Ana: Sí, Juan y yo probamos la tailandesa y la mexicana. (Yes, Juan and I tried the Thai and the Mexican food.)

Juan: ¿Probaste la jamaicana, Pedro? (Did you try the Jamaican food, Pedro?)

Pedro: Sí, la probé, pero es muy picante para mí. (Yes, I tried it, but it's too spicy for me.)

Juan: Alberto probó la india, porque adora el curry. (Alberto tried the Indian food, because he loves curry.)

Ana: ¡Tiene buena pinta! (It looks good!)

Translation: We tried the Indian food.
indianfood

Present Subjunctive of Probar

The subjunctive is used to express subjective information, such as wishes or hope, and to talk about possibilities.

To form the present subjunctive of probar, we need to use its irregular stem prueb- in all forms, EXCEPT FOR nosotros/as and vosotros/as, which keep the regular one (prob-).

VERB: probar (proh-BAHR) - to try/taste

Subject
Pronoun
Present
Subjunctive
Pronunciation Translation
yo pruebe (PRWEH-beh) I try/taste
pruebes (PRWEH-behs) you try/taste
él/ella
usted
pruebe (PRWEH-beh) he/she tries/tastes
you (formal) try/taste
nosotros/
nosotras
probemos (proh-BEH-mohs) we try/taste
vosotros/
vosotras
probéis (proh-BAYS) you all try/taste
ellos/ellas
ustedes
prueben (PRWEH-behn) they try/taste
you all try/taste

Uses & Examples of Probar in the Subjunctive

Take a look at the different uses of the present subjunctive of probar with Sonia and Ana, who are preparing a dinner party today.

Expressing Wishes

Use these expressions to introduce your sentences:

  • Espero que (I hope that)
  • Quiero que (I want that)
  • Ojalá (Hopefully/I hope)

Sonia and Ana are cooking dinner together. Their friends will come later.

Sonia: Quiero que pruebes esta salsa y me des tu opinión. (I want you to taste this sauce and give me your opinion.)

Ana: ¡Está deliciosa! (It's delicious!)

Sonia: Es un poco picante, pero espero que Pedro la pruebe. (It's a bit spicy, but I hope Pedro tries it!)

Talking about Possibilities

To talk about possibilities or probabilities, start with:

  • Es posible que (It's possible that)
  • Es probable que (It's probable that)
  • Posiblemente (Possibly)
  • Probablemente (Probably)

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