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Quedar vs. Quedarse

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 have doubts about the use of the verbs 'quedar' and 'quedarse' in Spanish? Then check out this lesson to answer your questions. We'll take a look at their differences in usage through a number of familiar examples.

Using the Verbs Quedar and Quedarse

When and where do you usually meet your friends? Where did you stay during your last vacation? The Spanish verbs quedar and quedarse have plenty of different meanings depending on how we use them.

On the one hand, quedar (pronounced: keh-DAHR) means 'to arrange to meet' or 'to be located,' but you can also use this verb to say that you don't have any vegetables left or that a T-shirt doesn't suit you.

On the other hand, quedarse (pronounced: keh-DAHR-seh) is a reflexive verb and means 'to stay.'

Translation: To stay at home
stay

In this lesson, we'll study their meanings through plenty of daily life examples. But first, let's take a look at their conjugation in the present tense.

Present Tense of Quedar(se)

We use the present tense to talk about habits or routines, or simply to mention facts. Notice that we can use the present tense to refer to actions in the near future as well.

Both quedar and quedarse are regular, so to form their present tense, just take the stem qued- and add the present endings depending on the subject.

Note: To conjugate quedarse, use this conjugation as well, but add the reflexive pronouns (me/te/se/nos/os/se) in front of every form.

VERB: quedar(se) (keh-DAHR(-seh)) - to arrange to meet/to stay

Subject
Pronoun
Present
Indicative
Pronunciation Translation
yo quedo (KEH-doh) I arrange to meet/stay
quedas (KEH-dahs) you arrange to meet/stay
él/ella
usted
queda (KEH-dah) he/she arranges to meet/stays -
you (formal) arrange to meet/stay
nosotros/
nosotras
quedamos (keh-DAH-mohs) we arrange to meet/stay
vosotros/
vosotras
quedáis (keh-DIYS) you all arrange to meet/stay
ellos/ellas
ustedes
quedan (KEH-dahn) they arrange to meet/stay
you all arrange to meet/stay

Note: Spaniards use the form vosotros/as when addressing a group of people in an informal situation and ustedes in formal contexts. In the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, everyone uses the form ustedes in any setting.

Meanings & Uses of Quedar

To Arrange to Meet

Use quedar to say how often or where you plan to meet your friends.

  • Quedo con mis amigos los viernes por la tarde. (I plan to meet my friends on Friday evenings.)


Translation: Ana and Luisa arrange to meet in a cafe.
quedar


What about you? ¿Dónde quedas con tus amigos normalmente? (Where do you normally arrange to meet your friends?)

To Be Located

We can use quedar to talk about where places are located.

  • Mi casa queda muy cerca del parque. (My house is very close to the park.)
  • La oficina de correos y el café quedan a unos cinco minutos de aquí. (The post office and the cafe are about 5 minutes from here.)

To Remain/To Be Left

When quedar means 'to be left,' we only use the form queda when referring to singular nouns and quedan with plural nouns.

  • ¿Queda jugo? (Is there any juice left?)


Translation: There are no eggs left.
eggs


To Suit

When quedar means 'to suit,' the verb must agree with the thing that suits someone. We'll also add the indirect pronouns (me/te/le/nos/os/les) depending on who we're referring to. So the possibilities are:

  • singular noun + me/te/le/nos/os/les + queda + (bien/mal)
  • plural noun + me/te/le/nos/os/les + quedan + (bien/mal)

Examples:

  • Estos pantalones me quedan mal. (These trousers don't suit me.)
  • Ese vestido le queda bien. (That dress suits her well.)

Meanings & Uses of Quedarse

When using its reflexive form, quedarse means 'to stay.'

To Stay/To Remain

  • Hoy me quedo en casa. (Today I'm staying at home.) Estoy cansada. (I'm tired.)
  • ¿Te quedas aquí un momento? (Will you stay here for a moment?) Vuelvo enseguida. (I'm coming back soon.)

To Stay/To Lodge

  • En verano mis abuelos se quedan en un apartamento cerca de la playa. (In the summer my grandparents stay in an apartment near the beach.)

Translation: This vacation we are staying in a hotel.
quedarse

Example Conversation

Now that you know all the different meanings of quedar and quedarse, let's hear a conversation between Paula and Sara, who use these two verbs a lot.

Paula: ¿Quedamos esta tarde? (Shall we plan to meet this evening?)

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