Repetir Conjugation: Preterite & Subjunctive

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.

In this lesson we study the Spanish verb ''repetir'', which means 'to repeat', 'to retake' or 'to have seconds'. Learn how to talk about past actions with the preterite and make requests or give negative orders with the subjunctive.

Let's Repeat!

In this lesson we focus on the Spanish verb repetir (pronounced: reh-peh-TEER). Although its basic meaning is 'to repeat', it is often used with the meaning of 'retaking' or 'having a second helping'. Let's practice its conjugation with examples from Carmen's daily life.

You will learn how to use repetir in the preterite, and how to make requests or give negative commands with the subjunctive.

Meanings of Repetir

First, take a look at the different meanings of repetir and the words with which it usually appears in context:

Meaning Examples Pronunciation Translation
To repeat repetir un ejercicio,
una explicación
(reh-peh-TEER oon
eh-hehr-SEE-syoh/
OO-nah eks-plee-kah-SYOHN)
to repeat an exercise, an explanation
To retake repetir un examen, un curso
(reh-peh-TEER oon
ek-SAH-mehn/
oon KOOR-soh)
to retake an exam or course
To have seconds repetir sopa/
carne/postre
(reh-peh-TEER SOH-pah /
KAHR-neh / POHS-treh)
to have a second helping of soup/meat/dessert

Preterite of Repetir

With the preterite we can talk about finished actions in the past. Use it to say that you repeated an exercise or had seconds at lunch or dinner.

To conjugate repetir in the preterite, take its stem (repet-) and add the adequate endings. But pay attention to the third person (both singular and plural), because there is a vocalic change - the stem is repit- in this case.

VERB: repetir (reh-peh-TEER) - to repeat

Subject Pronouns Preterite Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
yo repetí (reh-peh-TEE) I repeated
repetiste (reh-peh-TEES-teh) you repeated
él/ella
usted
repitió (ree-pee-TYOH) he/she/you (formal)
repeated
nosotros
nosotras
repetimos (reh-peh-TEE-mohs) we repeated
vosotros
vosotras
repetisteis (reh-peh-TEES-tays) you all repeated
ellos/ellas
ustedes
repitieron (ree-pee-TYEH-rohn) they/you all (formal)
repeated

Examples in the Preterite

Carmen cooked a delicious paella for her family and friends yesterday. It was so yummy that everyone wanted to have seconds. Carmen offered to serve some more.

Carmen: ¿Quién quiere más? (Who wants some more?)

Paula: Yo ya repetí, gracias. (I already had seconds, thanks.)

Carmen: ¿Y tú, Juan? (And you, Juan?) ¿Ya repetiste? (Did you have a second helping yet?)

Juan: Creo que todos repetimos. (I think that all of us had seconds.)

Paula: La paella estaba deliciosa. (The paella was delicious.) Todo el mundo repitió. (Everyone had seconds.) Incluso los niños repitieron. (Even the children had seconds.)

Translation: I had a second helping of paella because it was yummy.
paella

Subjunctive of Repetir

To conjugate repetir in the subjunctive, we need to take the irregular stem we used before for the third person (repit-). This time, we will use the same stem for ALL the subject pronouns. Then, just add the endings as in the table below:

VERB: repetir (reh-peh-TEER) - to repeat

Subject Pronouns Present Subjunctive Pronunciation Translation
yo repita (reh-PEE-tah) I repeat
repitas (reh-PEE-tahs) you repeat
él/ella
usted
repita (reh-PEE-tah) he/she repeats -
you (formal) repeat
nosotros
nosotras
repitamos (reh-pee-TAH-mohs) we repeat
vosotros
vosotras
repitáis (reh-pee-TIYS) you all repeat
ellos/ellas
ustedes
repitan (reh-PEE-tahn) they/you all (formal) repeat

Uses & Examples in the Subjunctive

We normally use the subjunctive in subordinate sentences, that is, sentences that are part of another sentence.

Here are some common uses of the subjunctive with their typical introductory expressions.

Making Requests

You can make indirect requests introduced by:

  • Quiero que… (I want that…)

Carmen is a Maths teacher. Some of her students didn't get one of the exercises right today and she asks them to redo it:

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