Sacar Conjugation: Preterite & Present Tense

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.

The Spanish verb 'sacar' means 'to take out,' but it can acquire other meanings depending on the context. Check out this lesson to learn how to use this verb in the present and the preterite tenses through multiple examples.

Using the Verb Sacar

How often do you take pictures? What grade do you normally get in foreign language class? Is there any trendy product that just went on sale that you want to buy? All these contexts require the verb sacar (pronounced: sah-KAHR) in Spanish. Sacar literally means 'to take' or 'to take out,' but it can mean different things depending on the context.

Keep reading to learn some of the most frequently used expressions with sacar, while we study its conjugation in the present and the preterite.

Meanings of Sacar

Sacar can be part of plenty of expressions that imply taking or taking out something, but sometimes it can have other meanings. Check them out:

Meaning Example Translation
To take out sacar la basura to take out the trash
To take sacar fotos to take pictures
To withdraw sacar dinero to withdraw money
To get sacar buenas/malas notas to get good/bad grades
To put sacar a la venta to put on sale
To find, make
sacar tiempo to find time

Translation: To withdraw money

Present Tense of Sacar

We use the present tense to talk about our habits or routines or to mention facts. Also, it's not unusual to use this tense to refer to events in the near future. So, with the present of sacar, you can say which subjects you normally get good grades in, how often you take pictures, or that a product is going to be launched onto the market soon.

To conjugate sacar in the present, all you need to do is take its stem sac- and add the endings below:

VERB: sacar (sah-KAHR) - to take out/get

Pronunciation Translation
yo saco (SAH-koh) I take out/get
sacas (SAH-kahs) you take out/get
saca (SAH-kah) he/she takes out/gets -
you (formal) take out/get
sacamos (sah-KAH-mohs) we take out/get
sacáis (sah-KIYS) you all take out/get
sacan (SAH-kahn) they take out/get
you all take out/get

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

Examples of Sacar in the Present

Paula is talking with Diana about her daily routines and chores.

  • Normalmente, lavo los platos y saco la basura. (Normally, I wash the dishes and take out the trash.)
  • Por lo general, mi hermana saca al perro a pasear, pero a veces lo sacamos juntas. (Generally, my sister takes the dog out, but sometimes we take him out together.)

Diana also helps at home, but she's quite busy with exams at the moment.

Diana: Mis hermanos sacan a nuestro perro durante la semana, y yo lo saco el fin de semana o cuando saco tiempo. (My brothers take our dog out during the week, and I take him out on the weekend or when I find time.) Esta semana no, porque he estado muy ocupada preparando un examen. (Not this week, because I've very been busy reviewing for an exam.)

Paula: Estoy segura de que lo harás bien. (I'm sure it'll go well.) Siempre sacas buenas notas. (You always get good grades.)

Translation: My sister takes the dog out for a walk.

Preterite of Sacar

What grade did you get on your last Spanish test? Did you take any pictures yesterday? Who took out the trash last time? To talk about finished actions in the past, we need to use the preterite.

Again, we'll use the regular stem sac- to form the preterite. But notice that there is a spelling change in the first person singular (yo). In this case, we use the stem saqu- for phonetic reasons—we want to keep the sound /k/. Otherwise, c + e would sound like /say/.

VERB: sacar (sah-KAHR) - to take out/get

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