Abordar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses

In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘abordar’ in Spanish:

  1. What does ‘Abordar’ mean?
  2. ‘Abordar’ Conjugations
  3. How to Use ‘Abordar’ in Spanish
  4. Synonyms of ‘Abordar’ in Spanish

What does ‘Abordar’ mean?

Definition – In Spanish, ‘abordar’ means ‘to board’, ‘to address’, or ‘to approach. Therefore, this verb can be used to express that a person is getting on or boarding a means of transportation, or that a person deals with a topic or approaches someone to ask something.

Depending on the context and how it’s used with other elements, ‘abordar’ has several meanings in Spanish. Here are some of the most common definitions as well as their corresponding translations in English. 

  1. When a passenger gets into a means of transport, ‘abordar’ is translated as ’to board’
  2. If saying that someone gets near a person to ask questions or start a dialogue, abordar means ‘to approach’
  3. If talking about undertaking or discussing an issue or topic, it means ‘to address’ or ‘to tackle’.

‘Abordar’ Conjugations 

‘Abordar’ is a regular verb in Spanish. In other words, to conjugate this verb, you’ll work with the stem abord-which we obtained by removing the -AR infinitive ending. Remember that for both conditional and future tenses, you won’t work with this stem. Instead, we use the verb in its infinitive form. 

In the conjugation charts below, we’ve included the underlined endings for each Spanish tense. 


Present tense conjugation

YoabordoI board
abordasYou board
Él / Ella / UstedabordaHe/She boards
NosotrosabordamosWe board
VosotrosabordáisYou board
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordanThey/You board

Take Note: Don’t confuse ‘a bordo’ and ‘abordo’.  A bordo expresses that someone is already inside of a transport; while ‘abordo’ is the present conjugation of ‘abordar’ and describes an action.

Preterite tense conjugation

YoabordéI boarded
abordasteYou boarded
Él / Ella / UstedabordóHe/She boarded
NosotrosabordamosWe boarded
VosotrosabordasteisYou boarded
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordaronThey/You boarded

Imperfect tense conjugation

YoabordabaI boarded
abordabasYou boarded
Él / Ella / UstedabordabaHe/She boarded
NosotrosabordábamosWe boarded
VosotrosabordabaisYou boarded
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordabanThey/You boarded

Future tense conjugation

Remember that for the future tense, you just need to add the corresponding endings to the infinitive verb abordar. 

YoabordaréI will board
abordarásYou will board
Él / Ella / UstedabordaráHe/She will board
NosotrosabordaremosWe will board
VosotrosabordaréisYou will board
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordaránThey/You will board

Conditional tense conjugation

Just like in the future tense, to conjugate abordar in the conditional tense, you’ll use the whole verb and will attach the endings below to it. 

YoabordaríaI would board
abordaríasYou would board
Él / Ella / UstedabordaríaHe/She would board
NosotrosabordaríamosWe would board
VosotrosabordaríaisYou would board
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordaríanThey/You would board

Progressive Tenses

Estaré abordando este tema más detalladamente en unos minutos.
I will be addressing this topic more in-depth in a few minutes.

Mamá, voy a colgar porque ya estamos abordando el vuelo.
Mom, I’m going to hang up because we’re already boarding the flight. 

Perfect Tenses

La directora no ha abordado el problema de la asistencia.
The principal hasn’t addressed the attendance issue.

Creí que ya habíamos abordado este tema.
I thought we had addressed this topic already.

Abordar Subjunctive Conjugations

Present subjunctive conjugation

YoabordeTo board
abordesTo board
Él / Ella / UstedabordeTo board
NosotrosabordemosTo board
VosotrosabordéisTo board
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasabordenTo board

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

Yoabordara / abordaseI boarded
abordaras / abordasesYou boarded
Él / Ella / Ustedabordara / abordaseHe/She boarded
Nosotrosabordáramos / abordásemosWe boarded
Vosotrosabordarais / abordaseisYou boarded
Ustedes / Ellos / Ellasabordaran / abordasenThey/You boarded

Perfect subjunctive

Si hubiéramos abordado a tiempo, habríamos encontrado mejores asientos.
If we had boarded on time, we would have found better seats.


Imperative conjugation

abordaYou board
NosotrosabordemosWe board
VosotrosabordadYou board
UstedesabordenThey/You board

Take Note: In Spanish, the present subjunctive is used to construct the negative imperative. Remember that the word No goes first and then we can add the verb conjugated. Here are some examples and the structure that will help you understand how to use it.

No + [‘abordar’ conjugated] + [determiner] +  [noun]

No abordes el avión ahora, es muy temprano.
Don’t board the plane now, it’s too early.

Por favor, no abordemos este tema otra vez. 
Please, let’s not address this topic again. 

How to Use ‘Abordar’ in Spanish with Examples

In Spanish, we can use ‘abordar’ in three ways:

  1. To say ‘to board’ or ‘to get on’
  2. To say ‘to approach’
  3. To say ‘to address’

Describing that someone is getting on a transport

As the direct translation of ‘to board’ or ‘to get on’, in Spanish, abordar can be used to explain that a passenger is getting into means of transport such as a car, plaine, ship, taxi or bus. 

Below there are some phrase structures that you can use for your examples

[‘Abordar’ conjugated] + [determiner] + [noun]

Abordaré mi vuelo a las 6:30 pm.
I will board my flight at 6:30 pm.

Aborden el barco para comenzar el paseo.
Board the boat to begin the tour.

Aún no había abordado el avión y ya me sentía mareada. 
She had not yet boarded the plane and she was already feeling dizzy.

Expressing that a person approached another

If we’re describing that a person is getting near or is approaching someone to ask a question or start a conversation, we use ‘abordar’. As a result, in this case, this Spanish verb can be translated as ‘to approach’.

[‘Abordar’ conjugated] + a + [noun]

Abordamos al profesor para hacer preguntas sobre el cursor.
We approached the professor to ask questions about the course.

Rogelio abordó al maestro para comentar sobre el examen de mañana.
Rogelio approached the teacher to comment on tomorrow’s exam.

Take Note: Another use of ‘Abordar’ in Spanish is when a vessel approaches or gets so close to another vessel that it touches it on purpose or collides by accident. Also in this context, when talking about a ship that is berthed at a dock, it is translated as ‘to dock’. 

Los piratas abordaron el barco y se llevaron a cuatro marineros.
Pirates boarded the ship and took away four sailors.

To say ‘to address’

Another common use of abordar in Spanish is to describe that a person is tackling or dealing with a topic or a problem. In this context, this verb can be translated as ‘to address’, ‘to tackle’, ‘to handle’ or ‘to deal with’.

[‘Abordar’ conjugated] + [determiner] + [topic or situation]

Esta semana abordaremos el tema de los verbos irregulares.
This week we will deal with the subject of irregular verbs.

Abordemos esta situación desde diferentes perspectivas.
Let’s approach this situation from different perspectives.

No abordarán ese punto en la presentación de hoy.
This point will not be addressed in today’s presentation.

Synonyms of ‘Abordar’ in Spanish

Tratar: When talking about dealing with a topic, this verb can be used instead of ‘abordar’. It can be translated as ‘to address’.

Subirse: In Spanish, subirse is the most common way to say that a person is getting into a vehicle or means of transportation. It can be translated as ‘to get in’, ‘to get onto’ or ‘to get into’.

Chocar: Translated as ‘to crash’, this verb can be used as a synonym of ‘abordar’ when talking about a ship that collides with another one.

Plantear: When presenting a topic that we want to deal with or talk about, we can use this verb. It is translated as ‘to set out’ or ‘to lay out.

Acercarse: In case we are talking about someone who comes near a person to ask or request something, we can use this verb. It is translated as ‘to get closer’, ‘to get near’.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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