Comprender in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses


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

  1. What does ‘Comprender’ mean?
  2. Comprender Conjugations
  3. How to Use ‘Comprender’ in Spanish
  4. Expressions & Idioms with ‘Comprender’
  5. Synonyms of ‘Comprender’ in Spanish

What does ‘Comprender’ mean?

Definition – ‘Comprender’ means ‘to understand’ or have a clear idea of what is being said, done or happening. This verb also describes the elements or things that are included into something.  

  1. When expressing understanding, it is translated as ‘to understand’ or ‘to comprehend’.
  2. When talking about elements included in something, it is translated as ‘to comprise’, ‘to include’ or ‘to comprehend’.

‘Comprender’ Conjugations 

The verb ’comprender’ in Spanish is regular. This means that once you have identified the stem (comprend), you’ll use it to conjugate most tenses. Remember that the future and conditional tenses are built with the verb in its infinitive form. 

Indicative

Present tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprendoI understand
comprendesYou understand
Él / Ella / UstedcomprendeHe/She understands
NosotroscomprendemosWe understand
VosotroscomprendéisYou understand
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprendenThey/You understand

Preterite tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprendíI understood
comprendisteYou understood
Él / Ella / UstedcomprendieronHe/She understood
NosotroscomprendimosWe understood
VosotroscomprendisteisYou understood
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprendieronThey/You understood

Imperfect tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprendíaI understood
comprendíasYou understood
Él / Ella / UstedcomprendíaHe/She understood
NosotroscomprendíamosWe understood
VosotroscomprendíaisYou understood
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprendíanThey/You understood

Future tense conjugation

To conjugate comprender in the future tense, you’ll use the verb in its infinitive form and add the endings underlined in the table below:

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprenderéI will understand
comprenderásYou will understand
Él / Ella / UstedcomprenderáHe/She will understand
NosotroscomprenderemosWe will understand
VosotroscomprenderéisYou will understand
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprenderánThey/You will understand

Conditional tense conjugation

Just like in the future tense, to conjugate the Spanish conditional, you’ll be working with the verb in infinitive form (comprender) and simply add the corresponding endings. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprenderíaI would understand
comprenderíasYou would understand
Él / Ella / UstedcomprenderíaHe/She would understand
NosotroscomprenderíamosWe would understand
VosotroscomprenderíaisYou would understand
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprenderíanThey/You would understand

Progressive Tenses

Creo que ya te estoy comprendiendo
I think that finally I’m understanding you

Perfect Tenses

Mariana no ha comprendido el tema
Mariana didn’t understand the topic

Creí que ustedes ya había comprendido lo que les dije
I thought you guys had understood what I told you

Comprender Subjunctive Conjugations

Present subjunctive conjugation

As a regular verb, you’ll use the stem comprend to conjugate ‘comprender’ in the present subjunctive. Make sure to add the corresponding endings shown in the table below. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YocomprendaTo understand
comprendasTo understand
Él / Ella / UstedcomprendaTo understand
NosotroscomprendamosTo understand
VosotroscomprendaisTo understand
Ustedes / Ellos / EllascomprendanTo understand

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

PersonConjugationTranslation
Yocomprendiera / comprendieseI understood
comprendieras / comprendiesesYou understood
Él / Ella / Ustedcomprendiera / comprendieseHe/She understood
Nosotroscomprendiéramos / comprendiésemosWe understood
Vosotroscomprendiérais / comprendieseisYou understood
Ustedes / Ellos / Ellascomprendieran / comprendiesenThey/You understood

Perfect subjunctive

Espero que hayan comprendido el tema
I hope that you had understood the topic

Si hubieras comprendido, no habrías reprobado el examen
If you had understood the topic, you wouldn’t have failed the test

Imperative

Imperative conjugation

Notice that the imperative form uses different endings for its subjects. For and vosotros, the ending will include ‘e’; while nosotros and ustedes use ’a’. Check the conjugation chart below to see the examples:

PersonConjugationTranslation
comprendeYou understand
NosotroscomprendamosWe understand
VosotroscomprendedYou understand
UstedescomprendanThey/You understand

How to Use ‘Comprender’ in Spanish with Examples

There are two main uses of the verb ‘comprender’ in Spanish.

  1. To talk about understanding
  2. To say ‘to comprise’

Below, you’ll find clear definitions and examples that will allow you to understand in which circumstances you can use this verb. 

Expressing understanding

Given that ‘comprender’ is the direct translation of ‘to understand’, in Spanish, we use this verb to express understanding. In other words, we describe what we perceive and have a clear idea of what is being said, done or happening. 

Below is a basic formula that you use for this situation. 

[Comprender conjugated] + [definite article] + [topic or idea]

Mis compañeros no comprendían el subjuntivo.
My classmates didn’t understand the subjunctive tense.

Los empleados comprenden los objetivos y trabajan eficazmente.
The employees understand objectives and work effectively.

Comprendimos los conceptos principales del tema.
We understood the main concepts of the subject.

Comprenderías mejor la clase si pusieras atención.
You would understand the class better if you paid attention.

No es necesario que comprendas cada concepto a detalle.
It is not necessary to understand each concept in detail.

Take Note: Just like in English, in Spanish, we can use comprender to express understanding about someone’s feelings or actions. In this case, you need to use the preposition a to introduce the person that you’re referring to or, if the information is already clear, you’ll use direct object pronouns. 

Comprende a tu sobrino, está pasando por una etapa difícil.
Understand your nephew, he is going through a difficult time.

No te comprendo porque no hay justificación para lo que hiciste.
I do not understand you because there is no justification for what you did.

Compréndela, ese día estaba muy cansada.
Understand her, she was very tired that day.

The reciprocal verb comprenderse is used to describe that more than two people get along well or understand each other. Beware that in this case, ‘comprenderse’ works as a reciprocal verb

Mi hermana y su novio se comprenden muy bien
My sister and her boyfriend understand each other pretty well

Talking about the elements that something includes 

When something contains or includes one or more elements, ‘comprender’ in Spanish can also be translated as ‘to comprise’ or ‘to include’.

[Comprender conjugated] + [noun]

Señorita, ¿qué comprendía el paquete empresarial?
Miss, what did the business package comprise?

Los cursos comprenden la información necesaria sobre las aves de la región 
The course includes the necessary information about the birds of the region.

Esta guía comprende ejemplos sobre cómo usar verbos regulares e irregulares
This guide includes examples of how to use regular and irregular verbs.

La zona del Soconusco comprende 15 municipios
The Soconusco region comprises 15 municipalities

Comprender Expressions & Idioms

¿Comprendes, Méndez?: This is a slang and cutesy expression that Spanish speakers use as a way to ask a person if something is clear or was understood. This expression is close in meaning to ‘are you following me? or ‘did you understand?’. 

Synonyms of ‘Comprender’ in Spanish

Entender: This verb also means ‘to perceive’ or ‘to understand’ and have a clear idea of what is said, done or happening or to discover the meaning of something.

Captar: When talking about understanding, this verb in Spanish also means ‘to capture’ the main idea or concept of something. It is translated as ‘to understand’ or ‘to get’.

Incluir: Another use of ‘comprender’ in Spanish is to have something as part or member; to consist of. In this case, we can use this verb which is translated as ‘to include’.

Contener: When we want to say that something ‘consists of’, this verb can be used instead of ‘comprender’. Its literal  translation is ‘to contain’.

Resources
How to say I don’t understand in Spanish

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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