In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘dar’ in Spanish:
- What does ‘Dar’ mean?
- Dar Conjugations
- How to Use ‘Dar’ in Spanish
- Expressions & Idioms with ‘Dar’
- Synonyms of ‘Dar’ in Spanish
What does ‘Dar’ mean?
Definition – In Spanish, dar describes that someone is giving, transferring, granting, passing or awarding something to another person. ‘Dar’ can also refer to the courses or subjects that a person teaches. It describes the feelings or reactions that something causes. It’s more commonly translated as ‘to give’.
Depending on the context, ‘dar’ could have different meanings in Spanish. Below are some of the situations where you can use ‘dar’ along with their corresponding English translation.
- When transferring something to another person or thing, dar means ‘to give’, ‘to pass’ or ‘to donate’.
- If used to express feelings or reactions, it means ‘to produce’ or ‘to be’.
- When referring to courses or subjects taught by a person, ‘dar’ means ‘to teach’ or ‘to give’.
In most Spanish tenses, ‘dar’ is an irregular verb. In other words, the verb will have different changes depending on the tense that you’re conjugating. ‘Dar’ is not irregular when conjugating in the imperfect, future and conditional tenses.
To give you a better understanding of how to conjugate ‘dar’ in Spanish, below are some conjugation charts for the most common tenses.
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Present tense conjugation
When conjugating ‘dar’ in the present tense, notice that yo doesn’t follow the ending that you would normally use to conjugate -AR verbs.
|Él / Ella / Usted||da||He/She gives|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||dan||They/You give|
Preterite tense conjugation
To conjugate ‘dar’ in the preterite tense, you’ll remove the -AR suffix and add the corresponding endings to ‘d’ (see the table below). As an irregular verb, dar doesn’t require accent marks.
|Él / Ella / Usted||dio||He/She gave|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||dieron||They/You gave|
Imperfect tense conjugation
‘Dar’ in the imperfect tense is a regular verb. This means that after removing the -AR ending, you’ll just have to add the imperfect endings for each subject.
|Él / Ella / Usted||daba||He/She gave|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||daban||They/You gave|
Future tense conjugation
For ‘dar’ in the future tense, you’ll add the corresponding endings (underlined in the table below) to the verb in infinitive form (dar).
|Yo||daré||I will give|
|Tú||darás||You will give|
|Él / Ella / Usted||dará||He/She will give|
|Nosotros||daremos||We will give|
|Vosotros||daréis||You will give|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||darás||They/You will give|
Conditional tense conjugation
To conjugate dar in the conditional tense, use the verb in infinitive form (‘dar’) and attach the corresponding endings to the verb. Check the table below to see the endings for the Spanish conditional tense.
|Yo||daría||I would give|
|Tú||darías||You would give|
|Él / Ella / Usted||daría||He/She would give|
|Nosotros||daríamos||We would give|
|Vosotros||daríais||You would give|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||darían||They/You would give|
Este semestre María está dando clases de español
This semester Mary is teaching Spanish
Ayer estuvieron dando helado gratis en el centro
Yesterday they were giving away ice cream
Mi hermana no nos ha dado tu télefono
My sister has gave us your number
Si nos hubieras pedido, te habríamos dado más comida
If you had asked us, we would have gave you more food
Dar Subjunctive Conjugations
Present subjunctive conjugation
Just like other tenses, ‘dar’ is also considered an irregular verb in the present subjunctive. Notice that one of the irregularities is to add accent marks to the first and third person singular (yo and él/ella).
|Él / Ella / Usted||dé||To give|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||den||To give|
Take Note: In Spanish, dé with an accent mark refers to a verb (conjugated in the present subjunctive) while ‘de’ without an accent mark is the preposition and could refer to possession or origin, among other meanings. See the difference below.
Mary quiere que le dé mi teléfono
Mary wants me to give her my phone
Este teléfono es de Mary
This phone belongs to Mary
Imperfect subjunctive conjugations
|Yo||Diera / diese||I gave|
|Tú||Dieras / dieses||You gave|
|Él / Ella / Usted||Diera / diese||He/She gave|
|Nosotros||Diéramos / diésemos||We gave|
|Vosotros||Diérais / diéseis||You gave|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Dieran / diesen||They/You gave|
Ojalá que no te dé miedo la película
I hope the movie doesn’t scare you
Si nos hayas dado más tiempo, habríamos terminado
If you had gave us more time, we would have finished
As an irregular verb, notice that ‘dar’ in the imperative form follows different endings for each person.
Take Note: In order to create negative commands, you need to follow the present subjunctive conjugation and place the word No before the conjugated verb.
No des motivos para que desconfíen de nosotros
Do not give them reasons to distrust us
How to Use ‘Dar’ in Spanish with Examples
Some of the most common ways to use ‘dar’ in Spanish include:
- Expressing that something is being passed or transferred
- To express feelings or reactions
- Describing that a person teaches a subject
To give you a better understanding of how dar works in Spanish, I’ll include some examples below as well as some phrase structures that you can use a pattern to create your own examples.
When transferring something to another person
Since it’s the direct translation of ‘to give’, dar is commonly used to express that a person is passing, giving or transferring something to someone else. As a transitive verb, notice that most of the time, ‘dar’ requires you to use object pronouns.
Check the examples below and notice that the positioning object pronouns in Spanish vary depending on the conjugation of ‘dar’ and if there’s another verb in the sentence.
(Object pronouns) + [dar conjugated] + (determiner) + [noun]
¿Podrías darme la dirección correcta para enviar el paquete?
Could you give me the correct address to send the package?
Dale un abrazo a tu hermano antes de que se vaya
Give your brother a hug before he leaves
Mi perrita recogió la pelota que lancé y me la dio
My little dog picked up the ball I threw and gave it to me
Take Note: ‘Dar’ can also be used to express that animals, trees and plants give or produce something that we humans can use. In this context, ‘dar’ can be translated as ‘to give’, ‘to bear’ or ‘to produce’.
Los árboles de rambután dieron frutos esta temporada
Rambutan trees bore fruit this season
To express feelings or reactions
In Spanish, ‘dar’ describes feelings or reactions that are caused by a certain situation or thing. In order to create these sentences, ‘dar’ works with nouns that express feelings like sadness, joy, or disgust.
Notice that since you’re describing feelings or reactions, in this situation, ‘dar’ is usually translated as ‘to be’. Below there’s a phrase structure that you can follow.
[Indirect Object Pronoun] + [dar conjugated] + (adv) +[feeling]
Me dio mucho asco ver ese insecto en mi comida
I was very disgusted to see that insect in my food
A Diana le da miedo viajar sola
Diana is afraid to travel alone
A mí no me da asco la sangre
Blood doesn’t disgust me
Él sabía que me daría mucha tristeza escuchar esa noticia
He knew that I would be very sad to hear that news
Describing that a person teaches a subject
Dar can also be used in educational environments. In this context, this verb is used to express or explain the subjects or courses that a professor teaches. Therefore, in these types of situations, ‘dar’ can be translated as ‘to teach’ or ‘to give’.
Below there are some examples of how to use dar with this meaning. Notice that the ‘noun’ needs to be replaced with the name of the course or class that you’re referring to.
[Dar conjugated] + [noun]
Antes ese profe daba matemáticas
That prof used to teach math before
¿Saben quién da física?
You guys know who teaches Physics?
Esa maestra nos dio español el año pasado
That teacher gave us Spanish last year
Dar Expressions & Idioms
Below there are some phrases and idiomatic expressions with ‘dar’ that you can use to help you improve your Spanish vocabulary.
Darse por vencido: This expression in Spanish means to give up or feel defeated. People usually use the negative form ‘No darse por vencido (Do not give up)’ as words of encouragement.
Dar calabazas a alguien: It means to reject someone in a very polite way. It’s close in meaning to ‘give the brushoff’ or ‘to turn someone down’. As a Castilian Spanish expression, this phrase is only used in Spain.
Dar ganas de: This expression is used to express desire, interest, hunger, endeavor or disposition. It can be translated as ‘to crave something’, ‘to provoke’, or ‘to feel like doing something’.
A todo dar: This Mexican expression is used to say that a person or situation is nice, pleasant or good. It’s close in meaning to ‘be the best’, ‘good’, ‘have a great time’ or ‘be nice’.
Darse cuenta: in standard Spanish darse cuenta expresses that someone has become aware of something. Darse cuenta can be translated as ‘to realize’, ‘to notice’, ‘to become aware of’.
Synonyms of ‘Dar’ in Spanish
Proporcionar: This verb is a formal variation of ‘dar’. Translated as ‘to provide’, it is used when offering or giving something to someone.
Entregar: Translated as ‘to deliver’, ‘entregar’ is used when describing that a person gave or handed something over to someone else.
Provocar: as a synonym of ‘dar’, ‘provocar’ can be used to talk about the feelings or reactions that a thing or situation caused in a person. It means ‘to provoke’, ‘to give’ or ‘to produce’.
Otorgar: usually, ‘otorgar’ is used to talk about giving or awaring a person with a merit or an award. This verb is only used on formal occasions and it can be translated as ‘to award’ or ‘to give’.
Conceder: it’s a more formal synonym of ‘dar’. It means ‘to award’ or ‘to grant’.
Producir: producir can be a synonym of ‘dar’ when talking about animals or plants producing something. It can be translated as ‘to produce’ or ‘to bear’.