Dar in Spanish: Conjugation, Meaning & Uses


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

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

  1. When transferring something to another person or thing, dar means ‘to give’, ‘to pass’ or ‘to donate’.  
  2. If used to express feelings or reactions, it means ‘to produce’ or ‘to be’. 
  3. When referring to courses or subjects taught by a person, ‘dar’ means ‘to teach’ or ‘to give’. 

‘Dar’ Conjugations 

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. 

Indicative

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. 

Person Conjugation Translation
YodoyI give
dasYou give
Él / Ella / UsteddaHe/She gives
NosotrosdamosWe give
VosotrosdaisYou  give
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdanThey/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. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YodiI gave
disteYou gave
Él / Ella / UsteddioHe/She gave
NosotrosdimosWe gave
VosotrosdisteisYou gave
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdieronThey/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. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YodabaI gave
dabasYou gave
Él / Ella / UsteddabaHe/She gave
NosotrosdábamosWe gave
VosotrosdabaisYou gave
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdabanThey/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). 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YodaréI will give
darásYou will give
Él / Ella / UsteddaráHe/She will give
NosotrosdaremosWe will give
VosotrosdaréisYou  will give
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdarásThey/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. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YodaríaI would give
daríasYou would give
Él / Ella / UsteddaríaHe/She would give
NosotrosdaríamosWe would give
VosotrosdaríaisYou would give
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdaríanThey/You would give

Progressive Tenses

conjugation chart showing the conjugations of the verb dar in progressive tenses

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

Perfect Tenses

conjugation chart showing the conjugation of the verb dar in perfect tenses

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). 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YodéTo give
desTo give
Él / Ella / UsteddéTo give
NosotrosdemosTo give
VosotrosdéisTo give
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasdenTo give

Take Note: In Spanish, 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 mi teléfono
Mary wants me to give her my phone

Este teléfono es de Mary
This phone belongs to Mary

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoDiera / dieseI gave
Dieras / diesesYou gave
Él / Ella / UstedDiera / dieseHe/She gave
NosotrosDiéramos / diésemosWe gave
VosotrosDiérais / diéseisYou gave
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasDieran / diesenThey/You gave

Perfect subjunctive 

conjugation chart showing how to conjugate dar in perfect subjunctive tenses

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

Imperative

Imperative conjugation

As an irregular verb, notice that ‘dar’ in the imperative form follows different endings for each person. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
daYou give
NosotrosdemosWe give
VosotrosdadYou give
UstedesdenThey/You give

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:

  1. Expressing that something is being passed or transferred 
  2. To express feelings or reactions
  3. 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’. 

Related resources:

20 Expressions with the verb Dar
How to place object pronouns 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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