Jugar Conjugation 101: Conjugate Jugar in Spanish


Since it’s such a common verb, in this guide, you’ll find all the conjugation charts for ‘jugar’. 

Take Note: There are many tenses in the Spanish language. However, we don’t use them all as some are simply old and outdated. So, in this guide, you will only learn the tenses you must know to become fluent in Spanish.

Overview of Jugar

Verb CharacteristicProperty
Verb Type-AR
IrregularNo
InfinitiveJugar
Gerund (Present Participle) FormJugando
Past Participle FormJugado
SynonymsN/A

Stem Changes: U to UE

  • Present tense: jueg- for all subject pronouns except ‘nosotros’ and ‘vosotros’.
  • Present subjunctive: jueg- for all subject pronouns.
  • Affirmative imperative: jueg- for all forms except ‘vosotros’.
  • Negative imperative: jueg- for all subject pronouns.

Indicative Conjugations of Jugar

Present tense

Jugar’s present conjugation has stem-changes from -U to -UE. With the exception of nosotros and vosotros, these changes are applied to all the subjects. For example, ‘jugar’ in ‘yo’ form would be ‘juego’.

The present tense of ‘jugar’ is used to talk about the games people currently play. Sandra y Jonathan juegan sudoku.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJuegoI play
JuegasYou play
Él / Ella
Usted
JuegaHe/She plays
You (formal) play
NosotrosJugamosWe play
VosotrosJugáisYou play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JueganThey play
You (plural) play

Preterite tense

The preterite form of ‘jugar’ is irregular only for the pronoun ‘yo’. For this pronoun, we must add a ‘u’ before the preterite ending. In other words, the preterite form of ‘yo’ is ‘jugué’. In this tense, jugar refers to the games or sports you played at a specific moment in the past. For example: ayer jugamos juntos.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJuguéI played
JugasteYou played
Él / Ella
Usted
JugóHe/She played
You (formal) played
NosotrosJugamosWe played
VosotrosJugasteisYou played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugaronThey played
You (plural) played

Take Note: The spelling change in ‘yo’ is made to keep the pronunciation of ‘g’ consistent. This pattern is used with all Spanish verbs that end with –gar.

Imperfect tense

 The imperfect form of jugar allows you to talk about the games you played repeatedly in the past. For instance, yo siempre jugaba en las tardes. Depending on the sentence, this tense can be translated as ‘used to play’ or ‘played’.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJugabaI played / I used to play
JugabasYou played / You used to play
Él / Ella
Usted
JugabaHe/She played
He/She used to play

You (formal) played
You (formal) used to play
NosotrosJugábamosWe played / We used to play
VosotrosJugabaisYou played / You used to play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugabanThey played
They used to play

You (plural) played
You used to play

Near future

 The near future of jugar refers to games you’ll play in the immediate future. This tense is formed with ir (present) + a + jugar and can be translated as “going to play”. For example, hoy vamos a jugar con los perros.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoVoy a jugarI’m going to play
Vas a jugarYou’re going to play
Él / Ella
Usted
Va a jugarHe/She is going to play
You (formal) is going to play
NosotrosVamos a jugarWe’re going to play
VosotrosVais a jugarYou’re going to play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Van a jugarThey’re going to play
You (plural) are going to play

Future simple tense

The Spanish simple future allows you to express that you will play something at some point in the future. For instance, algún día jugaré con ustedes.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJugaréI will play
JugarásYou will play
Él / Ella
Usted
JugaráHe/She will play
You (formal) will play
NosotrosJugaremosWe will play
VosotrosJugaréisYou (formal) will play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugaránThey will play
You (plural) will play

Conditional tense

 The conditional form of ‘jugar’ conveys that someone would play something if certain circumstances are met. For example: jugaría contigo, pero me duele la rodilla. This tense is conjugated by adding the conditional endings to ‘jugar’.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJugaríaI would play
JugaríasYou would play
Él / Ella
Usted
JugaríaHe/She would play
You (formal) would play
NosotrosJugaríamosWe would play
VosotrosJugaríaisYou would play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugaríanThey would play
You (plural) would play

Present perfect tense

To form the present perfect conjugation, you must use the formula haber (present) + jugado. ‘Jugar’ in the present perfect tense talks about the games you haven’t played or games you did play in a moment close to the present. For example: no hemos jugado en una semana.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHe jugadoI have played
Has jugadoYou have played
Él / Ella
Usted
Ha jugadoHe/She has played
You (formal) have played
NosotrosHemos jugadoWe have played
VosotrosHabéis jugadoYou have played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Han jugadoThey have played
You (plural) have played

Past perfect

‘Jugar’ in the past perfect tense is formed with the imperfect form of haber + jugado, which is the past participle form of ‘jugar’. In Spanish, the past perfect of ‘jugar’ expresses that you played something before some other reference point in the past. Example: Ellos no habían jugado ajedrez.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabía jugadoI had played
Habías jugadoYou had played
Él / Ella
Usted
Había jugadoHe/She had played
You (formal) had played
NosotrosHabíamos jugadoWe had played
VosotrosHabíais jugadoYou had played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habían jugadoThey had played
You (plural) had played

Future perfect

The future perfect of ‘jugar’ is built by conjugating haber to the future tense and adding jugar’s past participle (jugado). This verb in the future perfect tense communicates you’ll have played something by or before a certain time in the future. El martes habremos jugado contra ellos.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabré jugadoI will have played
Habrás jugadoYou will have played
Él / Ella
Usted
Habrá jugadoHe/She will have played
You (formal) will have played
NosotrosHabremos jugadoWe will have played
VosotrosHabréis jugadoYou will have played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habrán jugadoThey will have played
You (plural) will have played

Conditional perfect

‘Jugar’ conjugated to the conditional perfect is used to talk about games you would have told someone if a past condition was met. For example: si me hubieras dicho, habría jugado.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabría jugadoI would have played
Habrías jugadoYou would have played
Él / Ella
Usted
Habría jugadoHe/She would have played
You (formal) would have played
NosotrosHabríamos jugadoWe would have played
VosotrosHabríais jugadoYou would have played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habrían jugadoThey would have played
You (plural) would have played

Progressive tenses

The progressive tenses in Spanish refer to actions that are in progress at the moment of speaking. Using ‘jugar’, it expresses that someone is playing right now. For instance, estoy jugando con el bebé. The progressive conjugations of jugar are formed with estar (conjugated) + jugando.

Progressive TenseFormulaTranslation Example
PresentEstar (present) + jugandoI am playing
PreteriteEstar (preterite) + jugandoYou were playing
ImperfectEstar (imperfect) + jugandoHe was playing
FutureEstar (future) + jugandoWe will be playing
ConditionalEstar (conditional) + jugandoThey would be playing

Jugar Subjunctive Conjugations

The Spanish subjunctive mood is used to talk about wishes, suggestions and hypothetical situations. Below are conjugation charts with the subjunctive forms of ‘jugar’.

Present subjunctive

‘Jugar’ subjunctive conjugation has spelling changes for all subjects. In other words, to conjugate all the forms of the present subjunctive of ‘jugar’, you must use the stem juegu-. The present subjunctive of ‘jugar’ is used to wish or ask someone to play. For example, quiero que jueguen bien.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJuegueI play
JueguesYou play
Él / Ella
Usted
JuegueHe/She plays
You (formal) play
NosotrosJuguemosWe play
VosotrosJuguéisYou play
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JueguenThey play
You (plural) play

Take Note: Spanish stem-changing verbs, such as ‘jugar’, use spelling changes to keep the pronunciation of a verb consistent.

Present perfect subjunctive

Haber in the present subjunctive + jugado is the structure you should use to build the present perfect subjunctive form of ‘jugar’. The present perfect subjunctive of ‘jugado’ is used to talk about wishes and probabilities. For example, ojalá hayan jugado bien.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHaya jugadoI have played
Hayas jugadoYou have played
Él / Ella
Usted
Haya jugadoHe/She has played
You (formal) has played
NosotrosHayamos jugadoWe have played
VosotrosHayáis jugadoYou have played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Hayan jugadoThey have played
You (plural) have played

Imperfect subjunctive

We use the imperfect subjunctive of ‘jugar’ to talk about past wishes, requests or hypothetical situations that are difficult to accomplish. For example, Juan me pidió que jugara contigo. 

In Spanish, the imperfect subjunctive has two conjugation models:

Latin American Spanish version

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJugaraI played
JugarasYou played
Él / Ella
Usted
JugaraHe/She played
You (formal) played
NosotrosJugáramosWe played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugaranThey played
You (plural) played

Note: The table above doesn’t include the conjugation for vosotros because this subject pronoun is not used in Latin American Spanish. 

Castilian Spanish version

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoJugaseI played
JugasesYou played
Él / Ella
Usted
JugaseHe/She played
You (formal) played
NosotrosJugásemosWe played
VosotrosJugaseisYou played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
JugasenThey played
You (plural) played

Past perfect subjunctive

The past perfect subjunctive of ‘jugar’ describes hypothetical situations that can no longer happen because their time has passed. For example si hubieras jugado, no habríamos perdido (if you had played, we wouldn’t have lost). 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHubiera jugadoI had played
Hubieras jugadoYou had played
Él / Ella
Usted
Hubiera jugadoHe/She had played
You (formal) had played
NosotrosHubiéramos jugadoWe had played
VosotrosHubierais jugadoYou had played
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Hubieran jugadoThey had played
You (plural) had played

Jugar Imperative Conjugations

Spanish commands (imperative mood) is used to tell people what to do (affirmative commands) or what not to do (negative commands).

Affirmative commands

With the exception of ‘vosotros’, the affirmative commands of ‘jugar’ are formed with the stem jueg. The affirmative imperative of ‘jugar’ is used to order someone to play. For instance, juega con tu hermano.

PersonConjugationTranslation
JuegaPlay
UstedJueguePlay
VosotrosJugadPlay
UstedesJueguenPlay

Negative commands

Negative commands of ‘jugar’ are formed based on the present subjunctive conjugation. As a result, all the negative imperative forms of ‘jugar’ have spelling changes. The negative imperative of ‘jugar’ is used to order someone to not play with something or someone. Niños, no jueguen con la estufa.

PersonConjugationTranslation
No jueguesDon’t play
UstedNo juegueDon’t play
VosotrosNo jueguéisDon’t play
UstedesNo jueguenDon’t play

Examples of ‘Jugar’ Sentences in Spanish

With these conjugation charts in mind, it’s time for you to learn the most common applications of ‘jugar’. Although it means ‘to play’, in Spanish, jugar cannot be used when referring to musical instruments, acting or playing a movie.

Use #1: Talking about games and recreational activities

[‘Jugar’ conjugated] + [complement]

El niño está jugando con sus juguetes.
The boy is playing with his toys.

Espero que mañana jueguen mejor.
I hope tomorrow you guys play better.

¿Estamos jugando a las escondidas?
Are we playing hide and seek?

Use #2: Talking about taking risks

[Reflexive pronoun] + la + [‘jugar’ conjugated] 

Vamos perdiendo, ¿nos la jugamos?
We’re losing, should we take the plunge?

Download Jugar Conjugation Tables & Uses Cheat sheets

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Practice Quiz: Jugar Conjugation

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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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