Pagar Conjugation 101: Conjugate Pagar In Spanish


Pagar conjugation patterns are essential to understand how verbs ending with -gar work. Additionally, this verb is frequently used in daily conversations. So, in this guide, you’ll learn how to conjugate pagar in Spanish.

Overview of Pagar

Verb CharacteristicProperty
Verb Type-AR
IrregularNo
InfinitivePagar
Gerund (Present Participle) FormPagando
Past Participle FormPagado
SynonymsAbonar, liquidar.

Stem Changes: -gar to -gu

  • Preterite: pagu only for ‘yo’.
  • Present Subjunctive: pagu for all subject pronouns.
  • Affirmative Imperative: pagu only for ‘usted’ and ‘ustedes’.
  • Negative Imperative: pagu for all subject pronouns.

Indicative Conjugations of Pagar

Present tense

When conjugated to the present tense, this verbhas no stem changes. Use these conjugations of pagar to say that a person pays for something. For example: Vamos a los tacos, yo pago. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagoI pay
PagasYou pay
Él / Ella
Usted
PagaHe/She pays
You (formal) pay
NosotrosPagamosWe pay
VosotrosPagáisYou pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PaganThey pay
You (plural) pay

Preterite tense

Pagar preterite conjugations have a -gar to -gu change only for the pronoun ‘yo’. Use the preterite tense to explain that a person paid something at a specific moment in the past. For instance: ¿Ya le pagaste a Ellie? 

PersonConjugationTranslation
Yo
Pagué
I paid
PagasteYou paid
Él / Ella
Usted
PagóHe/She paid
You (formal) paid
NosotrosPagamosWe paid
VosotrosPagasteisYou paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagaronThey paid
You (plural) paid

Take Note: In Spanish, the letter g has a different pronunciation depending on the following vowel. The -gar to gu stem change is made to keep a soft g sound across all conjugations. Apply this rule to all verbs ending with –gar, such as jugar, llegar, apagar, etc.

Imperfect tense

Pagar conjugated to the Spanish imperfect tense expresses that people used to pay for something repeatedly in the past. For instance: Mi papá nos pagaba por limpiar la casa. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
Yo
Pagaba
I paid
I used to pay
PagabasYou paid
You used to pay
Él / Ella
Usted
PagabaHe/She paid
He/She used to pay

You (formal)
You (formal) used to pay
NosotrosPagábamosWe paid
We used to pay
VosotrosPagabaisYou paid
You used to pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagabanThey paid
They used to pay

You (plural) paid
You (plural) used to pay

Near future

Use the present tense forms of ir + a + pagar (infinitive) to conjugate to the near future tense in Spanish. These pagar conjugations convey that someone will pay a person or for something in the immediate future. Here is an example: ¿Cuándo nos vas a pagar?

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoVoy a pagarI’m going to pay
Vas a pagarYou’re going to pay
Él / Ella
Usted
Va a pagarHe/She is going to pay
You (formal) are going to pay
NosotrosVamos a pagarWe’re going to pay
VosotrosVais a pagarYou’re going to pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Van a pagarThey’re going to pay
You (plural) are going to pay

Future simple tense

The future simple conjugations of this verb convey that someone will pay another person or for something in the future. For instance: Si la rentamos, la casa se pagará sola.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagaréI will pay
PagarásYou will pay
Él / Ella
Usted
PagaráHe/She will pay
You (formal) will pay
NosotrosPagaremosWe will pay
VosotrosPagaréisYou (formal) will pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagaránThey will pay
You (plural) will pay

Conditional tense

The pagar conditional conjugations convey that someone would pay. If applicable to your sentence, you can add conditions to express that a person would pay if a circumstance is met. For instance: ¿Sabes si Luis ya le pagaría a Esteban? 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagaríaI would pay
PagaríasYou would pay
Él / Ella
Usted
PagaríaHe/She would pay
You (formal) would pay
NosotrosPagaríamosWe would pay
VosotrosPagaríaisYou would pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagaríanThey would pay
You (plural) would pay

Present perfect tense

The Spanish present perfect is formed with haber present tense conjugations + pagado. Use these pagar conjugations to say whether someone has paid a person or for something. Here is a sentence: July ha pagado el internet los últimos tres meses. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHe pagadoI have paid
Has pagadoYou have paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Ha pagadoHe/She has paid
You (formal) have paid
NosotrosHemos pagadoWe have paid
VosotrosHabéis pagadoYou have paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Han pagadoThey have paid
You (plural) have paid

Past perfect

Conjugate this verb to the Spanish past perfect tense to explain that a person had or hadn’t paid before another past action or moment. This tense is formed with haber (imperfect forms) + a + past participle verb (pagado for this example).  

For instance: Discúlpenme, pensé que ya les había pagado. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabía pagadoI had paid
Habías pagadoYou had paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Había pagadoHe/She had paid
You (formal) had paid
NosotrosHabíamos pagadoWe had paid
VosotrosHabíais pagadoYou had paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habían pagadoThey had paid
You (plural) had paid

Future perfect

If you want to express that someone will have paid for something by or before a certain future moment, you must conjugate this verb to the future perfect tense. For instance: En un año, habré pagado todas mis deudas. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabré pagadoI will have paid
Habrás pagadoYou will have paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Habrá pagadoHe/She will have paid
You (formal) will have paid
NosotrosHabremos pagadoWe will have paid
VosotrosHabréis pagadoYou will have paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habrán pagadoThey will have paid
You (plural) will have paid

Conditional perfect

In Spanish, the conditional perfect conjugations of pagar communicate that a person will have paid if a past condition had occurred. For example: Si no te hubiera dicho nada, estoy segura que no me habrías pagado. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHabría pagadoI would have paid
Habrías pagadoYou would have paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Habría pagadoHe/She would have paid
You (formal) would have paid
NosotrosHabríamos pagadoWe would have paid
VosotrosHabríais pagadoYou would have paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Habrían pagadoThey would have paid
You (plural) would have paid

Progressive tenses

Use estar’s indicative conjugations + pagando (present participle) to form the progressive tenses in Spanish. These conjugations are used to convey that someone is paying at the moment of speaking. Here is an example: Tu papá está pagando la cuenta. 

Progressive TenseFormulaTranslation Example
PresentEstar (present) + pagandoI am paying
PreteriteEstar (preterite) + pagandoYou were paying
ImperfectEstar (imperfect) + pagandoHe was paying
FutureEstar (future) + pagandoWe will be paying
ConditionalEstar (conditional) + pagandoThey would be paying

Pagar Subjunctive Conjugations

The subjunctive mood in Spanish allows you to talk about expectations, hopes, demands, doubts, advice, hypothetical situations, or recommendations. The following pagar conjugation charts will show you how to conjugate this verb to the most common subjunctive tenses.

Present subjunctive

Pagar subjunctive conjugations have a -gar to gu change for all subject pronouns. These forms are used to suggest or hope that someone pays something. For example: Necesito que me pagues mañana. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagueI pay
PaguesYou pay
Él / Ella
Usted
PagueHe/She pays
You (formal) pay
NosotrosPaguemosWe pay
VosotrosPaguéisYou pay
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PaguenThey pay
You (plural) pay

Take Note: When pronouncing the letter g in Spanish, the vowel e produces a hard g sound. However, in its infinitive form, pagar has a soft sound that we must keep across all conjugations. Since the present subjunctive endings start with ‘e’, we use the stem pagu to produce a soft g sound. This rule is applied to all verbs ending in -gar. 

Present perfect subjunctive

In Spanish, the present perfect subjunctive tense is formed by using haber present subjunctive forms + pagado. These pagar conjugations allow you to communicate hopes or uncertainty about whether someone has paid something. Dudo que Juan ya le haya pagado a tu papá. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHaya pagadoI have paid
Hayas pagadoYou have paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Haya pagadoHe/She has paid
You (formal) have paid
NosotrosHayamos pagadoWe have paid
VosotrosHayáis pagadoYou have paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Hayan pagadoThey have paid
You (plural) have paid

Imperfect subjunctive

The imperfect subjunctive tense is used to refer to past expectations, advice, suggestions, or requests you had about someone paying. Here is a sentence: Te pedí que me pagaras hoy. 

Depending on the Spanish dialect you’re learning (Castilian or Latin American), there are two ways to conjugate the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish:

Latin American Spanish version

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagaraI paid
PagarasYou paid
Él / Ella
Usted
PagaraHe/She paid
You (formal) paid
NosotrosPagáramosWe paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagaranThey paid
You (plural) paid

Note: Vosotros is not used in Latin American Spanish. As a result, this subject pronoun has been excluded from the previous pagar conjugation chart. 

Castilian Spanish version

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPagaseI paid
PagasesYou paid
Él / Ella
Usted
PagaseHe/She paid
You (formal) paid
NosotrosPagásemosWe paid
VosotrosPagaseisYou paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
PagasenThey paid
You (plural) paid

Past perfect subjunctive

Use the past perfect subjunctive of pagar to say that someone would have paid if a past circumstance took place. With these forms, you can also express regret for having paid something or not. Si hubiéramos pagado a tiempo, no habríamos acumulado tantos intereses.

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoHubiera pagadoI had paid
Hubieras pagadoYou had paid
Él / Ella
Usted
Hubiera pagadoHe/She had paid
You (formal) had paid
NosotrosHubiéramos pagadoWe had paid
VosotrosHubierais pagadoYou had paid
Ellos / Ellas
Ustedes
Hubieran pagadoThey had paid
You (plural) had paid

Pagar Imperative Conjugations

In Spanish, the imperative conjugations are used to order people to do or not do something.  

Affirmative commands

To maintain the pronunciation, use the stem pagu for ‘usted’ and ‘ustedes’. Pagar affirmative commands allow you to order someone to pay. For example: Págale a la señorita, por favor. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
PagaPay
UstedPaguePay
VosotrosPagadPay
UstedesPaguenPay

Negative commands

This verb’s negative command conjugations have an -gar to gu change. Use these imperative forms to order someone not to pay. No le pagues, ya no le debemos nada. 

PersonConjugationTranslation
No paguesDon’t pay
UstedNo pagueDon’t pay
VosotrosNo paguéisDon’t pay
UstedesNo paguenDon’t pay

Meanings of Pagar & Examples

Since now you know how to conjugate pagar, let’s check how you should use this verb. As the direct translation of ‘to pay’, this verb can refer to paying a person or for something: 

[Pagar conjugated] + [complement]

Matt nunca paga a tiempo.
Matt never pays on time. 

Espero que este año nos paguen mejor.
I hope they pay us better this year.

No tenemos internet, ¿sí lo pagaste?
We don’t have internet, did you pay for it?

Yo compré los boletos. Si los quieres, ¡págamelos!
I bought the tickets. If you want them, pay me. 

Take Note: Pagar is a verb that takes both direct and indirect object pronouns. In this case, direct object pronouns replace the thing you pay, while indirect object pronouns refer to the person you’re paying to. As a result, this verb can work with Spanish double-object pronouns (example #4). 

Download Pagar Conjugation Charts & Uses Cheat sheet

Pagar is one of the most common -AR verbs in Spanish as is critical for Spanish beginners to learn. It’s also a stem-changing verb in certain tenses, which can make it difficult to remember all its forms. I’ve created a cheat sheet PDF you can download containing all the pagar conjugation charts as well as examples of how to use this verb in daily conversations.

Practice Quiz: Pagar Conjugation

Now that you know how to conjugate one of the most important verbs in Spanish, the next step is to take the pagar conjugation practice quiz to master all of this verb’s different regular and stem-changing forms. You can choose any combination of tenses to include in the quiz, no matter your level of 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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