The Verb Quedar In Spanish

The verb quedar is one of the most useful Spanish verbs and since it can be used as a pronominal verb and has so many different meanings, it can cause a bit of a headache for Spanish students!

But we are here to lend a hand! This article has 5 common uses of the verb quedar in Spanish with examples and comments. Ready to dive right in?

5 uses of the verb “quedar” that every Spanish student should know

1. The verb quedar as a synonym for the verb estar (to be)

The verb quedar is usually used as a synonym for the verb estar (to be), to indicate permanence in a defined place and is often used in a pronominal form, for example;

Anoche me quedé trabajando en la oficina hasta tarde.

Last night I was working late at the office.

Nos quedamos una semana en Argentina cuando fuimos de vacaciones.

We spent a week in argentina when we went on holidays.

Cuando mis padres visitaron España se quedaron en un Hotel de lujo.

When my parents went to spain, they stayed in a luxury hotel.

Ayer no fui a trabajar porque me sentía enfermo y decidí quedarme en la casa.

Yesterday I didn’t go to work because I was sick and decided to stay home.

2. The verb quedar as a synonym of the verb faltar (to lack/be missing)

Another use of the verb quedar is as a synonym of the verb faltar (to lack/be missing), to indicate that there is something left or that you still have something left like a product or time. For example;

Tenemos que ir al mercado esta semana porque ya no quedan huevos ni leche (producto).

We need to go to the market this week because there are no eggs or milk left. (product)

Me quedan cinco horas para terminar mi jornada laboral (tiempo).

I have 5 hours left of work. (time)

Estoy muy feliz porque quedan dos meses para navidad (tiempo).

I am very happy because it is 2 months until Christmas. (time)

As you can see, the subject of the sentence is what is left or missing, whether that is a thing (the eggs in the first example) or an amount of time (the hours in the second example and the months in the third example). Hence, we usually find this verb in the third person singular or plural. If we are referring to the person who is affected by the subject, we use an indirect complement (the reflexive pronoun), as you can see in the second example “me quedan cinco horas – I have five hours left). 

The Verb Quedar In Spanish entrelenguas hub learn spanish

3. The verb quedar as a synonym of reaching an agreement

If you want to say that someone has an appointment or is meeting with someone we use the verb quedar to mean that they have come to an agreement about the meeting for example;

He quedado con mi mamá para vernos en la casa después del trabajo.

I have arranged to meet my mum at home after work.

Hemos quedado para almorzar con mi esposo al medio día en un restaurante italiano.

My husband and I have arranged to have lunch at midday in an Italian restaurant.

¿Cuándo quedamos para vernos y tomar algo?

When can we meet up for a drink?

4. Verb quedar to talk about our image

When talking about clothes or accessories, we can use this verb to say that something looks good or that we like it. In this case, the garment or object is the subject of the sentence so the verb quedar will be in the third person singular or plural. For example;

¡Ese vestido azul te queda muy bien!

That blue dress looks so good on you!

¿Cómo me quedan estos pantalones? – Te quedan un poco pequeños

How do these trousers look on me? – They are a little small

Por lo general, los colores oscuros me quedan mejor que los claros.

Generally, darker colours suit me more than lighter colours.

As you have seen in these examples, the person is indicated by the indirect object. (remember that the subject is what looks good or bad!).

5. The verb quedar to determine distances

Finally, “quedar” is also used to determine distances between specific places as a synonym for estar (to be). For example:

El hospital queda cerca de mi casa. (el hospital está cerca de mi casa).

The hospital is situated close to my house (the hospital is close to my house).

La estación del metro “queda” en frente de la Escuela de Natación.

The metro is (located) in front of the swimming school.

Are you hungry for more? As always, you can practice what you have just learned with the following quiz on the verb quedar. And remember to share any questions you have in the comments or if you can think of any other uses of the verb quedar let us know! We’re all ears!

Juliana Paredes - aprender español entrelenguas

Juliana Paredes

Spanish Tutor in Entrelenguas

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