Spanish Grammar: 14 Ways To Use Quedar & Quedarse

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As you are exposed to more Spanish grammar, you’ll come across verbs like Quedar, which can have several meanings, depending on the context and idea that the speaker is trying to express.

In this post, we will cover the many flexible ways in which you can use Quedar (and also Quedarse).

How To Conjugate Quedar

Before we review how Quedar is used, we should cover its conjugation.

Quedar is a regular verb, which means its conjugation is pretty simple, since the first four letters of the verb (ie. the root) will not change.

Now, let’s see how Quedar is conjugated in the three main grammar tenses:

Personal pronoun Simple past Present Future
Yo Quedé Quedo Quedaré
Quedaste Quedas Quedarás
Él/Ella Quedó Queda Quedará
Nosotros/as Quedamos Quedamos Quedaremos
Ustedes Quedaron Quedan Quedarán
Ellos/as Quedaron Quedan Quedarán

How To Use Quedar

Now that we reviewed the most basic Quedar conjugations in three different tenses, we can list each possible scenario in which Quedar can be used.

1. When something or someone stays in the same state they were before an event

  • There was an accident and only three people remained injured – Hubo un accidente y solo tres personas quedaron ilesas
  • I fried some chicken nuggets but surprisingly the kitchen remained clean -Freí algunos nuggets de pollo y sorprendentemente la cocina quedó limpia

2. Something’s final result

  • The game finished 4-0 – El juego quedó 4 a 0
  • Did they end up as friends? – ¿Quedaron como amigos?

3. From a group of elements that can be bought or consumed, points out how many we have left

  • There are five white dresses left – Quedan cinco vestidos blancos
  • There is still time left to do the essay – Todavía queda tiempo para hacer el ensayo.

4. To point out undone processes or tasks

  • We have a lot of work left to do – Queda mucho trabajo por hacer
  • There’s just that wall left to paint – Sólo queda esa pared por pintar

5. To indicate the place in which something is

  • The restaurant is three streets away from here – El restaurante queda a tres calles de aquí
  • The mount Roraima is in Venezuela – El monte Roraima queda en Venezuela

6. Specifies the remaining period of time in which an event will end

  • There are three days left for Christmas Eve – Quedan tres días para Nochebuena
  • There are just two weeks of vacations left – Sólo quedan dos semanas de vacaciones

7. When we make an agreement or date with someone

  • We agreed to meet at 5 pm in the coffee shop – Quedamos en vernos a las 5 pm en la cafetería
  • Juan and María agreed to go to the movies – Juan y María quedaron en ir al cine

8. To point out the impression that something makes

  • The painting looks good in that wall – El cuadro queda bien en esa pared
  • That lamp will look bad there – Esa lámpara quedará mal ahí

Quedarse

Quedar is a pronominal verb, meaning that it is often used with reflexive pronouns to indicate an action executed by the subject of the sentence on itself.

To use Quedar as a pronominal form, simply add the corresponding pronoun to the subject:

Personal Pronoun   Reflexive Pronoun
Yo Me
Te
Él/Ella Se
Nosotros/as Nos
Ustedes Se
Ellos/as Se

Depending on the message you want to convey, Quedarse can be used in the following scenarios:

1. For pointing out how something looks or fit on a person

  • That dress looks ugly on you – Ese vestido te queda feo
  • These pants don’t fit me – Estos pantalones no me quedan

2. When something stays in a particular state for a particular period of time

  • He stayed single – Él se quedó soltero
  • We stayed silent – Nos quedamos en silencio

3. When someone stays in a particular place

  • We stayed in Cancun for a week – Nos quedamos en Cancún por una semana
  • María stayed at her house the whole weekend – María se quedó en su casa todo el fin de semana

4. To stop before getting to the final destination

  • The runner stayed behind one meter before the goal – El corredor se quedó atrás un metro antes de la meta
  • The car was broken so we stopped in the middle of the road – El carro estaba dañado así que nos quedamos en el medio de la carretera

5. To become the new owner of something

  • I will not try anything else, I keep this shirt – No me probaré nada más, me quedo con esta camisa
  • When you move I’ll keep with your collection – Cuando te mudes me quedaré con colección

6. To prefer something above other options

  • I stay with the fried chiken – Me quedo con el pollo frito
  • This house is ok, but we stay with ours – Esta casa está bien, pero nos quedamos con la nuestra

How To Use Quedar: Exercises

How well do you know Quedar?

Test your understanding by translating the below sentences.

(scroll down for the answers)

  1. The white shirt fits you better
  2. There were no patients left to attend
  3. He stayed there waiting for the bus
  4. The competition was tied
  5. They did not stay on the beach
  6. There are just five toys left
  7. Laura and José were stranded on the road
  8. There are many dresses left to sew
  9. The beach is close to his house
  10. When you left your house I’ll keep your notebook
  11. There is a week left to see you
  12. I like nachos but I prefer french fries
  13. We agreed to meet at 8 pm at the restaurant
  14. The flowers look good on the garden

Answers

  1. La camisa blanca te queda mejor
  2. No quedó ningún paciente por atender
  3. Se quedó allí esperando el autobús
  4. La competencia quedó empatada
  5. Ellos no se quedaron en la playa
  6. Sólo quedan cinco juguetes
  7. Laura y José se quedaron varados en la carretera
  8. Quedaron muchos vestidos por coser
  9. La playa queda cerca de su casa
  10. Cuando te vayas de tu casa me quedaré con tu cuaderno
  11. Queda una semana para verte
  12. Me gustan los nachos pero me quedo con las papas fritas
  13. Quedamos en vernos a las 8 pm en el restaurante
  14. Las flores quedan bien en el jardín
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