When you learn Spanish, learning new words is important, so a good dictionary is always a must. Furthermore, when you look up a new word, you will find that the word you are looking for often has many different meanings.


Today we are going to have a deeper look at one of such Spanish word, this word is the verb “pegar”. Have you heard of this word before? If so...when? Because I’m sure if I asked this question to a group of students, each of them would probably answer something different.


With words like “pegar”, which has several meanings, it is very important to know each meaning as well as the correct context we should use it in so that we can choose the best meaning.


So if you are ready, let’s have a look at the verb “pegar” and its very different meanings.



1. Golpear - To hit


If you were born in Spain and you had a sibling, then your mother would likely have said to you more than once:


  • !Os he dicho mil veces que no os peguéis, sois hermanos!
  • I told you a thousand times not to hit each other, you are brothers!


Other example sentences can be:


  • !Cómo pega hoy el so! 
  • The sun has really hit us today!


  • La pelota pegó en el jarrón y lo rompió.
  • The ball hit the vase and broke it.


  • Tienes que pegar fuerte para que las manzanas caigan del árbol.
  • You need to hit it hard so that the apples fall from the tree.



2. Adherir, unir - To stick, to glue


If you went to school with your little brother or sister, likely they tried to stick with you during all of recess. You might have complained to your mom by saying:


  • !Está pegado a mí en todos los recreos, no sé que decirle!
  • He is next to me in all the breaks, I do not know what to say to him!


  • Los niños rompieron el jarrón cuando jugaban a la pelota, vamos a necesitar pegamento para pegarlo.
  • The kids broke the vase when they were playing with the ball, we are going to need some glue to put it together again.



3. Engañar - To cheat


  • No me fio de comprar en esa tienda, siempre me la pegan y lo que compro no es de calidad.
  • I do not trust that shop, they always cheat on me and the things I buy are not quality.



4. Pegarse una ducha, un baño, un susto, resbalón, salto - To take a shower, a bath, a scare, slip, jump


Ok, this is probably one of the most complex to explain as it can cover a lot of things but let me give you some examples:


  • Llegué a casa super cansada, me iba a pegar una ducha, pero necesitaba relajarme así que al final me pegué un baño.
  • I arrived home really tired, I was going to have a shower but I need to relax so I had a bath.


  • !Qué susto me has pegado!
  • You gave me a real scare!


  • Ten cuidado con el hielo cuando hace frío, el otro día me pegue un resbalón.
  • Be careful with the ice, the other day I slipped.



5. Contagiar - To pass on


This word is quite useful when talking about an illness, habits, or likes. For example:


  • Desde que Jorge vive en Edimburgo se le ha pegado el acento escocés.
  • Since Jorge lives in Edinburgh, we speak with a Scottish accent.


  • En las escuelas los resfriados se pegan fácilmente.
  • In schools, “a cold” is easily contagious.



6. Armonizar/Quedar bien - To match / fit well


  • El abrigo verde te pega genial con el sombrero negro.
  • The green coat matches perfectly the black hat.


Sometimes though, when something does not match, we use the expression “no pegar ni con cola”. For example:


  • Quitate esa camisa, no te pega ni con cola con la falda roja.
  • Take that shirt off, it doesn’t match at all with the red skirt.


Bonus Extras


Here are some additional expressions just because I love them, and you would too because it matches the subject we are talking about.


Dale que te pego – To be insistent


  • No insistas, eres una pesada, te he dicho que no voy a ir a la fiesta y siges dale que te pego.
  • Do not be persistent, you’re really annoying and I’ve told you that I’m not going to the party, you keep asking.



Pegarse las sábanas - To sleep in


When you are running late because you slept in, you then would say:


  • Lo siento voy a llegar un poco tarde, se me han pegado las sábanas esta mañana.
  • I’m sorry I am running a bit late, I slept in this morning.



Ser de pega - To be fake


You would say this when something is not the original. For example:


  • Estoy super contenta con mi nuevo bolso, es de pega, pero parece original.
  • I’m super happy with my new bag, it’s fake but it looks original.



Pegadiza - Catchy


You say this about something that you can remember easily. For example:


  • Me gusta mucha la nueva canción de Enrique Iglesias, es super pegadiza.
  • I really like Enrique Iglesia’s new song, it’s very catchy.


Ta-dah! That’s all guys, just keep in mind that the above meanings are approximate, and not exacts, it is just to give you an idea of how to use these phrases and words.


I wrote the most common meanings as examples but there are still some more, so keep your eyes and ears open when you next hear the verb “pegar” and you will link it to one of the above examples.


Before you leave, leave a comment below and let us know:


  1. Do you know any other meanings for “pegar”?
  2. Did you know that “pegar” was such a complex word?


I look forward to reading all your comments. Also, I would like you to do some homework, as practice is the only way to reach perfection, leave a comment below with a sentence where you would use the verb “pegar”. Let’s make this post interactive and learn together. Let’s see what the rest of the readers say about your examples.


I hope you have an amazing day full of chances to learn Spanish!


Hero image by Cristian Newman (CC0 1.0)