Hola amigos, here I am once again, this week I am giving you some grammar and vocabulary tips as we are going to discover several meanings for the Spanish verb “Poner”. I will be sharing 10 meanings of the verb Poner for you today.
Sometimes students moan because they need to study a lot of words, not today! Today you will just be learning one… with a lot of meanings! The word you are learning is “poner”, I won’t say learning though, as probably you have learned it before, but we will just add more meanings of the verb which you might not be so familiar with.
1. To put someone or something in a place
This is the simplest meaning of poner and the the easiest to translate. For example if you are talking about your routines and where you use to put or leave things:
- Siempre pongo las llaves en la mesa del salón.
- I always put the keys on the living room table.
Or if you are going to a familiar meeting and your mum is explaining to you where to position yourself during the photoshoot:
- Tienes que ponerte al lado de tu hermano en la foto.
- You need to stand (put yourself) next to your brother in the picture.
*Watchout: remember that “poner” in the present tense is irregular for “yo”.
2. To put someone or something in the right place
This is similar to the one above, but this one has a figurative meaning.
Imagine that one of your friends at school missed a school trip because he/she was naughty and his parents wanted him/her to learn a lesson, you could explain what happened, by saying:
- Sus padres lo castigaron sin ir a la excursión para intentar ponerlo en vereda.
- His parents punished him and he could not go to the trip in order to try to put him back in line (straighten him out).
*Extra: “poner en vereda” is a Spanish expression means “put someone back in line”.
3. To set up something with a finality
Ok right, similar again, but in this case we do not put something in a place, or in the right place, we put or we set up something for a specific end.
Like, if your routine is to set up the table so you can all eat when your mum finishes cooking, you can explain:
- Siempre pongo la mesa mientras mi madre cocina.
- I always set up the table while my mother cooks.
4. To consider
We use “poner” as the verb to consider. Imagine you are at work in a meeting and you want to run a project, but you do not know where to go. You could use poner here as an example in order to frame the fact:
- Pongamos que tiene lugar en Berlín.
- Let’s take into account/consider that it is carried out in Berlin.
Or if you are talking with a friend about something that another friend did but you are not sure that it happened, and you are trying to keep calm by saying:
- ¿Fue José a la fiesta? No lo sabía.
- Did José go to the party? I did not know…
If your friend is still mad at José, she could reply with:
- Yo tampoco, pero pongamos que fue, no nos dijo nada.
- Neither did I , but let’s consider he went… He did not say anything…
5. To bet
When you are betting an amount of money you can use the verb “poner” too. Imagine an evening in the casino with your friends, you feel like gambling on red, you could say:
- Pongo £5 al color rojo.
- I bet £5 to the colour red.
6. To leave something to someone
You are talking to your partner about a party you do not really want to go to but you don’t really mind either, so when your partner asks whether you want to go or not, the conversation could be something like:
- Your partner: “¿Quieres ir a la fiesta el viernes?”. Do you want to go to the party on Friday?
- You: “Ya te he dicho que me da igual, lo pongo en ti”. I told you already I do not mind, it is up to you.
7. To write something
When you are doing something and want to remind yourself that you need to do another thing, you probably wrote it down so you do not forget, like if you are explaining how you organize your meetings:
- Pongo todas las reuniones en mi calendario.
- I write all my meetings on my calendar.
You can also use it when you want to say something is written down. Say, for example, if you go to a class with a friend and you have your notebook with you but your friend does not, and he asks what you have the notebook for…you could answer:
- Ponía en la carta que era obligatoria traer un cuaderno.
- It says in the letter that bringing a notebook was mandatory.
8. You push someone to do something
This one is a bit figurative as well.
If you are talking with a friend about a party you did not want to go but you are going to because María asked you why you would not go in front of the people who is hosting the party, you could complain by saying:
- Yo no quería ir a la fiesta, pero María me puso en un compromiso.
- I did not want to go to the party but María put me in an awkward position.
Or if you are in a meeting at work and a strange question is coming, your boss could introduce it as:
- Espero no poner a nadie en un compromiso con esta pregunta.
- I hope not to put anyone in an awkward position with this question.
9. To send or to organize
You are waiting for Miguel as you and your friends agreed to all go to Marta’s birthday:
- ¿Todavía no ha llegado Miguel? Le pongo un mensaje ahora mismo.
- Is Miguel not here yet? I am going to send him a message right now.
10. To release an egg
The simplest example to explain this is:
- Las gallinas ponen huevos.
- Hens lay eggs.
And like all the good things, this post has come to an end - booo hooo!
But… before you leave I want to give you an actionable thing to master your Spanish. Leave a comment below where you use the verb “poner” in any of its different meanings, it might seem like something insignificant, but I promise it will make a difference in your learning, so come on… challenge on!
And if you like this post, please do not keep it as a secret, share it with your fellow Spanish learners.
Also, I would love to hear from you:
- What are your thoughts about “poner”?
- Did you learn something new in this article?
- Did you know a verb could have so many meanings?
- Which meaning of “poner” surprised you the most?
- Have you been using “poner” the wrong way or mixed up with any other meaning?
I am looking forward to reading your reply.
We will speak soon!- ¡Hablamos pronto!
Hero image by sydney zentz on Unsplash