Llegar, as a Spanish conjugation verb, has two distinct meanings. To arrive or to get somewhere in the first meaning. It can be used in many contexts when you would use it to arrive in English. For example, El tren llega a las 3 (The train arrives at 3), or El bus llegó tarde (The bus got here late). Arribar is also a verb that means to arrive, but it is more formal and less commonly used.

Another meaning of llegar is to reach. If, for example, you are too short to reach a shelf, you could say No llego (I can’t reach). One more example is El agua le llegaba a las rodillas. (The water reached his knees.) However, there is another verb that also means to reach, which is alcanzar.

In other words, As a regular -ar verb, the llegar conjugation looks like the patterns of verbs like desear, doblar, and bucear. This article describes the conjugations of arrival in the indicative mood (present, past, and future), the subjunctive mood (present and past), the imperative mood, and other verb forms.

How To Use Llegar Conjugation In Preterite, Subjunctive & Imperfect Tenses

We are going to learn the Spanish verb ‘llegar’, which means ‘to arrive’. With examples from real life, you will be able to learn how to talk about past actions and when to use the preterite or imperfect.

Llegar Conjugation
Llegar Conjugation

Introducing the Verb Llegar

When you were in primary school, what time did you arrive home? What time did you arrive home yesterday? When was the last time you struggled to make ends meet?

The verb llegar is necessary to talk about these topics in Spanish. This lesson analyzes its different meanings and explains the differences between the preterite and imperfect tenses. Let’s get started!

Meanings Of The Conjugation Verb Llegar

These are the main meanings and structures of the verb llegar:

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Llegar\ a\ (un\ lugar):-}}\) To arrive at/in (a place)

Example: Llegar a España / llegar a casa.
Translation In English: ‘to arrive in Spain / to arrive home.’)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Llegar\ de\ (un\ lugar):-}}\) To arrive from (a place)

Example: Llegar de Guatemala.
Translation In English: to arrive from Guatemala.’)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Llegar\ a\ fin\ de\ mes:-}}\) To make ends meet

Example: A veces es difícil llegar a fin de mes.
Translation In English: Sometimes it’s difficult to make ends meet.’)

Note: ALWAYS use the preposition (at) before the verb when you mention the name of the place where we arrive, and de when you refer to the place where we arrive from:

  • Llegar a la playa. (‘to arrive at the beach.’)
  • Llegar de la escuela. (‘to arrive from school.’)

Note: If the place requires the article el, a + el becomes al, and de + el becomes del:

  • Llegar al cine. (‘to arrive at the cinema.’) Do NOT say llegar a el cine.
  • Llegar del aeropuerto. (‘to arrive from the airport.’) Do NOT say llegar de el aeropuerto.

Tener- “to be”: Spanish Verb Conjugation In Present, Past, Future Tenses

Llegar Present Indicative

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) llego

Example: Yo llego a la escuela tarde.

Translation In English: I get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llegas

Example: Tú llegas al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: You reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) llega

Example: Ella llega al trabajo temprano.

Translation In English: She gets to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) llegamos

Example: Nosotros llegamos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: We arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegáis

Example: Vosotros llegáis a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: You arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegan

Example: Ellos llegan a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: They arrive at the party by taxi.

Llegar Preterite Indicative

In the preterite tense, completed actions are described. Please note that when conjugating in first person preterite, you must add a “u” after the “g” in order to maintain the hard g sound.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) llegué

Example: Yo llegué a la escuela tarde.

Translation In English: I got to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llegaste

Example: Tú llegaste al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: You reached the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegó

Example: Ella llegó al trabajo temprano.

Translation In English: She got to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) llegamos

Example: Nosotros llegamos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: We arrived on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegasteis

Example: Vosotros llegasteis a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: You arrived at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegaron

Example: Ellos llegaron a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: They arrived at the party by taxi.

Llegar Imperfect Indicative

In the imperfect tense, ongoing or habitual actions are described in the past. In other words, they are described as if they were occurring in the past.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) llegaba

Example: Yo llegaba a la escuela tarde.

Translation In English: I used to get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llegabas

Example: Tú llegabas al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: You used to reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegaba

Example: Ella llegaba al trabajo temprano.

Translation In English: She used to get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) llegábamos

Example: Nosotros llegábamos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: We used to arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegabais

Example: Vosotros llegabais a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: You used to arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegaban

Example: Ellos llegaban a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: They used to arrive at the party by taxi.

Llegar Future Indicative

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) llegaré

Example: Yo llegaré a la escuela tarde.

Translation In English: I will get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llegarás

Example: Tú llegarás al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: You will reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegará

Example: Ella llegará al trabajo temprano.

Translation In English: She will get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) llegaremos

Example: Nosotros llegaremos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: We will arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegaréis

Example: Vosotros llegaréis a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: You will arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegarán

Example: Ellos llegarán a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: They will arrive at the party by taxi.

Llegar Periphrastic Future Indicative

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) voy a llegar

Example: Yo voy a llegar a la escuela tarde.

Translation In English: I am going to get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) vas a llegar

Example: Tú vas a llegar al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: You are going to reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) va a llegar

Example: Ella va a llegar al trabajo temprano.

Translation In English: She is going to get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) vamos a llegar

Example: Nosotros vamos a llegar en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: We are going to arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) vais a llegar

Example: Vosotros vais a llegar a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: You are going to arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) van a llegar

Example: Ellos van a llegar a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: They are going to arrive at the party by taxi.

Llegar Present Progressive/Gerund Form

A gerund is a verb form that is also known as the present participle of a verb. This form is equivalent to the English -ing form and can be used either as an adverb or to form progressive verb tenses. An example of this is the present progressive.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Present\ Progressive\ of\ Llegar:-}}\) está llegando

Example: Ella está llegando temprano al trabajo.

Translation In English: She is getting to work early.

Llegar Past Participle

A past participle is a form of a verb that can be used to form perfect tenses like the present perfect.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Present\ Perfect\ of\ Llegar:-}}\) ha llegado

Example: Ella ha llegado temprano al trabajo.

Translation In English: She has gotten to work early.

Llegar Conditional Indicative

It is usually translated from the conditional tense to English as “would + verb.”.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yo:-}}\) llegaría

Example: Yo llegaría a la escuela tarde si mi mamá no me despertara.

Translation In English: I would get to school late if my mom didn’t wake me up.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llegarías

Example: Tú llegarías al techo con la escalera si pudieras subirte.

Translation In English: You would reach the roof with a ladder if you could climb it.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegaría

Example: Ella llegaría al trabajo temprano si tomara el tren.

Translation In English: She would get to work early if she took the train.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) llegaríamos

Example: Nosotros llegaríamos en el vuelo de la tarde, pero lo cancelaron.

Translation In English: We would arrive on the afternoon flight, but it was canceled.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegaríais

Example: Vosotros llegaríais a la playa con vuestros amigos si os invitaran.

Translation In English: You would arrive at the beach with your friends if you were invited.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegarían

Example: Ellos llegarían a la fiesta en taxi si no tuvieran carro.

Translation In English: They would arrive at the party by taxi if they didn’t have a car.

Llegar Present Subjunctive

In a sentence consisting of two clauses (the main clause and a subordinate clause), the present subjunctive is used to describe desire, doubt, denial, emotion, negation, possibility, or other subjective situations.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ yo:-}}\) llegue

Example: El maestro espera que yo no llegue tarde a la escuela.

Translation In English: The teacher hopes that I don’t get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ tú:-}}\) llegues

Example: Pablo espera que tú llegues al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: Pablo hopes that you reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegue

Example: El jefe quiere que ella llegue temprano al trabajo.

Translation In English: The boss wants her to get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ nosotros:-}}\) lleguemos

Example: El agente recomienda que nosotros lleguemos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: The agent recommends that we arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ vosotros:-}}\) lleguéis

Example: Marta espera que vosotros lleguéis a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: Marta hopes that you arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) lleguen

Example: Esteban sugiere que ustedes lleguen a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: Esteban suggests that you arrive at the party by taxi.

Llegar Imperfect Subjunctive

In order to conjugate the imperfect subjunctive, there are two options available:

Type: 1

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ yo:-}}\) llegara

Example: El maestro esperaba que yo no llegara tarde a la escuela.

Translation In English: The teacher hoped that I wouldn’t get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ tú:-}}\) llegaras

Example: Pablo esperaba que tú llegaras al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: Pablo hoped that you would reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegara

Example: El jefe quería que ella llegara temprano al trabajo.

Translation In English: The boss wanted her to get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ nosotros:-}}\) llegáramos

Example: El agente recomendaba que nosotros llegáramos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: The agent recommended that we arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ vosotros:-}}\) llegarais

Example: Marta esperaba que vosotros llegarais a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: Marta hoped that you would arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegaran

Example: Esteban sugirió que ustedes llegaran a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: Esteban suggested that you arrive at the party by taxi.

Type: 2

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ yo:-}}\) llegase

Example: El maestro esperaba que yo no llegase tarde a la escuela.

Translation In English: The teacher hoped that I wouldn’t get to school late.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ tú:-}}\) llegases

Example: Pablo esperaba que tú llegases al techo con la escalera.

Translation In English: Pablo hoped that you would reach the roof with a ladder.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ usted/él/ella:-}}\) llegase

Example: El jefe quería que ella llegase temprano al trabajo.

Translation In English: The boss wanted her to get to work early.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ nosotros:-}}\) llegásemos

Example: El agente recomendaba que nosotros llegásemos en el vuelo de la tarde.

Translation In English: The agent recommended that we arrive on the afternoon flight.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ vosotros:-}}\) llegaseis

Example: Marta esperaba que vosotros llegaseis a la playa con vuestros amigos.

Translation In English: Marta hoped that you would arrive at the beach with your friends.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Que\ ustedes/ellos/ellas:-}}\) llegasen

Example: Esteban sugirió que ustedes llegasen a la fiesta en taxi.

Translation In English: Esteban suggested that you arrive at the party by taxi.

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Llegar Imperative

In the imperative mood, there are both positive and negative commands:

Positive Commands

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) llega

Example: ¡Llega al techo con la escalera!

Translation In English: Reach the roof with the ladder!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted:-}}\) llegue

Example: ¡Llegue al trabajo temprano!

Translation In English: Get to work early!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) lleguemos

Example: ¡Lleguemos en el vuelo de la tarde!

Translation In English: Let’s arrive on the afternoon flight!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) llegad

Example: ¡Llegad a la playa con vuestros amigos!

Translation In English: Arrive at the beach with your friends!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes:-}}\) lleguen

Example: ¡Lleguen a la fiesta en taxi!

Translation In English: Arrive at the party by taxi!

Negative Commands

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tú:-}}\) no llegues

Example: ¡No llegues al techo con la escalera!

Translation In English: Don’t reach the roof with the ladder!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Usted:-}}\) no llegue

Example: ¡No llegue al trabajo temprano!

Translation In English: Don’t get to work early!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nosotros:-}}\) no lleguemos

Example: ¡No lleguemos en el vuelo de la tarde!

Translation In English: Let’s not arrive on the afternoon flight!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vosotros:-}}\) no lleguéis

Example: ¡No lleguéis a la playa con vuestros amigos!

Translation In English: Don’t arrive at the beach with your friends!

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ustedes:-}}\) no lleguen

Example: ¡No lleguen a la fiesta en taxi!

Translation In English: Don’t arrive at the party by taxi!

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FAQs

Is llegar irregular in preterite?

Llegar is conjugated as an irregular verb in the preterite tense.

What is the stem change for llegar?

Llegar is a regular verb, so to conjugate, it just takes its stem (lleg-) and adds the preterite endings. There is only one irregularity. For the first person singular (yo), we need to add an u to the stem (llegu-).

Is llegar irregular in the subjunctive?

Llegar is a regular verb, which means that, in order to form the subjunctive, we only need to take its stem (lleg-) and add the appropriate endings.

How do you use llegar in a sentence?

To be on time – Llegar a tiempo. To be late – Llegar tarde. I’m sorry for being late – Lo siento por llegar tarde. The time has arrived to tell me the truth – Llegó la hora de decirme la verdad.

What is llegar?

  • Spanish Verb: llegar
  • English Translation: to arrive, come, reach; to bring up.