Trouble with DAR? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again (Conjugation)

This is how you CONJUGATE DAR in Spanish (and never forget it)

Dame las azules.
(Give me the blue ones.)

Toma. Yo estoy haciendo las rojas, dámelas cuando las encuentres.
(Here. I’m doing the red ones, give them to me when you find them.)


Hola, hola. If you clicked on this video it’s because you already know we’ll be talking about the verb dar (to give) but, did you catch it in the dialogue? This irregular verb changes a lot depending on who’s using it. It’s also reflexive, which means it can use another word in front, a pronoun, to refer to who’s being affected by the verb.

Si no nos conocemos aun, encantada, yo soy Maura, una de las profesoras de Spring Spanish. (If we don’t know each other yet, charmed, I’m Maura, one of the Spring Spanish teachers.) ¡Empecemos!

1. Dar in the present tense

Ok, te doy las rojas si tu me das las verdes también. Es que están todas de tu lado.
(Ok, I’ll give you the red ones if you give me the green ones too. They are all on your side.)

Si, vale, ya te las doy. ¿Tú crees que da tiempo de terminarlo hoy?
(Yes, okay, I’ll give them to you. Do you think there’s enough time to finish it today?)

Jajaja, para nada. Pero si nos damos prisa, quizás hagamos el 80%.
(Hahaha, not at all. But if we hurry, maybe we’ll do 80%.)

¿En las instrucciones que nos dan no dice el tiempo estimado?
(In the instructions they give us, it does not say the estimated time?)

No, no dice casi nada realmente.
(No, it doesn’t really say much of anything.)

Alright! Here we already have every conjugation in the present tense for this quirky little verb. We’re going to put it all in a table only so you can see them clearly.

¡Pero la idea no es que memorices reglas de conjugación! (But the idea is not for you to memorize conjugation rules!) If you’re going to memorize anything, memorize the chunks instead. They’re much easier to remember and use, since they have a context around them which helps you create associations and use them correctly with a lot less effort.

About that table, though:

Column 1Column 2Column 3
Yo (I)Doy (give)Te doy las rojas.(I give you the red ones.)
Tú (You)Das (give)Me das las verdes.(You give me the green ones.)
Ella, Él, Eso (She, He, It)Da (give)¿Tú crees que da tiempo?(Do you think there is enough time?)
Nosotras, Nosotros (We)Damos (give)Si nos damos prisa.(If we hurry.)
Ustedes – Ellas, Ellos (Plural You – They)Dan (give)En las instrucciones que nos dan.(In the instructions they give us.)

I’m sure you’ve already noticed the little words, or pronouns, we tend to put in front of it, like: te, me, nos, etc. If you want to understand better how to use these pronouns in the simplest way possible, you can check Paulísimas video on the subject, right here!

Mientras tanto (In the meantime), just know that this little pronoun is specifying if the action is performed on you, on me, on them, etc.

Chunk Alert!

El diálogo también contiene una expresión idiomática. (The dialogue also contains an idiomatic expression.) Did you catch it? Nos damos prisa (We hurry) is the generic Spanish way to talk about hurrying up. I say generic because this is what I would hear on cartoons as a child. A very common way to conjugate this chunk would be to say: ¡date prisa! (hurry up!), talking directly at someone.

Honestamente, yo nunca digo esto. (Honestly, I never say this.) Yo, como venezolana, digo (I, as a Venezuelan, say) : ¡Apúrate! (Hurry up!). Which is the perfect thing to say to you if you haven’t clicked on that link in the description to access our free Essential Spanish Chunking kit. ¿Qué esperas? (What are you waiting for?). ¡Date prisa! o ¡apúrate! (Hurry up) and get many more everyday chunks like this one!

2. Common chunks with Dar in Spanish

You might not be a huge reggaeton person, like me, but it might still interest you to stay till the end and find out how come this verb is so associated with that music genre and, at the same time, understand how to use dar on its own with several different meanings.



¡¿Que pasó?!
(What happened?!)

Uff, nada, es que me dio un ataque porque pensé que se había roto una pieza, pero no, es así.
(Uff, nothing, I just had a fit because I thought I had broken a piece, but no, that’ s the way it is.)

Que susto me diste. En un rato nos vamos a dar una vuelta que ya se me están cansando las piernas de estar sentada.
(What a scare you gave me. In a while we’ll go for a walk because my legs are getting tired from sitting.)

Bueno, pregúntale a Amanda si nos da permiso porque estaba súper intensa con que nos arregláramos con tiempo para salir a cenar.
(Well, ask Amanda if she’ll give us permission because she was super intense about us getting ready in time to go out to dinner.)

Jajaja, dale, ahora le decimos y la sobornamos con un heladito.
(Hahaha, ok, we’ll tell her later and we’ll bribe her with a little ice-cream.)

Apart from people giving things to people, this verb has many uses in Spanish. Let’s review some of them through the chunks in the dialogue.

When something causes you a specific emotion:

  • Me dio un ataque cuando vi la cola para comprar las entradas. (I had a heart attack when I saw the line to buy tickets.)
  • Que susto me diste. (What a scare you gave me.)
  • Me dio de todo. (It gave me everything.): I tend to use this one since the todo (everything) encompasses every emotion. It’s a nice shortcut.

We have an old idiomatic expression in Spanish that utilizes this use of dar. We would say:

  • No me gusta ese sitio porque, me da mala espina. (I don’t like this place because, it gives me a bad feeling.)

You can totally still hear it but nowadays we even have a younger version of this, which is:

  • No me gusta ese sitio porque me da mala vibra. (I don’t like this place because it gives me a bad vibe.)

Talking about movement:

  • Vamos a dar una vuelta. (Let’s go for a walk.)
  • Por favor, da un paso hacia adelante. (Please, take a step forward.)

Asking for permission:

  • Pregúntale a Amanda si nos da permiso. (Ask Amanda if she gives us permission.)

This chunk from the dialogue is basically making a joke since this idea is mostly used in the context of parents and children. Like:

  • Mi mamá siempre me daba permiso de salir cuando arreglaba mi cuarto. (My mom always gave me permission to go out when I tidied my room.)

3. Dale by itself and its connection to reggaeton

¿Recuerdas la canción de “Dale Don Dale” de Don Omar?
(Do you remember the song “Dale Don Dale” by Don Omar?)

Sí, de mis años de colegio.
(Yeah, from my school years.)

No sé por qué se me vino a la cabeza de repente. ¿La pongo?
(I don’t know why it suddenly popped into my head, shall I play it?)

Jajaja, dale.
(Hahah, go for it.)

Por favor cuéntame si esta canción te es familar. (Please tell me if this song is familiar to you.) It was huge for my generation and I wonder what the scope of it was.

All throughout this video you’ve seen the word dale on its own. Cada vez que la dije pensé en esta canción (Every time I said it I thought about this song.) It holds a special place in the reggaeton world as one of the classics.

Also because this is one of the ways in which you can use this word on its own, to say: dale, Don, dale (or any name for that matter) to encourage someone to do something.

Another thing dale does on its own, is what you just saw me reply at the end of the dialogue: dale. This is basically and alright or ok. Just a confirmation.

Esto es lo último que “dale” puede hacer por si mismo (This is the last thing that it can do by itself): say you’re having a good time with your friends. You friend Marta is standing right next to your friend Pablo. Pablo says something he thinks is funny but it’s actually very, very stupid. You can look at Marta and say: dale. This would essentially mean: pégale (hit him.)

I must confess not all Latin American use dale by itself that much or in this ways but there’s many of us. Eso sí, todos estos usos serían súper común en Venezuela y, probablemente, en el resto del Caribe. (For sure, all these uses would be super common in Venezuela and, probably, the rest of the Caribbean.)


Now, let’s put all of this into actual practice, shall we? Try filling in the blanks.

  • ¿Si yo te _______ mis papas, tu me _______ tu ensalada? (If I give you my potatoes, would you give me your salad?)

Correct answer: ¿Si yo te doy mi papas, tú me das tu ensalada?

  • Es tarde ¡ _______ prisa que no llegamos! (It’s late. Hurry up or we won’t make it in time!)

Correct answer: Es tarde ¡date prisa que no llegamos!

  • A nosotros no nos ______ miedo ver películas de terror. (We are not afraid of watching horror movies.)

Correct answer: A nosotros no nos da miedo ver películas de terror.

Now that you made it this far, how about checking out our verb video series by clicking right here and going straight to the playlist we made for it! You’ll find a ton of verbs about which you can learn as much as you just did about dar. ¡Nos vemos allá! (I’ll see you there!)

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