Trouble with dejar conjugation in Spanish? Learn this Spanish verb with chunks!

Trouble with DEJAR? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again!

Hello! Today we’re going to talk about the verb “dejar” and all the crazy things it’s capable of doing. And of course, we won’t miss dejar conjugation either!

I’m Maura, from Spring Spanish, and here we have three main categories of what this verb means. Plus, a ton of idiomatic expressions that include it.

Dejar” is a versatile and commonly used verb in Spanish that translates to “to leave” or “to let” in English. Its usage varies widely depending on the context, making it a valuable verb to know and understand.

¡Empecemos! (Let’s get started)!

1. Dejar verb when it means “to allow”

One of the main things that “dejar” can do is to ask for permission or allow someone to do something. It’s the typical verb we use with mom and dad first than with anyone else. Therefore, we say things like:

  • Mami, ¿me dejas ir a la fiesta? (Mommy, will you let me go to the party?)

To which mom may answer, for example:

  • No te dejo ir porque no has arreglado tu cuarto. (I won’t let you go because you haven’t tidied up your room.)

Any hierarchical relationship will allow or let you use this verb in this way. So we have:

  • Mi jefa nos deja salir temprano los viernes. (My boss lets us leave early on Fridays.)

By “jefa,” I mean your boss at work. I say this because Mexicans, like my dear Paulísima, can use “jefa” as a synonym for “mother.” Some people might use “jefa” to talk about their wife or girlfriend as well.

  • En mi trabajo nos dejan ir en ropa informal. (At my work they let us wear casual clothes.)
  • Yo nunca dejo a mi perro salir solo a la calle. (I never let my dog go out alone in the street.)
  • Al final de la charla nos dejan hacer preguntas. (At the end of the talk we are allowed to ask questions.)
  • En el cine no dejan pasar con comida. (At the movies they don’t let us in with food.)
  • En la embajada no dejan entrar con teléfono. (At the embassy they don’t let us in with a telephone.)

CHUNK ALERT!

There are probably many odd chunks with “dejar” simply because it does too many things. But I want us to talk about “lo voy a dejar para después” (I’m going to leave it for later). This chunk is used to postpone anything.

So we say:

  • Deja las lágrimas para después. (Save the tears for later.): es decir, llora luego.
  • No me cabe más comida, lo voy a dejar para después. (I can’t fit any more food, I’m going to leave it for later.): es decir, me lo como más tarde.
  • No dejes para después lo que puedes hacer ya. (Don’t put off until later what you can do now.): this is actually an idiomatic expression that originally says “no dejes para mañana lo que puedes hacer hoy”, but I took an artistic liberty.

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2. Dejar in Spanish when it means “to abandon”

In this sense, “dejar” implies abandoning a place, an activity, an object, or a person or even an animal. “Dejar” is very broad, so it can be used with any noun. This particular use is what is used to talk about romantic relationships.

For example:

  • Estoy deprimida porque mi novio me dejó. (I am depressed because my boyfriend left me.): we can say this instead of “my boyfriend ended or broke up with me.” It only works in this sense with romantic relationships.

With friendships, you would have to add something else, like:

  • Ella y yo nos dejamos de hablar. (She and I stopped talking to each other.): with friendships, we usually add “de hablar” to imply a breakup of the relationship.

What else can we abandon? A lot. Let’s see:

  • Dejé el tennis porque me fracturé la muñeca. (I gave up tennis because I broke my wrist.)
  • Yo solo dejo a mi gato con gente de mucha confianza. (I only leave my cat with people I trust a lot.)
  • ¿Dónde dejé el teléfono? (Where did I leave the phone?)
  • Te dejo la cena en la nevera. (I’ll leave your dinner in the refrigerator.)

Dejar” doesn’t have to be intentional. Sometimes we abandon things by mistake or out of necessity.

3. “Dejar” when it means “to stop”

The idea here is “to stop” doing something. Usually an action. It’s also used with people, but it’s no longer about abandoning them.

Let’s review examples to see it more clearly:

  • Ella está tratando de dejar de fumar. (She is trying to quit smoking.): anything you can give up are things you can “dejar de hacer“.

Other examples could be:

  • Quiero dejar de comerme las uñas. (I want to stop biting my nails.)
  • Deberías dejar de trasnocharte. (You should stop staying up all night.)
  • Deja de gritar, ¡por favor! (Stop yelling, please!)

Déjame en paz: here we use “dejar” with people, but we are not abandoning them. We’re giving them space rather.

  • Déjanos solos, por favor. (Leave us alone, please.)
  • ¿Puedes dejarme tranquila? (Can you leave me alone?)
  • Deja al gato quieto. (Leave the cat alone.): as long as it can be used with people, it can be used with animals.

4. A chunking lesson: common chunks with dejar

Dejar” essentially always involves letting go or releasing something or someone. Whether we “release” it because we allow something, because we abandon, or because we stop doing something to it.

Here are some chunks that stray a little from those three categories:

  • Me dejaste loca con lo que me contaste. (You drove me crazy with what you told me.): here you have to stretch the logic a bit. The idea is that “what you told me” leaves or abandons me in a different state than I was in. In this case, in a state of shock or madness.

More like this could be:

  • Tu llamada me deja más tranquila. (Your call makes me feel more at ease.)
  • Por fin nos vimos y eso nos dejó muy contentas. (At last we saw each other and that made us very happy.)
  • Leer el periódico me deja agotada. (Reading the newspaper leaves me exhausted.)
  • Déjate querer. (Let yourself be loved.)

More examples:

  • Déjate ayudar. (Let yourself be helped.)
  • Déjate sorprender por la vida. (Let yourself be surprised by life.)
  • Déjate descansar. (Let yourself rest.)
  • Deja la tontería. (Cut the nonsense.): sometimes we can stop attitudes. They don’t have to be actions like “Deja de correr por la casa.” But they can be abstract things like “tonterías.

Other cases would be:

  • Deja el drama. (Stop the drama.)
  • Tenemos que dejar el miedo y atrevernos. (We have to let go of fear and dare.)
  • Ya dejen el escándalo. (Stop the noise.): I don’t know if all Latinos use “escándalo” as I do, but in this case it means noise. A lot of noise.

5. Learn dejar conjugation in the present tense

And because it couldn’t be missing, here’s a small list with chunks in the present tense so you can check the dejar conjugation.

dejar conjugation table

6. Recap Spanish grammar with dejar examples

Okay, that’s a lot of information. So let’s briefly go over the three categories of what “dejar” can do.

Dejar means:

To allow

  • No me dejaron ir a la fiesta. (They wouldn’t let me go to the party.)
  • ¿A ti te dejan ir en sandalias a clases? (Are you allowed to wear sandals to school?)

To abandon

  • Por favor, nunca me dejen. (Please, never leave me.)
  • Yo nunca les dejaré a ustedes. (I will never leave you all.)

To stop

  • Deja de fastidiar a tu hermana. (Stop nagging your sister.)
  • Dejen de preocuparse por todo. (Stop worrying about everything.)

If “dejar” left you in shock, you are neither alone nor unaccompanied. It’s a very versatile verb that appears daily. We have many more, like “quedar” or “faltar

For your convenience, they are all accumulated in a playlist. Make sure to have all these verbs in your arsenal by clicking here. Thank you for being here, and see you!

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