Mastering Spanish Poner Conjugation: Guide to Conjugating with CHUNKS (bonus audio)

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

Hi loves, today we have a new verb video. This time nos pondremos a trabajar (we’ll get working) on the verb “poner” (to put) and poner conjugation.

This little verb sure does a lot of things, which is why we consider it important enough to make an entire video just about it. Also, it’s irregular.

I know, I know, but remember we always go through the conjugation through chunks to make it much, much easier for you to remember and use it with confidence!

I’m Maura, from Spring Spanish, and ¡Pongamos manos a la obra, ya! (Let’s put hands to work, already!)

I. Poner conjugation for putting things on: Ponte (Put it on)

    ¡Ten cuidado con el sol! Ponte protector y ponte la gorra. (Be careful with the sun! Put on sunscreen and put on a hat.)
  • ACTOR 2:
    Ya tengo puesto protector. Voy por la gorra. (I already put on sunscreen. I’m going for the cap.)

Talking about things you can put on your body is definitely the most common way to use this verb. It is as versatile as it gets, because you can use this for almost anything.

Let’s check out some examples conjugating it for “tú” each time.

  • ¿Te pusiste un nuevo perfume? (Did you put on a new perfume?)
  • Mejor ponte la camisa azul. Combina más. (Better put on the blue shirt. It matches more.)
  • ¿Por qué no te pones unos zapatos más cómodos? (Why don’t you put on more comfortable shoes?)

Creams, makeup, accessories, all of these would use “poner” as their verb.

Ya tengo puesto (I already put on) is one of the chunks you can use to say you already put on something.

Let’s go over other chunks about things you put on, but with “yo” (I):

  • Me puse los zarcillos nuevos, ¿te gustan? (I put on the new earrings, do you like them?)
  • Me voy a poner el vestido rojo con las sandalias beige. (I’m going to put on the red dress with the beige sandals.)
  • Espera que aún no me he puesto las cremas de la noche. (Wait, I haven’t put my night creams on yet.)

Also, we put all things in all places. So you can use this as the generic verb to say where something is.

For instance:

  • Puse tu regalo en el cuarto. (I put your gift in the room.)
  • Pon los platos en la mesa, porfa. (Put the plates on the table, please.)
  • ¿Recuerdas dónde pusiste la factura de lo que compramos? (Do you remember where you put the receipt for what we bought?)

Now, at the end we’ll go over how to hypothesize about life with this verb and where and how this verb can turn sexual without you meaning to so, stay tuned for that!

II. Common chunks with Poner

Use the verb poner when you make a mistake

    ¡No sabes lo que hice! ¡Puse la torta a lo grande! (You don’t know what I did! I made a big mistake!)
  • ACTOR 2:
    ¿Por qué? ¿Qué hiciste? ¡Me estás poniendo de los nervios! (Why? What did you do? You’re getting on my nerves!)

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Puse la torta (I made a mistake) is a very cute chunk-like way to say you made a mistake. Even if the literal translation is “to put the cake”. The nature of the mistake doesn’t really matter so feel free to use it anytime you want to accept and embrace your perfect imperfection.

Use poner Spanish conjugation when you’re nervous

  • Me estás poniendo de los nervios. (To get on someone’s nerves.)

It means you’re making me nervous or, another layer could be, you’re irritating me. Another way to express something similar would be to say que se te ponen los pelos de punta, which means the same as “something gives you goosebumps”.

There are other moods you can put someone in.

For example:

  • No te imaginas cómo reaccionó, se puso como loco. (You can’t imagine how he reacted, he went like crazy.)

If someone se pone como loca o como loco it’s because they got super mad, probably raised their voice, and lost control a little bit. For this, we also say people se ponen como una furia (they go into a fury.)

Use the verb conjugation when you talk about cheating

  • Terminaron porque ella le puso los cuernos. (They broke up because she cheated on her.)

The deeper we get into these chunks, the farther the translation goes, right?

Well, we do talk about cheating on people with poner los cuernos which would literally translate to “put the horns on”. In Venezuela, though, and I’m not sure if anybody else does this, we shift “poner los cuernos” to “montar cachos”.

It means exactly the same. We just use synonyms for some reason.

III. Poner conjugation chart in present tense

Because it sounds funny, let’s use this chunk to go over the conjugation table in the present tense, shall we?

poner conjugation in present tense table with examples

Remember to focus on the chunks, their sound, and rhythm more than on memorizing the whole table. Also, the literal translation says something crazy about horns, but we’re actually talking about cheating on people.

IV. Differences and similarities: To Put Vs. Poner

So you can make some associations with English, let’s quickly go over some of the differences and similarities between “to put” and poner.

Similarities between To Put & Poner:

Both languages can use this verb for things you put on your body:

  • Hace calor. No hace falta que te pongas una chaqueta. (It’s hot. It’s not necessary to put on a jacket.) Similarly, you could also use “wear” in English and “usar” (to use) or “llevar” (to carry) in Spanish, but poner is the generic one in both languages.

To place things:

  • Puedes ponerlo donde quieras. (You can put it wherever you want.)

Differences  between To Put & Poner:

We do not hypothesize with poner in English. We do so in Spanish, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The literal translation in English would be something like: “say”.

  • Ponte que cierran las tiendas antes de que lleguemos, ¿qué hacemos con el regalo? (Say stores close before we get there, ¿what do we do about the gift?)

We have a ton of chunks with poner in Spanish that do not use “to put” in English whatsoever:

  • Yo creo que no quiere venir porque no deja de ponerme peros. (I think she doesn’t want to come because she keeps giving “buts”.): a better translation for “poner peros” would be the idea of raising objections. See? Nothing to do with “put” in English.

V. Hypothesizing with Poner

    Ponte que para cuando seamos viejas, todos los humanos vivimos de nuevo en cuevas para protegernos del ambient. (Say that by the time we are old, all humans will be living in caves again to protect ourselves from the environment.)
  • ACTOR 2:
    Ponte que justo por eso solo quedamos los plebeyos porque los ricos se fueron al espacio. (Say that just for that reason only the commoners are left because the rich went to space.)
    ¿A qué? ¿A vivir en otro tipo de cueva igual? (To what? To live in other types of caves as well?)
  • ACTOR 2:
    Buen punto. (Good point.)

To hypothesize with this verb you also have the Argentinian conjugation: ponele. It works just the same, to imply: “what if this happens”. Other more everyday hypothesis could be:

  • Vale, pero ponte que no llegamos a tiempo al bus, ¿qué haríamos? (Okay, but let’s say we don’t make it to the bus on time, what would we do?)
  • Ponte que en el trabajo nuevo me pagan el doble, ¿nos mudaríamos? (Say that the new job pays twice as much, would we move?)
  • Ponte que Ari y Vero vienen con su pareja, ¿igual alcanza la comida? (Say that Ari and Vero are coming with their partners, is the food still enough?)


In Spain, poner (to put) can be slang for “turn on” and I do mean turn on sexually so… be careful not to use this verb in Spain by saying que alguien te pone (someone puts you) in any type of way without making sure you know what you’re doing.

I repeat, don’t say things like: ella me pone o él me pone (she puts me or he puts me) in Spain without assuming it will be 100% sexual.

Now, try filling in the gaps in the following sentences for a little bit of practice. If you leave your answers in the comments, I’ll check them for you (check YouTube 😉 )

  • Me _______ los zapatos y salgo. (I put on my shoes and I go out.)
  • Nos ___________ protector solar todos los días, pero nos quemamos igual. (We put on sunscreen everyday, but we burn anyway.)
  • Cuando le hablas de política se _________ como loco. (When you talk to him about politics, he gets like crazy.)

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