How To Say “Become” In Spanish

Many Spanish students are dumbfounded when they find out that Spanish doesn’t have a single word to mean “become” as it is in English. Check out these two examples:
1. I become frustrated when I don’t know how to do something.
2. I want to become a doctor.

In English, it’s nice and simple. But in Spanish it’s different!

1. Me frustro cuando no sé hacer algo. (I become frustrated when I don’t know how to do something). Note that the literal translation is “I frustrated myself …”

2. Quiero ser doctor. (I want to become a doctor). Note that the literal translation is “I want to be a doctor.”

The point I’m trying to make is that there isn’t one single way to say “become” in Spanish. Here are three common ways:

PonerseMe pongo triste cuando te veo así. I become sad when I see you like this.

HacerseTe haces frustrado cada día. You become frustrated (you make yourself frustrated) every day.

Volverse (used more for something that take a long time to accomplish) – ?l se volvío un autor famoso. He became a famous author.

Many Spanish verbs when turned reflexive carry the meaning of “become.”

Compare:

Me pongo frustrado cada día. I become frustrated every day.
Me frustro (the verb frustrar) cada día. I become frustrated every day.

Other verbs that follow this pattern:

enojar (to anger)
alegrar (to make happy)

There are other verbs that essentially mean to convert or transform into something:

convertirse
transformarse

Don’t be surprised if you come across other verbs or ways to say “become” in Spanish!

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6 Responses to “How To Say “Become” In Spanish”

  1. David says:

    Here’s another one- ‘llegar a ser’ it’s not one single verb but it is a (common) way of saying to become in Spanish.

    –David.

  2. sonny says:

    Yes, good catch. Thanks!

  3. michelle says:

    thank you guys

  4. Girl says:

    Wow… this is actually correct (for once) since I’ve been looking around. I knew the word, just didn’t know how to spell it…
    I love Guatamala and Puerto RIco!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  5. Lingua says:

    Buen tutorial. Podeis echar una ojeada a nuestra web. Os linkaremos este articulo de frases…

  6. Jose says:

    These are good and useful observations, I will tell some friends about your site.
    Thanks.

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