Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Thursday December 12, 2013

esperar, verb:
to wait, to wait for; to expect

“You can’t always get what you want”, at least not immediately, and so you might have to wait for it. If so, you need the verb esperar.

Estamos esperando más noticias.
We’re waiting for further news.

You can also use esperar with a grammatical object, in which case the translation is simply to wait:

Espere un momentito, si es tan amable.
Would you mind waiting a moment?

When you are waiting to do something, you use a between esperar and the following verb:

Estaba esperando a salir al escenario.
I was waiting to go on stage.

But when you are waiting for someone else to do something, that is, expecting them to do something, the verb after esperar needs to go in the subjunctive:

Esperaba que les pidiera* perdón.
They were expecting him to apologize.

No esperaba que te comportases* de ese modo.
I wasn’t expecting you to behave like that.

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