5 Uses of Perder – How to Lose, Miss & Get Lost in Spanish

In this post, you will learn the most important uses of perder, including how to use it in different forms, wasting time, missing things, and getting lost.

Similar to the Spanish verb querer, the verb perder is also an E:IE stem-changing verb.

This implies that the initial ‘e’ will transform into an ‘ie’ in the majority of the current conjugations of this verb.

Here are the current verb forms of perder:

Person Perder I Lose You Lose He / She Loses We Lose They Lose.

The verb perder is regular in most of the other primary tenses that you will probably use, like the past tenses, whereas verbs like querer can undergo significant changes in other conjugations.

Use 5 (Phrase). To spoil / go bad / go off – Echar(se) a perder

This final utilization of perder is in fact a Spanish expression that merges the Spanish action word echar with perder.

‘To go off’, ‘to go bad’, or ‘to spoil’ refers to the expression ‘echarse a perder’, but it is more frequently used to use the Spanish term ‘pudrir’ which signifies ‘to decay’ or ‘to decompose’.

Here are a few instances:

English: The meat has spoiled in the sun. Español: La carne se ha estropeado en el sol.

English: I’ve got two salmon fillets about to go off. Español: Tengo dos filetes de salmón a punto de echarse a perder.

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English: I’m going to ruin these vegetables for an experiment. Español: Voy a arruinar estas verduras para un experimento.

When using a verb like gustar or a regular verb, you need to differentiate between the subject and object. Similarly, when using a reflexive verb, the subject remains the same. For example, in the phrase “echar a perder,” it is necessary to use the reflexive form of the verb to highlight the contrast between someone causing something to go wrong and something going wrong on its own.

Use 4. To waste (time)

If you want to describe that afternoon when you feel like your time was wasted in a long line at the grocery store, maybe you should consider using perder instead and saying that you wasted your time on YouTube, Netflix, or something else instead of using your time well.

Here are a few instances:

English: I’m not going to waste any time with you. Español: No voy a desperdiciar ni un momento contigo.

English: Today I have no time to spare. Español: Hoy no tengo tiempo para desperdiciar.

English: Don’t cause her to squander her time. Español: No la hagas desperdiciar su tiempo.

The act of wasting their time, “making” someone “waste,” and combining hacer are common examples of this, with that note being the last one.

Use 2. To miss something

In the Spanish language, perder can also be utilized to indicate ‘to miss something’.

FOMO (fear of missing out), or ‘missing the boat’, ‘falling short of your objectives’, is the utilization of perder instead, but however, this does not apply to the scenario of losing touch with a loved one or a close companion.

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For example:..

English: If we don’t hurry, we will miss the train. Español: Si no nos apuramos, perderemos el tren.

We will not fall short in reaching our objectives this year.

English: You simply missed the bus. Español: Acabas de perder el autobús.

English: I don’t want to miss out on all of the excitement.Español: No quiero perderme toda la emoción.

In both English and Spanish, this sentence can still be grammatically correct and fun to drop. That means we don’t need to use the reflexive form of ‘perderse’ to translate the idea of ‘missing out’ in this last example.

English: I don’t want to miss. Español: No quiero perderme.

When you switch from the regular form to the reflexive form of many Spanish verbs, the verb transitions from being transitive to intransitive, as is the situation. An excellent illustration of this transition can be observed with the verbs recordar and acordarse.

Use 1. To lose something

As previously mentioned, you can easily translate the concept of ‘losing something’ to the Spanish verb perder.

You can express something ‘physically misplaced’ in Spanish, a team ‘defeated’ a match, if you desire to ‘shed’ weight, or have control over something or ‘be careful not to lose your mind’ even if you don’t want that.

Here are a few instances:

English: I have misplaced my train ticket. Español: He extraviado mi boleto de tren.

English: I would like to shed 4 kilograms before summer. Español: Quiero adelgazar 4 kilos antes del verano.

English: Our soccer team has been defeated twice this month. Español: Nuestro equipo de fútbol ha sido derrotado dos veces este mes.

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Children these of control the lose will you careful aren’t you if.Output: If you aren’t careful, these children will lose control.

Use 3. To get lost

If you want to say that you were lost or you got lost in Spanish, then you’ll need to use the reflexive form of the verb perderse.

For example:..

Why did it require such a significant amount of time from you? Did you become disoriented?

English: Yesterday he became disoriented in the woods. Español: Ayer se desorientó en el bosque.

English: I dislike saying it, but I believe we have become misplaced. Español: Odio decirlo, pero creo que nos hemos extraviado.

If you specifically want to say “I’m lost” in the present moment, you can use the adjective “perdido” derived from the past participle “perder.”

English: Are you confused? Do you require assistance? Español: ¿Estás confundido? ¿Necesitas ayuda?

If you ask a native speaker, they would probably prefer to use “perdido estoy” and “perdido he me” interchangeably, as both are very common.

Your turn

Perder is a very common and useful Spanish verb. And, as you can see, it applies in a lot of common contexts.

When you are practicing using this verb, I suggest you pick a few of the more unusual forms of perder, such as ‘spoiling’ or ‘wasting’ the food’ or ‘missing’ the train, in order to understand the context of losing better.

In what other ways can the Spanish verb perder be utilized?

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