Decir conjugation: A Complete Overview on How to Conjugate Decir in Spanish

Updated on: August 23, 2023

Are you learning Spanish and struggling with Decir conjugation? This article will guide you on how to Conjugate Decir in Spanish.

Conjugating verbs is essential to mastering any language, and Spanish is no exception. In this article, we will explain the conjugation of one of the most frequently used verbs in Spanish: "decir" (to say, to tell).

Learning Spanish opens up countless possibilities in education, tourism, and entrepreneurship. Even if you see many ways to conjugate the same verb, don't worry. Practice will make you become a master.

Remember that understanding the Decir conjugation correctly will enable you to express yourself accurately and confidently in different scenarios. So, let's make it easy and, through practice, become a master of verb conjugation in Spanish. 

Decir conjugation 1

First steps to understand Decir conjugation

“Decir” means “to say” or “to tell.” This verb is common in Spanish and will be helpful in all your conversations.

Here are some key grammar points that you should know and remember to learn decir conjugation in Spanish:

  • Subjects Pronouns
  • Part of the speech
  • Verbal tenses division in spanish

Subject pronouns

Spanish has similar pronouns to English. Check the following chart:

Subject Pronouns DescriptionSubject Pronouns in EnglishSubject Pronouns in Spanish
Singular first personIYo
Singular second personYouTu (Close-Informal)
Usted (Formal)
Singular third personSheElla
HeÉl
ItEso, Esa
Plural first personWeNosotros
Plural second personYouUstedes
Vosotros (For speakers from Spain. Not common in Latin America)
Plural third personTheyEllos, ellas

The ending of the verb changes endings depending on the subject. Here is an overview of the primary verb tenses for Decir conjugation. No worries, we will explain them one by one.

SubjectPresentPastFuture
YoDigoDijeDirás
Tu/UstedDices/DiceDijiste/DijoDirás/Di
El/ EllaDiceDijoDi
NosotrosDecimosDijimosDiremos
UstedesDicenDijeronDirán
VosotrosDecisDijisteisDiréis
Ellos/EllasDicenDijeronDirán
EnglishSaySaidWill say/ going to say

Part of the speech

As in English, the Decir Conjugation in Spanish also changes depending on the part of speech.

Part of speechSpanishEnglish
InfinitiveDecirTo say
GerundDiciendoSaying
ParticipleDicho Said

Verbal tenses division in Spanish

In Spanish, the verb tenses can be divided according to the mood or time:

  • Indicative, subjunctive and, imperative mood
  • Simple and compound tenses
  • Perfect and imperfect tenses
  • Preterite, present and future tenses

Indicative, subjunctive, and imperative mood

Remember that verb tenses are those that condition the action of the verb. There are three main groups of verb tenses: the indicative mood, generally the most common; the subjunctive mood and the imperative mood.

In this chart, we explain the meaning of each mood and add an example of Decir conjugation.

Indicative moodSubjunctive moodImperative mood
The indicative mood states actual, proven, and concrete facts, not wishes or possibilities. 
It includes the verb tenses of the present, the past perfect, the past imperfect, the future, and the simple conditional.
On the other hand, the subjunctive mood of the verb expresses possibility and hypothesis.
The verb tenses of the subjunctive mood are the present, the preterite, and the future.
It is used to give orders to be carried out immediately when spoken.
The speaker can also use it to make an invitation, apologize or give permission.
Laura dice sus oraciones todos los días (Laura says her prayers every day)A Laura le gustaría decir sus oraciones todos los días.(Laura would like to say her prayers everyday)¡Laura tus oraciones!(Laura say your prayers)

Simple and compound tenses

According to their morphological structure, they are classified into two types: simple and compound.

Simple: The simple tense is composed of a voice corresponding to the verb that is conjugated (dice - say)

  • Example: Él dice - He says. 

Compound: On the other hand, the compound tenses are formed with the corresponding tense of the verb ‘haber’(have/has), which works as the auxiliary verb, and the participle of the verb that is conjugated (dicho, said).

  • Example: Yo he dicho - I have said

Perfect and imperfect tenses

Perfect tenses: The perfect tenses are made up of verb forms that express finished actions. All the compound tenses and the simple past perfect are perfect tenses.

  • Example: Ella dijo la verdad - She told the truth.

Imperfect tenses: They consist of verbal forms that express unfinished actions. All simple tenses are imperfect tenses except the simple perfect preterite.

  • Example: Ella diría la verdad - She would tell the truth.

Preterite, present and future tenses

Preterite: It is made up of verb forms that place the action in the past.

  • Example: Ellos dijeron que sí - They said yes

Present: It is composed of verb forms that situate the action in the present.

  • Example: Ellos dicen que sí - They say yes

Future: It is formed by verb forms that locate the action in the future.

  • Example: Ellos dirán que sí - They will say yes

An overview

Let's look at the different divisions of the decir conjugation verb tenses in a single chart.

MoodSimple tensesCompound tenses
Indicative moodPresentYo digo - I sayPast perfect compoundYo he dicho - I have said
PreteriteYo dije - I saidPast perfect (pluscuamperfecto)Yo había dicho - I had said  
Past imperfectYo decía - I saidPreterite anteriorYo hube dicho - I have said
Future simpleYo diré - I will sayFuture perfectYo habré dicho - I would have said
Periphrastic Future (going to + Indicative verb)Yo voy a ir - I am going to
ConditionalYo diría - I would sayConditional perfectYo habría dicho - I would have said
Subjunctive moodPresentYo dije - I sayPast perfectYo haya dicho - I have said
Past imperfectYo dijera / Yo dijese - I would sayPast perfect (pluscuamperfecto)Yo hubiese/hubiera dicho - I would have said
FutureYo dijere/ Si yo dijere - If I should said. Future perfectYo hubiere dicho - I would have said
Imperative moodPresentDí - SayNo digas - Don’t say

Decir conjugation: simple tenses of the indicative mood

Decir conjugation - 3

After understanding the importance of pronouns, part of the speech, and verbal tenses to Decir conjugation in Spanish, let us explain the simple verb tenses of the indicative mood.

Decir Present Tense

The present tense is the starting point for conjugating “Decir” in Spanish.

Here is the conjugation of "decir" in the present tense:

SubjectPresent ConjugationEnglish
YoDigoI say/tell
Tu/UstedDices/DiceYou say/tell
El/ EllaDiceHe/She say/tell
NosotrosDecimosWe say/ tell
UstedesDicenYou all say/tell
VosotrosDecis
Ellos/EllasDicenThey say/tell

The better you practice the more you learn. So we invite you to follow the next examples and try to make these exercises for decir conjugation.

  • Yo digo que si es posible gestionar el agotamiento en el trabajo (I say it is possible to manage burnout at work.)
  • Tú dices siempre la verdad (You always tell the truth)
  • Ella dice que no hay problema (She says no problem)
  • Nosotros decimos que no (We say no)
  • Vosotros decis mentiras (You tell lies)
  • Ellos no dicen nada (They say nothing)

Exercise: Fill up the gaps with the correct present way of Decir conjugation

  • ¿Yo …….. siempre la verdad y tú? - I always tell the truth and you?
  • Ellos …… que no te vieron en el Cine - They say they didn't see you at the cinema
  • Ella le………. la hora todos los días - She tells him the time every day

Decir conjugation: Preterite Tense

The preterite tense is used to describe past actions that are completed. Here is the decir conjugation in preterite tenses:

SubjectPreterite indicative ConjugationEnglish
YoDijeI said/told
Tu/UstedDijiste/DijoYou said/ told
El/ EllaDijoHe/She said/told
NosotrosDijimosWe said/ told
UstedesDijeronYou all said/told
VosotrosDijisteis
Ellos/EllasDijeronThey said/told

Examples:

  • Yo dije que no (I said no)
  • Tú dijiste todo lo contrario (You said the opposite)
  • Él dijo que no podía venir (He said he couldn't come)
  • Nosotras le dijimos adiós al profesor (We said good-bye to the teacher)
  • Vosotros dijisteis que sí podían venir (You said you could come)
  • Ustedes dijeron que sabían cantar (You said you could sing)

Exercise: Complete the gaps with the correct preterite way of Decir conjugation.

  • Tú…….. que si podías venir.-You said you could come.
  • Ella le………. a su mamá que quería tener una mascota.-She told her mom she wanted to get a pet.
  • Ustedes……………..que no les gustaba el chocolate.-You said you didn't like chocolate.

Decir conjugation: Imperfect Tense 

The imperfect tense describes ongoing or habitual actions in the past. Let's explore the conjugation of "decir" in the imperfect tense:

SubjectImperfect indicative ConjugationEnglish
YoDecíaI used to say/tell
Tu/UstedDecías/DecíaYou used to say/tell
El/ EllaDecíaHe/She used to say/tell
NosotrosDecíamosWe used to say/tell
UstedesDecíanYou used to say/ tell
VosotrosDecíais
Ellos/EllasDecíanThey used to say/tell

Examples:

  • Yo decía que no tendría mascota, pero hoy no puedo vivir sin mi gato (I used to say I wouldn't have a pet, but today I can't live without my cat)
  • Tú decías todo lo contrario (You used to say the opposite)
  • El decía que yo le gustaba (He said he liked me)
  • Nosotros decíamos que estábamos enamorados.(We said we were in love)
  • Ustedes decían que el examen iba a ser fácil (You were saying that the exam was going to be easy)
  • Vosotros decíais que tenían dinero (You said you had money)
  • Ellas decían lo que pensaban (They said what they thought)

Exercises: Fill up the gaps with the correct imperfect way of Decir conjugation.

  • Yo………. que no podría y fui la ganadora - I said I couldn't and I was the winner.
  • Vosotros………… que sabían donde quedaba el hotel - You said you knew where the hotel was.
  • Ellos……… la verdad - They were telling the truth.

Decir conjugation: Future Tense

The future tense allows us to express actions that will happen in the future. Let's conjugate "decir" in the future tense:

SubjectFuture indicative ConjugationEnglish
YoDiréI will say/tell
Tu/UstedDirás/DirásYou will say/ tell
El/ EllaDiráHe/She will say/ tell
NosotrosDiremosWe will say/ tell
UstedesDiránYou all will say/ tell
VosotrosDiréis
Ellos/EllasDiránThey will say/tell

Examples:

  • Yo diré siempre la verdad (I will always tell the truth.)
  • Tú dirás que no es posible, pero si se puede. (You'll say it's not possible, but it can be done.)
  • Ella dirá que te ama (She will say she loves you.)
  • Nosotros no diremos nada (We won't say anything.)
  • Ustedes dirán que si quieren ir al parque (You will say if you want to go to the park.)
  • Vosotros diréis todo lo que quieran (You will say whatever you want.)
  • Ellos dirán mentiras (They will tell lies.)

Exercises: Fill up the gaps with the right future way of Decir conjugation.

  • Yo……….. lo que tu quieras - I'll say whatever you want
  • Ella………… que te ama - She'll say she loves you
  • Ustedes………….. el mejor discurso - You will say the best speech

Decir conjugation: Periphrastic Future

The periphrastic future is a linguistic construction formed with the auxiliary verb ‘Ir’ (going to) plus the preposition and the infinitive of the verb in use.

SubjectPeriphrastic future ConjugationEnglish
YoVoy a decirI am going to say/tell
Tu/UstedVas a decir / Va a decirYou are going to say/tell
El/ EllaVa a decirHe/She is going to say/tell
NosotrosVamos a decirWe are going to say/tell
UstedesVan a decirYou are going to say/tell
VosotrosVais a decir
Ellos/EllasVan a decirThey are going to say/tell

Examples:

  • Yo voy a decir la verdad (I will tell the truth.)
  • Ella dirá lo que esté pensando (She'll say what she's thinking.)
  • Nosotros diremos que sí (We will say yes.)
  • Ustedes dirán lo que piensen (You will say what you think.)
  • Vosotros diréis todo lo que saben (You will say everything you know.)
  • Ellos dirán cómo lo consiguieron (They'll say how they got it.)

Exercise: Fill out the gaps with the correct periphrastic future tense of Decir conjugation.

  • Yo ……. a comprar una chaqueta - I'm going to buy a jacket.
  • Ella ……… a cantar en el concierto - She 's going to sing at the concert.
  • Ustedes …………. a estudiar para el examen - You're going to study for the exam.

Decir conjugation: Conditional tense

The simple conditional in the indicative mood is used to express hypothetical actions or situations and polite questions or wishes.

SubjectConditional ConjugationEnglish
YoDiríaI would say/tell
Tu/UstedDirías/DiríaYou would say/tell
El/ EllaDiríaHe/She would say/tell
NosotrosDiríamosWe would say/tell
UstedesDiríanYou would say/tell
VosotrosDiríais
Ellos/EllasDiríanThey would say/tell

Examples:

  • Yo diría que sí (I would say yes.)
  • Tú dirías lo mismo (You would say the same.)
  • Ella diría que no te conoce (She would say she doesn't know you.)
  • Nosotros diríamos lo contrario (We would say the opposite.)
  • Vosotros diríais más de lo que pensáis (You would say more than you know.)
  • Ellos dirían todo lo que saben (They would say everything they know.)

Exercise: Complete gaps with the conditional indicative tense of Decir conjugation.

  • Yo……que no me conoces - I would say you don't know me.
  • Usted………lo que fuera para salvarse - You would say anything to save yourself.
  • Ellos…….. la verdad si tuvieran garantías -They would tell the truth if they had guarantees

To summarize

Decir conjugation 2

Mastering verb conjugation is crucial for learning any language. This article focuses on how to conjugate the 'Decir' in Spanish. Using the decir conjugation correctly will allow you to express yourself accurately and confidently in various situations.

To understand how to conjugate 'Decir' in Spanish, knowing the use of pronouns, the different parts of speech (infinitive, gerund, participle), and the division of verb tenses is vital. 

That is why in this article, you found all these explanations with which you can understand the structure of decir conjugation and any other verb.

Also, if you want to practice your Spanish, check out our Spanish tutoring services. You can get a 30-minute lesson for free here.

We wish you a great learning experience in Spanish and encourage you to use day by day everything you have learned.

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