Learn to Conjugate the Spanish Verb Explicar (2023)

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Explicar Conjugation, Usage, and Examples

Learn to Conjugate the Spanish Verb Explicar (1)


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    • Pronunciation
    • Vocabulary
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    Gerald Erichsen

    Gerald Erichsen

    Spanish Language Expert

    • B.A., Seattle Pacific University

    Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998.

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    Updated on February 26, 2020

    The conjugation of explicar, which means to explain, follows the regular -ar pattern, but is irregular in terms of spelling.You can see how this rule applies in the conjugated forms shown below: the present, preterite, imperfect, and future tenses in the indicative mood; the present and imperfect tenses in the subjunctive mood; the imperative mood; the past participle; and the gerund.

    Explicar Conjugation and Pronunciation

    The pronunciation of the lettercin Spanish is like the English "k" when it comes before an a, but it differs before an e. The pronunciation ofcbeforeeis similar to the English "s" in most of Latin America, and an unvoiced "th" in most of Spain.

    In writing, the c changes to qu when an e follows the stem. In other words, regular conjugated forms that would result in a spelling beginning with explice- or explicé- become explique- or expliqué-, respectively.

    Many verbs ending in -car follow the same pattern as explicar. Among the most common are buscar (to seek), marcar (to mark), secar (to dry), tocar (to touch), and ubicar (to locate).

    Although "to explain" is by far the most common translation of explicar, other possibilities include "to expound" and "to teach." The reflexive form explicarse means to explain oneself.

    Explicar Present Indicative

    The Spanish simple present tense is more versatile than the English simple present. It can be the equivalent of English forms such as "she explains," "she is explaining," and "she does explain."

    YoexplicoI explainYo explico las razones de los cambios.
    explicasYou explainTú explicas las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Usted/él/ellaexplicaYou/he/she explainsUsted explica lo que ocurrió.
    NosotrosexplicamosWe explainNosotros explicamos la teoría de la relatividad.
    VosotrosexplicáisYou explainVosotros explicáis el problema con detalle.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicanYou/they explainEllos explican el accidente del tren.

    Explicar Preterite

    The preterite is one of the two simple past tenses. It is used similarly to the English past tense.

    YoexpliquéI explainedYo expliqué las razones de los cambios.
    explicasteYou explainedTú explicaste las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Usted/él/ellaexplicóYou/he/she explainedUsted explicó lo que ocurrió.
    NosotrosexplicamosWe explainedNosotros explicamos la teoría de la relatividad.
    VosotrosexplicasteisYou explainedVosotros explicasteis el problema con detalle.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicaronYou/they explainedEllos explicaron el accidente del tren.

    Imperfect Indicative Form of Explicar

    The imperfect is the other simple past tense. It is similar in usage to the "used to + verb" or "was/were + verb + -ing" forms in English.

    YoexplicabaI was explainingYo explicaba las razones de los cambios.
    explicabasYou were explainingTú explicabas las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Usted/él/ellaexplicabaYou/he/she was explainingUsted explicaba lo que ocurrió.
    NosotrosexplicábamosWe were explainingNosotros explicábamos la teoría de la relatividad.
    VosotrosexplicabaisYou were explainingVosotros explicabais el problema con detalle.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicabanYou/they were explainingEllos explicaban el accidente del tren.

    Explicar Future Tense

    YoexplicaréI will explainYo explicaré las razones de los cambios.
    explicarásYou will explainTú explicarás las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Usted/él/ellaexplicaráYou/he/she will explainUsted explicará lo que ocurrió.
    NosotrosexplicaremosWe will explainNosotros explicaremos la teoría de la relatividad.
    VosotrosexplicaréisYou will explainVosotros explicaréis el problema con detalle.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicaránYou/they will explainEllos explicarán el accidente del tren.

    Periphrastic Future of Explicar

    The periphrastic future is a colloquial substitute for the simple future and can be used in all but highly formal contexts.

    Yovoy a explicarI am going to explainYo voy a explicar las razones de los cambios.
    vas a explicarYou are going to explainTú vas a explicar las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Usted/él/ellava a explicarYou/he/she is going to explainUsted va a explicar lo que ocurrió.
    Nosotrosvamos a explicarWe are going to explainNosotros vamos a explicar la teoría de la relatividad.
    Vosotrosvais a explicarYou are going to explainVosotros vais a explicar el problema con detalle.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasvan a explicarYou/they are going to explainEllos van a explicar el accidente del tren.

    Present Progressive/Gerund Form of Explicar

    Gerunds are used to form the progressive tenses.

    Gerund ofExplicar:explicando

    explaining ->Usted está explicando lo que ocurrió.

    Past Participle of Explicar

    The past participle is used to form the perfect tenses. It can also function as an adjective. For example, an unexplained variation is una variación no explicada.

    Participle ofExplicar:explicado

    explained ->Usted ha explicado lo que ocurrió.

    Conditional Form of Explicar

    In Spanish,conditional-tenseverbs are closely related to thefuture. Both conjugations are formed by adding an ending to theinfinitive.

    YoexplicaríaI would explainYo explicaría las razones de los cambios si las entendiera.
    explicaríasYou would explainTú explicarías las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar" si hablaras español.
    Usted/él/ellaexplicaríaYou/he/she would explainUsted explicaría lo que ocurrió si lo supiera.
    NosotrosexplicaríamosWe would explainNosotros explicaríamos la teoría de la relatividad, pero es muy compleja.
    VosotrosexplicaríaisYou would explainVosotros explicaríais el problema con detalle, pero yo no quiero escucharlo.
    Ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicaríanYou/they would explainEllos explicarían el accidente del tren, pero no conocen los hechos.

    Present Subjunctive of Explicar

    The subjunctive mood is used much more often in Spanish than in English. Note that all the present subjunctive forms of explicar are irregular in their spelling.

    Que yoexpliqueThat I explainEs necesario que yo explique las razones de los cambios.
    Que túexpliquesThat you explainLa maestra quiere que tú expliques las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Que usted/él/ellaexpliqueThat you/he/she explainIsabella quiere que usted explique lo que ocurrió.
    Que nosotrosexpliquemosThat we explainLucas espera que nosotros expliquemos la teoría de la relatividad.
    Que vosotrosexpliquéisThat you explainNo es necesario que vosotros expliquéis el problema con detalle.
    Que ustedes/ellos/ellasexpliquenThat you/they explainEs importante que ellos expliquen el accidente del tren a la policía.

    Imperfect Subjunctive Forms of Explicar

    Although Spanish once distinguished between these two types of the imperfect subjunctive, today their use is equally valid. The first option is used more frequently.

    Option 1

    Que yoexplicaraThat I explainedEra necesario que yo explicara las razones de los cambios.
    Que túexplicarasThat you explainedLa maestra quería que tú explicaras las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Que usted/él/ellaexplicaraThat you/he/she explainedIsabella quería que usted explicara lo que ocurrió.
    Que nosotrosexplicáramosThat we explainedLucas esperaba que nosotros explicáramos la teoría de la relatividad.
    Que vosotrosexplicaraisThat you explainedNo era necesario que vosotros explicarais el problema con detalle.
    Que ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicaranThat you/they explainedEra importante que ellos explicaran el accidente del tren a la policía.

    Option 2

    Que yoexplicaseThat I explainedEra necesario que yo explicase las razones de los cambios.
    Que túexplicasesThat you explainedLa maestra quería tú explicases las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar."
    Que usted/él/ellaexplicaseThat you/he/she explainedIsabella quería que usted explicase lo que ocurrió.
    Que nosotrosexplicásemosThat we explainedLucas esperaba que nosotros explicásemos la teoría de la relatividad.
    Que vosotrosexplicaseisThat you explainedNo era necesario que vosotros explicaseis el problema con detalle.
    Que ustedes/ellos/ellasexplicasenThat you/they explainedEra importante que ellos explicasen el accidente del tren a la policía.

    Imperative Forms of Explicar

    Imperative (Positive Command)

    explicaExplain!¡Explica las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar"!
    UstedexpliqueExplain!¡Explique lo que ocurrió!
    NosotrosexpliquemosLet's explain!¡Expliquemos la teoría de la relatividad!
    VosotrosexplicadExplain!¡Explicad el problema con detalle!
    UstedesexpliquenExplain!¡Expliquen el accidente del tren!

    Imperative (Negative Command)

    no expliquesDon't explain!¡No expliques las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar"!
    Ustedno expliqueDon't explain!¡No explique lo que ocurrió!
    Nosotrosno expliquemosLet's not explain!¡No expliquemos la teoría de la relatividad!
    Vosotrosno expliquéisDon't explain!¡No expliquéis el problema con detalle!
    Ustedesno expliquen

    Don't explain!

    ¡No expliquen el accidente del tren!



    Your Citation

    Erichsen, Gerald. "Spanish Verb Explicar Conjugation." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/explicar-conjugation-in-spanish-4175847.Erichsen, Gerald. (2020, August 25). Spanish Verb Explicar Conjugation. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/explicar-conjugation-in-spanish-4175847Erichsen, Gerald. "Spanish Verb Explicar Conjugation." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/explicar-conjugation-in-spanish-4175847 (accessed August 27, 2023).

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