Andar: Spanish Verb Conjugation

Some verbs in Spanish seem strange to non-native speakers. Not only because their supposedly regular conjugation changes in some of the verb tenses, but also because some of them aren’t used in the way you think they should be.

Take the verb andar. It’s normally translated as ‘‘to walk’’ in English, but it can also be used as ‘‘to go/travel,’’ “to be around,” "to run/work," and even ‘‘to be.’’ In general terms, the distinction between andar meaning ‘‘to walk’’ and other verbs of movement is closely related to a sense of figurative motion.

So, be warned that often this verb is going to be used to refer to actions that don’t imply actual movement, but somehow indicate the idea of motion. It is a perfectly regular verb except for its irregular conjugation in the preterite tense as you will see.

Advertisement

Conjugations

Present Tense

Yo

ando

Nosotros

andamos

andas

Vosotros

andáis

Él/Ella/Ud.

anda

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

andan

Example sentence:

Siempre ando en coche. -- I always travel by car.

Imperfect Tense

Yo

andaba

Nosotros

andábamos

andabas

Vosotros

andabais

Él/Ella/Ud.

andaba

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

andaban

Example sentence:

Cada mañana, mi hermano andaba al menos 4 kilómetros. -- Every morning, my brother used to walk at least four kilometers.

Preterite Tense

Yo

anduve

Nosotros

anduvimos

anduviste

Vosotros

anduvisteis

Él/Ella/Ud.

anduvo

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

anduvieron

Example sentence:

Anduviste muy insegura durante toda la presentación. -- You were very unsure of yourself during the whole presentation.

Notice how here the verb andar isn’t used to talk about actual movement, but rather figurative (literally, "you go around being...").

Future Tense

Yo

andaré

Nosotros

andaremos

andarás

Vosotros

andaréis

Él/Ella/Ud.

andará

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

andarán

Example sentence:

Se dice que la inversión ahora andará por los $15 millones. – It is said that the investment will be about $15 million.

Advertisement

Conditional Tense

Yo

andaría

Nosotros

andaríamos

andarías

Vosotros

andaríais

Él/Ella/Ud.

andaría

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

andarían

Example sentence:

Yo andaría con él si no fuera tan irrespetuoso con la gente que lo rodea. – I would hang around with him if he weren’t so disrespectful to the people around him.

Some Common Phrases Using Andar

Él siempre anda en las nubes. -- He is always distracted/daydreaming (literally "walking in the clouds").

¿Tu hermana anda por aquí? -- Is your sister around here?

Yo siempre ando sin dinero. -- I’m always short on money.

¿Por qué no llamaste anoche? Mamá andaba muy ocupada. -- Why didn’t you call last night? Mom was very worried.

Tu hermano no se anda por las ramas y por eso me cae bien. -- Your brother doesn’t beat around the bush and that’s why I like him.

Siempre ando en mi bicicleta. -- I’m always riding my bike.

Just Hanging Around

See? Andar is an interestingly strange verb, but it is definitely one of those verbs you want to have in your Spanish repertoire. As far as its usage, this verb can be directly translated as ‘‘to walk’’, but it is often used in many other ways. Now go tell your indecisive friend to stop beating around the bush in Spanish.