Caer: Verb Conjugation in Spanish

The frequently used verb, caer, translates to ‘‘to fall’’ and ‘‘to drop’’ in English. While you do not want to fall when learning Spanish, understanding and knowing how to conjugate this verb properly will help you make sure you do not trip over the rules later.

First, you need to know that caer is a stem-changing verb, so you will be presented with some irregular patterns in the present, imperfect, and preterite tense. In terms of usage it is a fairly straightforward word. However, it can also be used when talking about the weather, liking or getting along with other people, and when referring to specific dates.

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Caer Conjugation

Present Tense

Yo

caigo

Nosotros

caemos

caes

Vosotros

caéis

Él/Ella/Ud.

cae

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

caen

Examples:

  • No sé porqué no me habla. Yo siempre caigo bien. -- I don’t know why he doesn’t talk to me. People always like me.
  • Este año mi cumpleaños cae en domingo. – This year my birthday falls on a Sunday.

Imperfect Tense

Yo

caía

Nosotros

caíamos

caías

Vosotros

caíais

Él/Ella/Ud.

caía

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

caían

Examples:

  • Pensé que la comida no caía mal, pero al final si lo hizo. – I thought I wasn’t going to get food poisoning, but I ended up getting it.
  • Ella me caía bien cuando estábamos en la universidad. Ahora es muy arrogante. -- I used to like her when we were in college. Now she is too arrogant.

Preterite Tense

Yo

caí

Nosotros

caímos

caiste

Vosotros

caísteis

Él/Ella/Ud.

cayó

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

cayeron

Examples:

  • El avión cayó en el mar. -- The plane fell into the sea.
  • Cayó una fuerte nevada hace dos días. Nos estábamos congelando. -- It snowed heavily two days ago. We were freezing.

Notice the vowel change in some of these pronouns when caer is conjugated in the present, imperfect, and preterite tense.

Future Tense

Yo

caeré

Nosotros

caeremos

caerás

Vosotros

caeréis

Él/Ella/Ud

caerá

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

caerán

Examples:

  • No caeré en ese error. -- I will not make that mistake.
  • Los precios caerán como resultado de la reform. -- Prices will drop as a result of the reform.
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Conditional Tense

Yo

caería

Nosotros

caeríamos

caerías

Vosotros

caeríais

Él/Ella/Ud

caería

Ellos/Ellas/Uds.

caerían

Examples:

  • Caerías mucho mejor si no fueras tan amargado todo el tiempo. -- People would like you more if you weren’t so grumpy all the time.
  • La llamada caería si tuvieras un mejor servicio de teléfono. -- The phone call would get through if you had a better phone service.

Idiomatic Expressions with Caer

As shown above, caer is often used to talk about situations related to the act of falling down. However, there are some phrases that use this verb with very different meanings. Here are some idiomatic expressions with caer. Using them will help you sound like a native speaker.

  • Todo cae por su propio peso. -- What goes around, comes around.
  • Caer como balde de agua fría. -- To pour (or throw) cold water on something.

Don't Drop It

Whether you are talking about dropping, falling down, liking someone or just pointing out the exact day on which your birthday falls, caer is a useful word to have under your belt. Just remember that, when conjugated, there is a vowel change in the present, imperfect, and preterite tenses.