When you’re a beginner at any language, you want to learn some useful words and grammatical structures that can help you get speaking. In a new series here, we’ll be looking at some power verbs in Spanish. First up, we’ll practice using the verb necesitar (to need). Whether you’re in Spain, Argentina, or Mexico, being able to express your needs is very important!
Conjugation in Simple Present
For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to just focus on the simple present in these posts. Once you get the hang of it, you can branch out and start to learn different tenses in Spanish. Here’s the simple present conjugation for necesitar:
You need (familiar)
You need (formal)
You need (plural)
As is usually the case, you can drop the words yo, tú, and nosotros, as they are implied in the conjugated form of the verb. As such, you can just say “necesito” to express “I need” or simply say “necesitamos” to express “we need.” With the forms necesita and necesitan, you might want to include the personal pronoun for clarity.
Let’s look at how to make positive statements using the verb necesitar. Here are a few examples in Spanish with the English translation:
Necesito estudiar español cada dia.
I need to study Spanish every day.
Necesitas trabajar mañana.
You need to work tomorrow.
Usted necesita pagar la renta.
You need to pay the rent.
Él necesita salir pronto.
He needs to leave soon.
Ella necesita comprar un regalo.
She needs to buy a gift.
Necesitamos terminar hoy.
We need to finish today.
Ustedes necesitan viajar mas.
You all need to travel more.
Ellos necesitan regresar mas tarde.
They need to return later.
Give it a try and see if you can make a few positive statements expressing needs. Now let’s move on to the negative.
To make a negative statement, simply add “no” before the correct form of necesitar. Here are a few examples:
No necesito ir a la oficina mañana.
I do not need to go to the office tomorrow.
No necesitas pagar la cuenta.
You do not need to pay the bill.
Usted no necesita lavar su coche.
You do not need to wash your car.
Él no necesita mandar una carta.
He does not need to send a letter.
Ella no necesita hacerlo.
She does not need to do it.
No necesitamos manejar alli.
We do not need to drive there.
Ellas no necesitan empezar hoy.
They do not need to start today.
Now it’s your turn! Try and write a handful of negative statements using the verb necesitar. Before we finish, let’s take a look at how to ask questions using this power verb.
To ask a yes/no question meaning “Do you need…?”, you simply add a question mark to the end of a positive statement and alter the tone of your voice. You know, kind of like Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman” when someone slips a question mark onto the teleprompter:
Here are a few examples of simple yes/no questions:
Necesitas trabajar hoy?
Do you need to work today?
Ella necesita ir al banco?
Does she need to go to the bank?
Necesitamos estudiar esta noche?
Do we need to study tonight?
Now let’s look at a few other examples of questions to see how they are structured:
Qué necesita ordenar?
What do you need to order?
A dónde necesita ir él?
Where does he need to go?
Cuando necesitamos llegar?
When do we need to arrive?
See if you can form a few yes/no questions as well as some others using what, when, or where. While you’re at it, make sure you’re at least learning a new Spanish word every day. After talking about needs, we’ll take a look at the Spanish power verb meaning “to want” next time.
About the Author:sasha
Sasha is a teacher, student, writer, photographer, web designer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently planning a trip through Central/South America.
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