Sentences with Poder: Conjugation and Examples

Published on April 3, 2023 | Updated on January 12, 2024

In the Spanish language, the verb “poder” is widely used to express the ability or possibility to do something.

This verb is highly versatile and can be used in various tenses and moods to convey different meanings.

In this post, we will explore the different ways “poder” can be used in sentences.

Sentences with Poder: (Can)

Present Tense: “Poder” is often used in the present tense to express ability or possibility in the present moment. For example:

SPAYo puedo hablar Español
ENI can speak Spanish
SPA¿Puedes ayudarme?
ENCan you help me?
SPAElla puede ayudarme con la tarea
ENShe can help me with my homework

Sentences with Poder: (Be Able to)

Future Tense: “Poder” can also be used in the future tense to express possibility or potential. For example:

SPAMañana podré ir al cine
ENTomorrow I will be able to go to the cinema
SPAYo podré manejar muy pronto
ENI will be able to drive very soon
SPA¿Podrás venir a la fiesta?
ENWill you be able to come to the party?

Sentences with Poder: (Could)

Conditional Tense: The conditional tense of “poder” is used to express the ability or possibility of an action in hypothetical situations. For example;

SPAPodría comprar un coche si tuviera suficiente dinero
ENI could buy a car if I had enough money.
SPAPodría viajar más si tuviera un trabajo más flexible
ENI could travel more if I had a more flexible job

Uses of Poder

Expressing Ability: One of the most common ways to use “poder” in Spanish is to express ability or capability.

This usage implies that the subject is capable of performing an action or has the ability to do so. Here are some examples:

SPAYo puedo hablar español
ENI can speak Spanish.)
SPAÉl puede tocar la guitarra.
ENHe can play the guitar.
SPANosotros podemos correr muy rápido.
ENWe can run very fast.

Expressing Possibility: Another way to use “poder” is to express possibility. This usage implies that something is possible, but not certain or guaranteed.

Here are some examples:

SPATal vez pueda ir al cine mañana.
ENMaybe I can go to the movies tomorrow
SPA¿Crees que pueda llover hoy?
ENDo you think it can rain today?
SPAQuizás puedan venir a visitarnos este fin de semana.
ENMaybe they can come to visit us this weekend.

Expressing Permission: “Poder” can also be used to express permission. This usage implies that someone is allowed to do something. Here are some examples:

SPA¿Puedo ir al baño, por favor?
ENCan I go to the bathroom, please?
SPALos niños pueden jugar en el parque.
ENThe children can play in the park.
SPAYou can’t enter without permission.
ENNo puedes entrar sin permiso.

Expressing Impossibility: Although “poder” is often used to express ability and possibility, it can also be used to express impossibility.

This usage implies that something is not possible. Here are some examples:

SPANo puedo volar como un pájaro.
ENI can’t fly like a bird.
SPAÉl no puede vivir sin agua.
ENHe can’t live without water.
SPANo podemos viajar en el tiempo.
ENWe can’t travel through time.

Expressing a Hypothetical Situation: Finally, “poder” can also be used to express a hypothetical situation or scenario.

This usage implies that something could happen under certain conditions. Here are some examples:

SPASi estudias mucho, podrás sacar buenas notas.
ENIf you study a lot, you can get good grades.
SPASi hubiera más tiempo, podríamos terminar el proyecto.
ENIf there were more time, we could finish the project.
SPASi no hubiera tráfico, podríamos llegar a tiempo.
ENIf there weren’t any traffic, we could arrive on time.

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I live in Costa Rica, I am an Spanish Native speaker and I am English teacher so I am sure that I will share valuable insights if you really want to learn Spanish