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Deber: Present Tense. Now that you learned the imperfect, the preterite and the future tenses, it is a good idea to add some new remarks about its use. Bear in mind that deber (de) can also be used in other tenses: And can also be followed by El Infinitivo Compuesto when we are talking about assumptions related to past actions. deber + infinitivo. When deber or deber de is followed by an infinitive, it acts as an auxiliary verb to the verb in the infinitive (i.e. (it's very likely they will arrive soon), That painting must be a Matisse. "Deber + infinitive" vs. "tener que + infinitive" "Deber + infinitive" tends to imply a sense of *internal* obligation, whereas "tener que + infinitive," which is extremely common and very close in meaning, tends to convey a sense of *external* obligation. ", Deber is usually translated as should, and can be seen a lot in the polite form "Debería/s. Deber (should) + infinitive DRAFT. deber + infinitivo. (I fulfilled my duty to vote.) Deber de makes the most sense to me when translated as "must" int he context of: "You'd better get home! Edit. gaps and mistakes. [supposition], No obstante, con este sentido, la lengua culta admite también el uso sin preposición: (Nonetheless, with the idea of probability or supposition, it is not uncommon to see deber without the preposition de), «Marianita, su hija, debe tener unos veinte años» ? El conductor de este vehículo debe de haber conducido muy deprisa. Definition. [supposition]. Ustedes deben lavar los platos. Tienes que estudiar / Tenemos que dejar de fumar ‘Deber’ (must) + infinitive:: Debes estudiar / Debemos dejar de fumar ‘Hay que’ (must) + infinitive . No: No: debiendo: debido: The verbal periphrasis deber + infinitive expresses an obligation. The verb deber (must) in Spanish has a specific use and meaning when it is followed by preposition "de". In contrast, tener que expresses an obligation based on objective criteria. Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? In that case, you would need to know the context to understand what was meant. These are among the common phrases using deber: Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. (There are 25 books we should read before we reach our 30s. Take a look at the conjugation of deber (must) in El Presente: The endings are the same as regular -er verbs: Conjugate regular -er verbs in El Presente (present tense). to owe; must, should, ought to. Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados. You can see above that deber + infinitive could mean both, but deber de + infinitive is only considered an assumption, not an obligation. (it's very likely a Matisse). Is it irregular? However, deber and tener que are not always interchangeable. Todos los conductores deben respetar el código de circulación y conducir con precaución. The infinitive form is the form ending in -ar, -er or -ir. ", Nice explaination, Ira. = "Deberías irte a la cama temprano, ya que tienes que madrugar.". Kwiziq Spanish is a product of and © Kwiziq Ltd 2020, Using poder in El pretérito Perfecto and El Pretérito Indefinido for "could" in past actions, Deber in El Conditional Simple + haber + participle = should have, Using deber, poder, querer + infinitive to express must, can, to want to, Using Cuánto + verb in exclamations about quantities, Using El Futuro Simple (simple future) for prediction, speculation and probability in the present. Read and listen to these examples of deber conjugated in El Condicional Simple: As a general rule, deber directly followed by an infinitive (without de) means obligation although its use to express assumption is also accepted: Margarita debe de … Kwiziq Spanish is a product of and © Kwiziq Ltd 2020, Using poder in El pretérito Perfecto and El Pretérito Indefinido for "could" in past actions, Deber in El Conditional Simple + haber + participle = should have, Using deber, poder, querer + infinitive to express must, can, to want to, Conjugate ser in El Presente (present tense), Conjugate regular -er verbs in El Presente (present tense). ", "You should go to bed since you have to get up early." Los padres deben de estar preocupándose! Kwiziq Spanish is a product of and © Kwiziq Ltd 2020, Using poder in El pretérito Perfecto and El Pretérito Indefinido for "could" in past actions, Deber in El Conditional Simple + haber + participle = should have, Querer que is always followed by El Subjuntivo (present subjunctive), Using gustar + verb to say like [doing something], Expressing need and obligation (deber, tener que, haber que, necesitar [que]). Similar to the English must for obligation, deber is also typically limited to formal and written contexts.

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