The verb in Spanish for say, to tell
decir

Spanish for say is decir

decir - Spanish for to say, to tell

... which sounds a bit like DESIRE ...

Imagine that DESIREE the singer, DESIRES to say what she means,
and to to tell the truth ....


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Because the brain never forgets a picture, this makes the 'remembering process' a whole lot easier.

Below see all the conjugations for you of decir, the verb in Spanish for say, to say.

Each tense has a sample sentence with one of the verb conjugations in action. Read these all aloud, three times. You may also find it useful to write the tables of this very useful verb out in full!
Memorise it... then learn the conjugations in the various Spanish verb tenses.

It is from the same route word as the English word - discuss, discourse.

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Present Participle Past Participle
diciendo = saying dicho = said

The past participle is highly important as it is used to form the various compound tenses, seven of which are used in modern Spanish conversation and writing. Check out the tenses in the tables below, and check out the sample sentences using the Spanish for say.


Verb decir fully conjugated. The Spanish for say, to tell


The 7 Simple Tenses of the conjugated Spanish verb decir - to say

Present Tense - Presente
yo digo I (am) - say

- saying

- do say
dices you (are)
(inf.sing)
él, ella
-----
usted
dice he, she, it (is)
-----
you (are)
(form.sing)
nosotros decimos we (are)
vosotros decís you (are)
(inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
dicen they (are) (m/f)
-----
you (are)
(form.pl)


Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the present indicative tense:

Yo digo la casa es hermosa.
I say the house is beautiful.


Imperfect Indicative Tense
Imperfecto de Indicativo
yo decía I (was) - said
- saying

- used to say
decías you (were)
(inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
decía he, she, it (was)
-----
you (were)
(form.sing)
nosotros decíamos we (were)
vosotros decíais you (were)
(inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
decían they (m/f)
you (were)
(form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the imperfect indicative tense:

Tu decías que la niña era linda.
You used to say that the girl was pretty.


Preterit Tense - Pretérito
yo dije I said
dijiste you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
dijo he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros dijimos we
vosotros dijisteis you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
dijeron they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the preterit tense:

Él dijo que la ropa estaba sucia.
He said that the clothes were dirty.


Future Tense - Futuro
yo diré I - will say

- will be saying
dirás you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
dirá he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros diremos we
vosotros diréis you (inf.pl)
ellos ellas
ustedes
dirán they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, to tell, conjugated in the future tense:

Nosotros diremos que él ganará.
We will be saying that he’ll win.


Conditional Tense - Potencial Simple
yo diría I would say
dirías you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
diría he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros diríamos we
vosotros diríais you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
dirían they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example sentence of the verb decir Spanish for say, conjugated in the conditional tense:

Vosotros diríais que mañana sera un hermoso día.
You would say that tomorrow will be a beautiful day.


Present Subjunctive Tense - Presente de Subjuntivo
yo diga I - may say

- may be saying
digas you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
diga he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros digamos we
vosotros digáis you (inf.pl)
ellos ellas
ustedes
digan they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the present subjunctive tense:

Intentemos que ellosdigan el discurso.
(We intend) It is our intention that they present (say) the speech.


Imperfect Subjunctive Tense -ra version - Imperfecto de Subjuntivo
yo dijera (that) I (maybe)
said
(in the past)
dijeras (that) you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
dijera (that)
he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros dijéramos (that) we
vosotros dijerais (that) you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
dijeran (that)
they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the imperfect subjunctive –ra version tense:

Si yo dijiera que Alemania es el mejor país, yo estaría loco.
If I (had) said that Germany is the best country, I would be mad.


Imperfect Subjunctive Tense -se version - Imperfecto de Subjuntivo
yo dijese (that) I (maybe)
said
(in the past)
dijeses (that) you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
dijese (that)
he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros dijésemos (that) we
vosotros dijeseis (that) you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
dijesen (that)
they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the imperfect subjunctive –se version tense:

Si yo dijese que la escuela es una perdida de tiempo, yo estaría loco.
If I (had) said that school is a waste of time, I would be crazy.


The 7 Compound Tenses of decir, the verb in Spanish for to say, to tell.

All compound tenses are composed of the conjugated auxiliary verb
haber and the past particple of decir.

haber + dicho

Present Perfect Tense - Perfecto de Indicativo
yo he dicho I have said
has dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
-----
usted
ha dicho he, she, it
-----
you (form.sing)
nosotros hemos dicho we
vosotros habéis dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
han dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example sentence of decir Spanish for say, to say, to tell with the verb conjugated in the present perfect (perfecto de indicativo) tense:

has dicho que la mesa estaba limpia.
You have said that the table was clean.


Past Perfect Tense
Pluscuamperfecto de Indicativo
yo había dicho I had said
habías dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
había dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros habíamos dicho we
vosotros habíais dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
habían dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example sentence of the verb decir Spanish for say, conjugated in the past perfect (pluscuamperfecto de indicativo) tense:

Él había dicho que no era su trabajo.
He had said that it wasn’t his job.


Future Perfect Tense - Futuro Perfecto
yo habré dicho I will have said
habrás dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
habrá dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros habremos dicho we
vosotros habréis dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
habrán dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the Future Perfect tense:

Nosotros habremos dicho que estábamos perdidos.
We will have said that we were lost.


Conditional Perfect Tense - Potencial Compuesto
yo habría dicho I would have said
habrías dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
habría dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros habríamos dicho we
vosotros habríais dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
habrían dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir, Spanish for say, conjugated in the Conditional Perfect:


habríasdicho eso si no sabías la verdad.
You would have said that if you didn’t know the truth.


Preterit Perfect Tense
Pretérito Perfecto or Anterior
(used mostly in formal writing)
yo hube dicho I had said
hubiste dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
hubo dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros hubimos dicho we
vosotros hubisteis dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
hubieron dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example sentence of the verb decir, the verb in Spanish for to say conjugated in the Preterit Perfect Tense (Also known as pretérito anterior - past anterior):


"Como Jesús hubo dicho estas cosas, salióse con sus discípulos."
"As (after) Jesus had said these things, he left with his disciples." John 18:1


Present Perfect Subjunctive Tense
Perfecto de Subjuntivo
yo haya dicho I (may) have said
hayas dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
haya dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros hayamos dicho we
vosotros hayáis dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
hayan dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir conjugated in the Present Perfect Subjunctive Tense:


Espero que ellos hayan dicho lo correcto.
I hope that they have said the right thing.


Pluperfect Subjunctive Tense -ra version - Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo
yo hubiera dicho I (may) had said
hubieras dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
hubiera dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros hubiéramos dicho we
vosotros hubierais dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
hubieran dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir conjugated in the Pluperfect Subjunctive Tense -ra version - Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo:


Yo hubiera dicho que el era inocente, si ustedes me hubiesen pagado.
I may had said that he was innocent, if you had paid me.


Pluperfect Subjunctive Tense -se version - Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo
yo hubiese dicho I (may) had said
hubieses dicho you (inf.sing)
él, ella
usted
hubiese dicho he, she, it
you (form.sing)
nosotros hubiésemos dicho we
vosotros hubieseis dicho you (inf.pl)
ellos, ellas
ustedes
hubiesen dicho they (m/f)
you (form.pl)

Example Spanish sentence of the verb decir conjugated in the Pluperfect Subjunctive Tense -se version:


Yo hubiese dicho la verdad, si ustedes no me hubiesen golpeado.
I may had said the truth, if you hadn’t hit me.


Imperative
Imperativo
Say! Don't say!
you (inf.sing) ¡di! ¡no digas!
you (form.sing) usted ¡diga! ¡no diga!
(Let) us nosotros ¡digamos! ¡no digamos!
you (inf.pl) vosotros ¡decid! ¡no digáis!
you (form.pl) ustedes ¡digan! ¡no digan!

Note: The Spanish upside down exclamation mark (¡) is required before a command/exclamation and a normal exclamation mark (!) following it.

¡Di a ellos que se callen!
Tell them to be quiet!


Notes and other meanings of decir, the verb in Spanish for say:

to say

¡Porque lo digo yo! Because I say so! ¿Que dice?
What does it/he/she/you (form.sing) say? / What is he/she saying?

Decirle algo a algiuen.
To tell something to somebody
Decirle al oído a alguien.
to whisper in someone’s ear.


decirse to say ie. to oneself or to each other
¿Cómo se dice? = how do you say? Lit. how does one say?
¿Cómo se dice en español?


Also means to tell

Sabes qué me dijeron? Do you know what they told me?


to show, to reveal, to call


decir por decir = talking for talking's sake


querer decir - to mean

Quiero decir que ... I mean that ( I want to say that) ….


Es decir (que) = that’s to say (that) …


So to speak!

como quien dice so to speak / as they say
or
Por así decirlo. so to speak


¡No me digas! You don’t say! Really!?


¿Qué me dices?
What are you saying (to me)? / What are you telling me?

Dijo que sí. Dijo que no.
He/she said yes. He/she said no.

No digas esas cosas. Don’t say such things.

¡Y que lo digas! You bet!


¡Diga! ¡Dígame!
In a shop: Can I help you?
On the phone: Hello? (particularly in Spain)


un decir (m) a familiar saying, figuratively speaking.
Es un decir. = It’s a saying.


Dicho y hecho. No sooner said than done.


decir as a suffix

These are all conjugated in exactly the same irregular way as the verb, decir.

bendecir - to bless or to say grace (before a meal)
contradecir(se) - to contradict (oneself)
desdecir de algo - to to deny, diminish something
Note: The prefix des = undo, diminish, deny
desdecirse - to go back on one’s word.
maldecir - to speak badly of, to curse.
predecir - to predict.


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