To Become

Become in Spanish
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Spanish Verbs

There are several different Spanish equivalents for the English verb "to become," depending on several factors.

 Note that in English, verbs like "to get" and "to turn" are often more idiomatic than the literal meaning "to become."

Ponerse

Ponerse is followed by an adjective and indicates an involuntary physical or emotional change.

Por ejemplo…

Me puse enfermo en Madrid. I got sick in Madrid.
Ana se pone roja cuando habla. Ana turns red when she talks.

Volverse

Volverse is followed by an adjective and indicates a sudden, profound change.

Por ejemplo…

¡Se volvió loco! He went crazy!
Julio se ha vuelto imposible. Julio has become impossible.

Hacerse | Llegar a ser

Hacerse and llegar a ser are followed by a noun or adjective and indicate a change brought about by effort.

Por ejemplo…

Me hice médico. I became a doctor.
¿Es posible hacerse rico en los EEUU? Is it possible to get rich in the US?
¿Llegarás a ser abogado? Are you going to be a lawyer?
Llegó a ser muy popular. He became very popular.

Convertirse en

Convertirse en is followed by a noun and indicates a big change.

Por ejemplo…

Ella se convirtió en la reina ayer.  She became the queen yesterday.
Finalmente nos convertimos en amigos. We finally became friends.

Quedarse

Quedarse is used for permanent physical changes.

Por ejemplo…

Me quedó sordo el año pasado. I went deaf last year.
¿Cuándo se quedó calvo? When did he go bald?

Transformarse en

Transformarse en is followed by a noun and usually indicates a change to a thing rather than a person.

Por ejemplo…

La condición se transformó en una emergencia médica. The condition turned into a medical emergency.
La leche puede tranformarse en queso. Milk can be turned into cheese.

Becoming Special

There are also a number of Spanish verbs which express a specific change and tend to be somewhat more formal.

adelgazar(se) to get thin
cansarse to get tired
ciegarse to go blind
emocionarse to get excited
enfadarse to get angry
enfermar to get sick
enflaquecer(se) to get thin
enfurecerse to become furious
engordar to get fat
enloquecer(se) to go mad
enmudecerse to go mute
enojarse to get angry
enorgullecerse to get haughty
enriquecerse to get rich
enrojecer(se) to turn red
ensordecerse to go deaf
ensuciarse to get dirty
entusiasmarse to get excited
envejecer(se) to get old
palidecer to turn pale

 Note: When (se) is in parentheses, the verb may be used both intransitively and reflexively.

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Become - Spanish verbs