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 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 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 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

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