Spanish Fact File: Using quedar

Quedar is one of those words which can mean a number of things in Spanish, depending on the context and how it is used. In this fact file we’ll be taking a look at the verb, and outlining the main ways in which it is used.

QUEDAR – to remain, to be left

The first use we’ll consider is when quedar means “to remain” or “to be left”. Consider the following examples:

  • Quedan dos huevos – There are two eggs left / Two eggs remain.
  • ¿No te queda dinero? – Don’t you have any money left? 

When quedar is used in this way, it’s important to remember what the subject is. In the first example, quedan dos huevos, the verb quedar is used in the 3rd person plural, the ellos form, because the subject is dos huevos. Perhaps this is easier to understand if we concentrate on the English translation “two eggs remain”.  Likewise, in ¿no te queda dinero? the subject is dinero. A more literal translation which may help you understand this further is “to you no money remains?” It obviously sounds a little, but it should help you understand quedar used in this way a little more.

QUEDAR – to suit

The verb quedar can also mean “to suit” when referring to clothes. Let’s have a look at two further examples:

  • ¿Me queda bien esta falda? – Does this skirt suit me?
  • No te queda mal esa camiseta – That t-shirt doesn’t look bad on you.

In this use of quedar, the subject of quedar is quite clear: in our example sentences the subject was “this skirt” and ‘that t-shirt”.

QUEDAR – to meet

A very common use of quedar is “to meet”, eg. when making arrangements.

  • Quedamos a las ocho – We’re meeting at eight o’clock.
  • He quedado con Ángel en la plaza mayor – I’m meeting Ángel in the Plaza Mayor. 

In this case the use of the verb is very straightforward.

QUEDAR EN – to arrange to do something, to agree to do something

This is a slightly more complex use of quedar and in this situation, quedar must be followed by en:

  • No quedaron en nada – They didn’t agree on anything
  • Quedemos en vernos el jueves – Let’s arrange to see each other on Thursday.
  • Hemos quedado en ir al cine – We’ve agreed/decided to go to the cinema

Note that when quedar en is followed by a verb, the verb will be in the infinitive, eg. hemos quedado en ir al cine.

QUEDARSE – to stay, to remain

When quedar is used as a reflexive verb it means “to stay” or “to remain”. Consider the following examples:

  • Me quedé en casa – I stayed at home.
  • Se quedan con sus amigos – They are staying with their friends

This is a very common use of the verb.

So, hopefully you have now mastered quedar in its various uses.

Audio episode – please note that you currently have to be a member of Show Time Spanish Season 2 to access the audio below:


7 thoughts on “Spanish Fact File: Using quedar”

  1. He quedado con Ángel en la plaza mayor – I’m meeting Ángel in the Plaza Mayor.

    Why isn’t the translation – ‘I have met Angel in the Plaza Mayor’?

  2. Good question, Paddy. It’s because ‘quedar’ means ‘to arrange to meet’, so ‘he quedado con Ángel’, means ‘I have arranged to meet Ángel…’

    I should probably have made that a bit clearer – my apologies. But thanks for posting! Did you find the idea of this ‘Fact File’ useful?

  3. Yes very useful, I’ve just come across it. I listened to a number of Coffee Break Spanish episodes and have just started on Showtime, which is pushing me hard (I’ve only been learning for 8 months).

    It’s really useful seeing the written words as well as hearing them. I’m trying to work out which of your premium courses I should buy – as I can really only afford one.

  4. If Quedar is “to arrange to meet” then in your first example “Quedamos a las ocho” es we arrange to meet at 8. Therefore, can we use the subjunctive form and say “let’s plan/arrange to meet at 8” by using the let’s imperative? “Quedemos a las 8” Es that correct? BTW, how would one simply say I’ll meet you there or is meeting there fine with you?

    Love your show, been listening for about 3 months and I’m up to date W/ showtime and have learned I think more form your pod cast than my Spanish class I go to 1/week for 2.5 hours. And I can review and review what you said until it finally sinks! Thanks for the great show you and Alba do. btw love her trillilng of her r’s

  5. Quedar tambien se usa cuando una persona/ maquina/ etc se queda con algo.

    Por ejemplo:
    La maquina se quedo con mi tarjeta.
    Me quede con tu libro.

    Perdon por los acentos.


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