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“Cerrar” Conjugation: Comprehensive Guide with Examples

Have you ever given any thought to how many times a day do you close things? It’s more than you expected, right? In this article, we’ll cover how to close things in Spanish. Well, not really, just how to indicate you’ve closed something or that something is close.

Below, we’ll go over the cerrar conjugation. We’ll start by looking at what type of verb it is and its verbals. We’ll then cover the cerrar conjugation basics and move on to more advanced tenses. We’ll finish off with some interesting sayings and expressions that include this verb. Let’s get started!

What kind of verb is cerrar?

Cerrar is a stem-changing verb. This means it doesn’t follow the standard conjugation for verbs ending in “-ar.” But don’t fret! We promise it is not that hard to get the hang of it.

As you may know, verbs in Spanish end either in “-ar,” “-er,” or “ir.” The first part of the verb is called a stem. Stem-changing verbs change the last vowel of the stem in some conjugations. Cerrar (like perder and empezar) changes the “e” for an “ie” in some cases, as we’ll see below.

If you need clarification about stem-changing verbs, you can find more information in this article.

The meanings of cerrar

While the most common meaning of the verb cerrar is to physically close something (like a book, a door or a shop), we thought you should be aware of a couple of extra meanings.

Cierra la puerta con llave (Lock the door)

In this context, cerrar means to lock.

¡No te cierres! (Don’t shut down!)

In a more informal context, cerrar refers to a person shutting down or refusing to budge on something.

Cierra el gas (Shut off the gas)

Cerrarse, the reflexive form of the verb cerrar, can be translated into “shut off” or “turn off” in some contexts.

Verbals of cerrar: infinitive, gerund and participle

Now that we know what type of verb cerrar is, let’s dig into its conjugation. We’ll start by looking at its verbals: the infinitive, the gerund and the participle. These verbals function as nouns, adjectives and adverbs instead of actual verbs. This may sound tricky, but we promise it’s pretty straightforward, as you’ll see with the examples below.


Cerrar (close)

  • Vamos a cerrar la puerta. (We’re going to close the door.)
  • ¿Estás pronto para cerrar? (Are you ready to close?)


Cerrando (closing)

  • La tienda está cerrando. (The store is closing.)
  • ¿Podés ir cerrando los cajones? (Can you start closing the drawers?)


Cerrado (closed)

  • He cerrado todos las ventanas. (I’ve closed all the windows.)
  • El supermercado está cerrado. (The supermarket is closed.)

Cerrar conjugation for all levels

When one door closes: cerrar conjugation for beginners

As you’re probably tired of reading by now, the Spanish indicative mood has ten tenses. We’ll first go over the most common and simplest forms of the cerrar conjugation of the indicative mood: presente (present), pretérito imperfecto (imperfect preterite, a form of the past tense), pretérito perfecto (perfect preterite, another form of the past tense) and futuro (future).

Subject Present Imperfect Preterite Perfect Preterite Future
Yo (I) cierro cerraba cerré cerraré
Tu (You)
Vos (Latin America)


cerrabas cerraste cerrarás
Usted (You, formal)

El/Ella (He/She/It)

cierra cerraba cerró cerrará
Nosotros (We) cerramos cerrábamos cerramos cerraremos
Vosotros (You, plural)
Ustedes (Latin America)








Ellos (Them) cierran cerraban cerraron cerrarán

Cerrar conjugation examples for beginners

  • Present: ¿Y si cerramos las ventanas? (What if we close the windows?)
  • Imperfect preterite: Hace años que no cerraban tan temprano. (They hadn’t closed so early in years.)
  • Perfect preterite: ¿Cerraste la puerta? (Did you close the door?)
  • Future: Mañana cerrarán esta calle para hacer arreglos. (They’ll close down this street tomorrow due to road works.)

Closing the gap: cerrar conjugation for intermediate students

We’ve got the basics down and it’s time to kick things up a notch! In this section, we’ll focus on the compound tenses of the cerrar conjugation in the indicative mood.

The trick to learning these tenses is mastering the haber conjugation. The only form of cerrar that is actually used here is the participle “cerrado”. This is because the compound tenses in Spanish are formed with the correct form of the verb haber + the past participle of the verb in question (i.e., cerrado), which is the one that carries the meaning.

In the table below you’ll find the pretérito perfecto (preterite perfect), pluscuamperfecto (pluperfect) and futuro compuesto (future perfect) tenses for cerrar. If you want some extra help, you should look at our article on the haber conjugation.

Subject Preterite Perfect Pluperfect Future Perfect
Yo (I) he cerrado había cerrado habré cerrado
Tu/Vos (You) has cerrado habías cerrado habrás cerrado
Usted (You, formal)

El/Ella (He/She/It)

ha cerrado había cerrado habrá cerrado
Nosotros (We) hemos cerrado habíamos cerrado habremos cerrado
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)

habéis cerrado

han cerrado

habíais cerrado

habían cerrado

habréis cerrado

habrán cerrado

Ellos (Them) han cerrado habían cerrado habrán cerrado

Cerrar conjugation examples for intermediate level

  • Preterite perfect: Mónica ha cerrado la puerta con llave. (Mónica has locked the door.)
  • Pluperfect: Había cerrado el trato muy rápido. (He/She had closed the deal swiftly.)
  • Future perfect: ¿Habremos cerrado bien el grifo? (Did we shut the water tap off right?)

Behind closed doors: cerrar conjugation for advanced learners

Are you ready to go behind the curtain? In this section, we’ll cover the subjunctive mood. This Spanish mood is indeed quite, well, moody. It is used to express doubts, emotions, desires, and the unknown! In this section, we’ll cover the presente (present), imperfecto (imperfect) and futuro (future) tenses for the cerrar conjugation.

Subject Present Imperfect Future
Yo (I) cierre cerrara o cerrase cerrare
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)

cierres cerraras o cerrases cerrares
Usted (You, formal)

El/Ella (He/She/It)

cierre cerrara o cerrase cerrare
Nosotros (We) cerremos cerráramos o cerrásemos cerráremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



cerrarais o cerraseis

cerraran o cerrasen



Ellos (Them) cierren cerraran o cerrasen cerraren

Cerrar conjugation examples for advanced learners

  • Present: ¡Ojalá no cierren temprano hoy! (I hope they don’t close early today!)
  • Imperfect: Si cerraras la ventana, no entraría toda esta mugre. (If you closed the window, the dirt wouldn’t fly in.)

The subjunctive future is rarely heard in conversation nowadays as it has been relegated mainly to literature or legal contexts. That is why we haven’t added a conjugation example for the cerrar subjunctive future here. However, we still think knowing what it looks like is important.

Don’t close your mind to learning: conditional tenses and imperative

How open to learning are you? If you’re up for it, we’ll cover three more tenses in this section: the condicional simple (simple conditional), the condicional compuesto (conditional perfect), and the imperative.

Subject Simple Conditional Conditional Perfect Imperative
Yo (I) cerraría habría cerrado
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)

cerrarías habrías cerrado ¡cierra!


Usted (You, formal)

El/Ella (He/She/It)

cerraría habría cerrado ¡cierre!
Nosotros (We) cerraríamos habríamos cerrado ¡cerremos!
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



habríais cerrado

habrían cerrado



Ellos (Them) cerrarían habrían cerrado ¡cierren!

Cerrar conjugation examples in the conditional and imperative tenses

  • Simple conditional: ¿Cerrarías las ventanas si empezara a llover? (Would you close the windows if it started raining?)
  • Conditional perfect: Si Julio hubiese cerrado bien la puerta, esto no hubiese pasado. (If Julio had closed the door properly, this wouldn’t have happened.)
  • Imperative: ¡Cierren la puerta después de entrar! (Close the door after coming in!)

If you want a more detailed overview of conditional tenses, you should read this article.

Idioms and expressions related to cerrar

Now that you’ve mastered the cerrar conjugation, it’s time to move on to some extra vocabulary. Here are some idioms and set phrases related to the verb cerrar.

En un abrir y cerrar de ojos

This phrase translates beautifully to “in the blink of an eye” in English, meaning “in an instant.”

En boca cerrada no entran moscas

This funny little phrase translated literally means “a closed mouth catches no flies.” There is no real equivalent in English, but the expression is a warning that sometimes you are better off just keeping quiet. Some similar phrases in English are “silence is golden” and “the less said, the better.”

Cuando una puerta se cierra, otra se abre

This expression is the exact equivalent to “when one door closes, another one opens” in English.

Cerrar filas

This is another phrase that has a simple English counterpart: “to close ranks.”

Dormir con un ojo cerrado y otro abierto

This expression means “to sleep with one eye closed and the other open,” meaning to be wary.

We hope this guide on the cerrar conjugation has answered your question regarding this verb. If you want more information on Spanish conjugations, feel free to check out our overview of Spanish tenses. Also, if you want to ask someone to close a door for you, you might find this article on Spanish question words helpful.

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the cerrar conjugation might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, it comes naturally with practice.

Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with forms of the verb cerrar.

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