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A Guide to the “Jugar” Conjugation in Spanish

Gaming online has become a favorite pastime for many people. It’s fun, teaches you new skills, and is a great vehicle for story-telling. Best of all, if you use online features, gaming is a great way to meet people who share the same interests as you! But here’s the thing: what if all the people you meet speak a different language? Fear not, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll give you a full rundown of how to conjugate the verb “jugar”, meaning to play, in Spanish. This post will explore what kind of verb jugar is and some of its different meanings. It will also go over jugar conjugation at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Finally, we’ll finish up with the conditional uses of the verb jugar that you can include in your conversations.

Let’s get started!

What Kind of Verb is Jugar?

If you’ve been following our posts, you’re probably even more of an expert on irregular verbs than we are! The reason we like to teach irregular verbs through these posts is that these verbs can best be learned through memorization, so having verb tables on hand can be really helpful!

So, you guessed it. The verb jugar is irregular. But if you’re new here, you might be wondering what an “irregular” verb even is. Let me give you a quick explanation. In Spanish, verbs can end in: “ar” (like jugar), “er” (like comer), and “ir” (like dormir). The stem of these verbs (that is, the part before ar, er, or ir) determines whether the verb is regular or not.

In regular conjugation, the stem of the verbs never changes. For example, the verb acabar (to finish), is regular, so the stem “acab” never changes no matter how the verb is conjugated (yo acabo, tu acabas, etc…). However, jugar is irregular. That means that depending on what tense and pronoun we’re using, the stem of the verb changes. For instance, “I play” becomes yo juego, not “yo jugo”. This is what can make jugar conjugation kind of complicated, and why we’re going to go over it all in this post.

If you’re interested in learning more irregular verbs after jugar, feel free to check out our other irregular conjugation tutorials, for verbs like seguir, dormir, and salir.

The Different Meanings of Jugar

Before looking at the actual conjugation of jugar, it is useful to go over some of the different meanings of the verb. Most of these differences are pretty subtle and self-explanatory, so you don’t really have to worry too much about getting anything wrong, but it’s still worth knowing.

Firstly, the obvious one. Jugar means to play. However, the word “juego” means both “play” (as in yo juego/ “I play”), and “game”. Let me give you two example sentences so you can grasp the difference.

Yo juego al béisbol means I play baseball. Conversely, Este juego se llama Monopoly means “This game is called Monopoly”. It is usually pretty easy to tell which version of juego is being used based on the context of the rest of the sentence.

Another common use for the verb jugar in spanish is the pronominal form of the verb, “jugarse/jugarte/jugarnos etc…” which means to gamble or to risk something. For example, the sentence “Juan se jugó todo su dinero” means “Juan gambled/risked all his money”.

Finally, the word juguete in Spanish means “toy”. For example, the sentence “A este niño le gustan los juguetes de madera” means “This child likes wooden toys.” Now, let’s get into some actual conjugation!

Jugar Verbals

When looking at jugar conjugation, starting with verbs is good because it helps you identify when jugar isn’t acting like a verb in a sentence. Instead, if jugar is present in one of its verbal forms, it is actually acting as a noun, adjective, or adverb. Let’s go over three of these verbal forms: el infinitivo (the infinitive), el gerundio (the gerund), and el participio (participle).

Infinitivo (infinitive)

The infinitive of the verb jugar is just jugar. That’s because, if jugar isn’t the active verb in a sentence, it doesn’t need to be conjugated. Here’s an example:

  • “¿Vas a jugar al polo?” -> “Are you going to play polo?”

In this sentence, the verb jugar isn’t conjugated, because the active verb is “ir” (to go).

Gerundio (gerund)

The gerund of the verb jugar is “jugando”. It is typically used in sentences where the active verb is different, but you want to indicate that the action is ongoing and hasn’t ended yet. For example:

  • “Max está jugando al ajedrez con sus amigos” -> “Max is playing chess with his friends”.

In this case, the active verb is estar (to be), and we add jugando because the action isn’t finished.

Participio (participle)

You’re doing great! The participle of jugar is “jugado”. It is used as a qualifying adjective for a sentence with a different active verb, which is typically haber (to have). For example:

  • Hemos jugado al Jenga durante casi cinco horas” -> “We have played Jenga for almost five hours”.

In this case, the active verb is “haber” (to have), and jugar becomes jugado.

Now that we’ve looked over some verbals, you’ll be pleased to know that the hardest part is behind you. Everything will seem much easier from here on out.

All-Levels Jugar Conjugation

Level One: Beginner Jugar Conjugation

Navigating the conjugation of jugar is easier once you’ve mastered the present tense (presente), the past perfect (perfecto), the past imperfect (imperfecto), and the future (futuro). These tenses are at the heart of conjugation in Spanish, so learning them gives you a great foundation for all the rest.

Subject  Presente (Present)


Perfecto (Perfect)


Imperfecto (Imperfect)

“Was Playing”



“Will Play”

Yo (I) Juego Jugué Jugaba Jugaré
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Jugaste Jugabas Jugarás
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Juega Jugó Jugaba Jugará
Nosotros (We) Jugamos Jugamos Jugábamos Jugaremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)









Ellos/Ellas (They/Them)       Juegan Jugaron Jugaban Jugarán

Example Sentences for Beginner Conjugation

  • Present: “¿Paula, juegas al fútbol?” -> “Paula, do you play football/soccer?”
  • Perfect: “Estaba lloviendo, entonces jugamos a la PlayStation.” -> “It was raining, so we played on the Playstation.”
  • Imperfect: “Cuando eran jóvenes jugaban al ténis, pero pararon porque ya no les gustaba.” -> “They used to play tennis when they were young, but they stopped because they didn’t like it anymore.”
  • Future: “Cuando seas mayor jugarás a Call of Duty, pero todavía eres muy pequeño.” -> “When you’re older, you can play Call of Duty, but you’re still too young.”

Power Up: Jugar Conjugation for Intermediate Learners

If you feel confident with your knowledge of beginner jugar conjugation, why not kick it up a notch? Let’s explore some slightly more advanced verb tenses, including the compound perfect preterite (pretérito perfecto compuesto), which deals with the present, the pluperfect (pluscuamperfecto), a past tense, and the Future perfect (Futuro Compuesto), a future tense.

Subject Pretérito perfecto compuesto

(Compound Perfect Preterite)

  “Have played”



“Had played”

Futuro Compuesto

(Future Perfect)

“Will have played”

Yo (I) He jugado Había jugado Habré jugado
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Has jugado Habías jugado Habrás jugado
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Ha jugado Había jugado Habrá jugado
Nosotros (We) Hemos jugado Habíamos jugado Habremos jugado
Vosotros (You, plural) 

Ustedes (Latin America)

Habeís jugado

Han jugado

Habíais jugado

Habían jugado

Habréis jugado

Habrán jugado

Ellos/Ellas (Them) Han jugado Habían jugado Habrán jugado

Example Sentences for Intermediate Conjugation

  • Compound Perfect Preterite: “¿Has jugado con tu hermano o todavía no? -> “Have you played with your brother yet or not?”
  • Pluperfect: “Se había jugado demasiado dinero. Casi había perdido su casa, cuando vino alguien a pararle.” -> “He’d gambled too much money. He’d almost lost his house when someone came to stop him.”
  • Future Perfect: “¿Te pican los ojos? Bueno, no importa, habrás jugado demasiado a la consola.” -> “Your eyes are itchy? It’s okay, it doesn’t matter, you probably just played video games for too long.”

Hard Mode: Advanced Jugar Conjugation

Still looking for more of a challenge? Great! Let’s explore some advanced conjugation using subjunctive tenses. Subjunctive tenses are super useful because they help you conjugate verbs in ways that leave room for doubt and uncertainty. For example, you might want to say “If I played this game”, rather than “I played this game”. For that, you’d use a subjunctive tense. In the table below, you’ll learn three subjunctive tenses for the verb jugar. The present subjunctive, (subjuntivo presente), the subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto), and future subjunctive, (subjuntivo futuro).

Subject Present Subjunctive (subjuntivo presente)

“Play” (uncertain)

Subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto)

“Were to have played”

Future Subjunctive 

(Subjuntivo Futuro)

“Were to play”

Yo (I) Juegue Jugara or Jugase Jugare
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Juegues  Jugaras or Jugases Jugares
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (Formal)

Juegue Jugara or Jugase Jugare
Nosotros (We) Juguemos Jugáramos or Jugásemos Jugáremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America) 



Jugárais or Jugáseis

Jugaran or Jugasen



Ellos/Ellas (Them) Jueguen Jugaran or Jugasen Jugaren

Example Sentences for Advanced Conjugation

  • Present Subjunctive: “Si me sigues tratando mal, no esperes a que juegue contigo” -> “If you keep treating me badly, don’t expect me to play with you.”
  • Subjunctive Imperfect Preterite “¿Si jugaras al baloncesto, serías feliz? -> “If you played basketball, would you be happy?”
  • Future Subjunctive “Si te jugáremos al ajedrez, que harías tú por nosotros? ->“Say we played you at chess: what would you do for us?”

New Game Plus: Conditional Jugar Conjugation

Feeling good? If you’re getting tired, now is a great place to take a break and come back later. However, if you still want to learn more, let’s end our conjugation lesson with some verb tenses that you can use at all levels. Conditional tenses are great because they add some flexibility to the verbs you’re using. For instance, you might want to tell someone that you would play with them if certain conditions are met. Using conditional tenses is a great way to get that point across. Let’s look at two forms of conditional jugar conjugation: the simple conditional (condicional) and the perfect conditional (condicional perfecto).

Subject  Condicional 


“Would play”

Condicional Perfecto (Perfect Conditional)

“Would have played”

Yo (I) Jugaría Habría jugado
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Habrías jugado
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Jugaría Habría jugado
Nosotros (We) Jugaríamos Habríamos jugado
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Habríais jugado

Habrían jugado

Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Jugarían Habrían jugado

Example Sentences for Conditional Conjugation

  • Conditional: “Lucía jugaría más con sus amigos si no vivieran todos en países distintos” -> “Lucía would play with her friends more if they didn’t all live in different countries.”
  • Perfect Conditional: “Si no os estuviera vigilando, os habríais jugado toda vuestra mesada en el FIFA” -> “If I weren’t watching you, you would have gambled away all your allowance playing FIFA.”

Well Played: Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of the lesson! Well done for getting to this point, so consider rewarding yourself with a couple rounds of a game! If you want to bring some language learning into your gameplay, try practicing the jugar conjugation we’ve learned in this post through the Cloze Collection at the end of this page. This Cloze Collection has been specifically picked with today’s verb tables in mind, so it will give you a great practical test of all the things you’ve learned.

If you want to play something that’s more laid-back but still brings you into the Spanish-speaking world, consider playing a video game called Alba which was released on many different platforms in late December 2020. You play as Alba, a girl who goes to visit her grandparents on an island in Spain. Your goal is to take pictures and identify all the wildlife on the island. This game is very short, and a great way to learn more about Spanish plants and animals. Fingers crossed that something similar comes out for Latin American wildlife sometime soon!

Have a great day, and see you next time!

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the jugar 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 jugar.

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Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in Spanish.

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