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“Pedir” Conjugation: A Guide to Asking in Spanish

“Ask and You Shall Receive” is one of those age-old sayings that everyone repeats but no one really applies. How do you know what to ask for? How do you know if it’s the right time to ask? What happens if someone says no to your request? Most difficult of all, how do you ask for something in a different language? In this article, we’ll go over the Spanish verb pedir, meaning to ask. More specifically, we’ll look at pedir conjugation. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to ask for what you need, no matter the circumstances.

We’ll also look at some of the interesting differences in meaning within the verb pedir, and some common idioms and expressions using the verb, to add some ease in your day-to-day conversations. Let’s get started!

What Kind of Verb is Pedir?

If you’ve been reading all the articles for Spanish conjugation on this blog, you’ll already know that many of the verbs we cover are irregular. Pedir is yet another verb that likes to break common conjugation rules for verbs ending in -ir, -er, and –ar. This is what makes pedir irregular. While you might be used to irregular verbs already, it’s important to go over the specifics of each of them. That’s because unlike regular verbs, you can’t really predict how it will be conjugated based on your knowledge of other verbs. Let me give you an example:

The Spanish verb vivir, meaning to live, also ends in “ir” but is a regular verb. That’s because no matter how it is conjugated, its stem never changes, remaining “viv” for all tenses and subjects. For example: yo vivo (I live), tú vives (you live), el/ella vive (he/she lives)… as you can see, the stem of the verb always remains the same, no matter how the verb is conjugated.

This rule doesn’t work for pedir. Instead of its stem always being “ped”, it changes depending on different subjects and verb tenses. For instance, to say “I ask”, you say “yo pido”. We’ll go over the intricacies of this verb in considerable detail below. While it may seem like a daunting task to learn all these irregular verbs by heart, the Cloze Collection at the end of this blog post is a really good tool to practice with. Soon, you’ll have memorized pedir so well that conjugating it will just be like muscle memory!

If you’re looking to practice conjugating other irregular Spanish verbs, why not try some of the Cloze Collections on other articles? Check out “dormir” (to sleep), “venir” (to come), and “oír” (to hear) for some more practice.

Ordering, Asking, Calling: The Different Meanings of Pedir.

Unlike in English, where there is a difference between asking and ordering, both of these verbs collapse into a single one in Spanish. Pedir can mean “to ask”, “to order”, “to call for” and even “to apologize”! That’s why pedir is such a valuable verb to know, because it is so versatile that you’ll be able to use it in lots of different contexts.

Now, let’s look at a few example sentences for the different meanings of pedir:

  • Pedir ayuda (To ask for help):

“No te olvides de pedir ayuda si la necesitas” -> Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.

  • Pedir comida (To order food):

“La novia de Jack se sentía triste, entonces Jack le pidió una pizza para alegrarla” -> Jack’s girlfriend felt sad, so he ordered her a pizza to help her feel better.

  • Pedir un taxi (To call a cab):

“La fiesta está lejos, mejor pedimos un taxi” -> The party is far away, it’s best if we call a cab

  • Pedir perdón (To apologize)

“Le tuve que pedir perdón a María, porque sin querer le he roto el móvil” -> I had to apologize to María because I accidentally broke her phone.

Another note of caution that is good to keep in mind between Spanish and English is that the Spanish verb “ordenar” sounds a lot like “to order” in English. Don’t let this similarity fool you though. Ordenar means “to organize”, not “to order”. When you want to say “to order”, make sure to use pedir.

Pedir Verbals

Now, let’s move on to some of the more potentially confusing aspects of Spanish verb conjugation. After all, it’s best to get the harder stuff out of the way so that the rest just seems like a breeze. Let’s look at pedir’s verbals. The only reason verbals can be confusing is because, despite their name, verbals exist when verbs don’t act like verbs in a specific sentence. Instead, they can act like nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. So, if you ever encounter a sentence where you notice an unconjugated version of the verb “pedir”, alongside a conjugated version of another verb, odds are pedir is operating using its verbals. Let’s go over three of pedir’s verbals: the infinitive (infinitivo), the gerund (gerundio), and the participle (participio).

Infinitivo (infinitive)

The infinitive of the verb “pedir” is simply “pedir”. Easy, right? That’s because you use it in sentences when pedir is just a qualifying word for another active verb.

For example: “¿Mamá, puedo pedir un libro nuevo?” means “Mom, can I order a new book?” In this case, the acting verb is “poder” (to be able to), rather than “pedir”.

Gerundio (gerund)

The gerund of “pedir” is “pidiendo” (asking). We use it when the active verb in a sentence is “estar” (to be).

For example: “Joe tiene un problema con su coche. Ahora está pidiendo la ayuda de un mecánico”, meaning “Joe has a problem with his car. Now he’s asking for help from a mechanic”.

Participio (participle)

The participle of “pedir” is “pedido” (asked), and we use it when the active verb in a sentence is “haber” (to have).

For example: “Tenemos que irnos, ¿Has pedido ya la cuenta?”, means “We have to go. Have you already asked for the bill?” In this case, the verb haber is conjugated to “has” (have you), and pedido remains the same no matter how haber is conjugated.

Verbals can be quite difficult, so well done for taking them on so soon. Now let’s move onto the fun part (at least for us): Pedir conjugation tables!

All-Levels Pedir Conjugation

The fact that pedir is irregular shouldn’t scare you away from being able to conjugate it properly. Pedir conjugation can be easily mastered with the right foundation. The following conjugation tables and sentence examples should give you the right building blocks to start using this verb correctly.

No Harm in Asking: Imperative Pedir Conjugation

Let’s start with how to use “pedir” when voicing a command. Maybe you want to tell someone to order something for you, or to ask for something on your behalf. Maybe in an emergency, there isn’t much time to ask for something politely, so you need to command someone to help you. Let’s look into this.

Subject Imperativo


“Ask” (command)

Yo (I) Pido
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Nosotros (We) Pidamos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Pidan

Example Sentences for Imperative Conjugation

  • “Tengo hambre; ¿pido una pizza y la compartimos?: -> “I’m hungry, should I order a pizza for us to share?”
  • “Pidamos la cuenta, que va a cerrar el restaurante” -> “The restaurant is closing, so let’s ask for the bill.”
  • “Vamos a llegar tarde, pedid vosotros la comida” -> “We’re going to be late, you guys go ahead and order food.”
  • “Cuando estés en la cafetería, pide un chocolate con churros. ¡Está riquísimo!” -> “When you get to the café, order hot chocolate with churros. It’s delicious!”

Ask Away: Beginner Pedir Conjugation

Now that you know how to use pedir in the imperative tense, let’s explore some beginner conjugation tenses, beginning with the present tense (presente), two different versions of the past tense, perfect (perfecto), and imperfect (imperfecto) and the future tense (futuro). These should be relatively straightforward and easy to practice through the Cloze Collection at the end of this article.

Subject Presente (Present)


Perfecto (Perfect)


Imperfecto (Imperfect)

“was asking”


“will ask”

Yo (I) Pido Pedí Pedía Pediré
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Pediste Pedías Pedirás
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Pide Pidió Pedía Pedirá
Nosotros (We) Pedimos Pedimos Pedíamos Pediremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)









Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Piden Pidieron Pedían Pedirán

Example Sentences for Beginner Conjugation

  • Present: “Pedimos un taxi porque empezó a llover cuando salimos.” -> “We called a cab because it started raining when we went out.”
  • Perfect: “Hoy no quise cocinar, entonces pedí comida China.” -> “I didn’t feel like cooking today, so I ordered Chinese food.”
  • Imperfect: “Cuando Susana era estudiante, pedía mucho la ayuda de sus profesores.” -> “When Susana was a student, she often asked for her professors’ help.”
  • Future: “En cuanto termine la reunión, pediremos un descanso” -> “We’ll ask for a break as soon as the meeting ends.”

Asking For It: Pedir Conjugation for Intermediate Learners

If you’re really enthusiastic about verb conjugation, fear not! There are many more tenses to go over for pedir. Next up, we’ll look at compound tenses blending the verb haber “to have” and pedir. These tenses are called pretérito perfecto compuesto (compound perfect preterite), which deals with the present, pluscuamperfecto (pluperfect) which deals with the past, and futuro compuesto (future perfect), which addresses the future.

Subject Pretérito perfecto compuesto

(Compound Perfect Preterite)

“Have asked”



“Had asked”

Futuro Compuesto

(Future Perfect)

“Will have asked”

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

Vos (Latin America)

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

Usted (You, formal)

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

Ustedes (Latin America)

Habeís pedido

Han pedido

Habíais pedido

Habían pedido

Habréis pedido

Habrán pedido

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

Example Sentences for Intermediate Conjugation

  • Compound Perfect Preterite: “Hemos pedido unos días libres porque queremos ir de vacaciones a la playa.” -> “We asked for a few days off because we want to go to the beach on holiday.”
  • Pluperfect: “Claudia ya había pedido la cena cuando por fin llegó Luis, quejándose del tráfico” -> “Claudia had already ordered dinner when Luis finally arrived, complaining about traffic.”
  • Future Perfect: “Mejor nos vemos otro día, porque para cuando llegue ya habréis pedido la cuenta.” -> It might be better to see each other another day, because by the time I make it you’ll have already asked for the bill.”

Is This What You Asked For?: Advanced Pedir Conjugation

If you’re up for a challenge, these next few verb tables are for you! We’re going to look at subjunctive tenses. In Spanish, the subjunctive is used to express ambiguity, potential, or doubt. For example, if you wanted to say “If I were to order”, you would say “si pidiere”. The following table will show you how to use pedir in three different subjunctive tenses: present subjunctive (subjuntivo presente), subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto), and future subjunctive (subjuntivo futuro).

Subject Present Subjunctive (subjuntivo presente)

“Ask” (uncertain)

Subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto)

“Were to have asked”

Future Subjunctive

(Subjuntivo Futuro)

“Were to ask”

Yo (I) Pida Pidiera or Pidiese Pidiere
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Pidas Pidieras or Pidieses Pidieres
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (Formal)

Pida Pidiera or Pidiese Pidiere
Nosotros (We) Pidamos Pidiéramos or Pidiésemos Pidiéremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Pidierais or Pidieseis

Pidieran or Pidieren



Ellos/Ellas (Them) Pidan Pidieran or Pidieren Pidieren

Example Sentences for Advanced Conjugation

  • Present Subjunctive: “Cuando pidas el libro, no olvides de conseguir una firma del autor.” -> “When you order the book, don’t forget to get a signature from the author.”
  • Subjunctive Imperfect Preterite “Si pidierais más ayuda, no os costarían tanto las matemáticas” -> “If you asked for some more help, you wouldn’t struggle so much with math.”
  • Future Subjunctive “Si te pidiere prestado tu disco, te lo devolvería en perfectas condiciones” -> “If I were to ask to borrow your CD, I would return it to you in perfect condition.”

If it’s OK to Ask: Conditional Pedir Conjugation

You’re almost done mastering pedir, well done for getting here! Now let’s look at the conditional tense for pedir, so that you can express asking depending on different circumstances. For example, you might want to say “I would have ordered the bill if I had known you were going to be late”. For this, you’d use the conditional “habría pedido la cuenta si supiera que ibas a llegar tarde.” The next table will go over two conditional tenses: standard conditional (condicional) and perfect conditional (condicional perfecto).

Subject Condicional


“Would ask”

Condicional Perfecto (Perfect Conditional)

“Would have asked”

Yo (I) Pediría Habría pedido
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Habrías pedido
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Pediría Habría pedido
Nosotros (We) Pediríamos Habríamos pedido
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Habríais pedido

Habrían pedido

Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Pedirían Habrían pedido

Example Sentences for Conditional Conjugation

  • Conditional: “Me pedirías ayuda si la necesitaras, no?” -> “You would ask me for help if you needed it, right?”
  • Perfect Conditional: “Si hubiese sabido que estabais de compras, os habría pedido que me compréis una camiseta” -> “If I had known you were shopping, I would have asked you to buy me a t-shirt.”

Pedir Expressions and Idioms

Amazing job working through all these different verb tenses! Pedir conjugation can be complicated, but with a little practice you’ll have mastered it in no time. Let’s end with something to add a little fun and ease to your Spanish vocabulary. There are many different expressions and idioms that use the verb pedir, which can add lots of great fluency to your conversations. Here are just a few of them:

  • Pedirle peras al olmo: This one sounds a bit strange when directly translated, because it literally means “to ask for pears of the elm tree”. But really, what it means is to ask for something impossible.
  • Pedir un deseo: This directly translates to “asking for a wish”, but it means “making a wish”. Nice, right?
  • Pedir el cuerpo: This expression is interesting, as it is used to refer to really wanting or craving something. It literally translates to “the body asks for it”. For example, you might say: “Quiero un helado, me lo pide el cuerpo”, meaning “I want an ice cream, I’m really craving it”.
  • Pedir la mano de alguien: This quite literally means “to ask for someone’s hand (in marriage)”, but it is typically used in a less formal tone in Spanish, where it just means “to propose” or to ask someone to marry you.
  • Pedir prestado: This means to borrow, and it is used because there is no equivalent verb in Spanish for borrowing.
  • Salir a pedir de boca: This expression is pretty weird because its direct translation makes no sense, and its actual meaning has nothing to do with the words it uses. Literally, it translates to “going out to ask of mouth”. What it means, though, is “for everything to go well” or “going smoothly”.

Asking Nicely: Conclusion

In this article, we’ve really done a deep dive into the important fundamental tenses for pedir conjugation at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. We’ve also looked at some of the verbals for pedir, and some of the different meanings that collapse into this one verb in Spanish. Finally, we ended with some common expressions and idioms using the verb so you can expand your vocabulary.

With all this information, you’re well on your way to mastering pedir despite the fact that it is an irregular verb. If you’d like some actual interactive practice, why not try out the specialized cloze collection at the end of this post, which specifically explores all the key lessons we’ve looked at today! Now, you’re more than ready to ask for (and hopefully get) whatever you want in Spanish!

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the pedir 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 pedir.

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