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Be Right Back: A Guide to “Volver” Conjugation in Spanish

If you could go back to one place in the world you’ve already been to, what would it be? Maybe you’re thinking of your most recent holiday in Greece, or the year you spent working in Australia. Regardless of what your answer is, knowing what is worth returning to is always important. In today’s lesson, we’re going to look at the Spanish verb volver meaning to come back, to go back, and to return. Because this verb encompasses a lot of different meanings in English, it can be a bit of a tricky one to wrap your head around. Fear not! This lesson is your one-stop guide to volver conjugation.

We’ll start by looking at what kind of verb volver is, its different meanings, and lots of different conjugation tables that you can learn no matter your current Spanish level. Let’s get started!

What Kind of Verb is Volver?

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on the conjugation of the regular verb hablar (to talk/speak). If you’ve been following these conjugation posts for a while, you were probably relieved to finally learn a regular verb after so many irregular ones. Unfortunately, it’s time to get back to business. In this case, the business of irregular verb conjugation. Volver is another really important irregular verb to know, because it is frequently used in Spanish conversation. However, if you’re new here, you might be wondering what irregular verbs even are. Let me explain:

In Spanish, verbs always end in “ar” (like charlar, to chat), “er” (like hacer, to do), or “ir” (like abrir, to open). In conjugation, the part of the verb before ar, er, or ir is called the stem. In regular verbs, this stem never changes, no matter how the verb is conjugated. So, for example, the verb charlar conjugated in the present tense and first person is “yo charlo” (I chat). As you can see, the stem “charl-” doesn’t change, and it remains the same across all tenses.

However, when a verb is irregular, the stem changes. In the case of volver, for instance, the first person present is “yo vuelvo”, not “yo volvo”. Because the verb stem changes, and changes in many different ways across volver conjugation, volver is considered irregular.

Most people find that irregular verbs are slightly harder to learn because they require quite a lot of memorization. However, the conjugation tables in this post are a resource you can always come back to for a refresher.

The Different Meanings of Volver

Now that we’ve addressed volver’s irregular conjugation, let’s explore some of the different meanings of the verb.

Volver encompasses a ton of English verbs into a single one, which can actually be very helpful when you’re learning Spanish, as you only need to learn the conjugation of one verb to refer to a lot of different verbs. In Spanish, volver primarily means to return, to go back, or to come back. For example, to say, “come back here”, you’d say “vuelve aquí”. To say “go back to school”, you’d say “vuelve al colegio”. Volver is correct for both meanings, see?

Apart from these primary meanings, volver can also take on certain additional meanings, but this is usually in Spanish colloquial expressions, rather than in common use. For example, in the Spanish expression “volverse loco” (“to go crazy”), volver means “to become/to go”. Additionally, in the expression “volver la espalda” (“to turn one’s back on someone/something), volver means “to turn”.

Despite volver’s different meanings, you can be pretty confident that its primary uses are similar enough that you’ll be able to comprehend any sentence used in common speech. When it comes to the verb’s additional meanings, that extra fluency will come with practice and experience. For now, focus on volver conjugation, which remains the same no matter what the meaning is.

Volver Verbals

Bevore we get started on conjugation tables, I’d like to take you through a slightly more complicated aspect of volver conjugation. In Spanish, all verbs have something called verbal forms, which, despite its name, refers to when a verb isn’t acting as a verb in a sentence at all. Instead, it acts as an adjective, adverb, or noun. Usually, this happens in sentences with a different active verb, where the verb that is in its verbal form is just acting as a qualifier. Let’s look at three of volver’s verbals so that you can be prepared for any sentence you might come across.

Infinitivo (infinitive)

The infinitive of the verb volver is simply “volver”. This is the pure, unconjugated form of the verb, and it is commonly used in sentences with a different active verb. For example:

  • Voy a volver a casa porque estoy muy cansado” -> I’m going to go back home because I am very tired.

As you can see, in this case, volver is in its infinitive form, because the active verb in this sentence is “Ir” (to go).

Gerundio (gerund)

The gerund of volver is “volviendo”. It is commonly used in sentences where volver is not the active verb, but the action is still ongoing or hasn’t ended yet. For example:

  • Sergio está volviendo a la casa de su amigo porque olvidó su paraguas.” -> Sergio is going back to his friend’s house because he forgot his umbrella.

In this case, volviendo is used because the active verb is estar (to be), and the action is still unfinished.

Participio (participle)

Only one more verbal to go! This last verbal is probably the most important one, because you will see it commonly across lots of different compound conjugation tenses for volver. The participle is used primarily in sentences where the active verb is actually haber (to have), and this combination of haber + participle form of the verb is the combination for almost all compound tenses in the Spanish language. For example:

  • He vuelto de comer. Podemos empezar la reunión.” -> I’ve just come back from lunch. We can start the meeting.

As you can see, the compound perfect preterite “he vuelto” is being used here, because the active verb is actually haber (to have).

Beginner Volver Conjugation

Fantastic job grappling with verbals! Now, let’s move onto the easier task of learning conjugation tables. To start with, let’s explore some beginner conjugation tenses for the verb volver: the present (el presente), the past perfect (el perfecto), the past imperfect (el imperfecto), and the future (el futuro).

Subject  Presente (Present)

“Come Back/Return” 

Perfecto (Perfect)

“Came Back/Returned”

Imperfecto (Imperfect)

“Was Coming Back/ Was Returning”



“Will Come Back/ Will Return”

Yo (I) Vuelvo Volví Volvía Volveré
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Volviste Volvías Volverás
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Vuelve Volvió Volvía Volverá
Nosotros (We) Volvemos Volvimos Volvíamos Volveremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)









Ellos/Ellas (They/Them)       Vuelven Volvieron Volvían Volverán

Example Sentences for Beginner Conjugation

  • Present: “Quédate aquí. Vuelvo en cinco minutos” -> Stay here. I’ll be back in five minutes.
  • Perfect: “¿En serio volviste a ver Titanic? Si ya lo has visto diez veces…” -> Did you really watch Titanic again? But you’ve already seen it ten times…
  • Imperfect: “Julieta siempre volvía del colegio con su amiga María” -> Julieta always came back from school with her friend María.
  • Future: “¿Crees que un día volverás a Londres a verme?.” -> Do you think you’ll come back to see me in London one day?

Volver Conjugation for Intermediate Learners

Take a break, you’ve earned it! Just make sure to come back for more because I’ve got some slightly more advanced verbs for you to learn coming up next. Let’s look at some of those compound verbs we were talking about in the verbal section: the compound perfect preterite (el pretérito perfecto compuesto), the pluperfect (el pluscuamperfecto), and the future perfect (el futuro compuesto).

Subject Pretérito perfecto compuesto

(Compound Perfect Preterite)

  “Have returned/ come back”



“Had returned/ come back”

Futuro Compuesto

(Future Perfect)

“Will have returned/ come back”

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

Vos (Latin America)

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

Usted (You, formal)

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

Ustedes (Latin America)

Habeís vuelto

Han vuelto

Habíais vuelto

Habían vuelto

Habréis vuelto

Habrán vuelto

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

Example Sentences for Intermediate Conjugation

  • Compound Perfect Preterite: “Hemos vuelto temprano porque nuestra profesora de Inglés está enferma.” -> We came back early because our English teacher is sick.
  • Pluperfect: “Justo habían vuelto de sus vacaciones cuando se dieron cuenta que se había roto el refrigerador. -> They’d just come back from their holidays when they noticed that the fridge was broken.
  • Future Perfect: “Para cuando salgas de la oficina, ya habré vuelto a casa y preparado la cena.” -> By the time you’re out of the office, I’ll have gotten back home and made dinner.

Advanced Volver Conjugation

Still going strong? I hope so. If you’re up for even more advanced verbs, let’s look at the subjunctive. The subjunctive is a very useful family of verb tenses in Spanish, because it is used to express doubt and uncertainty. Let’s explore three subjunctive tenses for volver: the present subjunctive (subjuntivo presente), the subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto), and the future subjunctive (subjuntivo futuro).

Subject Present Subjunctive (subjuntivo presente)

“Come back/ Return” (uncertain)

Subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto)

“Were to have returned/ Come back”

Future Subjunctive 

(Subjuntivo Futuro)

“Were to return/ Come back”

Yo (I) Vuelva Volviera or Volviese Volviere
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Vuelvas Volvieras or Volvieses Volvieres
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (Formal)

Vuelva Volviera or Volviese Volviere
Nosotros (We) Volvamos Volviéramos or Volviésemos Volviéremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America) 



Volvierais or Volvieseis

Volvieran or Volviesen



Ellos/Ellas (Them) Vuelvan Volvieran or Volviesen Volvieren

Example Sentences for Advanced Conjugation

  • Present Subjunctive: “Cuando la vuelvas a ver, tráele flores”-> When you see her again, bring her flowers.
  • Subjunctive Imperfect Preterite: “Si volvierais a España, os llevaría a mi restaurante favorito” -> If you came back to Spain, I would take you to my favorite restaurant.
  • Future Subjunctive “Si volvieren a verse, tendrían una pelea seguro.” -> If they saw each other again, they would fight for sure.

Conditional Volver Conjugation

Still want to learn more? Here is yet another family of verb tenses for you to finish up this lesson with! The conditional is one of my personal favorites, as it expresses an action that would happen if certain conditions are met. Let’s look at the simple conditional (el condicional), and the perfect conditional (el condicional perfecto).

Subject  Condicional 


“Would return/ Come back”

Condicional Perfecto (Perfect Conditional)

“Would have returned/ Come back”

Yo (I) Volvería Habría Vuelto
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Habrías Vuelto
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Volvería Habría Vuelto
Nosotros (We) Volveríamos Habríamos Vuelto
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Habríais Vuelto

Habrían Vuelto

Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Volverían Habrían Vuelto

Example Sentences for Conditional Conjugation

  • Conditional: “Si me ofrecieran un trabajo mejor, volvería a París en seguida” -> If they offered me a better job, I’d go back to Paris in a heartbeat.
  • Perfect Conditional: “Habríamos vuelto antes, pero tu amiga nos dijo que no nos querías ver.” -> We’d have come back before, but your friend told us you didn’t want to see us.

Volver Conjugation – Conclusion

You’ve done such a fantastic job getting through this post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the verb volver. Feel free to come back to this post as and when you need to, so that you keep those verbs fresh in your mind! As a small reminder, here is what we went through in this lesson: We looked at what kind of verb volver is, as well as its many different meanings. We also explored some of the verbal forms of volver, and then continued with beginner, intermediate, advanced, and conditional volver conjugation tables.

Now that you’ve completed this post, I highly recommend you check out the tailor-made Cloze Collection embedded just under this article. It has been designed to help you practice all the lessons you learned today, and is a fun way to really cement your knowledge. As always, thank you for going through this lesson with me, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the volver 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 volver.

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