Decir Conjugation | How to Conjugate Decir in Spanish

María José Escobar Published on March 7, 2023

In this article, we’ll learn about the Spanish verb decir and its different conjugations. Decir is a common Spanish verb and you’ll use it often when speaking. I’ll show you how to conjugate this verb and give you some example sentences to practice. Let’s get started!

Decir is the Spanish verb for “to say” or “to tell.” You might not be surprised to know that decir is an irregular verb. This means that it doesn’t follow a common pattern. Instead, you’ll need to learn each of its different conjugation forms.

We use decir to describe the action of someone talking, telling, or saying something. For instance, a common expression with this verb is “Es un decir” which means “It’s a saying.” You’ll see that it’s quite a straightforward verb and one that you’ll likely use often.

In the table below, you can see three common conjugations of the verb decir: the infinitive, the gerund, and the participle.

decir conjugation table

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of decir from the table above:

  • Infinitive: Es bueno decir la verdad. (It’s good to say the truth.)
  • Gerund: Sé que ella está diciendo la verdad. (I know she is saying the truth.)
  • Past Participle: Ya lo has dicho todo. (You have said everything.)

Now you know how to conjugate decir in its infinitive, gerund, and participle form. Now, let’s take a look at how this verb is conjugated in all different tenses. Click on the tense you want to learn from the table below:

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How to Conjugate Decir in Indicative Tense

Indicative tenses are used to describe situations objectively. This mood helps us talk about facts, statements, or general truths. The indicative is the most common mood in Spanish and learning its different tenses can help you express most of your ideas. We’ll take a look at the following tenses for the indicative mood: present, future, preterite, imperfect, and conditional.

Indicative Present

We use the indicative present tense to talk about actions that are happening now or in the near future. It also helps us describe general truths, routines, or repetitive events. This is the most common present tense form of decir.

Take a look at the table below to see a conjugation chart for decir in indicative present tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDigoI say
DicesYou say
VosDecísYou say
Él/Ella/UstedDiceHe/She says, You say
NosotrosDecimosWe say
VosotrosDecísYou say
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDicenThey say, You say

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the indicative present tense:

  • Lo digo por mi experiencia. (I say it from my experience.)
  • Lo que dices es muy cierto. (What you say is very true.)
  • Dicen que el tiempo cura todo. (They say time heals everything.)

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Indicative Future

The indicative future tense helps us describe something that will happen at a certain point in the future. We use it to make plans or predictions about what’s coming. This is the simplest form of the future tense in Spanish.

Below is a conjugation chart of decir in the indicative future tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDiréI will say
DirásYou will say
VosDirásYou will say
Él/Ella/UstedDiráHe/She/You will say
NosotrosDiremosWe will say
VosotrosDiréisYou will say
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDiránThey will say, You will say

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the indicative future tense:

  • Le diré que lo siento cuando lo vea. (I’ll say I’m sorry when I see him.)
  • No importa lo que dirán, debo hacer lo correcto. (It doesn’t matter what they will say, I have to do the right thing.)
  • Ya sé lo que diréis. (I know what you’ll say.)

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Indicative Preterite

We use the indicative preterite to talk about actions completed in the past. This is the most common form of past tense of decir in Spanish. We use it to describe general truths or facts about the past, narrate past events, or talk about ongoing past actions.

The following is an indicative preterite conjugation chart of decir:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDijeI said
DijisteYou said
VosDijisteYou said
Él/Ella/UstedDijoHe/She/You said
NosotrosDijimosWe said
VosotrosDijisteisYou said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDijeronThey said, You said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the indicative preterite tense:

  • Dijiste que iríamos a comer helado hoy. (You said that we were going to eat ice cream today.)
  • Ellos dijeron que vendrían para Navidad. (They said they were coming for Christmas.)
  • Ella dijo que la reunión sería corta. (She said the meeting would be short.)

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Indicative Imperfect

The indicative imperfect tense is another frequently used form of the past tense in Spanish. It’s used to speak about past actions that were recurrent. We use it to describe memories, habits, or traditions. For this reason, the indicative imperfect can also be translated as “used to.” This emphasizes that this tense describes frequent past events.

Here’s the conjugation chart for decir in Indicative imperfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDecíaI said
DecíasYou said
VosDecíasYou said
Él/Ella/UstedDecíaHe/She/You said
NosotrosDecíamosWe said
VosotrosDecíaisYou said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDecíanThey said, You said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the indicative imperfect tense:

  • Ella siempre decía que su lugar favorito era el mar. (She always said that her favorite place was the ocean.)
  • Cuando eras un niño decías que querías ser doctor. (When you were a kid, you said that you wanted to be a doctor.)
  • Ellos solo escuchaban y no decían nada. (They only listened and said nothing.)

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Indicative Conditional

We use the indicative conditional to talk about hypothetical situations or theories. It can also help us make polite requests or ask questions. You’ll likely see this verb tense used in sentences with words like “if.”

In the table below you can see how to conjugate decir in indicative conditional tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDiríaI would say
DiríasYou would say
VosDiríasYou would say
Él/Ella/UstedDiríaHe/She/You would say
NosotrosDiríamosWe would say
VosotrosDiríaisYou would say
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDiríanThey would say, You would say

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the indicative conditional tense:

  • Pensé que lo diríamos todos juntos. (I thought we would say it all together.)
  • Quién sabe qué dirían si se enteraran. (Who knows what they would say if they found out.)
  • Me imaginé que eso diríais. (I thought you would say that.)

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How to Conjugate Decir in Perfect Tense

We use perfect tenses to describe past events that have an influence on the present. It’ll be easy to identify them since they are made up of the helping verb haber and the past participle of decir (dicho). We’ll cover these perfect tenses: the present perfect, future perfect, past perfect, conditional perfect, and preterite perfect.

Present Perfect

The present perfect tense helps us describe past actions that are relevant to the present. It can also help us talk about activities that were completed immediately before the present. This tense is helpful to make questions or hypotheses about actions that are to be completed.

Below is a conjugation chart for decir in present perfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHe dichoI have said
Has dichoYou have said
VosHas dichoYou have said
Él/Ella/UstedHa dichoHe/She has said, You have said
NosotrosHemos dichoWe have said
VosotrosHabéis dichoYou have said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHan dichoThey have said, You have said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the present perfect tense:

  • ¿Ella ha dicho algo sobre la cena de esta noche? (Has she said something about tonight’s dinner?)
  • Hemos dicho que nos encontraríamos en una hora. (We’ve said that we would meet in an hour.)
  • Ellos han dicho que llegarían tarde. (They have said that they’d be late.)

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Future Perfect

We use the future perfect tense to talk about events that will happen at a given point in the future. It helps us describe the possibility of what the future could be. It can also help us explain how the past could have or should have been.

This is how you conjugate decir in the future perfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabré dichoI will have said
Habrás dichoYou will have said
VosHabrás dichoYou will have said
Él/Ella/UstedHabrá dichoHe/She/You will have said
NosotrosHabremos dichoWe will have said
VosotrosHabréis dichoYou will have said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrán dichoThey/You will have said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the future perfect tense:

  • Cuando lleguemos, ellos ya habrán dicho toda la verdad. (When we get there they will have said all the truth.)
  • No sé que habrá dicho, pero sé que ella siempre dice lo que piensa. (I don’t know what she will have said but I know she always says what she thinks.)
  • Me pregunto que habrá dicho él cuando le contaron la noticia. (I wonder what he will have said when they told him the news.)

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Past Perfect (Pluperfect)

The past perfect tense helps us describe something that happened before another event in the past. It’s also common to see this tense used in conditional sentences with conjunctions like “if” or “when.”

The table below is a conjunction chart for the verb decir in the past perfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabía dichoI had said
Habías dichoYou had said
VosHabías dichoYou had said
Él/Ella/UstedHabía dichoHe/She/You had said
NosotrosHabíamos dichoWe had said
VosotrosHabíais dichoYou had said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabían dichoThey had said, You had said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the past perfect tense:

  • Usted había dicho que estudiaríamos en grupos. (You had said we would study in groups.)
  • Vosotros habíais dicho que este restaurante os gusta. (You’d said you like this restaurant.)
  • Pensé que habías dicho que tenías permiso de ir. (I thought you’d said that you had permission to go.)

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Conditional Perfect

We use the conditional perfect tense to talk about possibilities, opinions, or theories. It helps us make hypotheses about what the past could have or should have been. It can also help us make theories about what the future will be.

Here’s how you conjugate the verb decir in conditional perfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabría dichoI would have said
Habrías dichoYou would have said
VosHabrías dichoYou would have said
Él/Ella/UstedHabría dichoHe/She/You would have said
NosotrosHabríamos dichoWe would have said
VosotrosHabríais dichoYou would have said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrían dichoThey would have said, You would have said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the conditional perfect tense:

  • Él habría dicho lo mismo. (He would have said the same.)
  • No sé qué habrían dicho si se hubieran enterado. (I don’t know what they would have said if they’d found out.)
  • Supuse que eso habrías dicho. (I supposed that’s what you would have said.)

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Preterite Perfect (Past Anterior)

The preterite perfect tense is used to talk about actions completed before other actions in the past. This tense is rarely used in spoken Spanish and has been almost completely replaced by the indicative preterite tense.

In the following table you can see a conjunction chart for the verb decir in the preterite perfect tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHube dichoI said
Hubiste dichoYou said
VosHubiste dichoYou said
Él/Ella/UstedHubo dichoHe/She/You said
NosotrosHubimos dichoWe said
VosotrosHubisteis dichoYou said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieron dichoThey said, You said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the preterite perfect tense:

  • Hubimos dicho que incluiríamos eso en el contrato. (We said we would include that in the contract.)
  • Ellos hubieron dicho que estaban de acuerdo. (They said that they agreed.)
  • En cuanto hube dicho que nos íbamos empezó a llover. (As soon as I said we were leaving, it started raining.)

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How to Conjugate Decir in Subjunctive Tense

Subjunctive tenses help us describe situations that are subjective. We use them to describe feelings, theories, or intentions. We conjugate these tenses using the stems diga- and dije- with different endings. Subjunctive tenses include the present subjunctive, future subjunctive, and imperfect subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive

We use the present subjunctive to talk about intentions, plans, or hypotheses. We also use it to describe doubt, uncertainty, and emotion. This tense is used for present or future actions and situations.

Below is a conjugation chart for decir in the present subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDigaI say
DigasYou say
VosDigasYou say
Él/Ella/UstedDigaHe/She says, You say
NosotrosDigamosWe say
VosotrosDigáisYou say
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDiganThey say, You say

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the present subjunctive tense:

  • Espero que no digáis nada de la sorpresa. (I hope you don’t say anything about the surprise.)
  • Creo que es mejor que no digamos nada hasta estar seguros. (I think it is best that we don’t say anything until we are sure.)
  • Haremos lo que ustedes digan. (We’ll do what you say.)

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Future Subjunctive

The future subjunctive describes the possibility of something happening. This tense is no longer used in modern Spanish, but you’ll occasionally see it in older literature or law-related documents. You may also find it in traditional Spanish sayings.

In the table below you can see how decir is conjugated in future subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDijereI say
DijeresYou say
VosDijeresYou say
Él/Ella/UstedDijereHe/She says, You say
NosotrosDijéremosWe say
VosotrosDijereisYou say
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDijerenThey say, You say

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the future subjunctive tense:

  • Se hará lo que ellos dijeren. (What they say will be done.)
  • Lo que dijeres quedará grabado en el registro de seguridad. (What you say will be recorded in the security registry.)
  • Es importante que dijéremos la verdad. (It’s important that we say the truth.)

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Imperfect Subjunctive

We use the imperfect subjunctive when speaking about unlikely events or future possibilities. We can also use it to describe past situations that we are unsure about. For instance, it helps us describe what the past should have or could have been like.

Here’s the conjugation chart for decir in imperfect subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoDijera/ DijeseI said
Dijeras/ DijesesYou said
VosDijeras/ DijesesYou said
Él/Ella/UstedDijera/ DijeseHe/She/You said
NosotrosDijéramos/ DijésemosWe said
VosotrosDijerais/ DijeseisYou said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesDijeran/ DijesenThey said, You said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the imperfect subjunctive tense:

  • Si dijera que estoy ocupado estaría mintiendo. (If I said that I’m busy I’d be lying.)
  • Me pareció extraño que dijeses eso. (I thought it was weird that you said that.)
  • ¿Qué pasaría si dijéramos que no? (What would happen if we said no?)

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How to Conjugate Decir in Perfect Subjunctive Tense

Perfect subjunctive tenses are used to talk about actions that were completed before the sentence’s main clause. This can be a past or future action. You’ll be able to identify perfect subjunctive tenses because they are made up of a form of the verb haber and decir’s participle (dicho). We’ll take a look at the present perfect subjunctive, future perfect subjunctive, and pluperfect subjunctive.

Present Perfect Subjunctive

We use the present perfect subjunctive to talk about past actions that have an influence in the present or that are ongoing. It also helps us describe things that will happen at a certain point in the future.

Below is the conjugation table for decir in the present perfect subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHaya dichoI have said
Hayas dichoYou have said
VosHayas dichoYou have said
Él/Ella/UstedHaya dichoHe/She has said, You have said
NosotrosHayamos dichoWe have said
VosotrosHayáis dichoYou have said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHayan dichoThey have said, You have said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the present perfect subjunctive tense:

  • Espero que ellos no hayan dicho nada de la sorpresa. (I hope that they haven’t said anything about the surprise.)
  • Cuéntanos todo lo que él te haya dicho. (Tell us everything he has said to you.)
  • Me alegra que hayáis dicho eso. (I’m glad you’ve said that.)

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Future Perfect Subjunctive

The future perfect subjunctive tense is rare to find in modern Spanish. It has been almost completely replaced by the present or past perfect subjunctive tenses. It is used to describe events that will have taken place in the future or that could have happened in the past.

This is a conjugation chart for decir in the future perfect subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiere dichoI have said
Hubieres dichoYou have said
VosHubieres dichoYou have said
Él/Ella/UstedHubiere dichoHe/She has said, You have said
NosotrosHubiéremos dichoWe have said
VosotrosHubiereis dichoYou have said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieren dichoThey have said, You have said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the future perfect subjunctive tense:

  • Lo que sea que ella hubiere dicho, seguro se podrá arreglar. (Whatever she has said, it sure can be fixed)
  • Creo que hubiéremos dicho lo correcto en esta situación. (I think we have said the right thing in this situation.)
  • No creo que hubiéremos dicho algo indebido. (I don’t think that we have said anything wrong.)

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Pluperfect Subjunctive

We use the pluperfect subjunctive tense to talk about actions that happened before other actions in the past. It helps us speak about wishes or desires. We can also describe what the past might have or could have been.

Here’s how you conjugate decir in pluperfect subjunctive tense:

PronounDecir ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiera/ Hubiese dichoI had said
Hubieras/ Hubieses dichoYou had said
VosHubieras/ Hubieses dichoYou had said
Él/Ella/UstedHubiera/ Hubiese dichoHe/She/You had said
NosotrosHubiéramos/ Hubiésemos dichoWe had said
VosotrosHubierais/ Hubieseis dichoYou had said
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieran/ Hubiesen dichoThey had said, You had said

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the pluperfect subjunctive tense:

  • Si lo hubieras dicho antes lo habríamos resuelto. (If you had said it before, we would have solved it.)
  • Ojalá hubieran dicho que van a ir. (I wish they had said that they are going.)
  • No estarían aquí si no les hubiera dicho que podían venir. (They wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t said that they could come.)

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How to Conjugate Decir in the Imperative Tense

Just as in English, we typically use the imperative mood to give commands or orders. It also helps us make requests, suggestions, or give advice. There are two ways to use this tense. To use it in its affirmative form, we use the conjugated verb by itself. To use it in a negative form, we add a “no” before it with a different conjugation.

Take a look at the table below to see how to conjugate decir in this tense:

PronounDecir Conjugation (Affirmative)Decir Conjugation (Negative)English Meaning
¡Di!¡No digas!Say/Don’t say!
Vos¡Decí!¡No digás!Say/Don’t say!
Él/Ella/Usted¡Diga!¡No diga!Say/Don’t say!
Nosotros¡Digamos!¡No digamos!Say/Don’t say!
Vosotros¡Decid!¡No digáis!Say/Don’t say!
Ellos/Ellas/ Ustedes¡Digan!¡No digan!Say/Don’t say!

Here are some example sentences showing how to conjugate decir in the imperative tense:

  • ¡No digan nada de la sorpresa! (Don’t say anything about the surprise!)
  • Di qué quieres comer. (Say what you want to eat.)
  • No digan mentiras. (Don’t say lies.)

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Tips for Conjugating Decir Correctly

Irregular verbs can be hard to conjugate at first, but here are a few tips to help you learn the conjugations of decir more easily!

You can begin learning about the verb decir by knowing what it means and what its most common conjugation forms are. Learning indicative tenses first will be helpful for your initial understanding of decir. With time and practice, you’ll have a good sense of how this verb works. You’ll eventually be able to conjugate it in more complicated tenses and use it to describe complex situations.

When dealing with irregular verbs, it’s also helpful to read the context in which the verb is being used. This will help you understand how the verb works rather than just memorizing its different conjugations. That way, you’ll be able to understand and use this verb in day-to-day Spanish.

For instance, a common expression you’ll probably hear is: “Es decir…” which nearly means “Meaning…”. We use it at the beginning of sentences when we want to give an explanation. Now you have a go-to expression to practice decir. Don’t be afraid to practice this verb’s conjugations even if it takes you some time to get it correct!

Ways to Practice Conjugating Decir

Decir is a commonly used verb in Spanish, so learning the conjugations is important. The best way to learn and remember is to practice. Luckily, there are many ways to practice Spanish based on your learning style. For example, a Spanish language app can help you practice in a fun and interactive way. If you prefer in-depth explanations, a Spanish book or an online course is a better way to go.

Whichever way you choose to practice, stick with it and don’t give up. Learning Spanish verb conjugations is often one of the most difficult aspects for English speakers to figure out. But with time and patience, you’ll be able to use decir without a problem!

Decir Conjugation FAQ

How do you conjugate the verb decir?

To conjugate the verb decir, we can start by deciding whether we want to express a past, present, or future action. To express past actions, we might use its past participle form. To talk about present actions, we’ll likely use its gerund form. To describe future actions, we’ll probably use its infinitive form.

What is the past tense of decir?

The most common past tense conjugations of decir are “dijo” and “decía” which mean “said” and “used to say.” Less common past tense forms of this verb are “he dicho” and “había dicho” which mean “I have said” and “I had said.”

What verb is diciendo?

Diciendo is the gerund conjugation form of the verb decir. We use it when describing ongoing actions. It also helps us use verbs as subjects, objects, or complements. For instance, in the expression “Es un decir” or “It’s a saying,” decir is used as a subject.

What does the verb decir mean?

The verb decir most nearly means “to say.” It can also mean “to tell” or “to state” something. We also use it to describe the action of telling something or talking about something.

María José Escobar

Maria is a Business Engineering student from Colombia who is passionate about learning. She loves traveling the world and connecting with different cultures. Her dream is to be a world citizen and help others learn about the things she loves, including Spanish, her native language, and her culture. Connect with Maria on LinkedIn.

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