Leer Conjugation | How to Conjugate Leer in Spanish

María José Escobar Published on March 21, 2023

Let’s take a look at the Spanish verb leer. In this article, you’ll learn how this verb is used and its different forms. For each tense, I’ll give you a description, conjugation chart, and example sentences for you to practice. Let’s begin!

Leer is the Spanish verb for “to read.” Even though it’s irregular, it’s a simple verb to conjugate since it only has one meaning. On occasion, you’ll see it used figuratively in a couple of common expressions. For instance, to “read between the lines” is translated to Spanish as “leer entre líneas.” Just as in English, this saying means to find a hidden meaning in what was said.

In the following table, you can see three common conjugations of the verb leer: the infinitive, the gerund, and the past participle.

leer conjugation table

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

  • Infinitive: Me gusta leer el periódico todos los días. (I liked to read the newspaper every day.)
  • Gerund: Estoy leyendo una novela de misterio. (I’m reading a mystery novel.)
  • Past Participle: He leído todas la historias. (I’ve read all of the stories.)

We’ve now learned the three main conjugation forms of leer. Now, let’s take a look at all of the different Spanish tenses. Click on the tense you want to learn to see the conjugation of leer.

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How to Conjugate Leer in the Indicative Tense

Indicative tenses are the most common verb forms in Spanish. We use them to talk about facts, statements, or universal truths. These tenses help us express objectivity and certainty. We’ll go over the following indicative tenses: the indicative present, indicative future, indicative preterite, indicative imperfect, and indicative conditional.

Indicative Present

The indicative present tense is the most commonly used form of leer in Spanish. It helps us talk about events that are happening now or in the near future. We also use it to describe routines and repetitive actions.

The following is a conjunction chart of leer in the indicative present tense

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeoI read
LeesYou read
VosLeésYou read
Él/Ella/UstedLeeHe/She reads, You read
NosotrosLeemosWe read
VosotrosLeéisYou read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeenThey read, You read

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

  • Leo veinte páginas todos los días. (I read twenty pages every day.)
  • Nosotros solo leemos novelas. (We only read novels.)
  • Ellos siempre leen el periódico en la mañana. (They always read the newspaper in the morning.)

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Indicative Future

We use the indicative future tense to talk about something that’s going to happen at a given point in the future. It helps us make plans or projections about what’s coming. We also use it to talk about what someone may be doing at the moment.

Here’s how you conjugate leer in indicative future tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeeréI will read
LeerásYou will read
VosLeerásYou will read
Él/Ella/UstedLeeráHe/She/You will read
NosotrosLeeremosWe will read
VosotrosLeeréisYou will read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeeránThey will read, You will read

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

  • Leeré diez libros este año. (I will read ten books this year.)
  • Ellos leerán el primer capítulo y nosotros leeremos el segundo. (They will read the first chapter and we will read the second one.)
  • Ella leerá las instrucciones y nos dirá qué hacer. (She will read the instructions and tell us what to do.)

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Indicative Preterite

The indicative preterite tense is the most common past tense form of leer. It’s also one of the two simple forms of past tense in Spanish. It helps us talk about an action that has already been completed or refer to general truths about the past.

Below, you’ll find the conjugation chart of leer in the indicative preterite tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeíI read
LeísteYou read
VosLeísteYou read
Él/Ella/UstedLeyóHe/She/You read
NosotrosLeímosWe read
VosotrosLeísteisYou read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeyeronThey read, You read

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

  • Leí hasta quedarme dormida. (I read until I fell asleep.)
  • Todos leímos una versión diferente de la historia. (We all read a different version of the story.)
  • Vosotros leísteis más rapido que nosotros. (You read faster than we did.)

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Indicative Imperfect

The indicative imperfect tense is the second form of simple past tense in Spanish. We use it when speaking about past actions that are ongoing or recurrent. It can also help us talk about lasting personal traits, someone’s age in the past, or past feelings and emotions.

Below is a conjugation chart of leer in the indicative imperfect tense.

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeía I read or used to read 
LeíasYou read or used to read
VosLeíasYou read or used to read
Él/Ella/UstedLeíaHe/She/You read or used to read
NosotrosLeíamosWe read or used to read
VosotrosLeíais You read or used to read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeíanThey/You read or used to read

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

  • Mis padres siempre nos leían una historia antes de ir a la cama. (Our parents always read a story to us before going to bed.)
  • Antes leía tres libros al mes. (I used to read three books per month.)
  • Leíamos mucho cuando estábamos en la universidad. (We read a lot when we were in College.)

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Indicative Conditional

We use the indicative conditional tense to describe events that haven’t happened yet but that could happen or that we wish would happen. It helps us talk about possibilities or make polite requests when used in a question.

In the following table you’ll find the conjugations of leer in this tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeeríaI would read
LeeríasYou would read
VosLeeríasYou would read
Él/Ella/UstedLeeríaHe/She/You would read
NosotrosLeeríamosWe would read
VosotrosLeeríaisYou would read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeeríanThey would read, You would read

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

  • Leería más libros pero tengo poco tiempo. (I would read more books but I have little time.)
  • ¿Leerían con nosotros para estudiar para el examen? (Would you read with us to study for the test?)
  • Sé que él leería esa revista. (I know he would read that magazine.)

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How to Conjugate Leer in the Perfect Tense

We use perfect tenses to talk about recent actions in the past that influence the present. You’ll identify these tenses easily because they are made up of a helping verb (haber) and the past participle of leer (leído). We’ll go over the following perfect tenses: present perfect, future perfect, past perfect, conditional perfect, and preterite perfect.

Present Perfect

The present perfect tense helps us describe past events. We can use it to talk about actions that happened recently before the present or that are ongoing. It also helps us describe events in the past that influence the present.

Below is a table of how to conjugate leer in present perfect tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHe leídoI have read
Has leído You have read
VosHas leídoYou have read
Él/Ella/UstedHa leído He/She has read, You have read
NosotrosHemos leído We have read
VosotrosHabéis leído You have read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHan leídoThey have read, You have read

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

  • Hemos leído la misma historia varias veces. (We have read the same story a few times.)
  • Yo nunca he leído una novela histórica. (I have never read a historical novel.)
  • Habéis leído una de las obras más importantes del siglo. (You have read one of the most important plays of the century.)

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Future Perfect

We use the future perfect tense when speaking about an action that will take place before another action in the future. It also helps us talk about what might have or could have happened in the past.

The table below is a conjugation chart of leer in future perfect tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabré leídoI will have read
Habrás leído You will have read
VosHabrás leído You will have read
Él/Ella/UstedHabrá leído He/She/You will have read
NosotrosHabremos leído We will have read
VosotrosHabréis leído You will have read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrán leído They will have read, You will have read

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

  • Para el próximo año habré leído todos los libros de Agatha Christie. (By next year I will have read all of Agatha Christie’s books.)
  • Para el final de esta clase, habréis leído varios clásicos. (By the end of this class, you will have read a few classics.)
  • No sé si él habrá leído su parte. (I don’t know if he will have read his part.)

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Past Perfect (Pluperfect)

The past perfect tense, also known as pluperfect, helps us describe an action that happened before another action in the past. It can also help us when talking about past actions that interrupted other actions or that still influence the present.

The following is a conjugation chart for the verb leer in the past perfect tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabía leído I had read
Habías leído You had read
VosHabías leído You had read
Él/Ella/UstedHabía leído He/She/You had read
NosotrosHabíamos leído We had read
VosotrosHabíais leídoYou had read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabían leído They had read, You had read

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

  • Había leído ese artículo antes. (I had read that article before.)
  • Pensé que ustedes habían leído las instrucciones. (I thought you had read the instructions.)
  • Ellos ya habían leído el discurso cuando llegué. (They had already read all of the speech when I arrived.)

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Conditional Perfect

We use the conditional perfect tense to talk about unreal or unlikely situations. It can help us express possibilities or how things could have or should have been. We also use it to talk about the future of a past action.

Here’s the leer conjugation chart in conditional perfect tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabría leídoI would have read
Habrías leído You would have read
VosHabrías leídoYou would have read
Él/Ella/UstedHabría leído He/She/You would have read
NosotrosHabríamos leídoWe would have read
VosotrosHabríais leídoYou would have read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrían leído They would have read, You would have read

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

  • Habría leído pero estaba ocupada. (I would have read but I was busy.)
  • Si hubiéramos empezado a tiempo ya habríamos leído todo. (If we had started on time we would have read everything by now.)
  • Ellos habrían leído su discurso si la clase no hubiera acabado tan pronto. (They would have read their speech if the class hadn’t ended so soon.)

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Preterite Perfect (Past Anterior)

The preterite perfect, or past anterior, tense helps us talk about events that happened before other events in the past. This tense is no longer used in modern Spanish and you’ll hardly find it in literature. In its place, we now use the past perfect tense.

Below you’ll find the past anterior conjugation chart of leer:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHube leído I read
Hubiste leído You read
VosHubiste leído You read
Él/Ella/UstedHubo leído He/She/You read
NosotrosHubimos leído We read
VosotrosHubisteis leído You read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieron leído They read, You read

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

  • Hubimos leído el contrato varias veces antes de firmar. (We read the contract a few times before signing it.)
  • Hube leído ese libro cuando era joven. (I read that book when I was young.)
  • Ella hubo leído la mitad del artículo y yo la otra mitad. (She read half of the article and I read the other half.)

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How to Conjugate Leer in Subjunctive Tense

Subjunctive tenses help us describe subjective ideas. We use them to talk about feelings, opinions, or theories. They also help us describe possible actions or situations. The tenses that make up the subjunctive mood are the present subjunctive, future subjunctive, and pluperfect subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive

We use the present subjunctive tense when speaking about beliefs, wishes, feelings, or assumptions. It can be used for present or future actions alike. You’ll typically find this verb tense used in conditional sentences.

Next is the conjunction chart of leer in the present subjunctive tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeaI read
LeasYou read
VosLeasYou read
Él/Ella/UstedLeaHe/She reads, You read
NosotrosLeamosWe read
VosotrosLeáisYou read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeanThey read, You read

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

  • Cuando lea tu carta te diré qué pienso. (When I read your letter I’ll tell you what I think.)
  • Espero que leamos un poema en clase. (I hope we read a poem in class.)
  • Ojalá ellos lean la noticia a tiempo. (Hopefully, they read the news on time.)

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Future Subjunctive

The future subjunctive tense helps us talk about what we hope will happen in the future. We can use it to make theories of something forthcoming. This tense is rarely used in modern Spanish and you might only come across it in “refranes” (old Spanish sayings) or literature.

In the table below you can see a conjugation chart of leer in future subjunctive tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeyereI read
LeyeresYou read
VosLeyeresYou read
Él/Ella/UstedLeyere He/She reads, You read
NosotrosLeyéremos We read
VosotrosLeyereis You read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeyerenThey read, You read

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

  • Cuando leyeren el libro entenderán la película. (When you read the book you’ll understand the movie.)
  • En cuanto leyéremos las instrucciones lo armaremos. (As soon as we read the instructions, we’ll assemble it.)
  • Quien leyere el artículo tendrá puntos extra. (Whoever reads the article will have extra points.)

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Imperfect Subjunctive

We use the imperfect subjunctive tense to talk about unlikely events in the future. It also helps us describe events that could have or should have happened in the past. You’ll often see this tense used in conditional sentences.

Below is a conjugation chart of leer in imperfect subjunctive tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoLeyera/Leyese I read
Leyeras/LeyesesYou read
VosLeyeras/Leyeses You read
Él/Ella/UstedLeyera/LeyeseHe/She/You read
NosotrosLeyéramos/LeyésemosWe read
VosotrosLeyerais/LeyeseisYou read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesLeyeran/Leyeses They read, You read

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

  • Si leyeras más noticias te enterarías de lo que pasa. (If you read more news you’d find out what is happening.)
  • Nos pidieron que leyéramos los primeros tres capítulos. (They asked us to read the first three chapters.)
  • Ojalá leyeran más libros este año. (I wish you read more books this year.)

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How to Conjugate Leer in Perfect Subjunctive Tense

We use perfect subjunctive tenses to describe actions completed before the sentence’s main clause. They can be in the past or the future. These are compound tenses made of the helping verb haber and the past participle of leer (leído). We’ll go over the present perfect subjunctive, future perfect subjunctive, and pluperfect subjunctive.

Present Perfect Subjunctive

The present perfect subjunctive tense helps us describe past actions that are ongoing or have an influence on the present. It also helps us talk about events that may happen in the future. We can use it to make plans or projections.

This is how you conjugate leer in the present perfect subjunctive tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHaya leído I have read 
Hayas leído You have read
VosHayas leído You have read
Él/Ella/UstedHaya leído He/She has read, You have read
NosotrosHayamos leído We have read
VosotrosHayáis leído You have read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHayan leído They have read, You have read

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

  • Hablaremos del libro cuando lo hayamos leído hasta el final. (We’ll talk about the book when we have read it until the end.)
  • Espero que hayáis leído vuestra parte. (I hope you have read your part.)
  • Te diré lo que pienso cuando haya leído el artículo. (I’ll tell you what I think when I’ve read the article.)

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Future Perfect Subjunctive

The future perfect subjunctive tense is a rare verb form to come across in modern Spanish. Its purpose is to describe actions that will have happened in the future at some point. In its place, we now use the past or present perfect subjunctive.

Here’s how you conjugate leer in future perfect tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiere leídoI have read 
Hubieres leídoYou have read
VosHubieres leído You have read
Él/Ella/UstedHubiere leído He/She has read, You have read
NosotrosHubiéremos leído We have read
VosotrosHubiereis leído You have read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieren leído They have read, You have read

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

  • Quien no hubiere leído lo que asigné, no obtendrá nota. (Whoever hasn’t read what I assigned, will not get a grade.)
  • Ojalá ellos hubierén leído su parte. (Hopefully, they have read their part.)
  • Entenderás cómo armarlo cuando hubieres leído las instrucciones. (You’ll understand how to assemble it when you have read the instructions.)

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Pluperfect Subjunctive

We use the pluperfect subjunctive tense to describe events that happened before other events in the past. It also helps us express wishes about what the past might have been like. It’s quite frequent to see this tense used in conditional sentences.

The following is a conjugation chart of leer in pluperfect subjunctive tense:

PronounLeer ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiera/ Hubiese leídoI had read  
Hubieras/ Hubieses leídoYou had read 
VosHubieras/ Hubieses leídoYou had read
Él/Ella/UstedHubiera/ Hubiese leídoHe/She/You had read
NosotrosHubiéramos/ Hubiésemos leídoWe had read
VosotrosHubierais/ Hubieseis leídoYou had read
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieran/ Hubiesen leído They had read, You had read

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

  • Si hubiera leído entendería mejor el examen. (If I had read, I would understand the test better.)
  • Os habría ido mejor si hubierais leído todo el libro. (You would have done better if you had read the whole book.)
  • No nos habríamos equivocado si hubiéramos leído las instrucciones. (We wouldn’t have been wrong if we had read the instructions.)

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How to Conjugate Leer in the Imperative Tense

In Spanish, the imperative mood helps us give orders, commands, or recommendations. It can also be used to make polite requests or to give advice. This tense can be used positively or negatively. When asking someone not to do something, we add “no” before the conjugated verb. When asking someone to do something, we use the conjugated verb alone.

In the following table you’ll find a conjugation chart for leer in imperative tense:

PronounLeer Conjugation (Affirmative)Leer Conjugation (Negative)English Meaning
¡Lee!¡No leas!Read/Don’t read!
Vos¡Leé!¡No leas!Read/Don’t read!
Él/Ella/Usted¡Lea!¡No lea!Read/Don’t read!
Nosotros¡Leamos!¡No leamos!Read/Don’t read!
Vosotros¡Leed!¡No leáis!Read/Don’t read!
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes¡Lean!¡No lean!Read/Don’t read!

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

  • Lee un capítulo antes de irte a dormir. (Read a chapter before going to bed.)
  • No lean la carta todavía, es una sopresa. (Don’t read the letter yet, it’s a suprise.)
  • Leamos un libro juntos. (Let’s read a book together.)

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Tips for Conjugating Leer Correctly

I know conjugating irregular verbs can be challenging, so here are a few tips to help you learn the conjugations of leer!

Leer is a pretty straightforward verb. Its literal meaning is “to read” and you’ll rarely see it used figuratively or working as a different verb. Try to use leer in everyday conversations as you memorize its different conjugations. Talking about a book or something interesting that you’ve read is also a great way to spark a conversation.

I’ll give you a couple of colloquial expressions to practice the use of leer: “Leer entre líneas” which means to “read in between lines” and “leer por encima” which means to read briefly or to skim through. Have fun conjugating leer and remember that it’s more important to practice than to have it right every time!

Ways to Practice Conjugating Leer

Leer is a frequently used verb in Spanish, so learning the conjugations is key. The best way to learn and remember is to practice. Luckily, there are many ways to learn Spanish no matter your learning style or budget. A Spanish language app can help you practice in a fun and interactive way. If you prefer in-depth explanations, a Spanish book or 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 practice, you’ll know how to use leer correctly before you know it!

Leer Conjugation FAQ

How do you conjugate the verb leer?

To conjugate the verb leer we can start by deciding whether the idea we want to express is in a past, present, or future form. That’ll help us choose between the tenses that we can use. The most commonly used verb forms are indicative tenses.

What is the past tense of leer?

The most common past tense forms of leer are “leí” and “leía.” These are the two simple forms of past tense in Spanish: the indicative preterite tense and the indicative imperfect tense. Other past tense forms of leer are compound tenses.

What verb is leyendo?

Leyendo is the gerund conjugation for the verb leer. We use it to describe ongoing actions. Gerunds are typically preceded by a helping verb like estar or ir. For instance, we typically say “estoy leyendo” to say “I am reading.”

What does the verb leer mean?

The verb leer means “to read.”

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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