Problematic Verb: Quedar

One of the biggest problems for students of English is the Catalan and Spanish verb “quedar.”  There are several ways to translate it depending on what you want to say.

👉 For example, if you are talking about remaining in a place for a period of time, you use “to stay:”

Ens vam quedar en un hotel Nos quedamos en un hotel

(We stayed at a hotel)

Queda’t aquí Quédate aquí

(Stay here)

Van quedar una setmana a Madrid / Quedaron una semana en Madrid

(They stayed in Madrid for a week)


👉 You can also use quedar plus a noun or time  to express the idea of something that remains or is left remain:

No queden cerveses / No quedan cervezas

(There are no beers left)

Queden dos minuts / Quedan dos minutos 

(There are two minutes left)

Només queda la façana de la casa/Solo queda la fachada de la casa

(The facade of the house is all that remains/is left)


👉 Quedar can also be used to express the idea of arranging to meet someone:

Vam quedar a les cinc Quedamos a las cinco 

(We arranged to meet at five.)      

Podem quedar-nos el dijous Podemos quedarnos el jueves

(We can meet next Thursday)

On quedem?/¿Dónde quedamos?

(Where shall/should we meet?)


👉 It can also be used to say if something like clothing looks good or bad or goes well or is good or bad with something:

Aquesta camisa no em queda bé / Esta camisa no me queda bien 

(This shirt doesn’t look good on me)

El vi blanc quedar bé amb peix / El vino blanco quedar bien con pescado

(White wine is good with/goes well with fish)

¿Aquesta queda bé amb això? / ¿Esto va bien con eso?

(Does this look good/go well with that)


👉 Sometimes it is translated as “to be:”

El restaurant queda a tres carrers d’aquí El restaurante queda a tres calles de aquí

(The restaurant is three streets away from here)

Queda a las afueras

(It’s somewhere on the outskirts)

¿Por dónde queda?

(Where is it?)


👉These are the most common translations, but there are lots of other examples that are not as common.  However there is one that is very important.  When you decide to buy something, you can tell the shop clerk:

M’ho quedo / Me lo quedo

(I’ll take it)


Written by Mike Dean Alger for Aston School

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