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18 Uses of Quedar

Quedar is a Spanish word. In Spain, this word is used to refer to meeting with someone at a certain place. It can also be used to refer to a location or being situated at. This word is often confusing to most people because it can actually be used in many contexts. Depending on how and when you use it, it will have a different meaning in most cases.

Quedar is pronounced as keh-DAH. It fits within various circumstances and for this reason, I decided to do some research on it. I was able to come up with a list of the different uses of this word. People who have come across this word before know that it does not always translate to its correspondent English meaning. The only way to break through this word is to understand it well. Since you are bound to encounter this word somewhere, it’s worth investing some time to actually know the various uses. These are the main uses of quedar and the meaning behind each use;


1. To remain or to be left or to have leftover

Quedar can mean to remain. For instance, you can use it when you want to ask if a particular item is still there or remaining. A good example would be, ‘queda jugo?’ This means, is there any juice left? ‘Quedan dos huevos’, translates to ‘There are two eggs remaining’. In these contexts, you can use the word quedar and someone can easily understand what you are saying. When using this word to mean leftover it changes it’s form to quedado. Example; ‘Bebi la leche que habia quedado,’ (I drank the milk that was leftover)

2. To suit or to fit

The verb quedar can mean to suit when talking about clothes. When using this word in this context, the subject has to be clear so that everything makes sense. Indirect pronouns can also be added depending on the person being referred to. One example can be;

  • Singular noun+me/le/les/te/nos/os+queda+(bien/mal)

‘Estos zapatos no me quedan bien’ which translates to ‘These shoes don’t fit me’.

Me queda bien esta falda? Which translates to ‘Does this skirt suit me?’

3. To arrange to meet

This is another very common use. The verb meaning in this context is straightforward. Other times you can use it to refer to how often or where you intend to meet. For example, ‘Mary y Hazel quedan en un café’ this means Mary and Hazel arranged to meet in a café. In addition, this word can mean to hang out.

4. To be located

When you use quedar in this context it is supposed to mean the location of places. In this case, the location is quite specific. It can either be far, near or at a certain place. For instance, ‘Mi case queda muy cerca del parquet’. It means ‘My house is very close to the park’. ‘Queda muy lejos’, translates to its very far away.

5. Quedar can mean to keep

In this case, the verb quedar refers to keeping something or not giving it back. Take for instance when you buy something from a grocery store. You may tell the owner to keep the change, ‘Quedate con el cambio’. Here is another example, ‘Despues del programa me quede hablando con el manager’. This means, after the program I kept on talking to the manager.

6. People often use quedar to mention the effects of something

In this context, it can refer to the results of a particular thing after something else has happened. In one way or the other, it means to be left, to become or to end up. Example; Miles de peces quedaron muertos en las orillas, como consecuencia de los contaminantes. (Thousands of fish were dead on the shore as a result of the pollution).

7. To stay, to remain

It can be used to mean staying at a place or remaining there. Some people would use this word when talking about where they intend to stay or if they will be staying at a particular place. For instance, ‘Nos quedamos en casa’ (We stayed at home). Furthermore, the meaning of the word may be to continue residing in a particular place. These different meanings are portrayed in varied situations.

8. Agree, come to an agreement

Sometimes quedar is used to mean agree or come to an agreement. This context comes into play when two or more people are discussing something. The word quedar comes into the conversation when they make a decision or make an agreement. Example ‘Quedaron en no dercile nada’ (They agreed not to tell him anything). On the other hand, if you only want to ask, do you agree, there will be no need to use quedar in the sentence. Instead simply say, ‘Estas de acuerdo?’

9. To have a good impression

Quedar can be used to refer to having an impression on someone or people. In this situation, it is mostly put together with one adjective. The adjectives can either be mal or bien. An example sentence; ‘No me quedo bien con ese hombre’. This simply translates to, ‘That man did not make a nice impression on me’.

10. To bring forth emotions

There are times when quedar portrays a person’s emotions. You can use it to mean sadness, joy or happiness depending on the context. It mostly leans towards being in a certain state emotionally. For instance, ‘se queda triste’ (he is sad)

11. Amount of distance or time left

This word can be used in a question when you want to know how much distance or time is left. This does not necessarily mean the same as the other use of quedar which identifies with how much of a particular thing is left. In this instance, it relates to distance and/or time. For example, ‘Cuanto queda para Madrid’ which translates to ‘how much further is it to Madrid?’ It can be a bit confusing because this seems the same as to be left or to remain. The difference between the two is the fact that this specific meaning of quedar relates to mainly distance and time. The other one does not.

12. Left stranded

It can be used to mean to be left stranded. At times Spaniards use the word quedar when they are talking about being left stranded at a place. There are different ways in which it can be added in a sentence to bring forth this meaning. When a person wants to refer to being stranded in Spanish, they would say ‘qerdar varado’.

13. Bogged down

Sometimes it can also refer to getting bogged down. Typically, this means being caught up in a difficult situation that you can’t possibly do anything about. It can also mean slowing down progress. Spaniards at times use the word quedar when their conversations are based on this context. When you hear someone saying ‘quedar empatanado’, they simply mean being bogged down.

14. To mean something looks good

It can mean looks good. In spite of the fact that it is commonly used to mean clothing fits well, it can also mean it looks good on you. A nice example would be ‘Te queda bien esa chaquetta’. This means that the jacket looks good on you. The same sentence may also translate to it suits you well depending on the current context.

15. To end, stop

At times, this word may be used when referring to something coming to an end or a stop. Depending on the situation or intended meaning, quedar can be used in a sentence to mean a halt or stop. Take for instance this example sentence, ‘At that moment, the conversation came to an end’. In Spanish, this sentence goes by ‘en ese momento quedo roto el dialogo’.

16. Not wanting to handle a difficult situation

People use it when they are referring to a situation they did not want to deal with. It leans towards a situation that you would rather avoid because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Here is a good example sentence, ‘No contestare las preguntas que me hagan quedar mal’. This sentence means, ‘I will not answer any questions that make me feel bad about myself’. There are other ways that you can use to bring out this meaning. However, you have to make sure that the intended meaning is brought out in the sentence.

17. To keep a secret

This is another use of this word that I discovered on the web pages. Quedar can be used when you want to mean something should be kept as a secret. It actually means that a specific matter should stay just between the two people who know about it. I came across this example ‘le que te voy a decir debe querdar entre nosotros’. This sentence translates to ‘what am about to say is strictly between you and me’.

18. To be

Quedar has many unusual uses mainly because it is a flexible word and can easily fit within varied contexts. Here, it can be mean two things. To be in a certain situation or a state of being. For instance, ‘se quedo ciego con dos anos’. In English, this sentence means he went blind at the age of two. Se queda triste (he is sad). This sentence brings out the other meaning in this context which is a state of being.

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