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Dormir is the verb “to sleep” in Spanish.
So:“I like sleep” in Spanish is me gusta el sueño.“I like to sleep” in Spanish is me gusta dormir.
It’s also worth knowing that the word for “nap” in Spanish is siesta.
And that’s the basics!
But… there is so much more to learn about sleep in Spanish.
So, if you want to learn:How to use the verb dormir (“to sleep”) in different Spanish sentences (e.g. I sleep, you slept, they are sleeping)The difference between the noun and the verb for “sleep” in SpanishHow to say “I’m sleepy”, “I’m tired”, “go to sleep” and “sleep well” in SpanishThe words for “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in SpanishHow to ask “Did you sleep well?” in SpanishSpanish expressions related to sleep (e.g. “to sleep like a baby”)How to make snoring sounds in SpanishSpanish podcasts to learn Spanish while you sleepAnd even how to book a hotel room in Spanish (for sleeping, of course!)
…then read on, and I’ll explain it all.
Plus I’ll share way more about how to talk about sleep in Spanish. It’s basically a “how to talk about sleep in Spanish 101” guide.
“But why learn sleep-related vocabulary?” you may wonder.
The answer is simple! Sleeping is one of our primary needs, so it is often at the core of human preoccupations. If you’re going to visit a Spanish-speaking country, you will have to find a place to sleep. If you plan on interacting with Hispanics, the topic might pop up in phrases like “I couldn’t sleep last night!” or “I’m going to sleep early, today.” And these are only a few reasons!
Luckily, I’m here to help you become familiar with all the Spanish sleep talk.
Oh, and stay awake until the end, because I’ve put together two special bonuses that are waiting for you! One is a short but essential guide of vocabulary words to book hotel rooms in Spanish (for sleeping, of course!) and the other is a list of tips to learn Spanish while you sleep.
Sounds interesting, right? If you are a fan of your pillow as much as I am of mine, you are going to love this post. 😉
So what are we waiting for? ¡Vamos! (“Let’s go!”)
How to Say “Sleep” in Spanish: Sueño
How do you say “sleep” in Spanish?
The noun for “sleep” in Spanish is sueño. It’s a pretty word, isn’t it? But, um… Pretty rhymes with tricky. Sueño also means “dream” in Spanish.
When I started learning Spanish, I used to link sueño to “dream”. In Italian, which is my native language, sogno has a similar pronunciation and only means “dream”.
There is no other way to differentiate between the two meanings than paying attention to the context, and sometimes tone, in which the word is used. But don’t worry, it’s easy.
I learned that when I was out at night with friends. One of them rubbed her eyes and said Tengo un sueño, emphasizing the un (“a”). I froze and wondered: “Wait, she’s having a dream right now?”
Turned out it was a way to say she was sleepy.
How to Say “To Sleep” in Spanish: Dormir
The verb “to sleep” in Spanish is dormir. It’s important to know because it pops up in many sleep-related phrases and expressions. And you’ll learn a handful of those later in the post!
First, let’s check out the conjugation of dormir (this is how the word looks in different sentences).
A Little Refresher: Spanish Subject Pronouns
Before we dive into conjugation tables, let’s open a brief parenthesis to make sure you go in with a solid basis.
English’s seven subject pronouns (I/you/we/etc.) pale in comparison when they’re confronted with Spanish’s 13 subject pronouns!
Although Spanish conjugated forms make subject pronouns almost useless, it’s important to learn the pronouns in order to use Spanish conjugation properly. This is mostly due to the fact that there are six ways to say “you” in Spanish.
Believe me, this little effort will make things easier for you in the long run. You’ll be able to learn only the conjugated forms you really need!
Dormir, Indicative Present Conjugation
Back to the star of the show. Here is the present tense of dormir:
|él/ella/usted duerme||he/she/you sleep|
|nostros dormimos||we sleep|
|vosotros dormís||you sleep|
|ellos/ellas/ustedes duermen||they/you sleep|
|yo dormí||I slept|
|tú/vos dormiste||you slept|
|él/ella/usted durmió||he/she/you slept|
|nostros dormimos||we slept|
|vosotros dormisteis||you slept|
|ellos/ellas/ustedes durmieron||they/you slept|
Spanish Pronouns Quick Refresher:
In case you were wondering when to use the pronouns above, here is a super-quick refresher:yo: “I” – It isn’t necessary to capitalize yo unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence.tú: standard informal singular “you”vos: informal singular “you” – The people of certain Latin American countries, such as Argentina, use vos instead of tú as the informal singular “you”. Most of the time with indicative present tense, the conjugation is different depending on which of the two pronouns is used.él: “he”ella: “she”usted: formal singular “younosotros: masculine “we” – Nosotros is used for exclusively-masculine groups or gender-mixed groups.nosotras: feminine “we” – Nosotras is often forgone in conjugation tables, but it is the appropriate pronoun to use when referring to a group of girls/women only.vosotros: masculine informal plural “you” – Vosotros is used in Spain but not in other Spanish-speaking countries.vosotras: masculine informal plural “you” – Like nosotras, vosotras often doesn"t appear in conjugation tables.ellos: masculine “they”ellas: feminine “they”ustedes: plural “you” – Ustedes is the formal plural “you” in Spain, but it is employed as the plural “you” for any occasion throughout Latin America.
If you’re going to Spain, forget about vos. If you’re headed to a Latin American country, leave vosotros behind. Learn only what you need to know to master Spanish faster.
How to Say “To Fall Asleep” in Spanish: Dormirse
“To fall asleep” in Spanish is dormirse, the reflexive version of dormir.
The conjugation is the same. All you need to do to go from “to sleep” to “to fall asleep” is add the appropriate reflexive pronoun to the verb.with yo → mewith tú/vos → tewith él/ella/usted → sewith nosotros/as → noswith vosotros/as → oswith ellos/ellas/ustedes → se
Example: Me dormí. – (“I fell asleep.”)
Another way to say “to fall asleep” is quedarse dormido/a, which literally means “to remain asleep”.
How to Say “I’m Sleepy” in Spanish: Tengo Sueño
Depending on where you plan to get sleepy, you might learn to say it in a different way.
As it usually happens with Spanish expressions, there are several ways to say “I"m sleepy” in Spanish. In fact, most Hispanic countries and Hispanic regions have their own phrase to say so, or they apply their own spin to the basic expression.
The most common way to say “I’m sleepy” in Spanish is tengo sueño, which literally translates to “I have sleep”.
You can make the phrase stronger by adding a small word to it.
Examples:Tengo mucho sueño – “I am very sleepy.” Mucho means “a lot”, so the literal translation of this expression is “I have a lot of sleep”.Tengo un sueño – “I am so sleepy,” literally “I have a sleep”. ¡Ojo! (“Be careful!”): This only works if you emphasize the un. Otherwise, it will mean “I have a dream”. Apply more pressure on the tanto, like you would when reading this italicized “so”: “I am so sleepy.”Tengo resueño – “I am so sleepy” in an informal, almost slang way in Latin America. Re is a fun Spanish prefix. When used in a grammatically appropriate way, it means “again” or a negation. However, youth in certain Latin American countries use it to make words more impactful.
Not sleepy? No problem! Say No tengo sueño (“I’m not sleepy”).
How to Say “I’m Tired” in Spanish: Estoy Cansado/a
To say “tired” in Spanish, you would say cansado (masculine version) or cansada (feminine version).
To form the phrase “I am tired”, pair cansado/a with the verb estar (“to be”): Estoy cansado/a.
If you want to deny your tiredness, say No estoy cansado (“I’m not tired.”)
How to Say “Go to Sleep” in Spanish: Vete a Dormir
Imagine you are hanging out with a friend who has said “I’m sleepy” in all the different ways listed above in the last half hour. You should probably tell them to go to sleep. In Spanish, to go to sleep is “irse a dormir”.
A way to say “go to sleep” is vete a dormir. This phrase uses the imperative of the verb irse (“to go”) and the infinitive of the verb dormir (“to sleep”), which we’ll talk more about later.
You might also come across the phrase stripped of its reflexive pronoun — ve a dormir — especially in Latin America.
¡Ojo! Before using this sentence, remember that there are several second-person pronouns in Spanish. You should pay attention to conjugation depending on the person or people you are addressing.with tú → vete a dormir or ve a dormirwith vos → andá a dormirwith usted → váyase a dormir or vaya a dormirwith vosotros → idos a dormir or id a dormirwith ustedes → váyanse a dormir or vayan a dormir
Note: The version with the reflexive pronoun may sometimes sound more authoritative because irse means “to go away”. As it is in the imperative form, vete can carry the meaning of “go away!” However, it is the grammatically correct choice, as irse a dormir is the proper way to say “to go to sleep”.
How to Say “Go to Sleep” to Children in Spanish: Duérmete
If you have experience with putting young children to sleep, you probably want to learn how to say “Go to sleep” in a more decisive manner in Spanish.
This is easy! Use the imperative of dormirse: ¡duérmete! (“go to sleep!” or “sleep!”). For more than one child, use dormíos in Spain and duérmanse in Latin America. It’s improbable that you will come across the expression conjugated with usted, but you can learn it just for good measure: duérmase.
See more: Who Sings This I Promise You By 'N Sync, This I Promise You
If you want to make it clear that there is no “but” expected, add ya: duérmete ya or ya duérmete (“go to sleep now”).
If you’d rather arrullar (“to lull to sleep”) the children, you could sing them canciones de cuna (“lullabies”). One of the most famous ones is called Estrellita, ¿dónde estás?(“Little star, where are you?”) It’s the Spanish version of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”: