Pensar Conjugation Chart & Full Tense Guide

Pensar is a commonly used ‐ AR Spanish verb meaning “to think.”

As an irregular verb, “pensar” presents challenges to learners due to its irregular conjugation patterns across certain tenses and moods.

Despite the stem changing challenge this verb can present to some learners, mastering the Spanish verb conjugation of “pensar” is important for expressing what you think in Spanish.

I’m James, from Learn Spanish With James. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of every “pensar” conjugation, covering indicative, imperative and subjunctive tenses.

By the end of this guide, you will have a thorough understanding of how to conjugate “pensar” in Spanish and use it confidently in everyday conversations.

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Present Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedpiensa
you pl.vosotros, vosotraspensáis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedespiensan

When we use the Present Tense

The present tense is used to describe actions that are currently happening or habitual actions. 

In Spanish, the present tense of “pensar” is formed by removing the -ar ending and adding the appropriate endings for each subject pronoun.

However, for the first, second, and third person singular, as well as the third person plural, you need to learn the stem change.

Examples of the Present Tense “Pensar” Conjugation

  • Yo pienso en mi futuro. (I think about my future.)
  • Tú piensas demasiado en eso. (You think too much about that.)
  • Él/Ella piensa que todo saldrá bien. (He/She thinks everything will be okay.)
  • Nosotros pensamos ir al cine esta noche. (We plan to go to the cinema tonight.)
  • Vosotros pensáis que es una buena idea. (You all think it’s a good idea.)
  • Ellos/Ellas piensan que deberíamos esperar. (They think we should wait.)

Preterite Tense

he, she. it, you (formal)él, ella, ustedpensó
wenosotros, nosotraspensamos
you (plural)vosotros, vosotraspensasteis
they, you (pl. formal)ellos, ellas, ustedespensaron

When we use the Preterite Tense

The preterite tense is used to describe completed actions in the past at a specific point in time. 

This makes it different from the imperfect tense, which we used for ongoing actions or to express something we “used to think” (as is the case with “pensar”).

To conjugate “pensar” in the preterite tense, remove the -ar ending and add the appropriate endings.

Examples of the Preterite Tense “Pensar” Conjugation

  • Yo pensé en lo que dijiste. (I thought about what you said.)
  • Tú pensaste que no llegaríamos a tiempo. (You thought we wouldn’t arrive on time.)
  • Él/Ella pensó que ya había terminado. (He/She thought it was already finished.)
  • Nosotros pensamos en cómo solucionar el problema. (We thought about how to solve the problem.)
  • Vosotros pensasteis en llamar a la policía. (You all thought about calling the police.)
  • Ellos/Ellas pensaron que no nos atreveríamos. (They thought we wouldn’t dare.)

Imperfect Tense

he, she, it, you (formal)él, ella, usted pensaba
wenosotros, nosotraspensábamos
you (plural)vosotros, vosotraspensabais
they, you(pl. formal)ellos, ellas, ustedespensaban

When we use the Imperfect Tense

As mentioned in the previous section, the imperfect Spanish verb conjugation is used to describe ongoing or repeated actions in the past. 

The literal translation is “used to think” or “was thinking”.

You can combine this tense with the preterite tense in your speaking exams to show your understanding of both tenses. 

For example, “Ya pensaba en ti cuando me dijo Fran que no estás bien en este momento” – (I was already thinking about you when Fran told me you are not OK at the moment.)

Conjugating “pensar” in the imperfect tense involves removing the -ar ending and adding the appropriate endings.

Examples of the Imperfect Tense “Pensar” Conjugation

  • Yo pensaba que todo era posible. (I used to think everything was possible.)
  • Tú pensabas que el mundo era justo. (You used to think the world was fair.)
  • Él/Ella pensaba en su infancia. (He/She was thinking about his/her childhood.)
  • Nosotros pensábamos en viajar por el mundo. (We were thinking about traveling the world.)
  • Vosotros pensabais que sería fácil. (You all thought it would be easy.)
  • Ellos/Ellas pensaban que no llegaríamos lejos. (They thought we wouldn’t get far.)

Future Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedpensará
you pl.vosotros, vosotraspensaréis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedespensarán

When we use the Future Tense

The future tense is used to describe actions that will happen in the future. 

The key here is to remember “will” (unlike the conditional tense, which is “would”).

Conjugating “pensar” in the future tense involves adding the appropriate endings to the infinitive form of the verb.

This makes it one of the easiest Spanish tenses to learn.

Examples of the Verb in the Future Tense

  • Yo pensaré en tu propuesta. (I will think about your proposal.)
  • Tú pensarás en lo que te dije. (You will think about what I told you.)
  • Él/Ella pensará que estoy loco. (He/She will think I’m crazy.)
  • Nosotros pensaremos en la mejor opción. (We will think about the best option.)
  • Vosotros pensaréis en vuestra decisión. (You all will think about your decision.)
  • Ellos/Ellas pensarán que es una tontería. (They will think it’s silly.)

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Conditional Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedpensaría
you pl.vosotros, vosotraspensaríais
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedespensarían

When we use the Conditional Tense

The conditional tense is used to express actions that would happen under certain conditions. 

This is a great tense to use if you want to create a sentence which uses both the conditional tense and the imperfect subjunctive tense. 

Conjugating “pensar” in the conditional tense involves adding the appropriate endings to the infinitive form of the verb.

Like the future tense, this means it is one of the easiest verbs to learn in Spanish. 

Examples of the Verb in the Conditional Tense

  • Yo pensaría en mudarme a otro país. (I would think about moving to another country.)
  • Tú pensarías que sería una buena experiencia. (You would think it would be a good experience.)
  • Él/Ella pensaría que no valdría la pena. (He/She would think it wouldn’t be worth it.)
  • Nosotros pensaríamos en todas las posibilidades. (We would think about all the possibilities.)
  • Vosotros pensaríais que nos arrepentiríamos. (You all would think we would regret it.)
  • Ellos/Ellas pensarían que somos locos. (They would think we are crazy.)

Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhapensado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabéispensado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshanpensado

When we use the Perfect Tense

The perfect tense is used to describe actions that were completed before a certain point in the past. 

The translation with “pensar” in the perfect tense is “have thought”. 

Conjugating “pensar” in the perfect perfect tense involves using the auxiliary verb “haber” in the present tense followed by the past participle of “pensar” – which is “pensado”.

For example, “Has pensado tú en esto?” (Have you thought of that?).

Further examples are below. 

Examples of the Verb in the Preterite Perfect Tense

  • Yo he pensado mucho en ti. (I have thought a lot about you.)
  • Tú has pensado en lo que dije. (You have thought about what I said.)
  • Él/Ella ha pensado que es una buena idea. (He/She has thought it’s a good idea.)
  • Nosotros hemos pensado en soluciones. (We have thought about solutions.)
  • Vosotros habéis pensado en todos los detalles. (You all have thought about all the details.)
  • Ellos/Ellas han pensado que deberíamos esperar. (They have thought we should wait.)

Pluperfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabíapensado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabíaispensado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabíanpensado

When we use the Pluperfect Tense

The pluperfect tense is used to describe actions that had already happened before another action in the past. 

The translation becomes “had thought”.

Again, conjugating “pensar” in the pluperfect tense involves using the imperfect tense of the auxiliary verb “haber” followed by the past participle of “pensar.”

Examples of the Verb in the Pluperfect Tense

  • Yo había pensado en eso antes. (I had thought about that before.)
  • Tú habías pensado en la posibilidad. (You had thought about the possibility.)
  • Él/Ella había pensado que no funcionaría. (He/She had thought it wouldn’t work.)
  • Nosotros habíamos pensado en diferentes opciones. (We had thought about different options.)
  • Vosotros habíais pensado en todos los escenarios. (You all had thought about all the scenarios.)
  • Ellos/Ellas habían pensado que todo saldría mal. (They had thought everything would go wrong.)

Future Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabrápensado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabréispensado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabránpensado

When we use the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used to describe actions that will have been completed by a certain point in the future. 

Just like the other tenses above, conjugating “pensar” in the future perfect tense involves using the future tense of the auxiliary verb “haber” followed by the past participle of “pensar” – which is “pensado”.

Examples of the Verb in the Future Perfect Tense

  • Yo habré pensado en una solución para entonces. (I will have thought of a solution by then.)
  • Tú habrás pensado en todas las posibilidades. (You will have thought of all the possibilities.)
  • Él/Ella habrá pensado que no llegaríamos a tiempo. (He/She will have thought we wouldn’t arrive on time.)
  • Nosotros habremos pensado en todas las contingencias. (We will have thought of all contingencies.)
  • Vosotros habréis pensado en una estrategia. (You all will have thought of a strategy.)
  • Ellos/Ellas habrán pensado que nos rendiríamos. (They will have thought we would give up.)

Conditional Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabríapensado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabríaispensado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabríanpensado

When we use the Conditional Perfect Tense

In order to conjugate “pensar” in the conditional perfect tense, we conjugate “haber” and take the past participle of “pensar”.

This tense is used to describe actions that would have been completed under certain conditions. 

So, the literal translation is “would have thought”.

This is a great tense to combine in a sentence with the Spanish imperfect subjunctive tense.

Examples of the Verb in the Conditional Perfect Tense

  • Yo habría pensado en ello si me lo hubieras dicho antes. (I would have thought about it if you had told me earlier.)
  • Tú habrías pensado que sería más fácil. (You would have thought it would be easier.)
  • Él/Ella habría pensado que podríamos resolverlo juntos. (He/She would have thought we could solve it together.)
  • Nosotros habríamos pensado en una solución alternativa. (We would have thought of an alternative solution.)
  • Vosotros habríais pensado que era una broma. (You all would have thought it was a joke.)
  • Ellos/Ellas habrían pensado que no nos atreveríamos. (They would have thought we wouldn’t dare.)

Present Subjunctive

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedpiense
you pl.vosotros, vosotraspenséis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedespiensen

When we use the Present Subjunctive

The present subjunctive is used to express desires, doubts, or possibilities. 

Conjugating “pensar” in the present subjunctive involves using the present subjunctive endings after removing the -ar ending.

The example sentences below show how this works in practice. 

Examples of the Verb in the Present Subjunctive

  • Yo quiero que tú pienses en tus decisiones. (I want you to think about your decisions.)
  • Tú dudas que él/ella piense como tú. (You doubt he/she thinks like you.)
  • Él/Ella espera que nosotros pensemos en el futuro. (He/She hopes we think about the future.)
  • Nosotros preferimos que vosotros penséis con claridad. (We prefer you all to think clearly.)
  • Vosotros necesitáis que ellas piensen en las consecuencias. (You all need them to think about the consequences.)
  • Ellos/Ellas desean que yo piense en sus sentimientos. (They wish I think about their feelings.)

Imperfect Subjunctive

Iyopensara, pensase
youpensaras, pensases
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedpensara, pensase
wenosotros,nosotraspensáramos, pensásemos
you pl.vosotros, vosotraspensarais, pensaseis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedespensaran, pensasen

When we use the Imperfect Subjunctive

The imperfect subjunctive is used to express hypothetical situations or wishes in the past. 

Again, conjugating “pensar” in the imperfect subjunctive involves using the imperfect subjunctive endings after removing the -ar ending.

Examples of the Verb in the Imperfect Subjunctive

  • Yo deseaba que tú pensaras en mí. (I wished you would think about me.)
  • Tú esperabas que él/ella pensara en una solución. (You hoped he/she would think of a solution.)
  • Él/Ella prefería que nosotros pensáramos en el medio ambiente. (He/She preferred we thought about the environment.)
  • Nosotros queríamos que vosotros pensárais en vuestras acciones. (We wanted you all to think about your actions.)
  • Vosotros insistíais en que ellas pensaran en el futuro. (You insisted they thought about the future.)
  • Ellos/Ellas sugerían que yo pensara en otras opciones. (They suggested I thought about other options.)

Affirmative Imperative 

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,usted¡piense!
you pl.vosotros, vosotras¡pensad!
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedes¡piensen!

When We Use The Affirmative Imperative

The affirmative imperative is used to give commands or orders in a direct and affirmative manner.

When conjugating “pensar” in the affirmative imperative, the subject pronoun is usually omitted, and the appropriate imperative form of the verb is used.

Some examples of how to use “pensar” in the imperative form are below. 

Examples of How to Conjugate “Pensar” in the Affirmative Imperative

  • ¡Piensa antes de actuar! (Think before you act!)
  • ¡Pensemos en una solución juntos! (Let’s think of a solution together!)
  • ¡Pensad en las consecuencias de vuestros actos! (Think about the consequences of your actions!)
  • ¡Piensen en el futuro de sus hijos! (Think about the future of your children!)

Negative Imperative

you¡no pienses!
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,usted¡no piense!
wenosotros,nosotras¡no pensemos!
you pl.vosotros, vosotras¡no penséis!
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedes¡no piensen!

When We Use The Negative Imperative

The negative imperative is used to give commands or orders in a direct and negative manner, indicating what someone should not do. 

When using the negative imperative with “pensar,” the word “no” is placed before the verb.

Examples of the Spanish Verb “Pensar” in the Negative Imperative

  • No pienses tanto en eso. (Don’t think too much about that.)
  • No pensemos en lo peor. (Let’s not think about the worst.)
  • No penséis que será fácil. (Don’t think it will be easy.)
  • No piensen que pueden hacerlo solos. (Don’t think you can do it alone.)

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About James – Or Should that be Santiago?

My name is James. I am a Brit with a love for the Spanish language. I have lived in Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica, and I have been teaching Spanish for over a decade. This site will show you how to master the elements of Spanish grammar that often dishearten learners. I hope you enjoy the site and find it useful.

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