Trabajar Conjugation Chart & Full Tense Guide

The Spanish verb ”trabajar” means “to work” and it holds significant importance in everyday communication in Spanish.

It is a verb essential for describing actions, occupations, and daily routines. In Spanish, “trabajar” belongs to the group of regular -AR verbs, which follow a standard pattern of conjugation.

I’m James, your guide from Learn Spanish With James. Read on to find out how to conjugate “trabajar” in all its forms, from simple to compound tenses and moods.

Under each verb chart and explanation, you will find example sentences showing how to use “trabajar” in context.

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Present Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedtrabaja
you pl.vosotros, vosotrastrabajáis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedestrabajan

When We Use the Present Tense

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

You will find examples of each Spanish conjugation for “trabajar” in the present tense below.

Examples of the Spanish Verb “Trabajar” in the Present Tense

  • Yo trabajo en la oficina. (I work in the office.)
  • Tú trabajas mucho todos los días. (You work hard every day.)
  • Él trabaja en un proyecto importante. (He works on an important project.)
  • Nosotros trabajamos en equipo. (We work as a team.)
  • Vosotros trabajáis en España. (You all work in Spain.)
  • Ellos trabajan mucho los domingos. (They work a lot on Sundays.)

Preterite Tense

he, she. it, you (formal)él, ella, ustedtrabajó
wenosotros, nosotrastrabajamos
you (plural)vosotros, vosotrastrabajasteis
they, you (pl. formal)ellos, ellas, ustedestrabajaron

When We Use the Preterite Tense

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

“Trabajar” is easy to learn in this tense, with a regular set of rules for preterite tense conjugation.

Examples of the “Trabajar” Preterite Tense Conjugation

  • Yo trabajé todo el día ayer. (I worked all day yesterday.)
  • Tú trabajaste en ese proyecto la semana pasada. (You worked on that project last week.)
  • Él trabajó en la oficina el lunes. (He worked in the office on Monday.)
  • Nosotros trabajamos juntos el año pasado. (We worked together last year.)
  • Vosotros trabajasteis mucho durante el verano. (You all worked a lot during the summer.)
  • Ellos trabajaron en la fábrica la semana pasada. (They worked in the factory last week.)

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Imperfect Tense

he, she, it, you (formal)él, ella, usted trabajaba
wenosotros, nosotrastrabajábamos
you (plural)vosotros, vosotrastrabajabais
they, you(pl. formal)ellos, ellas, ustedestrabajaban

When We Use the Imperfect Tense

The imperfect tense is used to describe ongoing or habitual actions in the past, as well as to provide background information.

For this reason, you will find the imperfect tense used in books and literature quite often.

Examples of the Imperfect “Trabajar” Spanish Verb Conjugation

  • Yo trabajaba en esa empresa cuando era joven. (I used to work for that company when I was young.)
  • Tú trabajabas mucho en aquellos días. (You used to work a lot in those days.)
  • Él trabajaba en la granja todos los veranos. (He worked on the farm every summer.)
  • Nosotros trabajábamos juntos en la escuela. (We used to work together at school.)
  • Vosotros trabajabais en la tienda de tu padre. (You all used to work at your father’s store.)
  • Ellos trabajaban en el campo cada fin de semana. (They used to work in the field every weekend.)

Future Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedtrabajará
you pl.vosotros, vosotrastrabajaréis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedestrabajarán

When we use the future tense

The future tense is used to describe actions that happened or will happen later on, in the near future.

It’s really easy to conjugate “trabajar” in the future tense. Just add the relevant future tense endings to the infinitive form.

You’ll find these in the verb chart above, and within the example sentences provided below.

Examples of the verb “trabajar” in the future tense:

  • Yo trabajaré en una empresa multinacional. (I will work in a multinational company.)
  • Tú trabajarás en el extranjero el próximo año. (You will work abroad next year.)
  • Él trabajará en su propio negocio. (He will work in his own business.)
  • Nosotros trabajaremos juntos en este proyecto. (We will work together on this project.)
  • Vosotros trabajaréis en la nueva sucursal. (You all will work at the new branch.)
  • Ellos trabajarán en la construcción de la casa. (They will work on building the house.)

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Conditional Tense

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedtrabajaría
you pl.vosotros, vosotrastrabajaríais
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedestrabajarían

When we use the conditional tense

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

Just like the present tense, it’s really easy to remember each “trabajar” conjugation for the conditional tense.

Simply add each relevant ending to the infinitive form of the verb.

Top Tip: If you want to score well in your Spanish speaking exams, try to combine this tense with the imperfect subjunctive. I’ll show you how in this guide to Spanish verb tenses.

Examples of Conditional Tense “Trabajar” Spanish Verb Conjugations

  • Yo trabajaría en ese proyecto si tuviera la oportunidad. (I would work on that project if I had the opportunity.)
  • Tú trabajarías más horas si te pagaran mejor. (You would work more hours if they paid you better.)
  • Él trabajaría en la empresa de su padre, pero prefiere empezar de cero. (He would work in his father’s company, but he prefers to start from scratch.)
  • Nosotros trabajaríamos los fines de semana si fuera necesario. (We would work on weekends if it were necessary.)
  • Vosotros trabajaríais en el nuevo proyecto si os lo pidieran. (You all would work on the new project if they asked you.)
  • Ellos trabajarían en el extranjero si tuvieran la oportunidad. (They would work abroad if they had the opportunity.)

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Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhatrabajado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabéistrabajado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshantrabajado

When We Use the Perfect Tense

The perfect tense, known in Spanish as the “pretérito perfecto” allows us to describe actions that have been completed recently or have an effect on the present.

For example, “He estado trabajando” (I have been working). Or, “He trabajado todo el día” (I have worked all day).

Here, you need to conjugate the auxiliary verb “haber”, then follow this with the past participle of the verb, which is “trabajado”.

Simply drop the -AR ending, and replace it with -ado.

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Pretérite Perfect

  • Yo he trabajado mucho esta semana. (I have worked a lot this week.)
  • Tú has trabajado en varios proyectos interesantes. (You have worked on several interesting projects.)
  • Él ha trabajado en esta empresa desde hace cinco años, y va a seguir trabajando aquí. (He has worked in this company for five years, and he will continue working here.)
  • Nosotros hemos trabajado juntos en el pasado. (We have worked together in the past.)
  • Vosotros habéis trabajado con muchos clientes diferentes. (You all have worked with many different clients.)
  • Ellos han trabajado duro para conseguir este éxito. (They have worked hard to achieve this success.)

Pluperfect Tense 

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabíatrabajado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabíaistrabajado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabíantrabajado

When We Use the Pluperfect Tense 

The pluperfect tense, referred to in Spanish as the “pluscuamperfecto” describes actions that had occurred before another past action.

Think of it as one step back behind the perfect tense. An example is “Había oído un ruido en el sótano. Es por eso que quería salir de la casa.” (I had heard a noise in the basement. That’s why I wanted to leave the house).

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Pluperfect Tense 

  • Yo había trabajado en esa empresa antes de mudarme. (I had worked in that company before moving.)
  • Tú habías trabajado mucho antes de tomar unas vacaciones. (You had worked a lot before taking a vacation.)
  • Él había trabajado en varios países antes de establecerse aquí. (He had worked in several countries before settling here.)
  • Nosotros habíamos trabajado juntos en otro proyecto anteriormente. (We had worked together on another project before.)
  • Vosotros habíais trabajado con ellos en el pasado. (You all had worked with them in the past.)
  • Ellos habían trabajado en la misma empresa antes de ser transferidos. (They had worked in the same company before being transferred.)

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Future Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabrátrabajado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabréistrabajado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabrántrabajado

When We Use the Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used to describe actions that will be completed at a specific point in the future.

For example, “Mi hermana habrá hablado con su profesor antes del fin de semana” (My sister will have spoken with the teacher before the weekend.) “Hablado” is, of course, the past participle of the verb “hablar“.

In order to form the future perfect tense in Spanish, you need to conjugate the auxiliary verb “haber” and follow this with “trabajado”.

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Future Perfect Tense

  • Yo habré trabajado aquí por cinco años el próximo mes. (I will have worked here for five years next month.)
  • Tú habrás trabajado en este proyecto antes de que termine el año. (You will have worked on this project before the end of the year.)
  • Él habrá trabajado en diferentes industrias para entonces. (He will have worked in different industries by then.)
  • Nosotros habremos trabajado juntos por mucho tiempo para entonces. (We will have worked together for a long time by then.)
  • Vosotros habréis trabajado en varios países al final del año. (You all will have worked in several countries by the end of the year.)
  • Ellos habrán trabajado en esta empresa durante muchos años para el momento de su jubilación. (They will have worked in this company for many years by the time of their retirement.)

Conditional Perfect Tense

PronounsPronombresAuxiliary verb ‘haber’
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedhabríatrabajado
you pl.vosotros, vosotrashabríaistrabajado
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedeshabríantrabajado

When We Use the Conditional Perfect Tense

The conditional perfect tense is used to describe actions that would have been completed in the past if certain conditions had been met.

For example, “Habría hablado más con mi amigo si no tuviera que volver a casa el domingo” (I would have spoken more with my friend if he didn’t have to go back home on Sunday).

Just like the future perfect tense, you need to conjugate “haber” in order to use the conditional perfect tense.

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Conditional Perfect Tense

  • Yo habría trabajado más horas si me hubieran pagado mejor. (I would have worked more hours if they had paid me better.)
  • Tú habrías trabajado en ese proyecto si te lo hubieran pedido. (You would have worked on that project if they had asked you.)
  • Él habría trabajado en esa empresa si hubiera tenido la oportunidad. (He would have worked in that company if he had had the opportunity.)
  • Nosotros habríamos trabajado juntos si nos hubieran dado la oportunidad. (We would have worked together if they had given us the opportunity.)
  • Vosotros habríais trabajado en el extranjero si os hubieran ofrecido el puesto. (You all would have worked abroad if they had offered you the position.)
  • Ellos habrían trabajado en diferentes áreas si hubieran estudiado otras carreras. (They would have worked in different fields if they had studied other careers.)

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Present Subjunctive

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedtrabaje
you pl.vosotros, vosotrastrabajéis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedestrabajen

When We Use the Present Subjunctive

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

To form the subjunctive, you take the stem of the verb + opposite vowel endings (-e, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, -en).

For example, for an -AR verb like trabajar, you would take -er verb endings (e.g. from “saber“).

Examples of the verb “Trabajar” in the Present Subjunctive

  • Es importante que yo trabaje más horas esta semana. (It’s important that I work more hours this week.)
  • Dudo que tú trabajes en ese proyecto. (I doubt that you work on that project.)
  • Espero que él trabaje en equipo. (I hope he works as one of the team.)
  • Sugiero que nosotros trabajemos juntos en este proyecto. (I suggest that we work together on this project.)
  • Es necesario que vosotros trabajéis más duro. (It’s necessary that you all work harder.)
  • Quiero que ellos trabajen con nosotros. (I want them to work with us.)

Imperfect Subjunctive

Iyotrabajara, trabajase
youtrabajaras, trabajases
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,ustedtrabajara, trabajase
wenosotros,nosotrastrabajáramos, trabajásemos
you pl.vosotros, vosotrastrabajarais, trabajaseis
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedestrabajaran, trabajasen

When We Use the Imperfect Subjunctive

The imperfect subjunctive is used to express hypothetical situations, wishes, doubts, or polite requests in the past.

Below, you will learn how to use the imperfect subjunctive in context for a regular -AR verb.

Examples of the verb “Trabajar” in the Imperfect Subjunctive

  • Si yo trabajara menos horas, tendría más tiempo libre. (If I worked fewer hours, I would have more free time.)
  • Esperaba que tú trabajaras en el proyecto conmigo. (I hoped you would work on the project with me.)
  • Era importante que él trabajara en equipo. (It was important for him to work as a team.)
  • Queríamos que nosotros trabajáramos juntos en el proyecto. (We wanted us to work together on the project.)
  • Preferíamos que vosotros trabajarais en el proyecto de manera independiente. (We preferred you to work on the project independently.)
  • Deseaban que ellos trabajaran en la empresa familiar. (They wished for them to work in the family business.)

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Affirmative Imperative 

he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,usted¡trabaje!
you pl.vosotros, vosotras¡trabajad!
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedes¡trabajen!

When We Use The Affirmative Imperative

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

A regular -AR verb like “trabajar” follows a specific pattern in the affirmative imperative conjugation.

You can see these examples of each conjugated form below in both singular and plural form.

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Affirmative Imperative

  • Tú: Trabaja en silencio. (Work silently.)
  • Usted: Trabaje en este proyecto. (Work on this project.)
  • Nosotros: Trabajemos juntos para terminar a tiempo. (Let’s work together to finish on time.)
  • Vosotros: Trabajad con cuidado. (Work carefully.)
  • Ustedes: Trabajen en sus tareas asignadas. (Work on your assigned tasks.)

Negative Imperative

you¡no trabajes!
he,she,it, you(formal)él,ella,usted¡no trabaje!
wenosotros,nosotras¡no trabajemos!
you pl.vosotros, vosotras¡no trabajéis!
they, you pl. (formal)ellos,ellas,ustedes¡no trabajen!

When We Use The Negative Imperative

The negative imperative is used to prohibit or forbid actions.

In the case of “trabajar”, this means that someone should not work at a specific time, place or in a certain manner.

Examples of “Trabajar” in the Negative Imperative

  • Tú: No trabajes tan tarde. (Don’t work so late.)
  • Usted: No trabaje aquí sin autorización. (Don’t work here without authorization.)
  • Nosotros: No trabajemos los fines de semana. (Let’s not work on weekends.)
  • Vosotros: No trabajéis en este proyecto sin supervisión. (Don’t work on this project without supervision.)
  • Ustedes: No trabajen en ese área peligrosa. (Don’t work in that dangerous area.)

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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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