Hacerse, volverse, ponerse and other verbs of change in Spanish.

Hacerse, volverse, ponerse and other verbs of change in Spanish.

Remember these verbs and phrasal verbs (apart from llegar a ser) are reflexive. This means that you need to use the following pronouns:

Me (I) / Te (you) / se (she/he/it) / nos (we) /os (you guys) /se (they)
The verb in whatever tense you choose.

Ok, let's dive into it!


Usually, happens after a process of some kind, it's usually used with more or less permanent nouns (that we use "ser" for) and it's mostly on purpose.


  • Ideology

    Ex: Se hizo comunista - he/she became a communist.

  • Religion

    Ex: Me hice católica - I became catholic.

  • Age

    Ex: Mi abuela se hizo muy mayor – My grandma became very old.

  • Job
    Ex: Se hizo médico – He/she became doctors.

  • Time
    Ex: Se hizo tarde – It became late.

  • Sometimes, a more or less permanent quality on people.

    Ex: * Ella se ha hecho muy vaga* - She has become very lazy.


Usually involuntary change
The result is quite permanent, therefore adjectives we would use "ser" for.


  • Personality traits

Ex: Se volvió muy celoso - He became very jealous.

  • Take on cultural habits that are not your own

Ex: Te volviste española - You became Spanish. - You started to eat,act,live like a Spaniard.

This can overlap with the hacerse when used for qualities in people, but volverse sounds a bit less voluntary. Otherwise, they're pretty similar in those situations.

  • More or less permanent qualities on inanimate nouns

    Ex: Se volvió difícil despedir a mis empleados - It became difficult to fire my employees.

Ex: Los productos se vuelven más baratos con el tiempo - The products become cheaper with time.


Involuntary change
The result is quite temporary, and about things that can happen almost daily, therefore usually these are adjectives we would use "estar" with.


  • Health

    Ex: Me puse enferma – I got sick.

  • Mood

    Ex: Te pusiste muy triste – You got very sad

    Ex2: The expression “ponerse rojo/colorado” – to blush.

  • State of inanimate nouns

    Ex: La comida se puso mala - The food went bad
    Ex: La situación se pone seria - The situation gets serious

  • Appearance. On the same topic as to "ponerse ropa" - to put on clothes.

    Ex: Se puso muy guapa– She made herself pretty.

This includes "ponerse moreno/a" - to get tanned


Mostly an unexpected change as a reaction of something that happened.
Usually negative


  • Adjectives for states (widow, pregnant, blind, deaf, orphan, disable, etc) or behaviour/reaction.

When it goes with a reaction, it can be translated usually as "getting + adjective".

Ex: Se quedó viuda – She became a widow.
Ex: Se quedaron callados – They got quiet.
Ex: Me quedé embarazada – I got pregnant.
Ex: Me quedé sorprendida – I was surprised.


Voluntary and wanted change
It usually happens after a long time and effort
You can maybe translate it as "gets to be"


  • Nouns (usually jobs).

    Ex: Llegó a ser presidente - He became the president.

    Ex2: Llegué a ser abogada - I became a lawyer.

  • Adjectives

    Ex: Llegasteis a ser ricos y famosos – You guys became rich and famous.


Deep big change, changing the identity or even biology of the said thing, with neutral or positive connotations


  • Nouns - Without adjective after:

    Ex: El capullo se convirtió en una mariposa – The cocoon became a butterfly.

  • With adjective after: Ex: Se convirtió en una persona importante – He/she became an important person.

That's it!
Hasta luego! :)