How To Say Become In Spanish

Many Spanish students are dumbfounded when they find out that Spanish doesn’t have a single word to mean “become” as it is in English. Check out these two examples:

1. I become frustrated when I don’t know how to do something.
2. I want to become a doctor.

In English, it’s nice and simple. But in Spanish it’s different!

1. Me frustro cuando no sei hacer algo. (I become frustrated when I don’t know how to do something). Note that the literal translation is “I frustrate myself …”

2. Quiero ser doctor. (I want to become a doctor). Note that the literal translation is “I want to be a doctor.”

The point is that there isn’t one single way to say “become” in Spanish. Here are three common ways:

PonerseMe pongo triste cuando te veo así. (I become sad when I see you like this.)

HacerseTe haces frustrado cada día. You become frustrated (you make yourself frustrated) every day.

Volverse (used more for something that takes a long time to accomplish) – Él se volvío un autor famoso. (He became a famous author.)

Many Spanish verbs when turned reflexive carry the meaning of “become.”

Compare:

Me pongo frustrado cada día. I become frustrated every day.
Me frustro (the verb frustrar) cada dí­a. I become frustrated every day.

Other verbs that follow this pattern:

enojar (to anger)
alegrar (to make happy)

There are other verbs that essentially mean to convert or transform into something:

convertirse
transformarse

Don’t be surprised if you come across other verbs or ways to say “become” in Spanish.