“Oír” Spanish verb conjugation

The Spanish verb “oír” translates to “to hear” in English. It refers to the act of perceiving sound through the ears. Here are some key points about the meaning and usage of “oír”:

  1. Perception of Sound: “Oír” denotes the physical act of hearing or perceiving sounds with the ears. It’s used to describe the ability to detect auditory stimuli.
    • No puedo oír la música. (I can’t hear the music.)
    • Él oye el sonido del tren. (He hears the sound of the train.)
  2. Listening and Understanding: Beyond the physical act of hearing, “oír” can also imply active listening or understanding what is being said or heard.
    • Oímos la noticia en la radio. (We heard the news on the radio.)
    • No te oigo bien. ¿Puedes hablar más alto? (I can’t hear you well. Can you speak louder?)
  3. To Pay Attention or Heed: In some contexts, “oír” can imply paying attention to something or heeding advice, warnings, or requests.
    • Deberías oír a tu médico. (You should listen to your doctor.)
    • Oye lo que te estoy diciendo. (Listen to what I’m telling you.)
  4. Understanding Without Intention: “Oír” can also convey unintentional hearing or overhearing something without actively seeking to listen.
    • Oí el sonido de risas en la habitación. (I heard the sound of laughter in the room.)
    • ¿Oíste lo que pasó ayer en la reunión? (Did you hear what happened in the meeting yesterday?)
  5. Used in Idiomatic Expressions: “Oír” is also used in various idiomatic expressions and phrases in Spanish.
    • Creer algo cuando se lo oye (Believing something when one hears it.)
    • Oír campanas y no saber dónde (To hear bells and not know where they’re ringing.)

In summary, “oír” is a versatile verb that encompasses both the physical act of hearing and the broader concepts of listening, understanding, paying attention, and overhearing in various contexts.

Here’s the conjugation for the Spanish verb “oír” (to hear)

Present Indicative

  • Yo oigo (I hear)
  • Tú oyes (You hear)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oye (He/She/You hear)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oímos (We hear)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oís (You all hear – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oyen (They/You all hear)

Preterite (Past Simple) Indicative

  • Yo oí (I heard)
  • Tú oíste (You heard)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oyó (He/She/You heard)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oímos (We heard)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oísteis (You all heard – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oyeron (They/You all heard)

Imperfect Indicative

  • Yo oía (I used to hear)
  • Tú oías (You used to hear)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oía (He/She/You used to hear)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oíamos (We used to hear)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oíais (You all used to hear – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oían (They/You all used to hear)

Future Indicative

  • Yo oiré (I will hear)
  • Tú oirás (You will hear)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oirá (He/She/You will hear)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oiremos (We will hear)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oiréis (You all will hear – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oirán (They/You all will hear)


  • Yo oiría (I would hear)
  • Tú oirías (You would hear)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oiría (He/She/You would hear)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oiríamos (We would hear)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oiríais (You all would hear – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oirían (They/You all would hear)

Present Subjunctive

  • Yo oiga (That I hear)
  • Tú oigas (That you hear)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oiga (That he/she/you hear)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oigamos (That we hear)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oigáis (That you all hear – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oigan (That they/you all hear)

Imperfect Subjunctive

  • Yo oyera/oyese (If I heard)
  • Tú oyeras/oyeses (If you heard)
  • Él/Ella/Usted oyera/oyese (If he/she/you heard)
  • Nosotros/Nosotras oyéramos/oyésemos (If we heard)
  • Vosotros/Vosotras oyerais/oyeseis (If you all heard – informal, used in Spain)
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes oyeran/oyesen (If they/you all heard)


  • (Tú) Oye (Hear – singular, informal)
  • (Él/Ella/Usted) Oiga (Hear – singular, formal)
  • (Nosotros/Nosotras) Oigamos (Let’s hear)
  • (Vosotros/Vosotras) Oíd (Hear – plural, informal, used in Spain)
  • (Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes) Oigan (Hear – plural, formal)

Oír vs Escuchar (To Hear vs To Listen)

The Spanish verbs “oír” and “escuchar” both pertain to the sense of hearing but carry nuanced differences in their usage.

While “oír” generally refers to the physical act of hearing or being aware of sound without necessarily implying active listening or comprehension, “escuchar” goes beyond mere hearing and emphasizes attentive listening and comprehension.

“Escuchar” implies an intentional effort to listen, understand, and engage with what is being heard, often involving focus and concentration. On the other hand, “oír” can signify passive hearing or being aware of noise without actively engaging with it.

Additionally, “oír” can connote the basic perception of sound, irrespective of comprehension or attention. Therefore, while “escuchar” suggests active engagement and understanding, “oír” can encompass a broader range of auditory perception, including simply being aware of noise in the environment.

¡Oye! (Verb ‘oír’ provides one of the most common expressions of Spanish)

The Spanish expression “¡Oye!” is an informal way to get someone’s attention, akin to the English “Hey!”. It’s part of imperative tense for the 2nd person of verb “oír”. Its meaning would suggest to ask someone to hear something. But benyond this meaning, ‘¡Oye!’ evolved to become one of the most common words to catch someone’s attention.

It’s commonly used in casual conversations among friends, family, or acquaintances to initiate a conversation, call someone over, or express surprise.

“¡Oye!” carries a friendly and informal tone, often used when speaking face-to-face or in informal settings. It’s a versatile expression, reflecting warmth and familiarity, and is frequently employed in everyday interactions to establish rapport or convey urgency in a lighthearted manner.