Spanish word of the week: acabar

acabar VERB to finish doing something; to have just done something

Acabar in the meanings shown above is followed by de and the infinitive. The tense of acabar indicates which meaning is intended.

To talk about finishing doing something, you use acabar in the appropriate tense, followed by de and the infinitive:

Ayer acabé de pintar la pared. I finished painting the wall yesterday.
Cuando acabe de escribir este email me iré a dormir. When I finish writing this email I’m going to bed.

In the present or imperfect tense you use it to say that someone has just or had just done something:

Acaba de llegar. He’s just arrived.
Acabábamos de enterarnos. We had only just found out.

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