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Published on: Vocabulary

Pause and Learn: The Many Ways to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish

“Stop!” – a simple word with such a powerful impact, yet its expression varies widely from language to language. The beauty of Spanish lies in its range of ways to say “stop,” each suiting different contexts and moments. Whether you’re looking to express this command as a verb or noun, Spanish offers a rich variety of options.

At SpanishVIP, we’ve delved into the language’s nuances to bring you an in-depth exploration of how to say “stop” in Spanish. Our guide is packed with everyday phrases used by Spanish speakers, helping you learn and understand the precise moments to use each variant. So, if you’re ready to add another dimension to your Spanish vocabulary, join us as we dive into the world of ‘stop’ in the vibrant language of Spanish.


Traffic signals known in English as “Stop”, in Spanish are generally translated as “Pare”.

Stop in Spanish: Alto

Alto” translates into English as “High” or “Tall”, but when used as one of the Spanish imperatives, it takes on a different meaning. Depending on the context, “alto” is used to ask someone to stop or cease what they’re doing. While not a commonly used phrase in the everyday narrative, police officers in certain countries frequently use it to command a fugitive to halt. Let’s explore some examples of using the word “alto“:

  • “Alto.” – Stop.
  • “Alto ahí.” – Stop there.
  • “Manos en alto.” (Hands up) – Although in this sentence the word “alto” translates as “up”, it is an expression used by members of the police or military forces that have the implicit meaning of asking someone to stop, in addition to raising their hands.
  • “Hay que ponerle un alto al crimen.” – Crime must be stopped.
  • “Alto al fuego.” – Ceasefire.
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Stop in Spanish: Parar

The verb “parar” ranks among the most popular and frequently used ways to express “stop” in Spanish. However, it’s essential not to confuse this verb with the preposition “para, which generally translates as “for”. While they might seem similar, their usage and meaning are distinctly different. Here are some examples where the verb “parar” (to stop) is used in its infinitive form:

  • “Voy a parar de hacer esto.” – I’m going to stop doing this.
  • “Ayudame a parar el autobus.” – Help me stop the bus.
  • “No sé como parar, ¿Me ayudas?” – I don’t know how to stop, can you help me?
  • “Él no quiere parar.” – He doesn’t want to stop.
  • “¿Por qué parar? Sigamos adelante.” – Why stop? Let’s move on.

However, this does not end here, as there are many ways to conjugate the word “stop” referring to stopping something or someone. For example, the command “Stop”, which is an order given to a person or thing to stop what they are doing, could be conjugated in each pronoun “you” and “we” in Spanish in the following ways:

Spanish Pronoun Spanish Command English Pronoun English Command
Usted Pare You Stop
Para You Stop
Ustedes Paren You (plural) Stop
Vosotros Parad You (Spanish plural) Stop
Nosotros Paremos We Let’s stop

Some examples of these command conjugations are:

  • “Para de hacer esto.” – Stop doing this
  • “Quiero que pare de jugar ahora.” – I want you to stop playing now.
  • “Por favor, paren con la fiesta.” – Please stop the party.

Conjugation of “parar” in each pronoun

The following table summarizes the form of conjugation of the verb “parar” in each personal pronoun:

Spanish Pronoun Spanish Command English Pronoun English Command
Usted Pare You Stop
Para You Stop
Ustedes Paren You (plural) Stop
Vosotros Parad You (Spanish plural) Stop
Nosotros Paremos We Let’s stop

Some examples with each pronoun are the following:

  • “Yo paro con la actuación cuando el director me lo pide.” – I stop acting when the director asks me to.
  • “Cada vez que usted para de correr, yo me tranquilizo.” – Every time you stop running, I calm down.
  • “Si tú no paras, yo no paro.” – If you don’t stop, I don’t stop.
  • “Normalmente, él para de jugar fútbol media hora después.” – Normally, he stops playing soccer half an hour later.
  • “Algunas veces ella para un taxi para ir a la universidad.” – Sometimes she hails a taxi to go to the university.
  • “Cuando ustedes paran de bailar, la gente se aburre.” – When you stop dancing, people get bored.
  • “Si vosotros paráis de desobedecer, no los castigaré.” – If you stop disobeying, I will not punish you.
  • “Ellos paran el tráfico de la ciudad.” – They stop the city traffic.
  • “Algunas veces paramos para ir a comer, sólo si alguien tiene hambre.” – Sometimes we stop to go eat, only if someone is hungry.

Usage of “parar de

Normally, the expression “parar” is used when we will next mention a noun. This is the structure of a normal sentence:

  • Pronoun + parar (conjugated-optional) + noun
    Example: “Ella para la fiesta.” / She stops the party.

However, in Spanish, you can use the expression “stop from” in an infinitive or conjugated form, if it is followed by an infinitive verb. The structure is this:

  • Pronoun + parar de (conjugated) + infinitive verb + noun/complement (optional)
    Example: “Ellos paran de practicar baloncesto.” / They stop practicing basketball.

Some concrete examples are:

  • Yo paro de cantar cuando me desafino. – I stop singing when I go out of tune.
  • Ellos paran de jugar a la Playstation.“ – They stop playing Playstation.
  • Nosotros paramos de tener relaciones íntimas. – We stop having intimate relationships.
  • Ustedes paran de sentirse alegres cuando llega su madre. – You stop feeling happy when your mother arrives.
  • Ella para de ver televisión cuando se aburre. – She stops watching TV when she gets bored.

More about “stop” as a verb and noun

The verb “parar” can have several different meanings to “stop”, such as the following:

  • Ponerse de pie – To stand up:
    Camila, si te puedes parar de la silla, hazlo ahora. – Camila, if you can get up from the chair, do it now.
  • Hacer huelga – To go on strike:
    Invitamos a todos los estudiantes de la universidad a parar este fin de semana. – We invite all the students of the university to go on strike this weekend.

As for nouns, we can also find several examples of different meanings such as the following:

  • Huelga – Strike:
    Hoy hay huelga de hambre. –  Today there is a hunger strike.
  • Paro – Unemployment: This meaning applies mainly to Spain, where there is a program in which the unemployed can benefit from “paro”, that is, they can have a salary while they get another job.
    El paro me deja más pasta que mi antiguo trabajo. – Paro gives me more money than my old job.
  • Parada – Stop: (as in bus stop):
    La parada de bus queda allá. – The bus stop is there.
  • Paradero – Whereabouts:
    No sabemos cuál fue su paradero. – We don’t know what his whereabouts were.
Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

Stop in Spanish: “Dejar” or “Dejar de”

Another phrase or expression widely used in Spanish is to refer to “stop” someone or something, that is to say “to stop”. Some examples in the infinitive are the following:

  • Debo dejar el cigarillo cuanto antes.” – I have to quit smoking as soon as possible.
  • Tu puedes dejar de practicar si no te gusta.” – You can stop practicing if you don’t like it.
  • Ellos necesitan dejar la pelea.” – They need to stop the fight.


As you continue mastering Spanish, knowing how to effectively express ‘stop’ is just the start. Communication often involves being able to express disagreement or denial, too. Enhance your language skills further by exploring our guide on the many ways to say ‘No’ in Spanish.

Conjugation of “dejar” in each pronoun

The following conjugations are the same for “dejar” or “dejar de”:

Spanish Pronoun Spanish Verb English Pronoun English Verb
Yo Dejo / Dejo de I Stop
Usted Deja / Deja de You Stop
Dejas / Dejas de You Stop
Él Deja / Deja de He Stops
Ella Deja / Deja de She Stops
Ustedes Dejan / Dejan de You (plural) Stop
Vosotros Dejáis / Dejáis de You (Spanish plural) Stop
Ellos Dejan / Dejan de They Stop
Nosotros Dejamos / Dejamos de We Stop

The following are some example sentences where the word “dejar” is used conjugated in each verb:

  • “Yo dejo el helado cuando me empalago.” – I leave the ice cream when I get sick.
  • “Si dejas a Cristina, ella se arrepentirá de quererte.” – If you leave Cristina, she will regret loving you.
  • “Él deja la fiesta cuando se siente borracho.” – He leaves the party when he feels drunk.


The word “dejar” by itself can have the meaning of “leave” in English, but in Spanish, it can perfectly be replaced by “parar” which means “stop”.

On the other hand, the following are example sentences where the expression “dejar de” is used:

  • “Si yo dejo de producir dinero, no comeremos hoy.” – If I stop producing money, we won’t eat today.
  • “Si tu no dejas de decirme que me amas, yo siempre te amaré.” – If you don’t stop telling me that you love me, I will always love you.
  • “Cada vez que él deja de sonreír, me preocupo.” – Every time he stops smiling, I worry.

Wrapping up

As you can see, expanding your Spanish Vocabulary to include the many ways to say “stop” in Spanish enriches your language skills and makes practicing more interesting. As with almost every verb in Spanish, learning the correct pronoun conjugations is necessary to avoid mistakes. Although this might seem challenging at first, with consistent practice, you’ll find that memorizing the conjugations becomes easier, especially since ‘parar‘ is a regular verb.

Speaking of nouns, there are also several related to the concept of “stop” mainly tied to the verb “to stop”, such as “parada”, “paradero”, “paro”, and more. Exploring these various terms will add depth to your understanding and use of Spanish.

Did you like this article? If so, there is no doubt that you can learn more Spanish in an interesting and fun way with SpanishVIP, where, for having come this far, we offer you a free Spanish lesson or have a 7-day trial in our group classes so that you learn many more words in Spanish and the context in which they are used. Do not miss this opportunity, greetings!

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