How Do You Say “Owed” In Spanish?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to communicate in Spanish but didn’t know the language? Learning a new language can be intimidating, but it can also be a rewarding experience that opens doors to new cultures and opportunities. In this article, we will explore the Spanish translation of the word “owed” and provide some tips for improving your Spanish language skills.

The Spanish translation of “owed” is “adeudado”. This word is commonly used when referring to debts or money that is owed to someone else. Understanding this word can be useful in a variety of situations, such as when negotiating a business deal or discussing financial matters with Spanish-speaking colleagues or clients.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Owed”?

Learning to properly pronounce a word in a foreign language can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and tips, anyone can do it. In this article, we will explore how to properly pronounce the Spanish word for “owed” and provide some helpful tips for mastering the pronunciation.

Phonetic Breakdown

The Spanish word for “owed” is “adeudado.” To properly pronounce this word, it is important to break it down into its phonetic components:

Phonetic Component Pronunciation
a ah
deu day-oo
da dah
do doh

When pronounced together, the word sounds like “ah-day-oo-dah-doh.”

Tips For Pronunciation

Now that we have broken down the word into its phonetic components, let’s explore some tips for mastering the pronunciation:

  • Practice makes perfect. The more you practice saying the word, the more comfortable you will become with the pronunciation.
  • Don’t rush. Take your time when saying the word and focus on each phonetic component.
  • Listen to native speakers. One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is to listen to native speakers say the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.
  • Use online resources. There are many online resources, such as pronunciation guides and audio recordings, that can help you improve your pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can master the pronunciation of the Spanish word for “owed” and improve your overall Spanish language skills.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Owed”

Proper grammar is an essential aspect of any language, including Spanish. When using the word “owed” in Spanish, it is crucial to understand its proper grammatical use to avoid any confusion or miscommunication. In this section, we will discuss the correct placement of the word “owed” in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of “Owed” In Sentences

The Spanish word for “owed” is “deber.” It is commonly used in sentences to express that someone owes something to someone else. In Spanish, the word “deber” can be used in different positions within a sentence, depending on the intended meaning.

For example:

  • If the subject owes something to the object, the word “deber” usually comes before the object. Example: “Juan debe dinero a María” (Juan owes money to María).
  • If the object owes something to the subject, the word “deber” usually comes after the object. Example: “María le debe dinero a Juan” (María owes money to Juan).
  • If the sentence is negative, the word “no” is usually added before “deber.” Example: “Juan no debe dinero a María” (Juan does not owe money to María).

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb “deber” is an irregular verb, which means that its conjugation does not follow a regular pattern. Here are the conjugations of “deber” in the present tense:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Yo debo
Él/Ella/Usted debe
Nosotros/Nosotras debemos
Vosotros/Vosotras debéis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes deben

It is important to note that the verb “deber” can also be used in other tenses, such as the past tense (“debía,” “debiste,” “debió,” etc.) and the future tense (“deberé,” “deberás,” “deberá,” etc.).

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, most nouns and adjectives have a gender (masculine or feminine) and a number (singular or plural). The word “deber” does not change its form to agree with the gender or number of the subject or object. It remains the same regardless of the gender or number of the nouns involved.

For example:

  • “Juan debe dinero a María” (Juan owes money to María).
  • “Juan y María deben dinero a Pedro” (Juan and María owe money to Pedro).
  • “Los estudiantes deben hacer la tarea” (The students owe homework).
  • “Las empresas deben pagar impuestos” (The companies owe taxes).

Common Exceptions

While the use of “deber” is generally straightforward, there are some exceptions to be aware of. For example, the expression “deber de” is commonly used to indicate probability or supposition, rather than obligation or debt.

For example:

  • “Deben de ser las dos de la tarde” (It must be two o’clock in the afternoon).
  • “Debo de haber dejado mi cartera en casa” (I must have left my wallet at home).

It is also worth noting that in some Spanish-speaking countries, the word “deber” is sometimes used to mean “should” or “ought to,” rather than “owe.”

Understanding the proper grammatical use of the Spanish word for “owed” is essential for effective communication in Spanish. By following the guidelines outlined in this section, you can ensure that your use of the word “deber” is accurate and appropriate in any context.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Owed”

When it comes to speaking Spanish, there are various ways to express the concept of being owed something. Let’s take a look at some of the most common phrases that include the Spanish word for “owed” and how they are used in sentences.

Examples And Explanation

  • Debo dinero: This phrase translates to “I owe money” and is used to indicate that you have a debt to pay. For example, “Le debo dinero a mi amigo por el préstamo que me hizo” means “I owe my friend money for the loan he gave me.”
  • Tengo una deuda: This phrase means “I have a debt” and can be used to express that you owe something to someone. For instance, “Tengo una deuda con el banco” means “I have a debt with the bank.”
  • Estoy en deuda: This phrase translates to “I am in debt” and is used to indicate that you owe something to someone. For example, “Estoy en deuda con mi proveedor de servicios” means “I am in debt to my service provider.”
  • Me deben dinero: This phrase means “They owe me money” and is used when someone owes you money. For instance, “Me deben dinero por el trabajo que hice” means “They owe me money for the work I did.”
  • Tienen una deuda conmigo: This phrase translates to “They have a debt with me” and is used to indicate that someone owes you something. For example, “Tienen una deuda conmigo por el préstamo que les hice” means “They have a debt with me for the loan I gave them.”

Example Spanish Dialogue (With Translations) Using Owed

Spanish Dialogue Translation
María: Hola Juan, ¿cómo estás? Maria: Hi Juan, how are you?
Juan: Hola María, estoy bien gracias. ¿Y tú? Juan: Hi Maria, I’m good thanks. And you?
María: Estoy un poco preocupada porque le debo dinero a mi hermana y no puedo pagarle todavía. Maria: I’m a little worried because I owe my sister money and I can’t pay her yet.
Juan: Comprendo, pero no te preocupes tanto. Si necesitas ayuda para pagarle, puedo prestarte algo de dinero. Juan: I understand, but don’t worry so much. If you need help paying her, I can lend you some money.
María: En serio, ¿harías eso por mí? Maria: Really, would you do that for me?
Juan: Por supuesto, no hay problema. Me debes una de todas maneras por el favor que me hiciste la semana pasada. Juan: Of course, no problem. You owe me one anyway for the favor you did for me last week.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Owed”

Understanding the contextual uses of the Spanish word for “owed” is essential to using it appropriately in conversation. In this section, we will explore the formal and informal usage of the word as well as its slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical uses.

Formal Usage Of Owed

In formal settings, the Spanish word for “owed” is often used in legal or financial contexts. For example, if you owe someone money, you might use the phrase “te debo dinero” which translates to “I owe you money.” This phrase is appropriate in a formal setting such as a business transaction or a legal agreement.

Another formal usage of the word is in the context of debts or obligations. If you have a debt that needs to be paid, you might use the phrase “tener una deuda pendiente” which means “to have a pending debt.”

Informal Usage Of Owed

Informally, the Spanish word for “owed” can be used in a more casual context. For instance, if you borrowed a book from a friend and have not returned it, you might use the phrase “te debo un libro” which means “I owe you a book.”

Another informal usage of the word is in the context of favors or promises. If you promised to do something for someone and have not yet done it, you might use the phrase “te debo un favor” which means “I owe you a favor.”

Other Contexts Of Owed

The Spanish language is full of slang and idiomatic expressions that use the word “owed” in unique ways. For example, in some countries, the phrase “estar en deuda” is used to mean “to be in trouble.” Additionally, the phrase “tener una deuda con la vida” means “to owe a debt to life” and is often used in a philosophical or spiritual context.

Furthermore, the word “owed” has historical and cultural significance in Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Mexico, the Day of the Dead celebration involves creating altars to honor deceased loved ones. One common element of these altars is a sign that reads “La Muerte no es más que una deuda de la vida” which translates to “Death is nothing more than a debt of life.”

Popular Cultural Usage

In popular culture, the Spanish word for “owed” has been used in various ways. In the movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” the character Red uses the phrase “estoy en deuda contigo” which means “I owe you one” to express gratitude to another character. Additionally, the phrase “¿A quién le debes el alma?” which means “To whom do you owe your soul?” is a popular line from the telenovela “María la del Barrio.”

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Owed”

Spanish is a widely spoken language, and like any other language, it has regional variations. These variations are evident in the pronunciation of words and the usage of certain terms. One such term that has regional variations is the Spanish word for “owed.”

Usage Of “Owed” In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

The Spanish word for “owed” is “deber.” However, its usage varies from country to country. In Spain, “deber” is primarily used to mean “to owe” in financial contexts. In Latin America, “deber” is used more broadly and can mean “to owe” or “to have to” do something.

In Mexico, the word “deuda” is often used instead of “deber” to mean “owed.” “Deuda” specifically refers to a financial debt, whereas “deber” can refer to any type of obligation. In some South American countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, the word “deber” is also used to mean “duty” or “responsibility.”

Regional Pronunciations

Along with variations in usage, there are also regional variations in the pronunciation of “deber.” In Spain, the “d” in “deber” is pronounced with a softer “th” sound, similar to the English word “the.” In Latin America, the “d” is pronounced with a harder “d” sound.

Additionally, in some regions of Latin America, the “r” in “deber” is pronounced with a strong trill, while in other regions, it is pronounced with a softer tap. These regional variations in pronunciation can sometimes cause confusion, but they also add to the richness and diversity of the Spanish language.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Owed” In Speaking & Writing

While “owed” is commonly used in Spanish to refer to a debt or obligation, it can also have a variety of other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses is crucial for effective communication in Spanish.

Use In Business And Finance

In the world of business and finance, “owed” is frequently used to refer to accounts payable or outstanding debts. For example, if a company owes money to a supplier, they might say:

  • La empresa debe dinero al proveedor. (The company owes money to the supplier.)

Similarly, if an individual has outstanding debts, they may use the verb “deber” (to owe) to describe their financial situation:

  • Tengo muchas deudas y debo mucho dinero. (I have a lot of debts and owe a lot of money.)

Use In Relationships And Social Situations

The Spanish word for “owed” can also be used to describe social obligations or responsibilities within relationships. For example, if someone has done a favor for you and you want to express gratitude, you might say:

  • Te debo una. (I owe you one.)

Similarly, if you have made plans with someone and need to cancel, you might say:

  • Te debo una disculpa. (I owe you an apology.)

Use In Legal And Political Contexts

Finally, the word “owed” can also have legal or political connotations in Spanish. For example, if a government owes reparations to a group of people for past injustices, they might use the word “deber” to describe this obligation:

  • El gobierno debe pagar reparaciones a las víctimas. (The government owes reparations to the victims.)

Similarly, if a legal case involves unpaid debts or obligations, the word “deber” might be used to describe the situation:

  • El acusado debe pagar los daños y perjuicios. (The defendant owes payment for damages and losses.)

Overall, understanding the different uses of the Spanish word for “owed” is essential for effective communication in a variety of contexts.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Owed”

When it comes to finding words and phrases similar to “owed” in Spanish, there are a few options to consider. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common ones:


One of the most straightforward synonyms for “owed” in Spanish is “deber,” which can be translated as “to owe” or “to be indebted.” This word is often used in financial or business contexts, such as when discussing debts or outstanding payments.

Another similar term is “adeudar,” which means “to owe” or “to be in debt.” This word is often used in legal or formal contexts, such as when discussing contracts or agreements.

Other synonyms for “owed” in Spanish include:

  • “tener que pagar” – “to have to pay”
  • “estar en deuda” – “to be in debt”
  • “estar atrasado en los pagos” – “to be behind on payments”

While these terms all have similar meanings to “owed,” they may be used in slightly different contexts or situations. For example, “tener que pagar” is more commonly used in everyday conversation, while “estar en deuda” and “estar atrasado en los pagos” may be more formal or legalistic.


On the other end of the spectrum, we have antonyms for “owed” in Spanish. These are terms that have the opposite meaning, such as “pagado” (paid) or “saldado” (settled).

Other antonyms for “owed” in Spanish include:

  • “liberado de deudas” – “debt-free”
  • “sin adeudos” – “without debts”
  • “al día en los pagos” – “up-to-date on payments”

These terms are useful to know when discussing financial or business matters, as they can help you express the idea of being free from debt or having completed a payment.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Owed”

When learning a new language, it’s common to make mistakes. Spanish is no exception, and one word that can be particularly tricky is “owed.” This article will explore some of the common mistakes made by non-native Spanish speakers when using this word, and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake is to use the word “deber” when referring to a debt or something that is owed. While “deber” can be translated as “to owe,” it is not the most common or appropriate word to use in this context. A better option is “adeudar,” which specifically refers to a debt or something that is owed.

Another mistake is to use the verb “tener” followed by “que” when talking about owing something. While this construction is common in English (“I have to pay my debt”), it is not the most natural way to express the idea in Spanish. Instead, use the verb “deber” followed by the appropriate noun or pronoun.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the verb “deber” is irregular in the present tense. This means that it doesn’t follow the same conjugation pattern as regular -er verbs. Instead, it has its own set of endings. For example, “yo debo” means “I owe,” while “tú debes” means “you owe.”

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid these common mistakes, it’s important to practice using the verb “adeudar” in context. This will help you become more comfortable with the word and more likely to use it correctly.

Additionally, try to avoid translating directly from English. Instead, focus on learning the most common and natural ways to express the idea in Spanish. This will help you avoid awkward or unnatural constructions.

Finally, make sure to study and practice the present tense conjugation of the verb “deber.” This will ensure that you use the word correctly in all situations.

– Do not include a conclusion or even mention a conclusion. Just end it after the section above is written.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “owed” in Spanish. We started with the most common translation, “deber,” and then delved into other options, such as “estar en deuda” and “tener pendiente.” We also discussed how to use these phrases in different contexts and provided examples of their usage.

Furthermore, we highlighted some nuances of the Spanish language that can affect the meaning of “owed” in certain situations. For instance, we explained how the verb “deber” can also mean “should” or “must,” depending on the context.

Overall, we hope that this blog post has provided a comprehensive overview of the different ways to express “owed” in Spanish and has helped you improve your understanding of this concept.

Encouragement To Practice And Use Owed In Real-life Conversations.

Learning a new language takes time and practice, but it can be a rewarding experience. We encourage you to use the phrases we have discussed in this blog post in your everyday conversations with Spanish speakers.

By practicing these expressions, you will not only improve your language skills, but you will also be able to communicate more effectively with native speakers. You may also gain a deeper understanding of Spanish culture and customs by using these phrases in the appropriate contexts.

So don’t be afraid to use the words and phrases you have learned in this blog post. Practice, practice, practice, and soon enough, you will be able to express “owed” in Spanish with ease!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.