Spanish has a few verbs that are used to express changes in one’s physical aspect, character, and mood. They are translated as to become or to get in English. These verbos de cambio are: ponerse, quedarse, volverse, convertirse en, hacerse, and llegar a ser. Today, let’s take a look at ponerse.
Ponerse followed by an adjective is used when you want to talk about a change in physical aspect, health, character, or mood. That is, it indicates an involuntary physical or emotional change. The change happens quickly, is temporary, and can be either positive or negative. Here is an example: Me pongo nerviosa cuando voy al dentista. ( I get nervous when I go to the dentist.)
Other Example Sentences
Me puse enfermo en Madrid. (I got sick in Madrid.)
María se puso triste al escuchar las trágicas noticias. (María became sad on hearing the tragic news .)
Arturo se pone frustrado cuando intenta hablar español. (Arturo gets frustrated when he tries to speak Spanish.)
Se van a poner furiosos. (They are going to get angry.)
A nice explanation of how to use ponerse and all the other verbs of change is given by La Dragonaria at the Spanish Skullduggery Tumblr Blog. In this blog post, La Dragonaria clears up some of the confusion that a Spanish student may have in trying to express to become and to get.
Image Credit: http://www.kingscapitolclinic.co.uk/images/intro_images/Nervous-patients.jpg