The verb sobrar has different meanings depending on the context and the way it is used. Here are the most common meanings and uses of this verb.
Sobrar: to be left over
When we want to express that something is left over, that something remains, for example:
Sobra un poco de dinero de lo que nos dieron en la boda.There is a bit of money left over from what we were given at the wedding.
Ha sobrado café. Si quieres, ponte una taza.There is some left over coffee. If you want, serve yourself a cup.
In this context we understand that there was a certain amount of something (money, coffee...) and that there is still some of it left (after having used part of it). This is very similar to the use of the verb quedar when it means "to remain". See Spanish verbs Quedar, Quedarse and Quedarle (Different meanings of verb quedar).
Sobrar: There is/are too many/much of something
To express that there is an excess of something.
Sobran cuadros en esta habitación. Debería tener menos decoración.There are far too many pictures in this room. It should have less decoration.
Aquí sobra gente. ¿Por qué has invitado a tantos amigos?There are far too many people here. Why have you invited so many friends?
Sobrar: To not be needed
To express that a person is not needed, not required, there is no need for a person to be in a certain place. This is normally said in a negative way, expressing the feeling that your presence is not needed/required, and might even be a nuisance. For example:
No te queremos aquí con nosotros. Me temo que aquí sobras.We don't want you here with us. I'm afraid you're not needed/you're a nuisance/you're a spare part.
Vámonos Javier, creo que sobramos.Let's go Javier, I think we're not wanted here.
Sobrar: To have more than enough with something
Used as an impersonal verb and normally with an indirect object pronoun we use sobrar [a alguien] con algo, meaning that one has more than enough with something or someone. For example:
Te sobra con 20 euros. Es suficiente para tomar unas cervezas y unas tapas.You have more than enough with 20 euros. That's plenty to have a few beers and tapas.
Nos sobra con saber que has llegado bien. No hace falta que nos des más explicaciones.It's enough for us to just know that you are safe [lit: arrived well]. There is no need for you to give more explanations.
Le sobrará con que le pidas perdón. Eso es todo lo que ella quiere.She will be satisfied with you apologising to her. That's all she wants. [it'll be enough with your apology]
Always use the preposition con in this case.
Always use in the 3rd person singular: sobra, sobraba, sobraría..., not the plural forms sobran, sobraban, sobrarían...
Notice that con can be followed by a que clause or an infinitive as shown in the examples. If it's followed by que, the verb that follows will be in the subjunctive.
Sobra con que + subjunctive
Sobrar: "Remainder" in mathematical operations
Veintiséis dividido entre cinco es cinco y sobra uno.Twenty six divided by five equals five remainder one.
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