How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish

If you want to know how to say “stop” in Spanish…¡Alto aquí! Stop here! 

There are multiple synonyms for this word, and you need some context in order to use them properly. For example, stop signs in Spanish-speaking countries say alto, but it isn’t a verb so we cannot use it when translating a sentence like, “Stop the car.”

In this lesson, I’ve included a list of synonyms and different scenarios where to use them. You’ll see examples of common sentences with “stop” in them, such as “I said stop,” “Stop lying,” “Stop texting me,” “Stop being mean,” “Stop playing with me,” and “Don’t stop.”

Synonyms of the word stop in Spanish include parar, alto, detener, dejar de, cesar, impedir, prohibir, suspender, and estancar. Keep reading to learn all the ways to stay “stop” in Spanish!

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Alto 

Alto means “halt.” The expression entails an abrupt stop or suspension of an activity or movement. In some Spanish-speaking countries, alto is the word printed on stop signs, while in others it is pare.

Unlike other stop synonyms, this term is always a command. 


¡Alto ahí!
Stop there!

¡Alto en nombre de la ley!
Stop in the name of the law.

Alto can also be used as a noun:

Le tenemos que poner un alto a las drogas
We have to put a stop to drugs.

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Pongámosle un alto a las guerras.
Let’s put a stop to wars.

Alto is also an adjective, but it has nothing to do with the word “stop” because it means “tall.” As in  Él es alto (He is tall).

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Parar and parar de

Parar is a verb that means “to stop” in English. It is informal and commonly employed in oral  rather than written communication. 

Who + parar (conjugated) + noun 

Who + parar (conjugated) + de (optional) + infinitive verb (optional)

The second formula indicates that the noun and infinitive verb are optional because para can stand on its own with the correct context. If the mother of two kids that are fighting says ¡paren! or stop! What she is insinuating is ¡paren de pelear! (stop fighting).

Elisa paró el tráfico.
Elisa stopped the traffic.

El chico paró la pelota.
The boy stopped the ball.

Por favor para de hablar.
Please stop talking.

Pare a ese tipo.
Stop that guy.

Dije que pares.
I said stop.

Para de jugar conmigo.
Stop playing with me.

No pares.
Don’t stop.

How to tell someone to stop in Spanish? How to say “please stop”? How to say “stop playing”? Check out these examples.


¡Que pares!
(I’ve told you to) stop!

Article post on:

¡Para ya!
Stop already!

Para de jugar.
Stop playing.

Por favor para.
Please stop.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Detener

Detener means “to detain” and “to hold.” The phrase structure is similar to the first formula of parar:

Who + detener (conjugated) + noun  (optional).


Elisa detuvo el tráfico.
Elisa stopped the traffic.

El chico detuvo la pelota.
The boy stopped the ball.

¡Detenga a ese tipo!
Stop that guy.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Dejar de

The literal translation of dejar is “to let,” while dejar de means “to stop”. Unlike parar and detener, this term is used exclusively before verbs:

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Dejar (conjugated) + de + infinitive verb + more context (optional).

Deja de mentir respecto a la empresa.
Stop lying about the company.

Deja de mandarme mensajes de texto.
Stop texting me.

Deja de llorar.
Stop crying.


Dejen de pelear.
Stop fighting.

Deja de ser malo.
Stop being mean.

The phrases parar de and dejar de are interchangeable, as you can see below:

Dejen de / paren de pelear.
Stop fighting.

Dejemos de / paremos de mentir.
Let’s stop lying.

Dejen de / paren de mandarme mensajes de texto.
Stop texting me.

Deja de / para de ser malos.
Stop being mean.

Dejen de / paren de jugar conmigo.
Stop playing with me.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Interrumpir

Interrumpir means to interrupt, stop, or discontinue. 

Who + interrumpir (conjugated) + noun (optional).

Él interrumpió la conferencia después de recibir la llamada.
He stopped the conference after receiving the call.

El sonido de alarma interrumpió la clase.
The alarm sound stopped the class.

Se interrumpió la boda por el temblor.
The wedding was stopped due to the earthquake. 

Via @:

Interrumpimos esta transmisión por una noticia de última hora. 
We interrupt this transmission for a news flash.

¡Interrumpe la entrevista!
Stop the interview!

Stop him!

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Poner fin a

Poner fin a means “to put an end to” and “to stop.” The phrase structure is:

Who + poner (conjugated) + fin a + noun.

Ya era hora de ponerle fin a la relación.
It was time to stop the relationship.

Ponle fin a las noches sin dormir.
Stop the sleepless nights.

Le tengo que poner fin a mis malos hábitos.
I have to stop my bad habits.

Nosotros le pondremos fin a los pagos.
We will stop the payments.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Impedir and prohibir

Impedir means to prevent or impede, and prohibir means to prohibit. So it entails that an action or a noun comes afterwards in a sentence.

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Phrase structure:

Who + impedir / prohibir + noun / verb

Él impidió que el accidente pasara.
He stopped the accident from happening. 

Prohíbe el paso a ese señor.
Stop that man from passing.

Nosotros impedimos que siguiera la corrupción.
We stopped the corruption from continuing.

Prohiban que esta situación pase de nuevo.
Stop this situation from happening again.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Suspender and Estancar

Suspender means to stop, to lay off or to suspend, while estancar comes from the word estanque, which means pond. Estancar is a verb that is the equivalent of to stop or to stall.

Necesito que suspendas las obras de construcción.
I need you to stop the construction work.

¿Quieres suspender la boda?
Do you want to call off the wedding?

Nosotros no vamos a suspender las clases.
We are not stopping classes.

Las acciones estaban subiendo pero se estancaron.
The stocks were rising but stopped.

La producción se estancó de repente.
The production stopped suddenly.

How to Say ‘Stop’ in Spanish: Summary Chart

Expression Application
Alto Formal. Single expression. Abrupt stop or suspension of an activity or movement. Expresses command. It is used by police officers, the military, and politicians in speeches and interviews. Printed on stop signs.
Parar / parar de Informal, casual. Used verbally rather than written. It is the most similar to the word “stop” in English.  Printed on stop signs in South America.
Detener Formal. What you would say with someone you are not familiar with or with some degree of authority. Often seen in newspapers and magazines.
Dejar de Informal. Versatile. You can say it in a common conversation, to a police officer or in a letter.

Don’t Stop Learning Spanish!

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