Spanish/How To Conjugate Verbs

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Present Indicative

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The Present Indicative is the most basic (though not the easiest) and essential tense in Spanish. There are more than few dozen irregular verbs with varying degrees of irregularities. It should be noted that all the second person informal conjugations end with s.

Regular Verbs

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-AR Verbs

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-AR verbs are conjugated by removing the "-ar" from the infinitive and adding the endings.

Yo              -o     Nosotros                  -amos
Tú             -as    Vosotros                 -áis
Usted,él,ella   -a     Ustedes,ellos,ellas       -an
Hablar (to speak)
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hablo   hablamos
hablas  habláis
habla   hablan

-ER Verbs

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Like the -AR verbs, -ER verbs are conjugated by removing the infinitive ending "-er" and adding the endings.

-o     -emos
-es    -éis
-e     -en
Beber (to drink)
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bebo   bebemos
bebes  bebéis
bebe   beben
Hacer (to make)
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hago   hacemos
haces  haceis
hace   hacen

-IR Verbs

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-IR verbs are conjugated by removing the infinitive ending "-ir" and adding the endings.

-o     -imos
-es    -ís
-e     -en
Vivir (to live)
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vivo   vivimos
vives  vivís
vive   viven

Irregular Verbs

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Complete Irregularity

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Ser (to be)
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soy    somos
eres   sois
es     son
Estar (to be)
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estoy  estamos
estás  estáis
está   están
Ir (to go)
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voy    vamos
vas    vais
va     van
Haber (to have)
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he     hemos
has    habéis
ha/hay han/hay

First Person Singular Irregularity

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Some verbs only have irregularity in the first person singular forms.

Verbs with a -cir and -cer endings also replace the c in -cir and -cer with 'zc' in the first person singular form.

  • conocer (to know) - conozco
  • traducir (to translate) - traduzco
  • conducir (to drive) - conduzco

Some verbs end in -go instead of the regular -o for the first person singular form, these are completely irregular.

  • poner (to put) - pongo
  • salir (to leave) - salgo

Also, some verbs end in -jo instead of -o for the first person singular.

  • escoger (to choose) - escojo
  • corregir (to correct) - correjo

Four verbs are uniquely irregular only in the first person singular forms:

  • saber (to know) - sé
  • caber (to fit) - quepo
  • dar (to give) - doy
  • ver (to see) - veo

Stem Changes

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Some verbs change their stems when conjugated in these forms: yo, tú, él, ella, usted, ellos, ellas, and ustedes. There are four stem changes in the present tense o to ue, u to ue, e to ie, and e to i. The e to i change only occurs in -IR verbs. The easy way to memorize the change in which forms is called "The Boot." It must be pointed out, however, that using memory techniques to learn a language can prevent one from ever learning the language fluently. Children don't use "tricks" to learn a language (did you?). The way to learn a language is to socially interact with those who speak the language you wish to learn. And remember, never, ever, translate, as it will irreparably impair your ability to learn a new language.

O to Ue - Dormir (to sleep)
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duermo    dormimos
duermes   dormís
duerme    duermen
U to Ue - Jugar (to play)
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juego     jugamos
juegas    jugáis
juega     juegan
E to Ie - Empezar (to begin)
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empiezo   empezamos
empiezas  empezáis
empieza   empiezan
E to I - Pedir (to ask/TO ORDER)
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pido      pedimos
pides     pedís
pide      piden


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The Imperfect is the easiest tense to learn in Spanish because the conjugations are almost completely regular: there are 3 irregular verbs! In all conjugations of the Imperfect, the first person singular forms (yo) and the third person singular/second person polite forms are same. For example, "caminaba" can mean "he used to walk" or "I was walking."

Regular Verbs

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-AR Verbs

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-AR verbs are conjugated by removing the "-ar" and adding the following endings (note accent on nosotros form!):

-aba    -ábamos
-abas   -abais
-aba    -aban
Estudiar (to study)
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estudiaba    estudiábamos
estudiabas   estudiabais
estudiaba    estudiaban

-ER and -IR Verbs

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-ER and -IR Verbs are conjugated identically by removing the "-er" or "-ir" and adding the following endings (note accents on all forms!):

-ía    -íamos
-ías   -íais
-ía    -ían
Beber (to drink)
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bebía    bebíamos
bebías   bebíais
bebía    bebían
Salir (to leave)
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salía   salíamos
salías   salíais
salía    salían

Irregular Verbs

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There are only 3 irregular verbs in the Imperfect tense: Ser, Ir, and Ver.

Ser (to be)

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era    éramos
eras   erais
era    eran

Ir (to go)

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iba    íbamos
ibas   ibais
iba    iban

Ver (to see)

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veía    veíamos
veías   veíais
veía    veían


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Regular Verbs

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-AR Verbs

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-AR verbs are conjugated by removing the "-ar" from the infinitive and adding the endings.

-é     -amos
-aste    -asteis
-ó     -aron
Comprar (to buy)
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compré     compramos
compraste  comprasteis
compró     compraron

-ER & IR Verbs

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Like the -AR verbs, -ER & -IR verbs are conjugated by removing the infinitive ending "-er" or "-ir" and adding the endings.

-í     -imos
-iste    -isteis
-ió     -ieron
Comer (to eat)
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comí       comimos
comiste    comisteis
com     comieron
Vivir (to live)
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viví   vivimos
viviste  vivisteis
vivío   vivieron

Irregular Verbs

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Note: Ir and Ser are identical in the Preterite

Ir (to go) and Ser (to be)

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fui   fuimos
fuiste   fuisteis
fue  fueron

Tener (to have)

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tuve   tuvimos
tuviste   tuvisteis
tuvo   tuvieron

Haber (to have auxiliary)

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hube   hubimos
hubiste   hubisteis
hubo   hubieron


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In Spanish, especially in Latin American countries, it is more usual to utilise the ir + infinitive verb form (like going to) than the future conjugation.

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Yo "Voy a comer" instead of "Comeré"
Tu "Vas a comer" instead of "Comerás"
El "Va a comer" instead of "Comerá"
Nosotros "Vamos a comer" instead of "Comeremos"
Vosotros "Vais a comer" instead of "Comeréis"
Ellos "Van a comer" instead of "Comerán"

Still it is easy: Remember the present tense of verb "Haber" minus "h" and add to the infinitive form of the verb

The verb "Haber": he, has, ha, hemos, habéis, han

For future = é, ás, á, emos, éis, án
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Yo amaré
Tu amarás
El amará
Nosotros amaremos
Vosotros amaréis
Ellos amarán
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Yo temeré
Tú temerás
Él temerá
Nosotros temeremos
Vosotros temeréis
Ellos temerán
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Yo partiré .. partirás, partirá, partiremos, partiréis, partirán

An so on in many many verbs. There are exceptions but easy ones

Salir (exception it changes to saldr) Yo saldré, saldrás, saldrá, saldremos, saldréis, saldrán

Venir (exception it changes to vendr) Yo vendré, vendrás, vendrá, vendremos, vendréis, vendrán


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In this tense, the action is conditioned to something to happen. Use conditional for asking in polite form like in English with would. Or use it to form conditional expressions.

¿Vendrías a casa? = Would you like to come home?
¿Tomarías café? = Would you like to drink coffee?
Comería si tubiera hambre = I would eat if I was hungry.

-ar, -er and -ir verbs

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ía   iamos
ías  íais
ía   ían


amaría  amaríamos
amarías amaríais
amaría  amarían


temería  temeríamos
temerías temeríais
temería  temerían


partiría  partiríamos
partirías partiríais
partiría  partirían

These changes in the conditional tense apply even to the verbs Ser, Estar and Ir!


Tener (changes to tendr): tendría, tendrías, tendríamos, tendríais, tendrían
Salir (changes to sald): saldría, saldrías, saldríamos, saldríais, saldrían
and so on

Present Subjunctive

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Imperfect Subjunctive

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Preterite Perfect

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The meaning is not the same as in English: Something that has been done in the past but still important in the present or continue by the moment.


Haber verb + past participle of the verb

Examples that home (and still living today)

Viví en esa casa = I lived in that home (not now)
He tomado mucho = I had drunk a lot (now I'm  full)
Tomé mucho = I drank a lot (may be yesterday)
Viví mucho tiempo = wrong tense unless it was a ghost talking

Well usually in Latin America they almost never use this tense and mix the past perfect and simple past you have to adapt the meaning. Usually people from Spain use the tense properly but in Latin American to use this tense could show some fancy - elevated studies language that is not the normal rule or can be comic to some one from there.

Amar (to love)

he amado  hemos amado
has amado habéis amado
ha amado  han amado

Tomar (to drink)

he tomado  hemos tomado
has tomado habéis tomado
ha tomado  han tomado

and so on. There are no exceptions.

Future Perfect

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Conditional Perfect

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same as formal commands

Perfect Subjunctive

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Commands are one of the easiest tenses to learn in Spanish because it has only few irregularities and there are only four forms (, usted, vosotros, and ustedes) instead of the regular six and relies on other conjugated forms.

Regular Verbs (tú and vosotros forms)

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-AR, -ER, and -IR verbs

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For any type of verb, simply change the form of the verb to the él/ella/Ud. form. For vosotros commands, add a "d".

Cerrar (to close)
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cierra  cerrad
Traer (to bring)
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trae  traed

Irregular Tú Commands

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There are eight irregular commands. They are as follows:

Ir (to go) - ve                        Venir (to come) - ven  
Ser (to be) - sé                       Tener (to have) - ten
Hacer (to do/make) - haz               Decir (to say/tell) - di  
Poner (to put/place) - pon             Salir (to get out) - sal

Regular Verbs (Ud. and Uds. forms)

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-AR verbs

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For the -AR verbs, take the first person singular form (yo) and take off the -o and add the command endings to the stem.

-e    -en
Nadar (to swim)
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I swim - Nado // You swim - Nades // He/she swims - Nade // we swim - nademos // they swim - naden //

-ER & -IR verbs

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For the -ER and -IR verbs, take the first person singular form (yo) and take off the -o and add the command endings to the stem.

-a    -an
caber (to fit) - Irregular yo form quepo
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quepa quepan
pedir (to ask for) - Stem change e to i
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pida  pidan

Double Changes

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Verbs that end in -car, -gar, and -zar which changes their endings to -que, -gue, and -ce, respectively

secar (to dry)
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Seque  Sequen
jugar (to play) - Stem change u to ue
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Juegue Jueguen

Irregular Verbs

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Ser (to be)
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Sea    Sean
Estar (to be)
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Esté   Estén
Ir (to go)
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Vaya  Vayan
Dar (to give)
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Dé     Den
Saber (to know)
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Sepa   Sepan