As you were told in the very beginning, verbs are very important in sentence formation. It is a tool that you must know how to use in order to master any language you want to learn. You have seen so far how much variation that exists in other elements of phrases. Well, you are for a bigger surprise because verbs vary even more.
The base form of a verb is called “infinitive”, it is the one used to look for a verb in a dictionary. In Spanish, verbs are ended in these three ways: -ar as in hablar (to speak), -er as in correr (to run) and –ir as in vivir (to live). However, you will come across verbs most likely under their conjugated forms expressing the past, the present or the future in actions or states.
- Verbs are categorized as in the following:
1. Transitive verbs which are usually followed by a D.O. (direct object). The verb comer is considered a transitive one. For example: Paulo come las frutas
2. Intransitive verbs which are not followed by D.O., they only accept I.O.(indirect object). Correr is intransitive. For example: Voy a correr mañana
3. Linking verbs which connect the subject to almost anything like the verb (ser).
4. Auxiliary verbs that also play the role of the linking ones (estar) and (haber).
5. Impersonal verbs that are mostly used in the imperative mode.
As we have seen before, in a normal verb conjugation, there are three singular persons (subject) and three plural persons that are either doing something (active) or are in a particular state (passive).
The three singular persons are:
Tu, Ud————–(You)—————–second person
él, ella—————He, She)————–third person
The three plural persons are:
Vosotros/as, Uds———(You)———-second person
Ellos, ellas—————–(They)——–third person
Conjugation happens in three principal modes: Indicative, Imperative and Subjunctive. These may be subdivided into tenses: present, past and future.
Some verbs are called reflective verbs. They are called so because the subject and the object are the same while being conjugated. At the end of the infinitive form of those verbs are placed the letters (se) as in lavarse (to wash one’s self). They go as a pair with a reflective pronoun as in the following:
Yo me lavo—————————-I wash who? (myself)
Tu te lavas—————————–you wash who? (yourself)
El (ella) se lava———————–he (she) washes who? (himself or herself)
Nosotros nos lavamos—————we wash who? (ourselves)
Vosotros os laváis——————-you wash who? (yourselves)
Ellos (ellas) se lavan—————-they wash who? (themselves)
In most languages, there are regular verbs and irregular verbs. A regular verb follows all the established rules regarding the conjugation of a particular group whereas an irregular verb may go through minor, major or radical changes while being conjugated. It is important to learn the regular ones and the irregular ones. It will be easier to remember the regular ones, and you will have to work harder in remembering the irregular ones.
Regular verbs: simple present tense (Indicative)
We will start the conjugation with the simple present tense. This tense is used when referring to something that is taking place now or something that takes place on a regular basis. For example:
Martinez trabaja mucho (hoy)———Martinez works a lot (today)
Trabajar (to work) is a regular verb in the first group –ar. It is conjugated in the present tense (Indicative) as follow:
Trabajo—————–first person singular
Trabajas—————-second person singular
Trabaja—————–third person singular
Trabajamos————first person plural
Trabajáis—————second person plural
Trabajan—————-third person plural
The negative form is very easy to be expressed in Spanish. The word “no” is simply placed in front of the verb. Therefore, to express the negation in the last example used, the word no is placed in front of “trabaja”:
Martinez no trabaja mucho (hoy)———Martinez does not work a lot (today)
To ask a question as if Martinez works a lot today, this is how you do it:
¿Trabaja mucho Martinez hoy?
¿Martinez trabaja mucho hoy? This way of asking the question is only identified through the tone of your voice.
Comer (to eat) is a regular verb in the second group –er. It is conjugated in the simple present tense (Indicative) as follow:
Como——————-first person singular
Comes——————second person singular
Come——————-third person singular
Comemos————–first person plural
Coméis—————–second person plural
Comen——————third person plural
Escribir (to write) is a regular verb in the third group –ir. It is conjugated in the simple present tense (Indicative) as follow:
Escribo—————–first person singular
Escribes—————-second person singular
Escribe—————- third person singular
Escribimos————-first person plural
Escribís—————-second person plural
Escriben—————-third person plural
As you have noticed, when a regular verb of the –ar group is being conjugated at the present tense (Indicative) we add –o, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an to the root of the verb. If it is a regular verb of the –er group, we add –o, -es, -e, -emos, -éis –en and to the regular verbs in the –ir group, we add –o, -es, -e, -imos, -ís, -en. It is important to remember this.
When the formal or polite form (Usted and Ustedes) is used as subject, the verb is conjugated at the third person as in the following example.
¿Hablas tu español?—————Do you speak spanish?
¿Habla Usted español?———–Do you speak spanish?
Same thing !!!
De vez en cuando—————-from time to time
Do some practice!!!
Conjugate these verbs at the simple present tense (Indicative):
Write a few time related sentences:
Trabajo ……cada día
___________ de vez en cuando
___________todos los días
Write these verbs correctly according to what you have learned about conjugation so far.
La señora Maria (vender) ropas.
Yo no (estar) enfermo.
El perro (correr) en el jardín.
¿Adonde (ir) usted?
Su madre (vivir) aquí.
Nosotros (beber) café.
Irregular verbs: simple present tense (Indicative)
1.——-We have just conjugated some regular verbs. Now we are about to tackle the irregular ones. It is more difficult to remember the latter. Be ready to learn them. We have a bunch of verbs whose first person singular of the simple present tense (Indicative) ends as follow: -go, -zco, -sé, -veo, -doy.
The verb poner (to put) as well as suponer (to suppose) are conjugated like this:
Pone————he (she) put
Other verbs that are conjugated the same way are: salir (to leave), hacer (to do, to make), caer (to fall), traer (to carry) etc…
The verb conducir (to drive) as well as reconocer (to acknowledge) are conjugated like this:
Other verbs that are conjugated the same way are: conocer (to know), ofrecer (to offer), obedecer (to obey) etc…
The first person of the verb saber (to know) is (sé)
The first person of the verb ver (to see) is (veo)
The first person of the verb dar (to give) is (doy)
The other persons for these verbs follow the regular verbs rules.
Do some practice!!!
Answer these questions using the first person singular of the simple present tense. (Ind.)
¿Quién obedece la ley?——————– Yo obedezco la ley
¿Quién hace la comida?——————– ________________
¿Quién sale a la dos?———————– ________________
¿Quién trae el agua?———————– ________________
¿Quién reconoce el profesor?———— ________________
2.——-For some irregular verbs, the change does not take place at the end, but at their root instead as in entender (to understand), recordar (to remember), poder (to can, may), querer (to like), servir (to serve), repetir (to repeat), jugar (to play), oler (to smell) reír (to laugh), sonreír (to smile).
This is how the verb entender is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb recordar is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb poder is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb querer is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb servir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb repetir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb jugar is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb oler is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb reír is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb sonreír is conjugated at simple present tense (Indicative):
These two verbs llover (to rain) and nevar (to snow) are only used at the third person singular because of their special meanings.
Llueve———–it is raining
Nieva————it is snowing
3.—–There is a group of verbs that end with –uir, -iar, -uar. Their use creates a tendency to confusion because of their orthography. They are verbs like construir (to build), enviar (to send), and continuar (to continue).
This is how the verb construir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb enviar is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb continuar is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
4.—–Finally there is a group of verbs that undergoes a complete change in the simple present tense of the indicative mode. They are verbs like ir (to go), venir (to come), decir (to say), and oír (to hear).
This is how the verb ir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb venir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb decir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
This is how the verb oir is conjugated at the simple present tense (Indicative):
Go back and review oftently these four groups of irregular verbs. It is very important. There are more irregular verbs that you may find in conjugation reference books. Make sententes using the ones that you have learned about so far.
The past tense (preterit)
Now we are moving to verbs conjugation in the past tense. We are about to experience how the past is expressed through verbs use. In Spanish, there are two ways to express the past. One is called (el preterito) preterit and the other one is (el imperfecto) the imperfect
The preterit (regular verbs)
The preterit is used to express something that has happened and completed in the pass. It is the mostly used. To the regular verbs in the first group –ar are added at their roots the following letters: –é, -aste, -ó, -amos, -asteis, -aron. Here is how the verb hablar (to speak) is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
You may ask Paul if he spoke to Peter the following way:
¿Paul, hablaste con Peter?
Guess how peter answered!
Si, yo ________con él
This is how the verb comer is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb escribir is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
It is important to pay attention to the difference there is between (yo hablo) and (él habló) one carries an accent mark (preterit) and the other does not (present). They also have different intonation.
Yo hablo is the first person singular of the simple present tense. (I speak)
él habló is the third person singular of the simple past tense. (He spoke)
Preterit (Irregular verbs)
There is a group of verbs that carries changes at the third person singular and third person plural. They are verbs like dormir (to sleep), repetir (to repeat).
This is how the verb dormir is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb repetir is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
Do some practice!!!
Change these phrases from simple present tense to simple past tense.
Ellos no viven aquí________________ellos no vivieron aquí
Roberto toma café________________
No entiendo el ejercicio____________
Juan me habla de su padre__________
Yo voy a la playa_________________
El duerme bien hoy_______________
When the root of a verb in –er, -ir ends with the letters a, e, i, o, or uir (except guir) their third person changes the same way as creer (to believe), oír (to hear), leer (to read), caer (to fall), construir (to build).
This is how the verb creer is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb oír is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb leer is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb caer is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
This is how the verb construir is conjugated at the preterit or simple past tense:
There is a group of verbs that ends with –car, -gar, -zar. There are changes that happen at their first person singular only as in explicar————-expliqué, in llegar———–llegué, in cazar———-cacé.
Here is a group of irregular verbs that are frequently used in Spanish. It would be very helpful to memorize them. Learn how they are conjugated in the simple past tense.
Tener—-to have____tuve, tuviste, tuvo, tuvimos, tuvisteis, tuvieron
Estar—–to be________estuve, estuviste, estuvo, estuvimos, estuvisteis, estuvieron
Andar—to walk_____ anduve, anduviste, anduvo, anduvimos, anduvisteis, anduvieron
Querer—to like_______quise, quisiste, quiso, quisimos, quisisteis, quisieron
Poner—-to put______puse, pusiste, puso, pusimos, pusisteis, pusieron
Hacer—-to do________hice, hiciste, hizo, hicimos, hicisteis, hicieron
Traer—–to carry______traje, trajiste, trajo, trajimos, trajisteis, trajeron
Decir—-to say_______dije, dijiste, dijo, dijimos, dijisteis, dijeron
Traducir—to translate___traduje, tradujiste, tradujo, tradujimos, tradujisteis, tradujeron
Saber—-to know___supe, supiste, supo, supimos, supisteis, supieron
Venir—-to come_____vine, viniste, vino, vinimos, vinisteis, vinieron
Ser——-to be_______fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fuisteis, fueron
Ir———to go______fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fuisteis, fueron
Dar——to give______di diste, dio, dimos, disteis, dieron
Ver——to see_______vi, viste, vio, vimos, visteis, vieron
The past tense (imperfect)
After studying the preterit, we are about to see the imperfect (el imperfecto). The imperfect as well as the preterit expresses the past. However, instead of expressing something that you did, it expresses something that you were doing or you had the habit of doing. To form the imperfect, the following letters are added to the root of the verb: -aba, -abas, -aba, -abamos, -abais, -aban for the verbs of the first group in –ar. For the second group verbs in –er and the third group verbs in –ir, the following letters are added at their end: -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían.
Inperfect (regular verbs)
This is how the verb hablar is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
Hablaba—————-I talked or I was talking
This is how the verb comer is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
Comía——————I ate or I was eating
This is how the verb escribir is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
Escribía—————I wrote or I was writing
The imperfect is used mostly when they want to refer to two actions taking place at the same time as in the following examples.
I was eating when Maria came in the office———Yo comía cuando Maria entró en la oficina.
I was talking to Paul when the teacher called us——-Yo hablaba con Paul cuando nos llamó el profesor.
Imperfect (irregular verbs)
As irregular verbs, let us use these three: ir (to go), ser (to be), and ver (to see)
This is how the verb ir is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
Iba——————–I went or I was going
This is how the verb ser is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
This is how the verb ver is conjugated at the imperfect tense.
Veía——————I saw or I was seeing.
It is important that you notice the first and the third person singular have the same ending. Therefore, you must use a subject indicating which person you are referring to.
Practicar———–to practice, to converse
Do some practice!!!
Write the correct verb form referring to the past in these phrases ( preterit or imperfect):
1. A veces los alumnos (ir) al parquet
2. Nosotras (vivir) cerca de un lago en las montañas
3. Tú siempre (ver) televisíon con tu familia
4. ¿(comer) mucho cuando era un niño?
5. Pedro (bailar) muy bien
6. El (jugar) con el gato todos los días.
7. Martinez (beber) en el hotel con frecuencia.
The future tense (el futuro)
The future tense (regular verbs)
The future tense expresses something that has not taken place yet. The future is expressed in Spanish by adding the following letters at the end of the Infinitive form of the verb of any regular group: -é, -ás, -á, -emos, -éis, -an.
This is how the verb hablar is conjugated at the future tense:
Hablaré————I will talk
Hablarás———-You will talk
Hablará————He (she) will talk
Hablaremos——-We will talk
Hablaréis———-You will talk
Hablarán———–They will talk
This is how the verb comer is conjugated at the future tense:
Comeré————-I will eat
This is how the verb escribir is conjugated at the future tense:
Escribiré———–I will write
The future tense (irregular verbs)
As examples of irregular verbs, we will use the following: saber (to know), poder (to can), querer ( to want or to like), poner (to put) , tener (to have), venir (to come), decir (to say), hacer (to do), salir (to leave)
This is how the verb saber is conjugated at the future tense:
Sabré—————-I will know
This is how the verb poder is conjugated at the future tense:
Podré—————I will be able to
This is how the verb querer is conjugated at the future tense:
Querré————-I will want
This is how the verb poner is conjugated at the future tense:
Pondré————–I will put
This is how the verb tener is conjugated at the future tense:
Tendré————I will have
This is how the verb venir is conjugated at the future tense:
Vendré———–I will come
This is how the verb decir is conjugated at the future tense:
Diré————–I will say or I will tell
This is how the verb hacer is conjugated at the future tense:
Haré————-I will do
This is how the verb salir is conjugated at the future tense:
Saldré————I will leave
Another way which is quite easier to express the future in Spanish is to use the verb (ir) + a + (infinitive) as in:
Ellos van a ofrecer la comida—————-They will offer the food.
Voy a recoger los pápeles——————–I will collect the papers.
Ofrecerán la comida————————–They will offer the food.
Recojeré los pápeles————————–I will collect the papers.
Do not be surprised to hear people use the present tense instead of the future tense to express the future as in: él viene el domingo instead of él vendrá el domingo——he will come on Sunday.
Do some practice!!!
Change the tense of these verbs from past to future.
Ellos comieron todo____________ellos comerán todo
Maria tenía un apartamento______
Yo hablaba francés_____________
El venía cada día______________
Please review everything that you have learned about these three pincipal tenses: (present, past, and future) before moving to the fifth phase.
To continue to the next phase, simply press——next