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Spanish Conjugation

Learn the most popular Spanish verb conjugations with these free resources.

Popular Spanish conjugations

Poder conjugation

Salir conjugation

Querer conjugation

How To Conjugate Spanish Verbs In The Present Tense

Conjugating Spanish verbs can be a bit tricky. You might know this by now if you’ve all of a sudden gotten stuck trying to figure out why some verbs are regular (and easy to conjugate), while others are irregular (and generally have to be memorized). To keep things simple we will begin by learning how to conjugate verbs in the present tense and follow up by learning the difference between regular and irregular verbs in Spanish and their conjugation.

The present tense of the verb is in the infinitive form. It’s quite simple, the verb will either end in: -ar, -er or -ir. For example: amar (to love) comer (to eat) and vivir (to live).

There are three steps in conjugating a regular verb in the present tense.

1. Determine the subject (pronoun)
2. Remove the ending of the verb (-ar, -er, -ir)
3. Add the ending for the corresponding subject.

 

How to conjugate an -ar verb

Hablar (to speak): Yo hablo con mi amiga = I speak with my friend.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo hablo
usted (formal you) habla
hablas
él habla
ella habla
nosotros hablamos
ustedes (plural you) hablan
ellos/ellas hablan

 

How to conjugate an -er verb

Comer (to eat): Yo como en mi casa = I eat in my house.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo como
usted (formal you) come
comes
él come
ella come
nosotros comemos
ustedes (plural you) comen
ellos/ellas comen

 

How to conjugate an -ir verb:

Vivir (to live): Yo vivo con mi hermana = I live with my sister.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo vivo
usted (formal you) vive
vives
él vive
ella vive
nosotros vivimos
ustedes (plural you) viven
ellos/ellas viven

 

We can now continue with the irregular verbs.

Irregular verbs do not follow the same set of rules that regular verbs do. Although they still change depending on the subject of the sentence, they don’t change with the same set of rules as the regular verbs. Some of them change completely, even the stem of the verb changes, which makes it necessary to memorize them.

Some common irregular verbs in Spanish are:

  • Ser (to be)
  • Estar (to be)
  • Ir (to go)
  • Saber (to know)
  • Hacer (to do)
  • Tener (to have)

Irregular verbs are also called stem – changing verbs.

 

How to conjugate the irregular verb: tener

Tener (to have): Ella tiene un gato = She has a cat.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo tengo
usted (formal you) tiene
tienes
él tiene
ella tiene
nosotros tenemos
ustedes (plural you) tienen
ellos/ellas tienen


As you can see from the chart, the stem vowel changes from e to ei. The exception is for the pronoun yo and the pronoun nosotros. Nosotros is the only pronoun that follows the rule of the regular verbs.

Because it’s hard to determine a pattern, the best thing you can do is just to go ahead and memorize them. It might seem hard at first, but begin with the most common irregular verbs, then the more you keep practicing, the easier it will get.

Let’s keep practicing!

We will continue with another stem vowel change. In this case, we will focus on verbs which vowel changes from o to ue.

 

How to conjugate the irregular verb: dormir

Dormir (to sleep): Yo duermo todas las noches = I sleep every night.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo duermo
usted (formal you) duerme
duermes
él duerme
ella duerme
nosotros dormimos
ustedes (plural you) duermen
ellos/ellas duermen

Notice again how nosotros is the odd one: the o does not change to ue.

One last example where the stem vowel changes.

 

How to conjugate the irregular verb: seguir

Seguir (to follow or continue): Yo sigo trabajando = I continue to work. For this example, the vowel e changes to i.

Pronoun Conjugation
yo sigo
usted (formal you) sigue
sigues
él sigue
ella sigue
nosotros seguimos
ustedes (plural you) siguen
ellos/ellas siguen

Well done! Learning how to conjugate regular and irregular verbs in Spanish will help lay the foundations for speaking Spanish correctly. Memorizing those tricky ones right from the beginning will help you avoid a big headache in the future when you are more advanced.

Here are some examples of the most common irregular verbs. It’s a great way to get started.

Ser (to be)

  • Ella es mi hermana = She is my sister.

Estar (to be)

  • Yo estoy en clase = I am in class.

Tener (to have)

  • Ellos tienen libros = They have books.

Hacer (to make)

  • Yo hago el desayuno = I make breakfast.

Ir (to go)

  • Yo voy al doctor = I go to the doctor.

Dar (to give)

  • Nosotros damos dinero = We give money.

Llegar (to arrive)

  • Yo llego en media hora = I arrive in half an hour.

Creer (to believe)

  • Yo creo que si = I believe so.

Pensar (to think)

  • Tu piensas todo el tiempo = You think all the time.

Salir (to leave, go out)

  • Ella sale de trabajar a las 10 = She leaves work at 10.