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Spanish Verb Conjugations  

An introduction to the conjugation of Spanish verbs
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2010 URL: http://libguides.mpsaz.net/content.php?pid=118692 Print Guide RSS Updates

Verb Conjugation Overview: Present Tense Print Page
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-AR Verbs

-AR VERBS

Yo

-o

Nosotros

-amos

-as

Vosotros

-ais

Ella, Él, Ud.

-a

Ellas, Ellos, Uds.

-an

 

 

-ER Verbs

-ER VERBS

Yo

-o

Nosotros

-emos

-es

Vosotros

-eis

Ella, Él, Ud.

-e

Ellas, Ellos, Uds.

-en

 

 

-IR Verbs

-IR VERBS

Yo

-o

Nosotros

-imos

-es

Vosotros

-ís

Ella, Él, Ud.

-e

Ellas, Ellos, Uds.

-en

 

 

Introduction to Conjugating

Year after year I hear students comment, "I hate Spanish because you have to conjugate verbs. That's so dumb that they conjugate verbs." (Okay, maybe it's not word-for-word, but you get the idea.) When I hear that complaint I sometimes ask my students if we conjugate in English. Many students answer with an emphatic "no".

Yes, we do conjugate verbs in English. Observe:
I am happy. You are shy. She is sad. They are excited. Those are conjugations of the English verb to be.

Some English verb manipulation can be confusing even to English-speakers. Try to decide which is correct:
I have swum. -or- I have swam. There's many options available. -or- There are many options available.

Well, before I turn this into a lesson about English grammar, let's look at how one would conjugate verbs in Spanish.

There are three types (or endings) of verbs in Spanish. Those endings are either -ar, -er, or -ir. Let's look at a few of the verbs we are learning right now:

  • Hablar
  • Comer
  • Vivir
  • Estudiar

Notice how they follow the pattern of having one of those three endings? Now in English, conjugating is sometimes accomplished with just a letter s. For example: I speak, you speak, he speaks. Sometimes it's not as easy: I study, you study, he studies.

In Spanish, we follow a simple pattern to conjugate. We typically drop the -ar, -er, or -ir ending and then add the ending that matches for the subject. These endings are displayed in the column to the left.

HABLAR means "to speak" and you want to say "I speak". Well, we know that "I" is "yo", but you can't just say "yo hablar". We will drop the -ar ending and add the -o ending. So "I speak" will be "yo hablo." 

Click on some of the tabs across the top to learn more with each of these verb types.

 

Dessert: Fun Conjugations Video

Subject Guide

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Ryan Norton
 

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