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Present tense Spanish verbs

The present tense in Spanish is used to discuss habitual actions, actions in progress and actions that will occur in the near future or that have occurred in the very recent past and are still in progress.

Yo estudio portugués. I study Portuguese.

Te llamo mañana. I’ll call you tomorrow.

The subject pronouns for Spanish verbs are as follows.

singular plural
yo – I nosotros – we
tú – you (informal) vosotros – you (informal, Spain)
él – he ella – she usted ­– you (formal) ellos – they (masculine or mixed group) ellas – they (feminine) ustedes – you

 

Regular verbs – To conjugate present tense regular verbs, drop the infinitive ending (-ar, -er or -ir) and add the following endings.

-ar

-er

-ir

 hablar – to speak  comer – to eat  vivir – to live
habl o habl amos com o com emos viv o viv imos
habl as habl áis com es com éis viv es viv ís
habl a habl an com e com en viv e viv en







Stem changing verbs – In addition to the endings seen above, the stems of these verbs also changes in the present tense when stressed. They DO NOT change in the nosotros and vosotros forms.

e > ie

e > i

o > ue

 querer – to want  repetir – to repeat  dormir – to sleep
quiero queremos repito repetimos duermo dormimos
quieres queréis repites repetís duermes dormís
quiere quieren repite repiten duerme duermen

e > ie verbs – advertir (to warn), calentar (to warm), cerrar (to close), comenzar (to begin), convertir (to convert), defender (to defend), despertar (to awaken), divertir (to have fun), empezar (to begin/start), pensar (to think), perder (to lose), querer (to want), sentir (to feel)

e > i verbs – competir (to compete), conseguir (to get), despedir (to fire/say goodbye), elegir (to elect), reír (to laugh), servir (to serve), seguir (to follow/continue), sonreír (to smile), repetir (to repeat), vestir (to dress)

– o > ue verbs – almorzar (to eat lunch), contar (to count/tell), costar (to cost), dormir (to sleep) encontrar (to find), morir (to die), mover (to move), poder (to be able to), probar (to try/prove), recordar (to remember), soñar (to dream), volar (to fly)

– the verb jugar (to play) is the only verb that changes from u > ue : juego, juegas, juega, jugamos, jugáis, juegan

 

Irregular ‘yo’ form verbs – These verbs have unique ‘yo’ forms while the remaining conjugations follow the normal patterns.

“go” verbs
caer – to fall caigo, caes, cae, caemos, caéis, caen
*decir – to say/tell digo, dices, dice, decimos, decís, dicen
hacer – to do/make hago, haces, hace, hacemos, hacéis, hacen
poner – to put pongo, pones, pone, ponemos, ponéis, ponen
salir – to leave/go out salgo, sales, sale, salimos, salís, salen
*tener – to have tengo, tienes, tiene, tenemos, tenéis, tienen
traer – to bring traigo, traes, trae, traemos, traéis, traen
*venir – to come vengo, vienes, viene, venimos, venís, vienen

*these verbs are also stem changers

c > zc

conocer – to know/meet conozco, conoces, conoce, conocemos, conocéis, conocen
conducir (to drive/operate), conocer (to know/meet), merecer (to deserve), ofrecer (to offer), paracer (to seem), producir (to produce), reducir (to reduce), traducir (to translate)

others

caber – to fit quepo, cabes, cabe, cabemos, cabéis, caben
dar – to give doy, das, da, damos, dais, dan
saber – to know facts sé, sabes, sabe, sabemos, sabéis, saben
ver – to see veo, vas, va, vamos, vais, van

 Irregular present tense verbs in Spanish  – the following verbs are irregular in the present tense and do not follow other patterns.

ser – to be

estar – to be

ir – to go

soy somos estoy estamos voy vamos
eres sois estás estáis vas vais
es son está están va van

Spelling changes – These Spanish verbs have spelling changes in order to maintain the same pronunciation in all conjugations

g > j

gu > g

dirigir – to direct/guide

seguir – to follow/continue

dirijo dirigimos sigo seguimos
diriges dirigís sigues seguís
dirige dirigen sigue siguen

g > j verbs – corregir (to correct), dirigir (to direct), eligir (to elect), fingir (to pretend)

gu > g verbs – conseguir (to get), distinguir (to distinguish), seguir (to follow/continue)

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