Do you want to start learning and practising Spanish verbs and don't know where to start? Here you'll read suggestions how to get started using regular verbs and some frequently used irregular verbs.

Personal pronouns

In Spanish personal pronouns are used in almost the same way as in English. However in Spanish it is not necessary to use the subjective pronoun since the verbal form or the context identifies the subject anyway. In Spanish the pronoun is used to express emphasis. In the table below you can see the subjective pronouns:

person singular plural
1st yo I nosotros we (at least one man)
nosotras we (all are female)
2nd you (informal) vosotros you (informal, at least one man)
vosotras you (informal, all are female)
3rd él he ellos they (at least one man)
ella she ellas they (all are female)
usted you (formal) ustedes you (formal)

 

Conjugation of regular verbs

There are three types of Spanish verbs, which are distinguished by their endings: -ar, -er and -ir. Below some examples of regular verbs with their conjugations in present tense.

The verb hablar (to speak) is a model for all regular verbs ending with -ar:

singular plural
yo hablo I speak
nosotros / -as hablamos we speak
tú hablas you speak (informal) vosotros / -as habláis you speak (informal)
él / ella habla he / she speaks ellos / -as hablan they speak
usted habla you speak (formal) ustedes hablan you speak (formal)

The verb comer (to eat) is a model for all regular verbs ending with -er:

singular plural
yo como I eat
nosotros / -as comemos we eat
tú comes you eat (informal) vosotros / -as coméis you eat (informal)
él / ella come he / she eats ellos / -as comen they eat
usted come you eat (formal) ustedes comen you eat (formal)

The verb vivir (to live) is a model for all regular verbs ending with -ir:

singular plural
yo vivo I live
nosotros / -as vivimos we live
tú vives you live (informal) vosotros / -as vivís you live (informal)
él / ella vive he / she lives ellos / -as viven they live
usted vive you live (formal) ustedes viven you live (formal)

For a beginner it is good to just concentrate on the present indicative tense (indicativo presente) which is used for expressing things that take actually place in the present.

Below some sentences with regular verb forms in it. Note that the pronoun is not necessarily used with the form, since the subject is mostly derived from the verbal form and/or the context:

Vivo en España.
I live in Spain.
Señor, ¿Habla inglés?
Sir, do you speak English?

Find more regular verbs in the category list.

Conjugation of frequently used irregular verbs

Many frequently used verbs are irregular. Since they are used frequently, it is very useful to learn the conjugations of these verbs. Examples of frequently used irregular verbs are:

  • ser (to be, to exist): yo soy, tú eres, él es...
  • hacer (to do, to make): yo hago...
  • haber (to have): yo he, tú has...
  • tener (to have, to own): yo tengo, tú tienes...
  • estar (to be, to be situated): yo estoy...
  • ir (to go): yo voy, tú vas...
  • querer (to want): yo quiero, tú quieres

Of course there are more... Find more irregular verbs in the category list.

Ser or estar?

You might have noted that there are two variants of to be: ser and estar. Learn how both verbs are used in the article about ser or estar.

Haber or tener?

You also might have noticed to verbs for to have: haber and tener. In short haber is used for compound tenses and for some standard expressions. Below a couple of examples to clarify it:

Anoche hemos visto una película de Pedro Almodóvar.
Last night we have seen a movie of Pedro Almodóvar.
Hay que practicar mucho para aprender español.
It is necessary to practise a lot to learn Spanish.
Hay una escuela de idiomas en el centro de la ciudad.
There is a language school in the centre of the city.

tener means to own, to have got. For example:

Mi gato tiene ojos azules.
My cat has blue eyes.
Los alumnos tienen que estudiar la gramática española.
The students have to study the Spanish grammar.

Read more example sentences provided with the conjugations of the particular verbs.

This article treats only the present indicative tense. When you're ready for it continue reading the article about modes and tenses and read how past, future and other tenses are used in Spanish.