Getting started with Spanish verbs
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:
|1st||yo||I||nosotros||we (at least one man)|
|nosotras||we (all are female)|
|2nd||tú||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.
|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)|
|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)|
|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:
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?
Haber or tener?
- 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.
And what's more?
After reading this article you hopefully have a basic understanding on Spanish verb conjugation.
This article only treated the present indicative tense, but of course there is more... ;-) Read more information on other tenses used in the indicative, subjunctive, conditional and imperative mode. Also read more about usage of the non-finate forms like infinitive, gerund and participle.