The Present Tense – Presente




Grammar: Spanish verbs

The Present Tense | Presente

In Spanish, the present tense is called “Presente”. Its forms might seem a bit complicated because we use a different ending for each pronoun. It’s important to remember that Spanish verbs have 3 types of conjugation: those that end in “-ar” (hablar), those that end in “-er” (beber) and those that end in “-ir” (escribir). Once you’ve memorized the endings for each type you can apply them to all Spanish verbs.


Who?-ar: hablar (to speak)-er: beber (to drink)-ir: escribir (to write)
yohablobeboescribo
hablasbebesescribes
él, ella, ustedhablabebeescribe
nosotroshablamosbebemosescribimos
vosotroshabláisbebéisescribís
ellos, ustedeshablanbebenescriben

Most Spanish verbs are “regular”. It means that they follow the rules of the table given above. All you need to do is identify the type of conjugation (comer –> ending “-er”) and choose the proper ending (yo como, tú comes etc.). However, there are verbs with “irregular” endings and you’ll have to memorize them.

Let’s take a look at the most important changes:

o ⇒ ue : poder (can)e ⇒ ie : entender (to understand)e ⇒ i : repetir (to repeat)
puedoentiendorepito
puedesentiendesrepites
puedeentienderepite
podemosentendemosrepetimos
podéisentendéisrepetís
puedenentiendenrepiten

Besides, there are verbs that have only one irregular ending (1st person singular). Remember them:

  • saber (to know) ⇒
  • caber (to fit) ⇒ quepo
  • hacer (to do, to make) ⇒ hago
  • salir (to leave, to go out) ⇒ salgo
  • poner (to put) ⇒ pongo
  • caer (to fall) ⇒ caigo

Some verbs have irregular forms that are difficult to classify. They should also be memorized:

Who?ser (to be)ir (to go)tener (to have)venir (to come)decir (to say)oir (to listen)seguir (to follow)
yosoyvoytengovengodigooigosigo
eresvastienesvienesdicesoyessiges
él, ella, ustedesvatienevieediceoyesige
nosotrossomosvamostenemosvenimosdecimosoímosseguimos
vosotrossoisvaistenéisvenísdecísoíssegís
ellos, ustedessonvantienenvienendicenoyensiguen

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