This is the twentieth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at the Spanish present tense with regular verbs.
In recent lessons we have been practicing using Ser and Estar for all persons (Yo, Tú, Él, Ella, Nosotros/as, Vosotros/as, Ellos/as). Ser and Estar are both verbs. In earlier lessons we have also seen the verbs Querer (To Want) and Tener (To Have) Verbs are words that describe an action, state or occurrence and every sentence has one. We will now learn some more common Spanish verbs and how to use the Spanish present tense with regular verbs.
Some useful Spanish verbs
Hablar: To speak
Trabajar: To work
Escuchar: To listen to
Comprar: To buy
Comer: To eat
Beber: To drink
Leer: To read
Comprender: To understand
Vivir: To live
Escribir: To write
All of these verbs are regular Spanish verbs in Present Tense. All regular verbs are conjugated (endings changed) in the same way. The majority of verbs are regular, but there are also irregular Spanish verbs which do not follow the same patterns. Learning the patterns of how to conjugate regular verbs is an important part of learning Spanish.
Spanish present tense
We will begin by learning the patterns/conjugations for Spanish present tense with regular verbs. We aren’t going to talk about things in the future or past yet. Describing things in different tenses (e.g. future or past) requires different patterns/conjugations and we will learn these later in the course. Present tense is when we describe things that we usually/generally do. For example: Yo como pizza los martes (I eat pizza on Tuesdays) or Ella trabaja en una escuela (She works in a school).
All Spanish verbs finish in -AR, -ER or -IR (see the list of verbs above). With regular verbs you remove the final -AR, -ER, or -IR and add the correct ending for whichever person is doing action of the verb.
Here are the rules of how to conjugate Spanish present tense with regular verbs for Yo, Tú, Él, Ella, Nosotros/as, Vosotros/as, Ellos/as:
-o: (Yo) Hablo (I speak) / Trabajo (I work) / Escucho (I listen) / Compro (I buy)
-as: (Tú) Hablas (you speak) / Trabajas (you work) / Escuchas (you listen) / Compras (you buy)
-a: (Él/Ella) Habla (he/she speaks) / Trabaja (he/she works) / Escucha (he/she listens) / Compra (he/she buys)
-amos: (Nosotros/as) Hablamos (we speak) / Trabajamos (we work) / Escuchamos (we listen) / Compramos (we buy)
-áis: (Vosotros/as) Habláis (you speak) / Trabajáis (you work) / Escucháis (you listen) / Compráis (you buy) (plural)
-an: (Ellos/as) Hablan (they speak) / Trabajan (they work) / Escuchan (they listen) / Compran (they buy)
-o: (Yo) Como (I eat) / Bebo (I drink) / Leo (I read) / Comprendo (I understand)
-es: (Tú) Comes (you eat) / Bebes (you drink) / Lees (you read) / Comprendes (you understand)
-e: (Él/Ella) Come (he/she eats) / Bebe (he/she drinks) / Lee (he/she reads) / Comprende (he/she understands)
-emos: (Nosotros/as) Comemos (we eat) / Bebemos (we drink) / Leemos (we read) / Comprendemos (we understand)
-éis: (Vosotros/as) Coméis (you eat) / Bebéis (you drink) / Leéis (you read) / Comprendéis (you understand) (plural)
-en: (Ellos/as) Comen (they eat) / Beben (they drink) / Leen (they read) / Comprenden (they understand)
-o: (Yo) Vivo (I live) / Escribo (I write)
-es: (Tú) Vives (you live) / Escribes (you write)
-e: (Él/Ella) Vive (he/she lives) / Escribe (he/she writes)
-imos: (Nosotros/as) Vivimos (we live) / Escribimos (we write)
-ís: (Vosotros/as) Vivís (you live) / Escribís (you write) (plural)
-en: (Ellos/as) Viven (they live) / Escriben (they write)
Little by little
It may seem a lot to take in at first glance, but you don’t have to try to learn everything right away. Give yourself time and aim to practice steadily, little by little. Practice saying and writing sentences for the first person Yo/I initially and see how you get on conjugated the regular verbs we have seen here. Once you get a bit more confident, try conjugated sentences using Tú/You. And remember the great positive that once you remember these patterns you are able to apply them to a vast range of different scenarios. You will need to learn or look up more regular verbs, but once you know the verb, you can be sure on how to conjugate it.
Some students find it helpful to have a simplified version of the conjugation pattern. Here it is:
In upcoming lessons we will look at more regular Spanish verbs and practice further using the patterns we have seen here for the Spanish present tense with regular verbs.