Grammar: Verbs - All Persons of the Verb

Grammar: Verbs - All Persons of the Verb

Verb Types and Conjugation

  • In Spanish, verbs change their form to indicate tense and who is performing the action. These changes comprise different verb endings for each person in every tense.
  • Spanish verbs fall into three classes based on their infinitive endings: -ar, -er and -ir.
  • The infinitive represents the base form of a verb, like ‘to eat’ or ‘to speak’.
  • Each verb class has a distinct set of endings for the present tense. For instance, -ar verbs have endings “-o, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an”, while -er verbs have “-o, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, -en”, and -ir verbs have “-o, -es, -e, -imos, -ís, -en”.
  • In the preterite tense (past simple), -ar verbs have endings “-é, -aste, -ó, -amos, -asteis, -aron”, while both -er and -ir verbs use “-í, -iste, -ió, -imos, -isteis, -ieron”.
  • In the imperfect tense, -ar endings are “-aba, -abas, -aba, -ábamos, -abais, -aban”, and both -er and -ir verbs use “-ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían”.

Two Forms of ‘To Be’ and Reflexive Verbs

  • Verb to be in Spanish has two different verbs: “ser” and “estar”. Each of this contains a different connotation to be remembered.
  • Reflexive verbs are verbs in which the subject of the verb is also its object. These verbs use reflexive pronouns like “me, te, se, nos, os, se”.
  • To conjugate reflexive verbs, the reflexive pronoun matches the subject and goes before the verb. For example, “Yo me lavo” (I wash myself).

Future Tense, Irregular Verbs and Practice

  • Spanish verbs in the future tense are much simpler, they keep their infinitive form and add the endings “-é, -ás, -á, -emos, -éis, -án” regardless of whether they are -ar, -er, or -ir verbs.
  • Always remember the irregular verbs in the different tenses, they have their unique conjugation rules, and are common in daily use.
  • Practice by reading, writing, listening and speaking, always conjugating the verbs correctly for the subject and tense, in order to improve your fluency.
  • Keep revising the rules and exceptions, alongside practicing conjugations for common verbs in each group.
  • Take time to cover all verb tenses, including less common ones such as the conditional and subjunctive moods, both important for expressing hypothetical situations or doubts.