Regular Verb Conjugation in Spanish
By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will have learned how to conjugate regular verbs in all the tenses that exist. For now, you don’t have to worry about the meaning of the verbs because the idea is to work and practice the form, that is, to systematize the conjugation so that you can do it like a real native speaker. Shall we start?
Look at this table to see the structure of the Spanish verb system:
Non-personal Verb Forms
Personal Verb Forms
To conjugate the personal forms of an infinitive verb we need to know the personal pronouns in Spanish, that is, the subject pronouns. See the meaning of the personal pronouns:
Now look at how we use personal pronouns to conjugate verbs:
él, ella (usted)
ellos, ellas (ustedes)
- usted is conjugated as the 3rd person singular, but means 2nd person singular formal.
- ustedes is conjugated as the 3rd person plural, but means 2nd person plural formal in the Peninsula and is also the only form used in America, western Andalusia and the Canary Islands.
To conjugate a verb we must eliminate the ending -AR / -ER / -IR and add the endings depending on the verb tense we want to conjugate and the personal pronoun.
We conjugate the past simple I (pretérito indefinido o pretérito perfecto simple) according to the subject. To form the past simple of a verb we must eliminate the ending -AR / -ER / -IR and add:
The persons nosotros and nosotras of regular verbs ending in -AR and -IR have the same form as nosotros and nosotras of the present simple (presente de indicativo).
- En 1980 vivimos en Perú → pretérito perfecto simple o pretérito indefinido
- Ahora vivimos en Chile → presente de indicativo
The tilde in the conjugation of él, ella and usted of verbs in -AR is very important because, as it is not necessary to use the personal pronoun in Spanish, if we do not use the tilde it can be confused with the person yo of the present simple:
- Bailo salsa con Rubén → yo in presente de indicativo
- Bailó salsa con Rubén → él, ella or usted in pretérito perfecto simple o indefinido
We conjugate the perfect simple II (pretérito imperfecto) according to the grammatical persons. To form the imperfect preterite of a verb we must eliminate the ending -AR / -ER / -IR and add:
The person yo has the same form as the persons él, ella and usted in the preterite imperfect indicative, to differentiate them we can use the personal pronouns. Look at this conversation:
– Estudiaba en Madrid…
+ ¿Tú o tu hermana?
– Yo estudiaba en Madrid, ella estudiaba en Barcelona.
The endings of the “condicional simple” are the same as the endings of the verbs in -ER and -Ir of the past simple II (pretérito imperfecto). There is no confusion because the conditional is formed with the infinitive and the past simple II (pretérito imperfecto) is not:
- Antes comía pizza y ahora no → pretérito imperfecto
- Me comería una pizza entera → condicional simple
The person yo (I) has the same form as él, ella and usted in the “condicional simple”, to differentiate them we can use the personal pronouns. Watch the conversation:
- Yo hablaría con ella.
- Ella no hablaría contigo.
Compound tenses in Spanish are formed with the simple tenses of the verb HABER and the past participle of the verb being conjugated.
We conjugate the present simple (subjunctive) according to the subject pronouns. To form the present simple (subjunctive) of a verb we must eliminate the ending -AR / -ER / -IR and add:
The person yo (I) has the same form as él, ella and usted in the present simple (subjunctive), to differentiate them we can use the personal pronouns. Look at the examples:
- Ojalá yo gane la lotería.
- Ojalá él gane la lotería.
We form the past simple II (subjunctive) or pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo with the 3rd person plural of the past simple I (pretérito perfecto simple o pretérito indefinido). Do you remember this form of the past simple I (pretérito indefinido)? Look at the table:
The(pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo) has two forms: the forms in -ra and the forms in -se. We conjugate the past simple II subjunctive according to the subject pronouns. To form this tense we must remove the -ron ending and add:
The person yo (I) has the same form as él, ella and usted in the past simple II subjunctive, to differentiate them we can use the personal pronouns. Look at the examples:
- Ojalá yo ganara la lotería.
- Ojalá él ganara la lotería.
Congratulations! 🥳 You’ve reached the end. We hope that the Spanish conjugation now became a little more clearer and you are ready to deepen your knowledge!
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