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Spanish present simple tense usage and verb conjugation

06 Apr, 2017 Popular Articles, Spanish for Beginners
Spanish present simple tense usage and verb conjugation2 votes. 4.5 / 5

While vocabulary holds the key of making you understand what one said and communicating with others, grammar is also important as it lays the groundwork for effective communication. Failing to learn grammar may cause communication breakdown. Today's grammar topic is Spanish present simple tense. Let's find out when should you use the present simple tense, what are forms of present tense and how to conjugate verbs in Spanish. 

Simple present tense usage – When should you use simple present tense in Spanish?

Like in English, Spanish present simple tense (el presente/el presente del indicativo) is used to talk about habits, routines, universal truth, facts, short actions that are happening now, hypothetical situations, or a timetable or a fixed plan.

Examples:

Me levanto a las seis y media cada mañana - I get up at six thirty every morning.

Estudio biología en la universidad - I study biology at the university.

Uno más uno son dos - One plus one is two.

Si llega Marcos, salgo - If Marcos comes, I'm out.

How to conjugate verbs in Spanish simple present tense

1. REGULAR VERBS

Regular verbs in Spanish only change their ending part depending on who does the action.

Check out to see gender rules in Spanish nouns

There are three main categories when it comes to the endings of the verb:

  • Those that end in -AR
  • Verbs that end in -ER
  • Verbs ending in -IR

In order to make the present tense in Spanish you must use the root (stem) of the word and then add on the appropriate ending, according to the subject and verb type (-AR/-ER/-IR).

-AR verb conjugation

To conjugate an -ar verb, you just need to remove the infinitive ending -ar then add the ending that matches the subject.

You can check out to see gender rules in Spanish language!

Examples for the word “Hablar”

Subject

-ar endings

Hablar

yo (I)

-o

hablo

tú (you) (informal)

-as

hablas

usted (you) (formal)

-a

habla

él, ella (he/she)

-a

habla

nosotros (we)

-amos

hablamos

vosotros (you) (informal)

-áis

habáis

ustedes, ellos, ellas (you) (formal

-an

hablan

ellos, ellas (they)

-an

hablan

-ER verb conjugation

Examples for "comer"

Subject

-er endings

Comer

yo (I)

-o

como

tú (you) (informal)

-es

comes

usted (you) (formal)

-e

come

él, ella (he/she)

-e

come

nosotros (we)

-emos

comemos

vosotros (you) (informal)

-éis

coméis

ustedes, ellos, ellas (you) (formal

-en

comen

ellos, ellas (they)

-en

comen

-IR verb conjugation

Examples for "vivir"

Subject

-ir endings

Vivir

yo (I)

-o

vivo

tú (you) (informal)

-es

vives

usted (you) (formal)

-e

vive

él, ella (he/she)

-e

vive

nosotros (we)

-imos

vivimos

vosotros (you) (informal)

-is

vivis

ustedes, ellos, ellas (you) (formal

-en

viven

ellos, ellas (they)

-en

viven

Spanish present simple tense - Regular verbs conjugation

Spanish present tense - Forms of regular verbs 

2. IRREGULAR VERBS

How about verbs that don't end in -ar, -ir, or -er? What rule would they follow?

Some verbs that end in -guir, -ger, -gir changes their spelling in the present simple tense.

  • Verbs that end in -guir changes to -go
  • Verbs that end in -ger and -gir changes to -jo

Examples: 

extinguir (extinguish) - extingo
dirigir (direct) - dirijo
recoger (pick up) - recojo

There are still verbs that don't follow any rule:

  1. caber (fit) -quepo
  2. caer (fall) - caigo
  3. conocer (know) - conozco
  4. dar (give) - doy
  5. hacer (do/make) - hago
  6. poner (put) - pongo
  7. saber (know) - sé
  8. salir - (leave/go out) - salgo
  9. traducir (translate) - traduzco
  10. traer (bring ) - traigo
  11. valer (to be worth ) - valgo
  12. ver (see) - veo

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