Archive for Spanish verb conjugation

An Introduction to Spanish Verb Conjugation and Irregular Spanish Verbs

Irregular Spanish VerbsFor the simplest way to describe and understand what a verb is we must venture back to when we first attended elementary school. It was back then that many of us were first told that a verb is simply a ‘doing’ word and that it is a vitally important part of every sentence in every language in every part of the world.

Words like speak, learn, eat, run and read are all verbs, and in Spanish they are very easy to learn whilst in their infinitive forms, but it isn’t until the verb is in its numerous conjugated forms that learning Spanish verbs starts to become much more difficult, and irregular Spanish verbs in particular can prove to be very hard to learn for many people.

The correct use of verb conjugation and tense is the most important factor in making sense out of a sentence, using the wrong conjugation or the wrong tense can completely change the meaning of a sentence and will make it very difficult to figure out who or what is performing the action and when that action is taking place.

In Spanish, all verbs are first learned in their infinitive form. Spanish verbs are divided into three groups : the ‘ar’ verbs, ‘er’ verbs and ‘ir’ verbs. Quite simply, every Spanish verb will have one of these endings. The vast majority of Spanish verbs end in ‘ar‘, followed by ‘er‘ and then ‘ir‘.

Each of these verb groups, the -ar, -er and -ir verbs has a specific pattern of conjugation that is applied to the verbs of each group, although there are exceptions but more on these in a moment. Verbs that follow any of these three patterns of conjugation are called REGULAR verbs. Regular verbs are relatively easy to learn since once the various conjugations for a specific group has been learned it is basically a case of applying those same endings to the stem of any regular verb from that group.

By the way…in Spanish, verbs are made up of two parts; the ‘stem’ and the ending ‘-ar’,’-er’ or ‘-ir’. The stem is basically the verb and the ending is the Spanish equivalent to the English ‘to‘.

Spanish Verb HablarFor example, the regular verb, ‘hablar‘ meaning ‘to speak‘ in English, is broken down thus: ‘habl-‘ is the stem of the verb and ‘-ar‘ is the equivalent to the English ‘to‘.

However, now we’re going to talk about the exceptions to the rules which are verbs that break from the normal conjugation patterns. These verbs are known as irregular Spanish verbs, and they are not quite as easy to master as their regular counterparts, in fact they can be really difficult at times.

As mentioned, irregular verbs do not follow the common patterns of conjugation followed by regular verbs hence why they are called ‘irregular’. Unfortunately, the most commonly used verbs in Spanish are often irregular, however, this is also the case in most other languages too, including English, and this is why they will be encountered very early on in your studies.

The biggest plus for the student is that even though irregular verbs are undoubtedly more difficult to learn, they will be used a lot more often than regular verbs and because of this they will become etched into a students’ memory much more quickly. This is why there is just one way to learn irregular verbs successfully and that is with constant use and much practice.

It’s a fact that learning Spanish verb conjugation is the main stumbling block that forces many students to settle for speaking ‘pigeon Spanish’ rather than mastering the language properly. This is compounded by the widespread use of Spanish courses that do not devote an adequate amount of time to verb training. What that means is that the time it takes to learn and eventually master Spanish verbs depends a great deal upon the individual effort of the student and the methods he or she uses.

There are two things a student needs in order to successfully train themselves in verb conjugation and they are an effective verb training program which will help to quickly learn those difficult irregular verbs and a good verb conjugation book for fast and accurate reference.

I have personally compiled an irregular Spanish verb conjugation book, that can be downloaded within seconds and you can have your very own copy for only $2, which will go toward maintaining this site and you can read about it here.

The most important tool for verb training and one that will make the whole task of learning Spanish verbs a lot easier and a much more enjoyable experience is a verb conjugation trainer and you can read my review of one of the most popular training programs here. If you are struggling with Spanish verbs then these two should definitely be checked out.

Also, to help you with any immediate issues, I have provided conjugation sheets along with information for the most commonly used Irregular Spanish Verbs and you can find these by following the links in the sidebar.

I hope you enjoy my site and find it beneficial to your studies. Please spread the word on twitter, Facebook or any of the other social networks you might use.

Mucho Gracias y Hasta Luego
Daniel Major

Spanish Verb Conjugation Practice, Practice, Practice!

Spanish verb conjugation practiceIt should come as little surprise to you that practice makes perfect when it comes to learning Spanish verb conjugation.

However, it can become very tiresome going over each verb conjugation time and time again and this is the reason why so many students decide to call it a day trying to learn Spanish beyond a basic level.

Unfortunately, there has been no other way to master Spanish verbs apart from this, and this has been the case since people started to learn Spanish…that is until the development and introduction of verb training software programs. The best of these programs is called the Verbarrator and is well worth checking out.

If you’re fed up of learning Spanish verb conjugation, I’m sorry…but there’s no getting away from it, but you can make the task of doing so a lot more enjoyable and quicker by clicking here… …and yes…I do actually have a copy and wouldn’t part with it if you paid me!

Spanish Verb Conjugation Chart

Spanish Verb Conjugation ChartWhen studying Spanish verb conjugation a chart highlighting the various endings for each specific tense is an invaluable aid. There are many Spanish verb conjugation charts online, most of which are not available to print, which, in my opinion, is a complete waste of time as I realized when I was studying verb formation.

So, what I would like to provide you with, completely FREE by the way, is a completely printable Spanish verb conjugation chart in PDF format.

Please feel free to print off as many copies as you wish, hand them out to your classmates or, anyone else you feel would benefit from them.

If you are teaching Spanish then please use them freely to hand out to your students and why not take advantage of the printable conjugation sheets of some of the most common irregular Spanish verbs on the main site, accessed using the link at the top of this page.

If you find this Spanish verb Conjugation Chart of use please bookmark this page/site so you will find it much more easily in the future.

Here’s the link: SpanishVerbConjugationChart.pdf

What is the Best Spanish Verb App?

Best Spanish Verbs AppThe best Spanish verb app?…A week ago I couldn’t have told you but if you are one of those, ‘up with the times’ kind of people, unlike myself, then you are probably into apps in a big way! So it is not surprising to find that there are a number of Spanish verb apps currently available.

I will not even attempt to try and sound like an expert on apps as I would probably sound a bit foolish, but I will call upon an expert in apps that I know…my nephew!

I have been asked on many occasions if I know of the best Spanish verb app and I have to confess that in order to provide an acceptable answer I had to consult with my hi-tech nephew for an informed response. He provided me with a shortlist which I checked out but there was one thing that I would like to stress before going any further…if you want the best tool for learning Spanish verbs there is absolutely no comparison between any of the apps my nephew showed me and the ‘Verbarrator‘ verb training software which you can check out by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.

But if it is the best Spanish verb app you are after then you wouldn’t go far wrong by downloading the FREE app Spanish Verbs Ultimate, it does have a few minor mistakes that are currently being corrected and the app is also being actively updated regularly.

Note: this post is well out of date now and there are probably countless new apps way better than the one I have mentioned, sorry if you’ve wasted your time…however…the Verbarrator is still an excellent investment!!

Spanish Verb Conjugation – The Secret of Speaking Spanish Fluently

Spanish Verb ConjugationSpanish verb conjugation is an extremely important part of learning Spanish, unfortunately it is also one of the most difficult aspects of studying the language and as such is disliked by most students. However, if the objective of the student is to become fluent then Spanish verb conjugation is one aspect of the Spanish language that requires the student to have a complete mastery of.

The difficulties of learning Spanish are appreciated by many who have attempted to or, who have succeeded in learning the language and there is no aspect more demanding than that of learning Spanish verb conjugation. Most students will gain a certain level of competence whether it is reaching a level good enough to order a meal at a restaurant or be able to hold down a good conversation but the overriding factor in deciding which level of competence is achieved is the level of expertise attained in verb use. A mastery of Spanish verb conjugation will open the floodgates of Spanish fluency and for those wishing to become fluent, it is a ‘no brainer’.

We should all know what verbs are and what they are used for (that is, if we were paying any attention in school!) and that they are a vital part of sentence structure as they indicate an action performed by the subject. Without a verb sentences would make very little sense. In English we have it pretty easy where verbs are concerned, they seldom indicate the doer of an action, a service provided by the subject pronoun (I, he, she, you etc) and because of this they change little other than when an s or es is added onto the end of the verb in the 3rd person singular (he or she). This is where Spanish is very different as subject pronouns are rarely used, other than to avoid ambiguity, as the verb changes to indicate, not only when an action takes place (tense) but also the doer of the action.

Basic Structure of a Spanish Verb

In English, a verb is easy to recognize because all English verbs are preceded by ‘to’ as shown earlier in this sentence (to recognize), this combination of ‘to’ and the verb is called the infinitive. The Spanish language does not use an obvious ‘to’ instead is recognized by its ending that can be one of either –ar, –er or, –ir. These endings, although joined to what is called the stem of the verb are often said to be the equivalent of the English ‘to’. These endings are important as they are used to group Spanish verbs into three specific groups called, imaginably, the –ar, –er and –ir verb groups. Each group follows a set of specific rules for conjugation as highlighted here.

Present tense conjugation of hablar: regular –ar verb meaning to speak

  • yo hablo – I speak
  • tú hablas – you speak
  • él, ella habla – he, she, it or speaks
  • usted habla – you (polite) speak
  • nosotros/as hablamos – we speak
  • vosotros/as hablaís – you (all) speak
  • ellos, ellas hablan – they speak
  • ustedes hablan – you (all) speak (polite)

Present tense conjugation of comer: regular –er verb meaning to eat

  • yo como – I eat
  • tú comes – you eat
  • él, ella come – he, she, it or eats
  • usted come – you (polite) eat
  • nosotros/as comemos – we eat
  • vosotros/as comeís – you (all) eat
  • ellos, ellas comen – they eat
  • ustedes comen – you (all) eat(polite)

Present tense conjugation of vivir: regular –ir verb meaning to live

  • yo vivo – I eat
  • tú vives – you eat
  • él, ella vive – he, she, it or eats
  • usted vive – you (polite) eat
  • nosotros/as vivimos – we eat
  • vosotros/as vivís – you (all) eat
  • ellos, ellas viven – they eat
  • ustedes viven – you (all) eat(polite)

There are some things that should be noted about the three verb groups above:

  • they all have the same ending for the first person singular, I.
  • the –er and -ir verb groups have very similar endings.
  • ambiguity can be avoided when using the third person singular and plural, and the polite version of you by using the subject pronoun to precede the verb.(The subject pronoun is often dropped in European Spanish although it is still used frequently in Latin American Spanish)

Spanish Irregular Verbs

Spanish verbs would be relatively easy to master if only all verbs followed the rules of regular verb conjugation. As you may have guessed, this just is not the case.

There are quite a number of verbs that have irregularities in how they are conjugated and unfortunately many of these verbs are also amongst the most commonly used verbs in Spanish. Ser and estar (both meaning to be), haber and tener (both meaning to have), ir (to go), hacer (to make or, to do), dar (to give), coger (to take), poner (to put), poder (to be able to (can)), querer (to want), ver (to see), decir (to say), and venir (to come) are the core of irregular verbs most often used, but there are a great deal more.

The irregularities in these verbs can vary greatly from being highly irregular to a singular variation and the only way to learn them properly is to study each one individually, and the best way of doing this is to use verb training program specifically designed to improve the speed and the enjoyment level at which conjugations are learnt.


The importance of understanding and using correct verb conjugation cannot be understated. Using verbs correctly is a fundamental part of successfully making the transition from beginner to fluent Spanish speaker, and although difficult it should always be approached with positive mental preparation.

What is the Best Way to Improve a Spanish Verb Conjugator Trainer?

Spanish Verb Conjugator TrainerSpanish verb conjugators have been used for as long as languages have been taught. Question is how can traditional verb conjugation tables be improved upon to make the job of learning Spanish verb conjugation easier and quicker?

If you have ever been told that there are only 25 irregular verbs in the Spanish language, give or take the odd one or two, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you have been misled a little! There are, in fact, actually well over two thousand of them! Thankfully, many of these irregular verbs are quite obscure and will not be used too often, which means that learning them is not really that important for the vast majority of us. However, you will still definitely need to learn more than the twenty five or so verbs, so often quoted by misleading sources.

Of the irregular verbs that you definitely need to know, there are a number that it is absolutely necessary to have an extremely good understanding of. Unfortunately, many of these verbs are, as is so often the case, also the most irregular in the Spanish language and because of this many students find that learning them is an obstacle that they just cannot get past and as a result give up learning Spanish before they even get started, the obvious solution to this problem is to try and make learning verbs much easier and far more enjoyable…but how?

Conjugating Spanish Verbs

The age old method of learning difficult and demanding irregular verbs was to use a verb conjugation book that contained verb tables that were read repeatedly until the verb formations were etched into ones memory. I wonder how many of you can recall reciting verb conjugation, in unison, with the rest of your class over and over again when you were at school…I know I do, it was the most boring and tedious part of learning a language and something that almost put me off learning languages for life! Problem was, there were few alternatives until, that is, the computer age dawned!

The increase in ownership of home computers and easy internet access has meant that learning Spanish has become much more accessible and, dare I say it, easier. It is not too difficult nowadays to be able to find free learning materials and inexpensive downloadable course ware previously unobtainable for many people. However, it has not been until relatively recently that any real efforts were being spent by software designers on developing verb conjugation software that would make the difficult and challenging task of learning Spanish verbs any easier.

There have been quite a number of free verb conjugation programs and verb tables available online for a while now, but a lot of them are just basic digital versions of what was already available in print and they did little, if anything, to enhance either the education of, or the enjoyment level of the student other than offer them a certain novelty factor for a short time. The problem facing developers was always going to be how they could make an improvement without altering what needed to be learned basically, they had to re-invent the wheel.

Since developers could not, in any way, alter the information that needed to be passed on to the end user they would therefore have to look at ways of improving how this information was studied. Their objectives would be quite simple:

  • Develop a program that would make the task of learning verb conjugation easier
  • Make learning verbs much more enjoyable.
  • And…as a result of the previous two points would therefore shorten the time taken to learn Spanish

A program that could match these three criteria would do nothing short of revolutionizing how people learn Spanish verbs. However, although the objectives may seem quite simple, and painfully obvious, achieving them will certainly not be quite so easy.

Why is Preparation the Key to Successfully Learning Spanish?

Learning SpanishWhen contemplating learning a new language such as Spanish most people will be eager to start and excited at the prospect and many believe that they will not find it difficult to do so, and for some that may well be the case.

However, for the vast majority of people, the excitement and eagerness to learn Spanish is quickly cast aside as the sudden realization of the challenge confronting them soon hits home, and this is why it is extremely important to think ahead and plan how and when to study and how to set realistic goals.

Learning Spanish takes time and effort and there is no escaping that fact. Some people are more adept at learning languages than others and will pick things up quicker, but even for those who fall into that bracket it will still take a considerable amount of time.

There are two main reasons why people fail when trying to learn Spanish, the first is that they do not put aside enough time to study and, the second is that they thought that it would be a lot easier than they actually found it to be.

Eliminating the first of the two reasons above is pretty easy and can be done so by simply working out a timetable and sticking to it, devoting as much time as you are able to towards your studies. Though the key to a successful timetable is to be realistic…do not set your schedule too tight or you will struggle!

The second reason is a little more difficult to brush aside! Unfortunately there is no 100% proven method of how to learn Spanish that will work for everyone. No one person is the same and because of that, each will learn at a different pace. Also, a specific method of learning a language, or a certain course, will suit one person but not somebody else.

With that in mind you may well be thinking how is it possible to prepare when there are so many variables? How can you prepare yourself for the challenge ahead when you don’t know what challenges you will face?

The reality is that there is no ‘best way to learn Spanish’ that can be used as a road map to success, and until you actually start learning you won’t know for sure how difficult or how easy you will find it. So the best way to prepare is to do so mentally.

You should never underestimate how difficult and frustrating learning Spanish can be and prepare to be patient. Patience is the key! By setting a realistic timetable and preparing yourself mentally for the challenge that is ahead of you, you will be giving yourself the best start possible.