Spanish Present Tense

Everything you need to know about forming the Present Tense in Spanish.

The Present Tense – Regular Verbs

A guide

The present tense is used to talk about things that are taking place now or happen repeatedly or are general statements of belief.

Vivimos en España We live in Spain La casa es grande The house is big

To form the present tense, we must first start with the infinitive form of the verb (the form used in the dictionary. E.g. hablar = to speak). By looking at the last two letters of the infinitive we will be able to place each infinitive into one of three categories: -ar, -er or -ir. To make the different forms, remove the -ar, -er or -ir to find the stem and then add the following endings.

So, if we want to say ‘we speak’ we follow these four simple steps.

  1. Take the infinitive Hablar

  2. Remove the ending Habl__

  3. Find the correct ending -amos (we)

  4. Add the ending to the stem Hablamos = We Speak

Time to practice - see if you can conjugate these verbs. Give the correct form of the verb in brackets Translate the Spanish verbs in to English

  1. I cook (cocinar) _______________ 1. bebes _______________

  2. We drink (beber) _______________ 2. bailo _______________

  3. They open (abrir) _______________ 3. abren _______________

  4. She dances (bailar) _______________ 4. visita _______________

  5. He enters (entrar) _______________ 5. comemos _______________

  6. You visit (visitar) _______________ 6. escribís _______________

  7. You need (necesitar) _____________ 7. entras _______________

  8. We work (trabajar) _______________ 8. trabajo _______________

  9. He writes (escribir) ______________ 9. terminaís _______________

  10. They finish (terminar) _______________ 10. cocinamos _______________

The Present Tense – Irregular Verbs

A guide

Irregular verbs do not follow the normal pattern of regular -ar, -er and -ir verbs. Many of the most common and most useful verbs in Spanish are irregular. The table gives the present tense for four of the most common irregular verbs.

Some verbs are only irregular in the ‘I’ form: Hago (hacer – to do /make)

Salgo (Salir – to go out)Conozco (Conocer – to know)

Sé (Saber – to know)

Doy (Dar – to give)

Traigo (Traer – to bring)

Veo (Ver – to see/watch)

Pongo (Poner – to put) Complete these sentences with the correct form of ser, estar, tener or ir.

  1. Los sábados mis amigos y yo ____________ al cine.

  2. Mis hermanos ______ muy perezosos.

  3. Londres _________ en el sur de Inglaterra

  4. El hotel _________ un gimnasio y una piscina grande.

  5. Yo _______ una persona muy amable.

  6. ¿Y tú? ¿A dónde _____ durante las vacaciones?

  7. Las chicas _____ bajas y ________ los ojos marrones.

  8. Yo ________ veinte años.

  9. ¿Isabel y Jorge, cómo ________ al colegio?

  10. Mi madre y yo __________ muy parecidos.