• Spanish grammar
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  • 1 Spanish alphabet [0/1]
  • 2 Spanish articles [0/6]
  • 3 Spanish nouns [0/8]
  • 4 Spanish adjectives [0/17]
  • 5 Spanish numbers [0/6]
  • 6 Spanish pronouns [0/32]
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Flashcards (Score -/-)
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Type identification (Score -/-)
  • Spanish practice quiz - Drag and drop the pronoun (Score -/-)
  • Spanish pronouns in Spanish practice quiz (Score -/-)
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Fill in the blanks (Score -/-)
  • 6.1 Spanish personal pronouns [0/15]
  • 6.2 Spanish reflexive pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.3 Spanish possessive pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.4 Spanish demonstrative pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.5 Spanish interrogative pronouns [0/3]
  • 6.6 Spanish relative pronouns [0/3]
  • 7 Adverbs in Spanish [0/18]
  • 8 Sentence structure and word order in Spanish [0/4]
  • 9 Spanish prepositions [0/2]
  • 10 Spanish tenses and verb conjugation [0/27]
  • 10.1 Present tense in Spanish (el presente) [0/3]
  • 10.2 Past tenses in Spanish (el pasado) [0/18]
  • 10.2.1 Pretérito perfecto simple (indefinido) in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.2 Pretérito perfecto compuesto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.3 Difference between Pretérito Perfecto and Indefinido [0/3]
  • 10.2.4 Pretérito Imperfecto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.5 Difference between imperfecto and indefinido [0/3]
  • 10.2.6 Pretérito pluscuamperfecto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.3 Future tense in Spanish (el futuro) [0/6]
  • 11 Difference between "ser" and "estar" in Spanish [0/3]
  • 12 Spanish verbs [0/7]
  • 13 Gerund in Spanish (el gerundio) [0/3]
  • 14 Imperative in Spanish (imperativo) [0/6]
  • 15 Passive in Spanish (voz pasiva) [0/3]
  • 16 Negation in Spanish [0/2]
  • Present tense in Spanish (el presente)

    The Spanish present tense is used to talk about what is true at the moment, what happens regularly and what is happening now. Like the English one! wink

    What is the present tense in Spanish?

    In Spanish, we use the present tense (Spanish: el presente) to talk about:

    • an action that is happening now.
    • things that happen frequently (habits) even though they are not happening in that moment.
    • express orders.
    • in reported speech.

    Regular and irregular present tense forms

    In Spanish there are regular and irregular present tense forms.

    • regular forms: follow a pattern
    • irregular forms: do not follow the patterns and sometimes they change the root of the verb, the endings or both.

    Regular present tense forms

    The present tense in Spanish is formed with the following endings:

    • for verbs ending in -ar with -o, -as, -a, -os, -áis, -an
    • for verbs ending in -er, with -o, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, -en
    • for verbs ending in -ir, with -o, -es, -e, -os, -ís, -en

    Regular verb endings (-ar, -er, -ir)

    Pronouns -ar verbs conjugated -er verbs conjugated -ir verbs conjugated
      hablar (to speak) comer (to eat) vivir (to live)
    Yo hablo como vivo
    hablas comes vives
    Él / Ella habla come vive
    Nosotros hablamos comemos vivimos
    Vosotros habláis coméis vivís
    Ellos / ellas hablan comen viven

    Examples:

    • Habláis muy alto. (You speak very loud).
    • Como muchas verduras. (I eat a lot of vegetables).
    • Viven en París. (They live in Paris).

    Irregular present tense forms

    These verbs do not follow the pattern of the regular verbs. We have different types of irregular verbs:

    • Verbs with diphthong changes
    • Verbs with stem-vowel change
    • Irregular only in the first-person singular (yo)
    • Verbs with multiple irregularities and completely irregular verbs.

    Diphthong change with e: e → ie

    In many verbs, the vowel in the stem of the verb changes to a diphthong. Unfortunately, there is no exact rule that makes clear whether a verb has a diphthong or not. Diphthongization changes -e- to -ie-, and -o- to -ue-. You will find a diphthong at all three-person singular and at the third-person plural.

    querer  
    yo quiero
    quieres
    él / ella quiere
    nosotros queremos
    vosotros queréis
    ellos/ ellas quieren

    Examples:

    • Ellas quieren venir a la fiesta. (They want to come to the party)
    • ¿Quieres un trozo de pastel? (Do you want a piece of cake?)

    Other verbs that follow the same diphtong change:

    • comenzar (to begin): comienzo...
    • empezar (to start): empiezo...
    • entender (to understand): entiendo...
    • mentir (to lie): miento...
    • pensar (to think): pienso...
    • recomendar (to recommend): recomiendo...
    • sentir (to feel): siento...

    Diphthong change with o: o → ue

    poder  
    yo puedo
    puedes
    él / ella puede
    nosotros podemos
    vosotros podéis
    ellos/ ellas pueden

    Examples:

    • Ellos pueden venir al viaje. (They can come to the trip)
    • ¿Puedes ayudarme por favor? (Can you help me please?)

    Other important verbs with diphthong:

    • doler (to hurt): duelo...
    • encontrar (to find): encuentro...
    • mover (to move): muevo...
    • mostrar (to show): muestro...
    • volver (to come back): vuelvo...
    • oler (to smell): huelo...

    enlightenedAttention: as a diphthong cannot be at the beginning due to pronunciation rules, oler becomes huelo, hueles ...

    Diphthong change with: u→ ue

    Here is jugar (play) the only example. But since it is a commonly used verb, you should also memorize this irregularity.

    jugar  
    yo juego
    juegas
    él / ella juega
    nosotros jugamos
    vosotros jugáis
    ellos/ ellas juegan

    Examples:

    • Ellos juegan al escondite. (They play hide and seek)
    • Juego con mi hermana. (I play with my sister)

    Verbs with stem-vowel changes (e → i)

    For some verbs ending in -ir, the stem vowel (vowel in the stem of the verb) changes during conjugation. This vowel change applies only to the three first persons in the singular and the third person plural.

    pedir  
    yo pido
    pides
    él / ella pide
    nosotros pedimos
    vosotros pedís
    ellos/ ellas piden

    Examples:

    • Piden un aumento de salario. (They ask for a raise)
    • Te pido que pares por favor. (I ask you to stop please)

    Irregular only in the first-person singular (yo)

    The first person singular is completely irregular. All other persons follow the same patterns explained above.

    Infinitive First person singular (yo)
    hacer (to do) hago (haces, hace…)
    poner (to put) pongo (pones, pone…)
    saber (to know) (sabes, sabe…)
    salir (to leave) salgo (sales, sale…)
    traer (to bring) traigo (traes, trae…)
    caer (to fall) caigo (caes,cae…)
    dar (to give) doy (das, da…)
    valer (to be worth) valgo (vales, vale…)
    ver (to see veo (ves, ve…)

     

    Irregularities of the first-person singular (yo) depending on the verb ending

    • verbs on -ecer, -ocer, and -ucir change c → zc
    • verbs on -ger change g → j
    • for verbs on -cer, c → z
    Ending Infinitive Conjugation
    -ecer ofrecer (to offer)
    agradecer (to thank)
    ofrezco (ofreces, ofrece…)
    agradezco (agradeces, agradece…)
    -ocer conocer (to know)
    reconocer (to recognize)
    conozco (conoces, conoce…)
    reconozco (reconoces, reconoce…)
    -ucir traducir (to translate)
    conducir (to drive)
    producir (to product)
    traduzco (traduces, traduce…)
    conduzco (conduces, conduce…)
    produzco (produces, produce…)
    -ger coger (to take)
    proteger (to protect)
    cojo (coges,coge…)
    protejo (protejes, proteje…)
    -gir restringir (to restrain)
    dirigir (to direct)
    restrinjo (restrinjes, restrinje…)
    dirijo(direijes, dirije…)
    -cer convencer (to convince)
    vencer (to beat)
    convenzo (convences, convence…)
    venzo (vences, vence…)


    Verbs with multiple irregularities and completely irregular verbs


    Unfortunately, in Spanish there are some verbs with multiple irregularities or verbs that are completely irregular. These include some of the most important Spanish verbs such as ser (to be). Memorizing and practicing them is the only thing to do!

    tener (to have) venir (to come) decir (to say)
    tengo vengo digo
    tienes vienes dices
    tiene viene dice
    tenemos venimos decimos
    tenéis venís decís
    tienen vienen dicen
    oir (to hear) seguir (to follow) ver (to see)
    oigo sigo veo
    oyes sigues ves
    oye sigue ven
    oimos seguimos vemos
    oís seguís veis
    oyen siguen ven
    ser (to be) estar (to be) ir (to go)
    soy estoy voy
    eres estás vas
    es está va
    somos estamos vamos
    sois estáis vais
    son están van

    When to use the present tense in Spanish

    There are situations when you always have to use the present tense: 

    Situation Examples Translation
    Actions happening now Amparo dibuja en su cuaderno. Amparo draws in her notebook
    Habits Jorge sube por las escaleras. Jorge always walks up the stairs
    Orders Coge una hoja y dibuja una casa. Take a paper and draw a house
    Reported speech Ayer por la mañana me preguntó: “¿Qué escribes en el cuaderno?" Yesterday morning he asked: What do you write in your notebook?

     

    Marker words of the present tense

    Marker word Translation Example
    hoy today

    Hoy voy al cine.

    Today I go to the cinema.

    generalmente

    normalmente
    usually

    Generalmente voy al cine los lunes.

    I usually go to the cinema on Monday.
    a veces  sometimes

    A veces como garbanzos.

    Sometimes I eat chickpeas.
    muchas veces many times

    Muchas veces siento que no lo entiendo.

    Many times, I feel I don’t understand.
    siempre always

    Siempre bebo agua por la mañana.

    I always drink water in the morning.
    nunca never

    Nunca digas nunca.

    Never say never.
    varias veces several times

    Voy a nadar varias veces a la semana.

    I go swimming several times a week.
    a menudo often

    Voy a menudo al mercado.

    I often go to the market.
    todos los días every day

    Hago yoga todos los días.

    I do yoga every day.
    de vez en cuando  from time to time

    De vez en cuando bebo cerveza.

    I drink beer from time to time.
    casi nunca almost never

    Casi nunca como pescado.

    I almost never eat fish.

     

    Exercises

    What is the right form of the verb?

    Find the right form of the present tense

    Conjugate the verbs in the dialogues