Spanish Grammar - Verbs

Spanish grammar lesson 7: Verbs - Present Tense Regular - verb conjugation

Although we have discussed the verb "to be" in a separate lesson, let's take a step back and consider the most straightforward "regular" verbs, the rules that they follow, and in this lesson, just speaking simply in the present tense.

Verbs in Spanish end in "-ar," "-er," or "-ir," three different families of verbs.

lavar-to wash; curar-to cure; limpiar-to clean

comer-to eat; beber-to drink; leer-to read

compartir-to share; dividir-to divide

The examples above are "regular." They follow simple rules when used in sentences, that is, small changes that are made in the endings, based on the subject of the sentence ("I," "you," "they," etc.). This is called verb conjugation. This also exists in English. For example, one would say "I clean," or "he cleans" (a small change in the verb ending depending on the subject).

Subject (examples below are personal pronouns) Replace "-ar" with: Replace "-er" with: Replace "-ir" with:
Yo (I)
("you" when speaking informally)

Él (he); Ella (she); Usted ("you" - speaking formally); ---Note: This category would also include objects, that are nouns used as subjects, as in "The car..."

Nosotros/Nosotras ("we" masculine/feminine)
Vosotros/Vosotras ("you"-plural - masculine/feminine)
Ustedes ("you" - plural - as used in Latin America); Ellos/Ellas ("they" masculine/feminine)

Exercise: Read carefully, listen to, and repeat aloud the following examples.

Yo limpio la herida. Tú limpias la herida. Nosotros limpiamos la herida.

(I clean the wound. You clean the wound. We clean the wound.)

Él come vegetales. Todos ustedes comen vegetales.

(He eats vegetables. You all eat vegetables.)

Nosotros compartimos los suministros. Todos vosotros compartís los suministros.

(We share the supplies. You all share the supplies.)


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