In fact, the Spanish present tense is used to express the following English forms:
- To indicate something that is happening at this moment:
We are dancing right now (Nosotros bailamos ahora)
- The present tense is also used when we want to express a request:
Will you please close the door? (¿Quiere cerrar la puerta, por favor?)
- To ask for instructions:
Shall I buy some water? (¿Compro algo de agua?)
- To express an action that will be done in a very near future.
I'll be available in two hours (Estoy disponible en dos horas)
PRESENT INDICATIVE TENSE CONJUGATION
Do you remember those three Spanish verb types?
Yes, that's it: Infinitives ending in -ar, -er or -ir. (i.e.: hablar - comer - vivir)
Spanish Present Indicative tense isn't as "easy" to conjugate as it is in English, because in Spanish every from has its own ending.
Let's see how it works:
For example, we'll form the Present tense of the verb Andar. First, we take the infinitive (andar) and remove its final -ar :
Then, we have to add the specific endings for this tense:
El / Ella / Usted anda
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes andan
So, those endings are for infinitives finishing in -ar.
The following table shows the conjugation for three verbs: Andar - Comer - Existir, examples for the Present Indicative conjugation of regular verbs belonging to the First, Second and Third Conjugation types (-ar, -er and -ir).
ANDAR (TO WALK)
COMER (TO EAT)
EXISTIR (TO EXIST)
|ando (I walk)|
andas (you walk)
anda (he/she walks)
andamos (we walk)
andáis (you walk)
andan (they/you walk)
|como (I eat)|
comes (you eat)
come (he/she eats)
comemos (we eat)
coméis (you eat)
comen (they/you eat)
|existo (I exist)|
existes (you exist)
existe (he/she exists)
existimos (we exist)
existís (you exist)
existen (they/you exist)
Note that the present endings for infinitives ending in -er and -ir are identical, except for "nosotros" (we) and "vosotros" (you - plural).
All these present tense endings not only show the tense of the verb, but also the subject pronoun. So, it is important to notice that those pronouns can be omitted:
(We eat and drink everyday)
As you can see, it is not necessary to use the personal (subject) pronouns, as the endings of the verbs (comemos and bebemos) refer us, in this case, to the first person plural (nosotros - we).
The only exception is that subject pronouns must be used when there are two subjects and two verbs:
(We eat and you drink everyday)
For any question or doubt, feel free to e-mail me or just post a message at the forum.
¡Que tenga un buen día!
VOCABULARY IN THIS LESSON (alphabetical order):
Agua (f): water
Andar: To walk
Bailar: To dance
Cerrar: To close
Comer: To eat
Comprar: To buy
Existir: To exist
Hablar: To talk
Hora (f): hour
Puerta (f): door
Todos los días: Every day
Vivir: To live