Spanish verbs types and conjugations

Spanish verbs types and conjugations
Previous article "Introduccion to the Spanish Subjunctive mood" included information about the use of the subjunctive in Spanish and some examples.

And now it is time to learn about the subjunctive conjugation for regular verbs. But before that, I think it would be useful to offer you a general overview about Spanish verbs. This way, you'll have a clear idea about conjugations and types of verbs, which will make it easier to understand how conjugations work.

Some notes about Spanish verbs
There are three main types of verbs in Spanish:
  • Infinitives ending in -ar (i.e. amar, cantar, hablar) --> First Conjugation verbs

  • Infinitives ending in -er (i.e. comer, beber, hacer) --> Second Conjugation verbs

  • Infinitives ending in -ir (i.e. vivir, sentir, decir) --> Third Conjugation verbs
(An infinitive is the form of a verb not conjugated, as in English "to eat" ("comer"), "to walk" ("andar"), etc… )

Another verbs classification: Regular and Irregular verbs.
An irregular verb does not follow the general conjugating rules.

For example, the verb "vivir" (to live), where "viv-" is the stem, and "-ir" is the infinitive ending.
When conjugating a verb, we use the stem of the verb (in this case, "viv-") and add the corresponding ending. These are the third conjugation (-ir) regular endings for the present indicative:

Yo vivo
Tú vives
Él / Ella / Usted vive

Nosotros / nosotras vivimos
Vosotros / vosotras vivís
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes viven

("Vivir" is a regular verb.)

I have recorded this present tense indicative conjugation, for the verb "vivir". Click here to listen to the recording.

But there are other verbs, irregular verbs, not following these rules. For example, the verb "decir". It is irregular as, in fact, its present indicative conjugation is:

Yo digo
dices
Él / Ella / Usted dice

Nosotros / Nosotras decimos
Vosotros / Vosotras decís
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes dicen

I have marked stems in red, so you can see the infinitive stem (dec-) is only present in "decimos" and "decís". (dec-imos - dec-ís). The rest varies: "dig-o" and "dic-". That's why "decir" is an irregular verb for the present indicative.

I have recorded this present tense indicative conjugation, for the verb "decir". Click here to listen to the recording.

So now that we can identify verb conjugations and know about regular and irregular verbs, it is time to learn more about Spanish subjunctive.

Spanish subjunctive conjugation for regular verbs
Spanish Subjunctive tenses are:
  • Present subjunctive (Presente de subjuntivo)

  • Past subjunctive (Pretérito imperfect / Pretérito de subjuntivo)

  • Future subjunctive (Futuro de subjuntivo)
On oncoming articles we'll be learning how to conjugate these three tenses, listening to more recordings and having some subjunctive exercises.



You Should Also Read:
Introduction to the Spanish subjunctive mood
¡Feliz año 2012! – Spanish subjunctive
¡Feliz año 2012!

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