Jun 27 2004

Regular & Irregular

Published by at 12:00 am under Key Verbs and Their Conjugations

The Infinitive is the unconjugated verb which will be found in the dictionary. In Spanish, the infinitive includes the meaning “to”. Thus hablar means “to speak.” All Spanish infinitives end in ‘ar’, ‘er’, or ‘ir’.

When conjugating verbs, remove the infinitive ending and add the appropriate singular or plural ending.

hablar –to speak

yo hablo – I speak
tú hablas – you speak
Ud. habla – you (form.) speak
el/ella habla — he/she/it speaks
nosotros hablamos – we speak
vosotros habláis – you (fam. pl.) speak
Uds. hablan – you (form. pl.) speak
ellos/ellas hablan – they (masc./fem) speak

comer – to eat

yo como – I eat
tú comes – you eat
Ud. come – you (form.) eat
el/ella come – he/she/it eats
nosotros comemos – we eat
vosotros coméis – you (fam. pl.) eat
Uds. comen – you (form. pl.) eat
ellos/ellas comen – they (masc./fem.) eat

vivir – to live

yo vivo – I live
tú vives – you live
Ud. vive – you (form.) live
el/ella vive – he/she/it lives
nosotros vivimos – we live
vosotros vivís – you (fam. pl.) live

Uds. viven – you (form. pl.) live
ellos/ellas viven – they (masc./fem.) live.

There are many irregular verbs in Spanish which are not conjugated nearly as easily as those above. However, it is often the case that the irregularity consists in a stem change, not a change of ending. Thus, many irregular verbs have regular endings. For example: poner (to put) conjugates pongo (I put), conseguir (to get) conjugates consigo (I get), and, the most widely used, tener (to have) tengo (I have).

In cases where the proper conjugation is not known it is permissible, particularly for basic level panish speakers, to use the infinitive of the verb. For example: Yo conseguir la pelota. (I to get the ball.) Or Yo poner los platos en la mesa. (I to put the plates on the table.) Though, for the most commonly used irregular verbs such as tener (to have), ir (to go), venir (to come), poder (to be able to), and saber (to know), it is definitely best to try to memorize the conjugation.

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