Spanish verbs generally end in -ar, -er, and -ir. There are several differnet tenses and hence, several different ways to conjugate each verb.

I am in no way a professional Spanish speaker, I am strictly an amatuer. However I discovered this nodeshell and I will try to explain as much as I know. (Don't get too excited, I don't know all that much!)

Basic Rules for conjugation of Spanish verbs:
1) remove the -ar/-ir/-er
Ie. hablar (to speak)
hablar -ar = habl

2) add the appropriate ending for the corresponding subject
(See chart below)
Ie. I speak, Subject = I, ending = o
habl + o = hablo = I speak.

Present Tense Conjugation:
Subject ar er/ir I o o you(familiar) as es you(formal) a e we amos emos they an en
Examples:

Hablar - to speak aprender - to learn Hablo I speak aprendo I learn Hablas You speak. aprendes You learn Habla You speak. aprende You learn Hablamos We speak aprendemos We learn Hablan They speak aprenden They learn
More tenses to come!
Debbie is right about this basic format for conjugating present tense verbs but there are of course some weird ones that don't fit the standard rules. To highlight a select few:

ir (to go) conjugates strangely:

yo voy (I go)
tu vas (you go)
ella va (she goes)
nosotros vamos (we go)
ellos van (they go)

tener (to have) conjugates strangley:

tengo (I have)
tienes (you have)
tiene (he has)
tenemos (we have)
tienen (they have)

ser (to be) is bizarre:

soy (I am)
eres (you are)
es (he/it is)
somos (we are)
son (they are)

and once Debbie starts getting into explaining how to conjugate other verb tenses like future perfect, past, subjunctive and whatever you call the state of do'ing' something, you will hear of such endings as:
-ieron, -ando, -ido, and so forth. Then you'll see how these 'different' verbs continue to get crazy and deviate from all rules.


This is a great node. Everyone should strive to be bilingual. Of course computer languages count.

You have forgotten the vosotros (2nd person, plural) conjugation of the present indicative. Sure, this may be only used in Spain, but the people of E2 have a right to know!@# :)

for -ar verbs you add áis - jugáis (you all play)
for -er verbs you add éis - corréis (you all run)
for -ir verbs you add ís - descubrís (you all discover)

also, in your description of the different persons to conjugate, you made it seem as if there is no 3rd person, but only a 2nd person, formal (habla - you speak). Habla can also means he/she/it speaks. As much as that conjugation is used for 2nd person formal, it's no doubt used lots more for the 3rd person.

Update:

As for Damian's chart, I must say that it though might be useful for simple dabbling in Spanish, no matter what chart or method you use, the only way to get verb conjugations down is by practice, any form of it, and as much as you can get. When you're having a conversation, each time you have to use a verb, you can't think of a chart in your head. It has to be fluid. There should be no extra thought involved as far as converting a verb from infinitive to conjugated form.
I'd like to point out that an easy way to remember Spanish verb conjugations is in a two-column chart. One single list does not give itself to easy memorization and application. None of the spanish books I have treat verbs this way, although I'm sure there are some that do. I learned this from my Spanish 101 teacher. Here is an example:

The endings for the present indicative tense of regular -ar verbs:

Singular | Plural
1. -o   1. -amos
2. -as   2. (normally left out)
3. -a   3. -an

The conjugations are listed by person and plurality. The item in the first row, first column is the conjugation for the first person singular form of the verb. Likewise, the second row, first column is second person singular, and the third row, second column is third person plural. You get the idea.

To conjugate any regular -ar verb, take the verb stem (the infinitive without the -ar) and add the appropriate ending.

I've heard that stem changing verbs are sometimes called "boot verbs", because, based on the above chart form, the conjugations affected by the stem change make the shape of a boot. For example, if you conjugate the verb tener, (to have)...

Singular | Plural
1. tengo   1. tenemos
2. tienes   2. (skip)
3. tiene   3. tienen

The conjugations that are affected by the stem change are:

tengo
tienes
tiene    tienen

Good lord, there's more to Spanish than just present tense!

Unfortunantly, I only know two more: the imperfect past tense, and the preterite. The imperfect past tense is used to describe things you used to do or did over an extended period of time ("I used to feel..."), and the preterite is used to say things you've done ("I felt").

El Pretérito:

AR Regular Verb Form Endings

-aste

-amos
-aron

Example: caminar (to walk)
caminé (I walked)
caminaste (you walked)
caminó (he walked)
caminamos (we walked)
caminaron (they walked)

ER and IR Regular Verb Form Endings

-iste
-ió
-imos
-ieron

Example: comer (to eat)
comí (I ate)
comiste (you ate)
comió (he ate)
comimos (we ate)
comieron (they ate)

As with many verb forms, there are some that don't fit the pattern. Take "leer" for instance...

leí
leíste
leyó
leímos
leyeron

This change takes place because three soft vowels cannot be together in Spanish words. These verb endings are also present in verbs like "creer" and other similar verbs.

Here are other verbs that don't fit pattern:

estar (to be feeling)
estuve
estuviste
estuvo
estuvimos
estuvieron

ser/ir (to be/to go)
fui
fuiste
fue
fuimos
fueron

venir (to come)
vine
viniste
vino
vinimos
vinieron

ver (to see)
vi
viste
vio
vimos
vieron

poner (to put)
puse
pusiste
puso
pusimos
pusieron

El Imperfecto:

The imperfect past tense is much easier to learn. And there's only three exceptions in the pattern.

AR Regular Verb Endings
-aba
-abas
-aba
-ábamos
-aban

Example: estar
estaba
estabas
estaba
estábamos
estaban

ER and IR Regular Verb Endings
-ía
-ías
-ía
-íamos
-ían

Example: leer
leía
leías
leía
leíamos
leían

And these are the ONLY three irregulars.

ir
iba
ibas
iba
íbamos
iban

ver
veía
veías
veía
veíamos
veían

ser
era
eras
era
éramos
eran

Hope you enjoyed that little lesson. Let me know if I've forgotten anything.

The future tense in Spanish is very simple compared to the other tenses.

The conjugation is the same for -ar, -er, and -ir verbs.
Apart from a few irregular verbs, you just add the appropriate ending to the infinive, keeping the "ar", "er", or "ir" at the end (unlike the other tenses).

Endings:
Yo: é
Tu: as
El: a
Nosotros: emos
Vosotros: éis
Ellos: an

The conditional tense (example: "I would...") is like the future tense, but with different endings. The conditional tense endings:

Endings:
Yo: ía
Nosotros: íamos
Tu: ías
Vosotros: íais
El: ía
Ellos: ían

I believe this is correct, though Spanish teachers have been known to teach things that aren't actually correct as part of the curriculum.
In addition to the general rules Bozyo mentioned above when conjugating Spanish verbs in the future tense, there are some irregular verbs that use a modified form of the infinitive. The following verbs drop the letter e from the infinitive ending:

caber (to fit into)
poder (to be able)
querer (to want)
saber (to know)

Example:

caber
cabré
cabrás
cabrá
cabremos
cabréis
cabrán


In these verbs, the vowel of the infinitive endings -er and -ir changes to d:

poner (to put)
salir (to go out)
tener (to have)
venir (to come)

Example:

poner
pondré
pondrás
pondrá
pondremos
pondréis
pondrán


In these verbs, the letters e and c are dropped from the infinitives before adding the future-tense endings:

decir (to say)
hacer (to do)

Example:

hacer
haré
harás
hará
haremos
haréis
harán
How about the subjunctive, eh? First, the present subjunctive:

First, start with the present-tense "yo"-form, that is, the first person singular. Chop off the -o ending, and add these endings:

-ar verbs
-e
-es
-e
-emos
-éis
-en

-er and -ir verbs
-a
-as
-a
-amos
-áis
-an

Thus, the conjugations of a couple of regular verbs in the present subjunctive:

amar to love
ame
ames
ame
amemos
améis
amen

temer to fear
tema
temas
tema
temamos
temáis
teman

Conjugation of verbs with irregular "yo"-forms in the present subjunctive:

tener to have
tenga
tengas
tenga
tengamos
tengáis
tengan

conocer to be familiar with
conozca
conozcas
conozca
conozcamos
conozcáis
conozcan

When you start talking about stem-changers, it gets weird. Stem-changers don't have a stem change in the present subjunctive in first and second person plural, with the exception of -ir verbs, which change e>i and o>u in the second and third person plural but normally in the other conjugatons. Phew. If you didn't quite catch that, look at these examples:

pensar to think
piense
pienses
piense
pensemos
penséis
piensen

poder can/to be able to
pueda
puedas
pueda
podamos
podáis
puedan

dormir to sleep
duerma
duermas
duerma
durmamos
durmáis
duerman

A few verbs don't end in -o in the first person singular present conjugation. These have irregular stems in the present subjunctive:

ser to be - "se-"
saber to know - "sep-"
ir to go - "vay-"
haber grammatical have - "hay-"

In addition to changing stems, these two verbs add some accent marks:

estar to be
esté estés esté estemos
estéis
estén

dar to give

des

demos
deis
den

All right kids, got that? Let's move on to the imperfect subjunctive!


To form the imperfect subjunctive, start with the third person plural preterite form. Chop off the -ron ending, then add one or the other of these sets of endings:

"r"-form
-ra
-ras
-ra
-ramos (preceeding vowel gets an accent)
-rais
-ran

"s"-form
-se
-ses
-se
-semos (preceeding vowel gets an accent)
-seis
-sen

Which set of forms you use depends on location. It varies wildly throughout South America, but the "r"-form is found in Mexico and the "s"-form in Spain. The "r"-form is somewhat more common, but you should be familiar with both.

Now that I've bombarded you with all that nonsense, would you like some examples? Thought so.

hablar to talk, examples with "s"-form
hablase
hablases
hablase
hablasémos
hablaseis
hablasen

vivir to live, examples with "r"-form
viviera
vivieras
viviera
viviéramos
vivierais
vivieran

querer to want, examples with "r"-form
quisiera
quisieras
quisiera
quisiéramos
quisierais
quisieran

The verbs "ir" to go and "ser" to be both are irregular in the past subjunctive: they have the stem "fue", thus "fuese/fuera, fueses/fueras", &c. The verbs can only be told apart by context in the imperfect subjunctive.


How about some nice compound tenses? The subjunctive present perfect and the subjunctive pluperfect are really easy. Just use the verb "haber", plus the past participle of the main verb. Examples:

Present perfect subjunctive
escribir to write
haya escrito
hayas escrito
haya escrito
hayamos escrito
hayáis escrito
hayan escrito

Past perfect/pluperfect subjunctive
llegar to arrive examples using the "r"-form
hubiera llegado
hubieras llegado
hubiera llegado
hubierámos llegado
hubierais llegado
hubieran llegado


There once existed a future subjunctive form, but it is now all but dead. Instead, the present subjunctive is used.
Actually the future subjunctive is not dead yet! (I bet no one learned it in an American high school though.) Although many Spanish-speakers will never use it, most of them will have seen it in the following situations:
  • Most commonly, in the literature of the Golden Age, including in the works of authors such as Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega. (It is used either after si where today we would use the present indicative, or often in a construction with a future indicative, where today we would use the present subjunctive instead.)

  • In proverbs; e.g. Si a Roma fueres, haz como vieres. (When in Rome, do as the Romans do).

  • In expressions; e.g. venga lo que viniere . . . (come what may . . . )

  • In legalese, used to refer to an indefinite person; el que hubiere reunido mayoría absoluta de votos será proclamado Presidente de la República (the one who has received an absolute majority of votes will be proclaimed president of the Republic)

  • In especially poetic or flowery writing, or in really flowery speech.

  • In certain translations of the Bible; Y dijo: De cierto os digo, que si no os volviereis, y fuereis como niños, no entraréis en el reino de los cielos (Mateo 18:3, Reina-Valera). "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3, Revised Standard Version).

  • In journalistic prose; I hear that Argentinians are especially fond of this.

The future subjunctive tense is easy to form; simply take the imperfect subjunctive tense and change the "a"s to "e"s. Some examples:
For the verb hablar: hablare, hablares, hablare, habláremos, hablareis, hablaren.
For the verb comer: comiere, comieres, comiere, comiéremos, comiereis, comieren.
For the verb salir: saliere, salieres, saliere, saliéremos, saliereis, salieren.
For the verb tener: tuviere, tuvieres, tuviere, tuviéremos, tuviereis, tuvieren.

¡Jesucristo! Nine writeups and no one even mentions the "vos" pronoun. It's used as a replacement for in many countries. Here is the conjugation:
Present:
  • Andar: vos andás
  • Comer: vos comés
  • Vivir: vos vivís
Present Subjunctive:
  • Andar: vos andés
  • Comer: vos comás
  • Vivir: vos vivás
Future:
  • Andar: vos andarés
  • Comer: vos comerés
  • Vivir: vos vivirés
Imperative:
  • Andar: ¡Andá!
  • Comer: ¡Comé!
  • Vivir: ¡Viví!

The imperfect, past subjunctive, and conditional tenses are conjugated in the same manner as "tú."

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