Guide to Conjugating Verbs in Present Tense in Spanish for Beginners
When I started learning Spanish through Duolingo I had a hard time learning how to conjugate. I took a formal Spanish class and would like to share how I was taught.
I will be sharing how to conjugate verbs in the present tense. This is not the same as past or future tense.
I'll be mainly using three different verbs today: hablar (to talk), comer (to eat), and escribir (to write). They are in their unconjugated formats.
There are three different endings for Spanish verbs; -ar, -er, and -ir. Notice that each of these endings are represented in habl-ar, com-er, and escrib-ir.
There are six ways to conjugate a Spanish verb. I, you, he/she/it, we, you all (only used in Spain), and you all. The easiest way to learn these is to put it in to a "six-pack". Look at this image for the six packs of each ending: http://i.imgur.com/qtwW2OF.png (Note: The "You All" should be they.)
The easiest way to memorize the three six-packs is to write them down and chant them.
How to Conjugate
The conjugation that we will be doing only concerns the end of the verb. When conjugating a verb, look at the ending. Then, replace the ending with proper conjugation.
Example: We talk. The Spanish verb for talk is hablar. Hablar ends in -ar. "We" are talking, so we know it is box 4, -amos. Replace the -ar in hablar with -amos. Hablamos = We talk.
This works with any verb. Let's try "He eats". The Spanish verb for eat is comer. Comer ends in -er, and it's "he" (third box). Come = He eats.
Refer to this image to see examples: http://i.imgur.com/3F4sgvX.png
-ir and Box 5
Note how -er and -ir share boxes 1-3 and 6. To remember this, you can pretend -ir is -er's little brother. -ir copies -er, but is starting to branch out in boxes 4 and 5. Try pumping your first on boxes 4 and 5 when chanting the -ir endings to remember.
Box 5 is used in Spain only. Some people don't teach this ending but I believe it's important to know.
If you liked this post and would like to see another guide let me know.
Very handy, but the third person plural is "they", not "you all" unless you mean formal you, "ustedes", but you didn't mention informal vs. formal at all. So I think that needs to be fixed. Otherwise, great post!
"ustedes" isn't formal from what i was taught. Only "usted" is formal
michel thomas has a great system he basically says there are only two tracks, you are either on the ar track or the er ir track, as the endings for er ir match
While reviewing your post, I got tired of pulling up another tab/window to view your chart, so I am adding the image to this post:
BTW, really great post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, Michelle94564. I especially love the tips such as chanting and thinking of -ir as -er's little brother. Very clever!