To learn Spanish conjugation, you have to be rigorous and meticulous: for starters you have to learn the endings of all the verbs in each tense and learn all of the irregular verbs which don’t follow the normal rules.
Here are our tips for mastering the tenses and moods of the Spanish language, from the indicative to the conditional via the subjunctive and the imperative.The best Spanish tutors available5 (24 reviews) Cecilia$21 /h1st lesson free!5 (19 reviews) Gabriela$25 /h1st lesson free!5 (11 reviews) June$25 /h1st lesson free!4.9 (18 reviews) Ilana$19 /h1st lesson free!5 (9 reviews) Ricardo$22 /h1st lesson free!5 (20 reviews) Andrea$30 /h1st lesson free!4.9 (9 reviews) Alejandra$16 /h1st lesson free!5 (24 reviews) Jorgie$20 /h1st lesson free!5 (24 reviews) Cecilia$21 /h1st lesson free!5 (19 reviews) Gabriela$25 /h1st lesson free!5 (11 reviews) June$25 /h1st lesson free!4.9 (18 reviews) Ilana$19 /h1st lesson free!5 (9 reviews) Ricardo$22 /h1st lesson free!5 (20 reviews) Andrea$30 /h1st lesson free!4.9 (9 reviews) Alejandra$16 /h1st lesson free!5 (24 reviews) Jorgie$20 /h1st lesson free!Let's go
What are The Tenses Used in Spanish?
There are two verbs that are the most used in Spanish “ser” and “estar”, that both mean ‘to be’ in English.
Whether you use one or the other depends on the context of the sentence.
In Spanish, the most used tenses are in the indicative:
- Present indicative
- Simple Future
For students, the present indicative and the simple future are the easiest to learn. Why?
Because as soon as you learn the three verb groups (1st group: verbs ending in AR, 2nd group: verbs ending in ER, and 3rd group: verbs ending in IR) you can learn the present endings and apply them to each verb.
- Verbs ending in AR endings : o, as, a, amos,áis, an,
- Verbs ending in ER endings: o, es, e, emos, éis, en,
- Verbs ending in IR endings: o, es, e, imos,ís, en.
For the future tense you just need to write or say the infinitive of the verb (hablar, conocer, llamarser, coger, hacer, haber, poner, salir, etc.) and add the future ending (é, ás, á, emos, éis, án).
There are several conjugations for the past tense: imperfect, preterite, perfect, and the pluperfect.
To express a repeated action in the past, Spanish uses the indicative imperfect. Relatively easy to conjugate, it is formed using the infinitive of the verb plus an ending:
- First group :aba, abas, aba, ábamos, abais, aban,
- Second group : ía, ías, ía, íamos, íais, ían.
In Spanish, the preterite is used more than the perfect tense.
Here again, the choice of one or the other varies according to the context: the perfect tense (conjugated haber + past participle), is used if the action still has ties to the present while the preterite is a completed action in the past.
Pay attention to irregularities: diphthong (combination of two vowel sounds within the same syllable) may appear in the list of verbs you have to learn.
You’ll soon find out that the present subjunctive and the imperfect subjunctive are used a lot in Spanish.
The subjunctive allows you to express desire, wishes, conditions, hypotheses that haven’t been realised yet or doubts, advice or even orders.
As a general rule, the present subjunctive is constructed with the first person present form of the verb eg: Tengo (I have) minus the –o ending and plus the subjunctive ending.
To remember all of this takes practice, there are plenty of free sites where you can print off conjugation tables to memorise.
Learn more about the Spanish tenses here.
The Most Used Spanish Verbs
To learn conjugation, focus on the most commonly used Spanish verbs first.
There’s no need to learn every single verb straight away because as the Pareto principle goes, learning 20% of Spanish words will give you 80% understanding.
We’ll start then by learning the following verbs:ser, estar, haber, tener, deber.
There is a plethora of courses and exercises online to help you learn them.
We would recommend making a list of irregular verbs (which includes these 5 common verbs) and revising them several times a week. Little and often works best.
Then, expand your revision by adding in some reflexive or pronominal verbs (when the subject and the object are the same): llamarse, levantarse, despertarse, acordarse, ducharse, lavarse, dormirse, vestirse, encontrarse.
You can get to know about more spanish lesson here.
For these verbs you just need to add the personal pronoun (me, te se, nos, os, se) of each person before the conjugated verb.
For example, to conjugate the verb to meet in the present indicative it would be: me encuentro, te encuentras, se encuentra, nos encontramos, os encontráis, se encuentran.
Note that the verb haber– to have – is used as an auxiliary verb in Spanish. The auxiliary verb, often known as a helping verb, is combined with a main verb to form a verb phrase. A verb tense that uses an auxiliary verb and a main verb is known as a compound tense. Haber is conjugated like this:
- Present :he, has, ha, hemos, habéis, han,
- Perfect tense :he habido, has habido, he habido, hemos habido, habéis habido, han habido,
- Preterite:hube, hubiste, hubo, hubimos, hubisteis, hubieron,
- Simple future:habré, habrás,habrá,habremos,habréis,habrán,
- Present subjunctive:haya, hayas, haya, hayamos, hayáis, hayan,
- Imperfect subjunctive:hubiera, hubieras, hubiera, hubiéramos, hubierais, hubieran.
What do you notice?
Haber is an example of diphthong where there are two vowels sounds in the same syllable.
To help get you started, we’ve concocted a list of the most commonly used Spanish verbs from A-Z:
Going to learn in a Spanish speaking country is the best way to learn, and much more useful than learning in your own country! Not only will you be immersed in the language but you’ll also experience a different culture.
But if you can’t go abroad here’s a top tip: on a blank sheet of paper, write down all the verbs that you can think of and conjugate them in every tense.
How to learn the conjugation of irregular Spanish verbs.
Learning a language requires mastering its grammatical setup, its different tenses, and its writing rules. To do this you have to repeat grammatical exercises over and over again.
For those learning or revising for exams here is a list of irregular Spanish verbs.
Tip n° 1: learn little by little. Write out revision sheets and be consistent in studying them.
Learn verbs by groups and practice writing sentence that include them.
Tip n° 2: describe everyday situations.
For example, instead of learning verb tables by heart you might find it easier to remember verbs by writing short sentences with them in:
- Pienso que obtendré mis examenes: I think I will succeed in my exams.
- Tengo que trabajar mucho para mejorar mis notas:I have to work hard to improve my grades.
- Si tuviera dinero, iría en América Latina:If I had the money I’d go to Latin America.
- ¡ Claro ! Conozco este hombre, ¡ era mi vecino el año pasado! : Of course I know this man! He was my neighbour last year!
You can then build a stock of simple sentences for to learn the different tenses and irregular verbs in Spanish.
This will give you a load of sentences but the most important thing is to memorise the verbs not the sentences themselves.
Looking for a Spanish Conjugation Site?
Onthis site, you’ll find verbs in every tense conjugated in the click of a button. Perfect for when you’re not sure of the endings for a certain verb.
When learning Spanish and its irregular verbs, you must pay attention to the spelling.
Often the “e” becomes “ie” or the “o” turns into “ue”, the “c” to “zc” or the “i” becomes “y” in first person, second, third person singular or plural.
This means there are some irregular verbs that don’t follow any rules, like these that where “e” becomes “ue”:
- Acertar, adquirir, apretar,
- Empezar, enterrar, encender, entender,
- Pensar, Plegar, perder, preferir.
“e” becomes “i” :
- Colegir,conseguir, corregir,
- Pedir, perseguir,
- Seguir, sonreír, soñar,
“c” turns into “zc” :
- Acaecer, acontecer,
- Crecer, conducir,
- Embellecer, enriquecer,
Learn how to master Spanish conjugation.
Take lessons to improve your Spanish
Spanish is one of the most widely studied languages in the world, and one of the most effective ways of learning is with one-on-one classes at home.
At Superprof, our Spanish teachers can help you improve your Spanish by:
- Revising irregular verbs
- Distinguishing the difference between Ser and Estar
- Revising tenses (imperfect, simple future, pluperfect, preterite, past participle, subjunctive, conditional etc.) and when to use the right one
- Enriching vocabulary
- Overcoming difficult grammatical rules
Another alternative to home classes is to find a local language school where you’ll be able to learn from a native Spanish teacher.
What next? Take Spanish lessons London or anywhere in the UK so you can work on your accent and start reading Spanish literature to become truly bilingual!
The modern Spanish verb paradigm (conjugation) has 16 distinct complete forms (tenses), i.e. sets of forms for each combination of tense, mood and aspect, plus one incomplete tense (the imperative), as well as three non-temporal forms (the infinitive, gerund, and past participle).What are the rules of conjugation in Spanish? ›
In Spanish, you conjugate verbs by changing the ending. If the subject is I (yo), conjugate by dropping the ending and add -o. If the subject is you – informal (tú), conjugate by dropping the ending and add -as (for -ar verbs) or -es (for -er and -ir verbs).Do I need to learn all Spanish conjugations? ›
Being able to properly conjugate verbs is the key to learning the Spanish language. It's also 80% of the hard work. Master it and you're most of the way there already, the rest are things that are relatively minor by themselves and easily learned. They're that important.What are the 5 most important Spanish verbs? ›
- Hacer = To do or make.
- Ir = To go.
- Venir = To come.
- Decir = To say or tell.
- Poder = To be able.
- Dar = To give.
- Ver = To see.
- Saber = To know.
|Ser (to be)||Estar (to be)||Top 100 Quiz|
|Haber (to have)||Hablar (to speak)||Hacer (to make)|
|Ir (to go)||Jugar (to play)|
|Lavar (to wash)||Leer (to read)||Limpiar (to clean)|
|Llamar (to call)||Llegar (to arrive)||Llenar (to fill)|
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of why neither French or Spanish is easier to learn. The fact of the matter is that they share many similarities, and are equally different from English, so you can learn either one as a second language with relatively the same difficulty.Why is Spanish conjugation so hard? ›
One of the hardest lessons for new speakers is conjugation placement. Learning a Spanish verb entails more than just one word. Spanish verbs are conjugated by the number and the person. This means that you'll need to memorize around five (or six, if you're learning Castilian Spanish) different verb endings for each.Is there a conjugation app? ›
app is free French conjugation application for iOS, built for French language learners, for every level.What order do you learn Spanish conjugations? ›
The three main tenses you should learn first in Spanish are the present (el presente), the past (also called the preterite, el pretérito), and the future (el futuro). They're the ones you'll run into most. You can get a lot of things across from these tenses and still be understood in the beginning.What are the 50 most common verbs in Spanish? ›
In total, there are 14 (7 simple and 7 compound): Present, Imperfect, Preterite, Future, Conditional, Present Perfect, Pluperfect, Preterit Perfect, Future Perfect, Conditional Perfect, Present Subjunctive, Imperfect Subjunctive, Present Perfect Subjunctive, and Pluperfect Subjunctive.What are the 12 irregular verbs in Spanish? ›
- caber (to fit)
- decir (to say)
- haber (to have)
- hacer (to do)
- poder (can, to be able to)
- poner (to put)
- querer (to want)
- tener (to have)
The Subjunctive Tense in Spanish
This is one of the most confusing verb tenses for English speakers to understand. The reason? There really is no such tense used in English language, hence all the mind-boggling confusion.
The main 3 irregular verbs in the Spanish past imperfect tense are ser (to be), ir (to go) and ver (to see).What are the 3 Spanish moods? ›
There are three moods in Spanish: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. All of these moods, except the imperative, may be conjugated in different tenses. Each of these moods has a different function.What is the hardest part of Spanish to learn? ›
This might be one of the hardest things to get. After being bombarded with tens of new tenses (in the indicative), you learn there's a whole other dimension of tenses called the subjuntivo.
Three months was more than enough time to master the components for basic conversational fluency: the language ability necessary to hold conversations, ask questions to strangers, understand and be understood. But it was far too little time to learn all the nuances that truly distinguish advanced speakers.Can Spanish be learned in 3 months? ›
It is possible to learn Spanish in 3 months, but it is true that to fully master the language to a native level, you will need more time. An intensive Spanish course covering all levels (from A1 to C2) consists of 62 weeks (about 15 months in total).How many verbs do you need to know to be fluent in Spanish? ›
Linguists do not agree on what it means to be fluent. If you think about native-level fluency, you'll need to master between 20,000 and 40,000 words, and as you can see the margin is quite large. If you want to have a basic conversation, experts say that you'll just need around 3,000 words.What are 5 easy Spanish words? ›
- Hola (Hello)
- Adios (Goodbye)
- Gracias (Thank you)
- Por favor (Please)
- Si (Yes)
- Claro (Of course)
- No (No)
- Amor (Love)
Irregular verbs like ser, ir, hacer, haber, poder, and tener are actually some of the most commonly used verbs, meaning that Spanish learners gain valuable exposure to their inflected forms often and can usually memorize the irregularities quickly.What is the most irregular Spanish verb? ›
Ser. It's time to look at the biggest and baddest of all Spanish irregular verbs: ser, which means “to be”.What is the most common word in Spain? ›
|Rank||Word in Spanish||Meaning in English|
Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.What's the easiest language to learn? ›
- Frisian. Frisian is thought to be one of the languages most closely related to English, and therefore also the easiest for English-speakers to pick up. ...
- Dutch. ...
- Norwegian. ...
- Spanish. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Italian. ...
- French. ...
- Download an app on your phone. ...
- Subscribe to a Spanish-language podcast. ...
- Watch the news in Spanish. ...
- Start a conversation club. ...
- Carry a Spanish-English dictionary with you… ...
- Sign up for a language class. ...
- Spend time in a Spanish-speaking country.
While English has a relatively simple conjugation, other languages such as French and Arabic are more complex, with each verb having dozens of conjugated forms. Some languages such as Georgian and Basque have highly complex conjugation systems with hundreds of possible conjugations for every verb.Is Spanish harder than French? ›
Grammatically speaking, French is more or less has the same difficulty level as Spanish and other romance languages. It is not a universal myth that French is more complicated than Spanish. Like any other language, One needs to devote lots of time to practice listening, reading, and of course, speaking.Is Spanish harder or English? ›
Spanish has 25 phonemes; it's generally agreed that English has 44 phonemes. (Phonemes are speech sounds.) So it's generally harder for a Spanish speaker to pronounce English well. It means learning entirely new sounds.What are the 4 conjugations? ›
The Present Indicative (amō), showing the Present Stem. The Present Infinitive (amā-re), showing the Present Stem. The Perfect Indicative (amāv-ī), showing the Perfect Stem. The neuter of the Perfect Participle (amāt-um), or, if that form is not in use, the Future Active Participle (amāt-ūrus), showing the Supine Stem.
- Prenez l'infitif. Take the infinitif.
- Laissez tomber la terminaison. Drop the ending.
- Ajoutez la terminaison correcte. Add the correct ending.
Rosetta Stone's Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just vocabulary and conjugation rules. This method is effective because we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. It's more than just the features, it's what you're able to do because of them.How can I memorize Spanish fast? ›
- Sing along to the music. ...
- Watch Telenovelas. ...
- Read everything. ...
- Enhance your commute. ...
- Translate. ...
- Find a Spanish-speaking lover. ...
- Move to Spain! ...
- Or at least travel to a Spanish-speaking spot (and then practice!)
- Immerse Yourself. ...
- Use Spanish in Your Daily Life. ...
- Make Studying a Habit. ...
- Practice Listening. ...
- Make Learning Fun. ...
- Find a Language Partner. ...
- Learn By Socializing. ...
- Make Your Own Vocabulary Lists.
- Don't expect to be perfect! Can you remember when learned to ride a bicycle? ...
- Work on developing an “ear” for Spanish. Remember that language is first and foremost oral communication. ...
- Practice SPEAKING! ...
- Be consistent. ...
- Talk to yourself. ...
- Use flashcards. ...
- Label your surroundings. ...
- Be patient.
- Ser – To Be (permanent) Of all the important Spanish verbs, “to be” is the one at the top. ...
- Estar – To Be (temporary) ...
- Haber – To Have (Auxiliary Verb) ...
- Querer – To Want. ...
- Hacer – To Do. ...
- Tener – To Have. ...
- Saber – To Know. ...
- Ir – To Go.
In Spanish, verbs are divided into three categories for all tenses: -ar verbs, -er verbs, and -ir verbs. The -ar, -er, and -ir refer to the unconjugated infinitive ending of the verb.Is Spanish SVO or SOV? ›
The word order in Spanish is not as rigid as it is in English. It is normally SVO (subject - verb - object): Juan comió una manzana (Juan ate an apple)What language has the most tenses? ›
A Spanish verb has six present-tense forms, and six each in the preterite, imperfect, future, conditional, subjunctive and two different past subjunctives, for a total of 48 forms.What are the 24 tense? ›
- past simple. present simple. future simple.
- one. two. three.
- present continuous. future continuous. future perfect continuous.
|Infinitive||Simple Past||Past Participle|
|drink||drank [dræŋk]||drunk [drʌŋk]|
|eat||ate [eɪt]||eaten [i:tn]|
|feel||felt [felt]||felt [felt]|
|fight||fought [fɔːt]||fought [fɔːt]|
In total, there are 14 (7 simple and 7 compound): Present, Imperfect, Preterite, Future, Conditional, Present Perfect, Pluperfect, Preterit Perfect, Future Perfect, Conditional Perfect, Present Subjunctive, Imperfect Subjunctive, Present Perfect Subjunctive, and Pluperfect Subjunctive.What is the fastest way to memorize a Spanish presentation? ›
- Translate the paragraph into English. Translate the paragraph you want to memorize into English. ...
- Check the pronunciation. ...
- Record yourself speaking. ...
- Listen to the recording. ...
- Read it out loud. ...
- Write it out. ...
- Test your memory.
Hungarian grammar seems like the road to death for an English speaker. Because Hungarian grammar rules are the most difficult to learn, this language has 26 different cases. The suffixes dictate the tense and possession and not the word order. That's is how most of the European languages deal with this problem.What is the hardest tense? ›
In this video we are going to look at the Present Perfect tense. It's probably the most difficult tense to understand in English because it can be used in several different ways and it is not easy into translate to other languages because the equivalent tense is often not used in the same way.What are the 12 rules of tenses? ›
|Past Continuous tense||Subject + was + V1 + ing + Object (Singular) Subject + were + V1 + ing + Object (Plural)|
|Past perfect continuous tense||Subject + had been + V1 + ing + Object|
|Present Simple tense||Subject + V1 + s/es + Object (Singular) Subject + V1 + Object (Plural)|
- Ferrocarril. Among hard Spanish words, ferrocarril or “railway” has a special place. ...
- Espantapájaros. ...
- Agujero. ...
- Aeropuerto. ...
- Desarrolladores. ...
- Ronronear. ...
- Vergüenza. ...
Summary: According to FSI, if you spend 3 hours per day learning Spanish, you'll achieve fluency in around six months. Reduce your Spanish time to one hour a day and, according to FSI, it will take about 1.5 years to learn. As you can see, Spanish is one of the most accessible languages for English speakers.How fast can you get fluent in Spanish? ›
Based on US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) research, if you start out as a beginner and spend an average of one hour per day working actively on Spanish—such as with a teacher or conversation partner, as well as doing homework—then it can take 480 hours to reach conversational fluency.
- Read Spanish magazines and newspapers online. ...
- Try a Spanish recipe written in Spanish. ...
- Change the language on all your devices to Spanish. ...
- Read Spanish subtitles while watching TV. ...
- Visit your local museum and pick up the written leaflets in Spanish.
Beginners for learn Spanish
To learn this level you need between 4 and 8 weeks of an intensive course. This is between 60 and 85 teaching hours, depending on the student's learning ability.