In English, verbs can be thought of as the word that shows the action in a sentence. In Spanish the verb not only shows the action but who is doing the action as well. The basic form of a verb in Spanish is called the infinitive. Infinitive verbs always end in “-ar” “-er” or “-ir”. There is a basic pattern that all Spanish verbs follow for conjugation. Once you learn this pattern, you will see that changing a subject or a tense for regular and irregular verbs is very simple.
The present tense describes the current action and/or routine action. It can be divided into the stem and the ending. The ending shows who is doing the verb, wether it be regular or irregular, and the stem is the verb. In order to conjugate a present tense verb, we drop the infinitive,(“-ar”, “-er” or “-ir” ) ending and add the stem to the present tense ending.
1. The first person always ends in “o”
2. Verbs ending in “-ir” and “-er” have the same ending except for in the first and seconds plurals. (nosotros/vosotros)
3. The area of the word that is stressed changes as well. The first three forms of the singular (yo,tu,el/ella/usted), and the third-person plural,(ellos/ellas/ustedes), are all stressed on the stem of the verb. The first- and second-person plurals forms are stressed on the class vowel.
1. The present tense can also express a future event if another part of the sentence clarifies this:
- Me voy a juntar con mis amigos en la tarde. (I am going to get together with my friends in the afternoon)
- Quiero hablar contigo despues de la clase.(I want to speak with you after class.)
2. It can describe something that started in the past and is still occurring now. In English we would describe this as have been doing something.
- Estoy aqui desde hace quince minutos. (I have been here for fifteen minutes)
- Ando buscando mi cellular desde la semana pasada. (I have been looking for my cellphone since last week)
3. It can also emphasize the drama of an event. This is known as the historical present.
- Se encierra a su cuarto y me dice que no va salir. (He locks himself in his room and tells me he not coming out.)
- El niño se sube al arbol y casi se cae. (The boy goes up the tree and almost falls down.)