For most beginning students of Spanish, one of the hardest things is understanding Spanish verbs. That's because verbs in Spanish act differently from verbs in English. There are many Spanish verbs (like ser and estar) that convey distinctions in meanings that don't exist in English!
You'll discover tenses (like the subjunctive) that you never knew existed. Strangest of all, you'll discover that verbs in Spanish not only contain information about when the action took place (the tense), but also who performed the action (the subject).
Spanish Verbs Explained
Spanish verbs are tough, but this section will help you master them. Before you dive in, you need to know a little vocabulary first.
- verb: an action word
- subject: who performs the action (e.g., I, he, she, you, we)
- tense: past, present, future, etc.
- infinitive: the unconjugated form of a verb, such as " to write," " to be," " to want," " to run."
- conjugation: the process of changing the form of a verb to reflect the desired tense and subject
- regular verbs: verbs that follow the "rules" of conjugation
- irregular verbs: verbs that break the "rules" of conjugation
Here's a taste of what you will learn about Spanish verbs. In English, you always have to specify the subject before the verb. For example...
- I write (present tense)
- You wrote (past tense)
- We will write (future tense)
In Spanish, all that information can be contained in a single word. For example, here are the same sentences as the ones above, except in Spanish.
- Escribo (present tense)
- Escribiste (preterite past tense)
- Escribiremos (future tense)
In order to speak Spanish properly, you are going to have to learn how to form those verbs properly, through a process called conjugation.
Are you ready to learn more? Then check out all the Spanish verb resources in the tables below.
Spanish verbs – the basics
Spanish Verbs in the Present Tense
Spanish Verbs in the Past Tense
Spanish Verbs in the Future Tense