How to Conjugate Verbs in Spanish: Present Tense

In order for a verb to match its subject, you must conjugate the verb. For more explanation, see [lesson 4: Conjugation Basics.]

Here are the steps of conjugating regular verbs in the present tense:
1. Choose the verb you need.
2. Write only the stem (the verb without the -ar, -er, or -ir ending.)
3. Add the ending that matches the subject.
Verb Endings:
-AR VERBS
yo-onosotros/as-amos
-asvosotros/as-áis
él, ella, Ud.-aellos, ellas, Uds.-an


-ER VERBS
yo-onosotros/as-emos
-esvosotros/as-éis
él, ella, Ud.-eellos, ellas, Uds.-en


-IR VERBS
yo-onosotros/as-imos
-esvosotros/as-ís
él, ella, Ud.-eellos, ellas, Uds.-en


Let's follow those steps with a few examples:
If you want to translate "I sing"
1. Choose the verb for "to sing:" cantar
2. Write the verb stem: cant
3. Add the ending to match yo: canto

If you want to translate "we swim"
1. Choose the verb for "to swim:" nadar
2. Write the verb stem: nad
3. Add the ending to match nosotros: nadamos

This process is only possible for regular verbs. Be careful! Some of the most common verbs are irregular. For more information about this, see [lesson 6: Irregular verbs].

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