How to Form Simple Tenses with Regular Spanish Verbs

Part of the Spanish Verbs For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The regular Spanish verbs that end in -ar, -er, and -ir take a pretty regular method in forming simple tenses. You start with the stem of the word and add an ending according to the person or pronoun you use. The following tables show how to change tenses for -ar verbs (hablar, to speak is the example) and -er and -ir verbs, in which comer, to eat, and vivir, to live, are the examples.

Simple Tenses of Regular –ar Verbs
Tense Stem yo él, ella, usted nosotros/as vosotros/as ellos/as, ustedes
Present habl + -o -as -a -amos -áis -an
Imperfect habl + -aba -abas -aba -ábamos -abais -aban
Preterit habl + -aste -amos -asteis -aron
Future hablar + -ás -emos -éis -án
Conditional hablar + -ía -ías -ía -íamos -íais -ían
Present Subjunctive habl + -e -es -e -emos -éis -en
Imperfect Subjunctive habl + -ara -aras -ara -áramos -arais -aran
Imperfect Subjunctive (alternative) habl + -ase -ases -ase -ásemos -aseis -asen

The first imperfect subjunctive form is the one most commonly used, not the alternative.

Simple Tenses of Regular -er and –ir Verbs
Tense Stem yo él, ella, usted nosotros/as vosotros/as ellos/as, ustedes
Present com/viv + -o -es -e/-a -emos/-imos -éis/-ís -en
Imperfect com/viv + -ía -ías -ía -íamos -íais -ían
Preterit com/viv + -iste -ió -imos -isteis -ieron
Future comer/vivir + -ás -emos -éis -án
Conditional comer/vivir + -ía -ías -ía -íamos -íais -ían
Present Subjunctive com/viv + -a -as -a -amos -áis -an
Imperfect Subjunctive com/viv + -iera -ieras iera -iéramos -ierais -ieran
Imperfect Subjunctive (alternative) com/viv + -iese -ieses -iese -iésemos -ieseis -iesen
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Spanish Verbs For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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