Conjugating the Spanish Verb Leer (to Read) - dummies

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Leer (to Read)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like leer, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs to: regular (follows regular conjugation rules for -ar, -er, and -ir verbs), stem-changing (morphs depending on how you use it in a sentence), spelling-changing (has consonant-spelling changes in some forms to follow pronunciation rules), or reflexive (reflects the action back on the subject of the sentence).

Leer (leh-ehr) (to read) is a regular -er verb, so its conjugation is pretty straightforward. Here it is in the present tense:

The Present Tense of Leer
Conjugation Translation
yo leo I read
tú lees You (informal) read
él/ella/ello/uno lee He/she/one reads
usted lee You (formal) read
nosotros leemos We read
vosotros leéis You all (informal) read
ellos/ellas leen They read
ustedes leen You all (formal) read

The following examples show you leer in action:

  • Nosotros leemos muchas novelas en el verano. (We read many novels in the summer.)

  • Ellas leen el periódico. (They read the newspaper.)

Need to know how to conjugate leer in another tense? The following tables show you the preterit, imperfect, and future forms.

The Preterit Tense of Leer
Conjugation Translation
yo leí I read
tú leíste You (informal) read
él/ella/ello/uno leyó He/she/one read
usted leyó You (formal) read
nosotros leímos We read
vosotros leísteis You all (informal) read
ellos/ellas leyeron They read
ustedes leyeron You all (formal) read

You use the preterit tense like this:

  • Yo leí una bonita poesía ayer. (I read a nice poem yesterday.)

  • Ellos leyeron un libro de historia. (They read a history book.)

The Imperfect Tense of Leer
Conjugation Translation
yo leía I used to read
tú leías You (informal) used to read
él/ella/ello/uno leía He/she/one used to read
usted leía You (formal) used to read
nosotros leíamos We used to read
vosotros leíais You all (informal) used to read
ellos/ellas leían They used to read
ustedes leían You all (formal) used to read

Here are some examples of the imperfect tense:

  • Los estudiantes leían el periódico en clase todos los días. (The students used to read the newspaper in class every day.)

  • Juana leía novelas en el verano. (Juana used to read novels in the summer.)

The Future Tense of Leer
Conjugation Translation
yo leeré I will read
tú leerás You (informal) will read
él/ella/ello/uno leerá He/she/one will read
usted leerá You (formal) will read
nosotros leeremos We will read
vosotros leeréis You all (informal) will read
ellos/ellas leerán They will read
ustedes leerán You all (formal) will read

The following samples put the future tense to work:

  • ¿Leerán los niños sus libros en clase? (Will the children read their books in class?)

  • Sí. Los niños leerán sus libros, y yo leeré el periódico. (Yes. The children will read their books, and I will read the newspaper.)