09 September 2018

Presente de indicativo: regular and common irregular verbs

The presente de indicativo (similar to the present simple in English) in Spanish is the first tense you will learn in a Spanish class. Knowing this simple tense is very useful as it is the first step to communicating actions, thoughts and ideas. The presente de indicativo can be used used to describe an action happening at the moment or in the very near future, to describe a routine or repeated actions, or to allude to stable and permanent situations.

Presente de indicativo: regular and common irregular verbs

Use of presente de indicativo

The presente de indicativo is used to express:

  • Facts
    Ella se llama Juanita. (She is called Juanita.)
    Tiene pelo rubio. (She has blonde hair.)
  • Actions in the present
    Yo como una manzana. (I eat an apple.)
  • Routines or frequent actions
    Cada viernes juega al tenis. (Every Friday, she plays tennis.)
  • Characteristics or general truths
    ex: Los mexicanos hablan español. (Mexicans speak Spanish.)
    Los perros ladran. (Dogs bark.)
  • The amount of time an action has been taking place
    Ella vive aquí desde hace tres anos. (She has lived here for three years.)
  • Future actions accompanied by a time expression
    El tren llega a las dos de la tarde. (The train arrives at two in the afternoon.)

Conjugation of presente de indicativo

There are three endings to Spanish verbs: -AR, -ER, or -IR. To make presente indicativo, we remove the ending of the verb and add the appropriate ending according to pronoun.

-AR hablar -ER comer -IR vivir
yo hablo como vivo
hablas comes vives
él/ella/usted habla come vive
nosotros/-as hablamos comemos vivimos
vosotros/-as habláis coméis vivís
ellos/ellas/ustedes hablan comen viven

Common irregular verbs

These are some of the most common Spanish verbs that you will most likely be using on a daily basis. The best thing is to memorize them as soon as you can: ser (to be), estar (to be), ir (to go), oir (to hear), oler (to smell).

SER ESTAR IR OIR OLER
yo soy estoy voy oigo huelo
eres estás vas oyes hueles
él/ella/usted es está va oye huele
nosotros/-as somos estamos vamos oímos olemos
vosotros/-as sois estáis vais oís oléis
ellos/ellas/ustedes son están van oyen huelen

Once you remember the endings, conjugating the present can be quite easy! If you’re looking to learn even more, take a look at the Spanish courses we offer.