viernes, 17 de febrero de 2012

El presente: verbos regulares

Now that you know that the verb is like a car and that the subject is its driver, all is left is learn to drive!

Conjugating is to the verb, what driving is to a car. As you will soon find out, driving a Spanish car is a little more complex than driving an English one. There are quite a number of rules to learn.

So let's start by the simplest conjugation: driving a regular car in the present tense.

Let's take a verb from the first group (ending in AR):

HABLAR (to speak)

First the ignition: remove the infinitive ending. You are left with:


To get the car moving, we need to add a personal ending. There are different endings depending on who is driving.

If I am driving, the personal ending is -O:
Yo hablo

If you are driving, the personal ending is -AS:
Tú hablas

If he or she is driving, the personal ending is -A:
Él/ella habla

The same ending applies to the formal you:
Usted habla

Now the plural forms (a verb can have multiple drivers at once!):

If we are driving, the personal ending is -AMOS:
Nosotros/nosotras hablamos

If you all are driving, the personal ending is -ÁIS:
Vosotros/vosotras habláis

If they are driving, the personal ending is -AN:
Ellos/ellas hablan

The same ending applies to the formal you all:
Ustedes hablan

Let's recap! 
The personal endings for regular AR verbs are: -o, -as, -a (singular) and -amos, -áis, -an (plural).

Yo hablo                     Nosotros/nosotras hablamos          
Tú hablas                    Vosotros/vosotras habláis
Él/ella habla               Ellos/ellas hablan
Usted habla                Ustedes hablan

As you can see, every person drives a different car. It is as if the car changes color depending on who is driving it. Therefore, we don't need to use the subject personal pronouns: we only use them for reinforcement or in case there could be some confusion (with él, ella or usted, for example).

Hablo español = I speak Spanish.
Yo hablo español = I speak Spanish.

The endings for the ER and IR verbs are very similar. 

LEER (to read)

Yo le                     Nosotros/nosotras leemos
Tú lees                    Vosotros/vosotras leéis
Él/ella lee                Ellos/ellas leen
Usted lee                 Ustedes leen

ESCRIBIR (to write)

Yo escribo              Nosotros/nosotras escribimos
Tú escribes             Vosotros/vosotras escribís
Él/ella escribe        Ellos/ellas escriben
Usted escribe         Ustedes escriben

To summarize, here is a table with the personal endings of the present tense:

Are you ready to drive? 

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