Ways & How

how to conjugate Spanish words

how to conjugate Spanish words

Learning how to conjugate Spanish words requires memorization of the rules and practice. The conjugation of verb will depend on the subject and tense. First, what are verbs? Verbs are simply action words. In Spanish, there are three kinds of regular Spanish verbs: those ending in -ar, -er, and -ir. Examples of each type are hablar (speak), comer (eat), and escribir (write). Next, what does conjugate means? It means to change a verb to fit the tense and subject. Usually, this involves changing the verb ending. Lastly, what is a verb tense and subject? A tense determines the time like present, past, and future. A subject is what or who the sentence is about like I, you, and we. In Spanish, they are yo (I), usted (you, formal), nosotros (we), ustedes (you, plural), tu (you, familiar), and vosotros (you, plural, familiar) Now, to keep it simple, we will only focus on regular verbs, some subjects, and the present tense. Let’s learn the rules for conjugating Spanish verbs. We will use the three regular verbs mentioned above.

  1. For the subject Yo (I), drop the ending and replace with O.


    hablar – hablo

    comer – como

    escribir - escribo

  2. For the subject usted (you, formal), drop the ending of -ar verbs and replace with A. For both er and -ir verbs, change to E.

    hablar – habla

    comer – come

    escribir – escribe

  3. For the subject nosotros (we), drop the ending and add EMOS for -er verbs, AMOS for -ar verbs, and IMOS for –ir verbs.

    hablar – hablamos

    comer – comemos

    escribir – escribimos

  4. For the subject ustedes (you, plural), drop the ending, add AN for -ar verbs and EN for -er and –ir verbs.

    hablar – hablan

    comer – comen

    escribir – escriben

  5. For the subject tu (you, familiar), drop the ending and add AS for -ar verbs and ES for –er and –ir verbs.

    hablar – hablas

    comer – comes

    escribir – escribes

  6. For the subject vosotros (you, plural form, familiar), drop the ending and change –ar verbs to AIS, -er verbs to EIS and –ir verbs to IS.

    hablar – hablais

    comer – comeis

    escribir – escribis

These rules all apply to regular verbs. There are semi irregular verbs that require different but similar changes. However, with irregular verbs, which unfortunately are some of the most common verbs that we use, are usually completely changed when conjugated. When learning any language, the key to mastery is using it daily. Practice conversing in Spanish with a friend. If you are taking a class, actively participate in the discussion. It is also wise to repeatedly listen to Spanish conversations. It can be from a video or a CD. You can also use a tape recorder to hear yourself and work on your pronunciation. Dedicate yourself to learning. It will be a bit challenging to conjugate in the beginning; but practice makes perfect. Keep working on how to conjugate Spanish words, and you will be a pro in the future. Good luck learning Spanish.


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