Taming the Tenses: All You Need to Know About Spanish Verb Conjugation

Elly Kim7 min
Created: Oct 20, 2023Last updated: Mar 7, 2024
Spanish Verb Conjugation

Effective and accurate communication depends on various factors, and Spanish verb conjugation is one of the most essential ones. While this name might sound like a mouthful of linguistic jargon, it is simply the process of changing a verb’s form to express various grammatical elements. Today, we’ll do our best to provide you with an exhaustive explanation of conjugation and its nuances. So buckle up, and let’s dive right into it!

The Role of Verb Conjugation: Expressing Tense, Mood, and Person

In Spanish, as in many other languages, verbs are a fundamental component of communication. When you say, “I run,” the verb “run” tells us the action (running) and who is performing it (I). Similarly, in Spanish, verbs carry the same essential information. However, the complexity arises when we consider the different tenses, moods, and persons that verbs can convey, which brings us to the concept of conjugation:

  • tense indicates when an action takes place;
  • mood expresses the speaker’s attitude or the reality of the action;
  • person reveals who is performing the action.

To understand Spanish conjugation better, it is essential to memorize all the nuances related to Spanish verbs. They can be categorized into two main groups – regular and irregular. Below, we will give you more information about each category and its conjugation patterns.

Regular Verb Conjugation Spanish: Explained

Regular verbs follow predictable patterns when conjugated, making them relatively easier to learn. They adhere to specific conjugation rules based on their ending, which can be categorized into three groups: -ar, -er, and -ir. For example, “hablar” (to speak), “comer” (to eat), and “vivir” (to live) are all regular verbs, each belonging to one of the three conjugation groups.

Regular verbs in Spanish are your best friends when it comes to learning the basics of verb conjugation. They follow predictable patterns, making it easier to understand and apply the rules. All you need to do is identify the infinitive form of the verb, remove the infinitive ending, and add the appropriate ending based on the subject of the sentence. Here is a general Spanish conjugation table for regular verbs in the Present Tense.

Pronoun-AR endings-ER endings-IR endings
Yo (I)-o-o-o
Tú (you)-as-es-es
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)-a-e-e
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)-amos-emos-imos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) -áis-éis-ís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)-an-en-en

To better understand how to conjugate verbs in Spanish, look at these detailed examples for each verb group.

Yo (I)HabloComoVivo
Tú (you)HablasComesVives
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)HablaComeVive
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)HablamosComemosVivimos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) HabláisComéisVivís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)HablanComenViven

Conjugation in Preterite Tense

And now that you know Spanish verb endings used for Present Tense conjugation, it is time to explore other tenses and their rules. Let’s start with the Preterite Tense.

Pronoun-AR endings-ER and -IR endings
Yo (I)
Tú (you)-aste-iste
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)-ió
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)-amos-imos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) -asteis-isteis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)-aron-ieron

Here are examples of conjugating Spanish verbs in Preterite Tense using already familiar verbs “hablar,” “comer,” and “vivir.”

Yo (I)HabléComíViví
Tú (you)HablasteComisteViviste
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)HablóComióVivió
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)HablamosComimosVivimos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) HablasteisComisteisVivisteis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)HablaronComieronVivieron

Conjugation in Imperfect Tense

How do you conjugate a verb in Spanish when it comes to the Imperfect Tense? Well, the pattern is the same – simply by changing the ending. Look at the table below for a more detailed overview.

Pronoun-AR endings-ER and -IR endings
Yo (I)-aba-ía
Tú (you)-abas-ías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)-aba-ía
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)-ábamos-íamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) -abais-íais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)-aban-ían

To spice things up a little bit, let’s explore other verb examples in Spanish. Here’s how to conjugate the words “cantar” (to sing), “beber” (to drink), and “escribir” (to write) in Imperfect Tense. 

Yo (I)CantabaBebíaEscribía
Tú (you)CantabasBebíasEscribías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)CantabaBebíaEscribía
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)CantábamosBebíamosEscribíamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) CantabaisBebíaisEscribías
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)CantabanBebíanEscribían

Conjugation in Future Tense

You already know that conjugation in different tenses is different for verbs with various endings. However, in this case, the situation changes. In Future Tense, you need to use the same endings for all -er, -ar, and -ir verbs.

Pronoun-AR, -ER, -IR endings
Yo (I)
Tú (you)-ás
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)-emos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) -éis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)-án

Let’s see how it works with different examples of verbs in Spanish.

Yo (I)BailaréCorreréPartiré
Tú (you)BailarásCorrerásPartirás
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)BailaráCorreráParitrá
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)BailaremosCorreremosPartiremos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) BailaréisCorréisPartiréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)BailaránCorreránPartirán

Conjugation in Conditional Tense

The last tense in our list is the Conditional one. Here, like in the previous example, we use the same endings for conjugating all regular verbs. 

Pronoun-AR, -ER, -IR endings
Yo (I)-ía
Tú (you)-ías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)-ía
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)-íamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) -íais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)-ían

When conjugating regular verbs in Conditional Tense, we add the appropriate ending to the whole infinitive form of the verb. 

Yo (I)GanaríaAprenderíaSubiría
Tú (you)GanaríasAprenderíasSubirías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)GanaríaAprenderíaSubiría
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)GanaríamosAprenderíamosSubiríamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) GanaríaisAprenderíaisSubiríais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)GanaríanAprenderíanSubirían


Irregular Verb Conjugation: Rules and Examples

Irregular verbs in Spanish are the ones that do not follow the regular conjugation patterns typically associated with their respective verb endings. Instead, they have unique conjugations in one or more tenses or moods. In this explanation, we will cover different types of irregular verbs in Spanish.

Irregular Stem-changing Verbs

These verbs have changes in their stem in some conjugations, while others remain regular. The most common types are -e to -ie, -o to -ue, and -e to -i stem changes. Here are some examples:

  • -e to -ie stem-changing verbs: “pensar” (to think)
PronounPresent TensePast TenseFuture Tense
Yo (I)PiensoPenséPensaré
Tú (you)PiensasPensastePensarás
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)PiensaPensóPensará
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)PensamosPensamosPensaremos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) PensáisPensasteisPensaréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)PiensanPensaronPensarán
  • -o to -ue stem-changing verbs: “poder” (to be able to)
PronounPresent TensePast TenseFuture Tense
Yo (I)PuedoPudePodré
Tú (you)PuedesPudistePodrás
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)PuedePudoPodrá
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)PodemosPudimosPodremos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) PodéisPudisteisPodréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)PuedenPudieronPodrán
  • -e to -i stem-changing verbs: “sentir” (to feel)
PronounPresent TensePast TenseFuture Tense
Yo (I)SienteSentíSentiré
Tú (you)SientesSentisteSentirás
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)SienteSintióSentirá
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)SentimosSentimosSentiremos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) SentísSentisteisSentiréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)SientenSintieronSentirán

Irregular “Yo” Form Verbs

Some verbs have irregular “yo” forms in the present tense. These irregularities affect only the first-person singular (yo) conjugation. Examples include “hacer” (to do/make), “decir” (to say), and “salir” (to go out).

Yo (I)HagoDigoSalgo
Tú (you)HacesDicesSales
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)HaceDiceSale
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)HacemosDecimosSalimos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) HacéisDecísSalís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)HacenDicenSalen

Irregular Preterite Verbs

The preterite tense in Spanish is often where irregular verbs show the most variation. Some common examples include the words “tener” (to have), “estar” (to be), and “venir” (to come).

Yo (I)TuveEstuveVine
Tú (you)TuvisteEstuvisteViniste
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)TuvoEstuvoVino
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)TuvimosEstuvimosVinimos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) TuvisteisEstuvistesVinisteis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)TuvieronEstuvieronVinieron

Irregular Future and Conditional Verbs

The Future and Conditional tenses share irregular stems for some verbs, and they use the same endings. For instance, “decir” (to say) and “hacer” (to do/make) follow this pattern:

  • Decir.
PronounFuture TenseConditional Tense
Yo (I)DiréDiría
Tú (you)DirásDirías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)DiráDiría
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)DiremosDiríamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) DiréisDiríais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)DiránDirían
  • Hacer.
PronounFuture TenseConditional Tense
Yo (I)Haré Haría
Tú (you)HarásHarías
Él/Ella/Usted (he/she/you formal)Hará Haría 
Nosotros/Nosotras (we)HaremosHaríamos
Vosotros/Vosotras (you all, informal) HaréisHaríais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes (they/you all, formal)HaránHarían

Learning irregular verbs and their conjugations is an essential part of becoming proficient in Spanish, and it can be challenging due to the wide variety of patterns and rules. However, with practice and exposure to the language, you can master these irregularities and become a more confident Spanish speaker.

Conjugating Verbs in Spanish with Promova

Spanish conjugation can be challenging not only for beginners but even for advanced learners. With all the rules and patterns to memorize, it is really difficult to comprehend it all without proper resources. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that, as we have the solution for you. 

The Promova app is a great option for those aiming to master a new language. Here, you can find numerous tools for studying German, Spanish, English, Korean, French, and other languages. Our interactive lessons are created by certified tutors, providing you with engaging and helpful information. 

The application is available for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to practice whenever and wherever you want. Here, you can learn new foreign words and conjugation rules Spanish, practice listening and speaking, track your progress, and much more. Install the application today and begin your path towards fluency.


To sum up, we can say that although Spanish conjugation is quite a tricky topic, with access to proper resources, you can easily understand all the rules and memorize the essential pattern. We hope that today’s article was helpful, and we are looking forward to seeing you in the next one!


What is the difference between ustedes and vosotros?

Ustedes is the formal second-person plural pronoun in Spanish. It is used to show respect or politeness when addressing a group of people, similar to “you all” or “you guys” in English. Ustedes conjugation is the same as “ellos” and “ellas.” Vosotros is the informal second-person plural pronoun primarily used in Spain. It follows a different conjugation pattern than ustedes.

Are there any irregular subjunctive verbs?

Yes, some verbs have irregular stems in the subjunctive mood, particularly in the Present Subjunctive. Examples include “saber” (to know), “conocer” (to know/meet), and “dar” (to give).

What is the difference between ser and estar?

Both are irregular verbs meaning “to be.” However, there is a difference in their meaning. Ser is used to describe inherent or permanent qualities, such as identity, origin, occupation, and characteristics. Estar describes temporary conditions, locations, emotions, and states. It’s for situations that can change.

Are there any tips or tricks for memorizing conjugations more easily?

Sure, there are many of them! The first one is to focus on common patterns – it will help you easily understand the main conjugation forms for both regular and irregular verbs. Also, you can try learning by pronouns – just focus on one at a time and try to conjugate verbs for that pronoun in different tenses. Finally, remember that consistent practice is crucial for memorizing these rules. Don’t forget to dedicate some time to it each day.


PromovaNov 7th, 2023
Verb conjugation is essential in Spanish because it determines the tense, mood, and voice of a verb. It reflects the time of an action, the speaker's attitude, and whether the action is active or passive. Without proper conjugation, it's challenging to communicate accurately in Spanish.
LUCASNov 7th, 2023
why is verb conjugation important in the spanish language?