Present Tense of Spanish Verbs


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the present tense of regular Spanish verbs. You'll learn how to conjugate the three types of regular Spanish verbs, as well as how to use them in sentences. The next lesson covers some common Spanish verbs that are irregular in the present tense.

Online flashcards and a quiz are included at the end of the lesson to help you learn the present tense of regular Spanish verbs.



To help improve your comprehension of Spanish, read and listen to the following conversation. Practice speaking each line to help improve your spoken Spanish skills.

City Street

Pedro y Ana caminan hacia un restaurante para almorzar. En el camino se encuentran con el amigo de Pedro, Matías.

Pedro: Hola Matías. Te presento a Ana. Ella es de Valencia.

Matías: ¡Mucho gusto Ana!

Ana: ¡Mucho gusto Matías! ¿Tiene usted hambre? Vamos para el almuerzo.

Matías: Tengo hambre, pero tengo que volver al trabajo. Tal vez podamos encontrarnos mañana.

Pedro: ¿Dónde quedamos?

Matías: Quedamos en el café.

Pedro: ¿A qué hora quedamos?

Matías: Quedamos a las nueve.

Ana: Hasta entonces. Adios.

Pedro: Vamos. Alejandro ya está allí.

Pedro and Ana are walking to a restaurant to have lunch. On the way they meet Matías, a friend of Pedro's.

Pedro: Hi Matías. This is Ana. She is from Valencia.

Matías: Nice to meet you Ana!

Ana: Nice to meet you Matías! Are you hungry, we're going for lunch?

Matías: I'm hungry, but I have to get back to work. Maybe we can meet tomorrow.

Pedro: Where should we meet?

Matías: Lets meet at the café.

Pedro: What time should we meet?

Matías: Let's meet at nine.

Ana: See you then, goodbye.

Pedro: Let's go. Alejandro is already there.


Verbs are words that describe an action, state of being, or occurrence. The usage of verbs in Spanish is quite complex and will take some time to master. In this lesson, we look at how to use Spanish verbs in the present tense.

Verb Categories

There are three categories of verbs in the Spanish language, ar, er, and ir verbs. The examples use the following verbs to represent the different categories:

  • hablar - to speak
  • comer - to eat
  • vivir - to live

Verbs in Spanish have many different grammatical endings. Learning Spanish verbs can seem a bit daunting at first, but with a bit of practice, using the correct forms of the verbs will start to come naturally.

Present Tense of Spanish Verbs

The present tense of verbs is used to indicate events that are currently happening, to ask questions about current events, to express opinions, or to ask permission. It is also used to express actions that take place regularly.

The following table shows the present tense for the three categories of Spanish verbs.

hablar (speak) comer (eat) vivir (live)
yo hablo como vivo
hablas comes vives
usted habla come vive
él, ella habla come vive
nosotros hablamos comemos vivimos
vosotros habláis coméis vivís
ustedes hablan comen viven
ellos, ellas hablan comen viven


Common Spanish ar Verbs

The ar category of verbs is the largest category in Spanish. Here are a some common regular ar verbs.

ayudar to help
buscar to look for
cambiar to change
estudiar to study
invitar to invite
llamar to call
nadar to swim
necesitar to need
olvidar to forget
pagar to pay
preguntar to ask
visitar to visit


Here are some examples showing how to use Spanish ar verbs in the present tense.

Note: Subject pronouns are often omitted in Spanish.

listen Necesito una camisa nueva. I need a shirt.
listen Anna estudia español. Anna studies Spanish.
listen Ayudamos a los vecinos. We help the neighbors.
listen Llegamos a la puerta. We are arriving at the gate.
listen Nunca me llaman por la mañana. They never call me in the morning.
listen Nado en la playa. I swim at the beach.
listen ¿Estás buscando las llaves? Are you looking for the keys?
Martín swims in the lake.
Martín nada en el lago.

Common Spanish er Verbs

Here are a few more common regular er verbs.

aprender to learn
beber to drink
correr to run
creer to believe
deber to owe, to have to
leer to read
romper to break
prometer to promise
ver to see
vender to sell


Here are some examples showing how to use Spanish er verbs in the present tense.

listen Bebo un café. I drink coffee.
listen Martín lee un libro. Martín reads a book.
listen Comen en un restaurante. They eat in a restaurant.
listen Vemos las estrellas. We see the stars.
listen ¿Vendes flores? Do you sell flowers
listen Alejandro vende su coche. Alejandro is selling his car.
Sofía lee un libro.
Sofía lee un libro.

Common Spanish ir Verbs

Here are a some common regular ir verbs.

abrir to open
admitir to admit
cubrir to cover
decidir to decide
discutir to discuss, to argue
escribir to write
recibir to receive
subir to climb up
sufrir to suffer


Here are some examples showing how to use Spanish ir verbs in the present tense.

listen Lucía vive con sus padres. Lucía lives with her parents.
listen ¿Vives en Madrid? Do you live in Madrid? (familiar singular)
listen Martín escribe un libro. Martín writes a book.
listen Sufren de una enfermedad. The suffer from an illness.
listen Subimos la colina. We climb the hill
listen Ella decide abrir la puerta. She decides to open the door.
Lucía writes in her notebook.
Lucía escribe en su cuaderno.


This section contains flashcards to help you learn the present tense of Spanish verbs.


Write the sentence using the present tense of the Spanish verb for the verb in parentheses.

Ana ___ una manzana. (eats)

___ con el trabajo. (You help)

¿___ español? (Do they speak)

___ en el lago. (We swim)

Martín ___ un nuevo libro. (writes)


This quiz covers the present tense of the verbs included in this lesson. You can take the quiz as many times as you'd like. Each time the questions will be a bit different.