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LESO The Spanish Present Tense

Published Oct 4, 2013 in Education
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LESO The Spanish Present Tense... Read more

Learn how to conjugate regular Spanish verbs in the present tense and when you can use this tense.

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Presentation Slides & Transcript

Presentation Slides & Transcript

The Spanish Present Tense

When do we use the Spanish present tense?The Spanish present tense often has several equivalents in English. You can use the Spanish present tense for ‘action in progress’ ‘customary actions’ ‘near future actions’‘emphatic statements’‘questions’‘actions that started in the past but are still in progress’ *(when used with the markers hace or desde hace, see last page)Eg. hablo (the yo form of the present tense of hablar) can mean ….I am speaking 2) I speak 3) I will speak 4) I do speak5) do I speak? and 6)* I have been speaking

To start this lesson let's discuss some common grammatical terms that you are likely to come across as you endeavor to learn Spanish.What is a verb?A verb is a word used to describe an action, state of being, or an occurrence.

2. What is an infinitive?It is the basic form of the verb which hasn’t been manipulated at all.In English the infinitive forms generally begin with the word ‘to’. To eat, to drink, to drive, to run etcIn Spanish all infinitives end with either er, ir or ar. Eg. comer (to eat), escribir (to write), hablar (to speak)

What is a tense?Tenses have to do with time.   The tenses show the time (or sometimes the completeness or the continuance) of an action, state of being, or occurrence as shown by a verb. There are three main verb tenses - present, past and future.I ate (past), I eat (present), I will eat (future)

What is a subject?In a sentence, every verb must have a subject.If the verb expresses an action, eg. eat, drink, drive, run etc., the subject is who or what does the action of that verb.He is driving.The boy is driving.The instructor is petrified.The car is moving.The subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that is doing or being something.

The following sentences have their subject marked in red. The subject is sometimes a person but not always.Paul is learning Spanish.Look at the dog run. The bag is sitting on the table. Are the children going to school today?

What is a subject pronoun?Subject pronouns replace the subjects in a sentence.Paul  heSamantha  shethe children  theythe shoes  theythe monkey  itKieran & I  weMum  you (if you’re talking directly to her)They are handy as they help us avoid repeating ourselves over and over.The dog was running. The dog It could run very fast. When the dog reached the river the dog it had a swim.

Spanish & English PronounsENGLISH SPANISHI yo (1st person singular)you tú, usted (2nd person singular)he, she, it, él, ella (3rd person singular)we nosotros (1st person pluralyou (pl.) ustedes (2nd person plural)they ellos (3rd person plural)

What does it mean to conjugate a verb?To conjugate a verb means to manipulate the infinitive so that it agrees with the different possible subjects and to reflect the tense you want to use, so that it shows when something happens.This is often done by adding letters or otherwise changingthe ending of the verb infinitive.The English verb ‘to eat’ conjugated in the present tense, looks like this:I eat, you eat, he eats, we eat, they eatThe Spanish verb ‘comer’ conjugated in the present tense looks like this:yo como, tú comes, él come, nosotros comemos, ellos comen

In the English present tense (apart from the verb ‘to be’ and modal verbs) there is only one change when you conjugate a verb for each person.Did you notice with the verb ‘to eat’ everyone just used ‘eat’ except for he/she/it eats.In Spanish however the conjugation for nearly every person is different.But don’t panic many, many verbs are ‘regular’ – so you can just learn one set of endings and you will use them to conjugate all these regular verbs.

Here are the present tense endings for regular Spanish verbs -AR Verbs -ER Verbs -IR Verbsyo -o -o -otú -as -es -esél, ella, usted -a -e -enosotros/as -amos -emos -imosustedes/ellos/as -an -en -en

How to conjugate a verb in the present tense In SpanishTake your verb infinitive.hablar, comer, vivirRemove the last two lettershablar, comer, vivirAdd the correct present tense endings depending on whether your verb was an –ar, -er or –ir verbhablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, hablanI speak, you speak, he/she/it/ speaks / you speak, we speak, they/you (pl) speakcomo, comes, come, comemos, comenI eat, you eat, he/she/it eats, you eat, we eat, they/you (pl) eatvivo, vives, vive, vivimos, vivenI live, you live, he/she/it lives / you live, we live, they/you (pl) live

Which verbs are regular?The list is really to long to mention but here are some to get you started …Abrir – to open, Acabar – to finish, to end, to complete, Adorar – to worship, Agarrar – to grab, seize, get hold of, Alimentar – to feed, Aprender – to learn , Asistir – to attend (don’t be tricked this doesn’t mean to assist!), Asustar – to scare, frighten, Bailar – to dance, Cambiar – to change, Comer – to eat, Comprar – to buy, Comprender – to comprehend, to understand, Confundir – to confuse, mess things up, Contestar – to answer, Correr – to run, Cubrir – to cover, Desayunar – to eat breakfast, Describir – to describir, Disfrutar – to enjoy, to take enjoyment in, Duchar – to shower, Escribir – to write, Escuchar – to listen, to hear, Faltar – to lack, miss, Funcionar – to work, function (as in equipment etc), Limpiar – to clean, wipe, Orar – to pray, Permitir – to allow Manejar – to manage, drive, handle, operate (a vehicle), Preguntar – to ask (a question), Quedar – to stay, Saludar – to greet, say hello, Recibir – to receive, Regresar – to return, go back, give back, Romper – to break, break up with, to tear, Tejer – to crochet, knit, weave, braid, Tomar – to drink (take, figuratively), Tratar – to treat, to try

So let’s see what you’ve learnt …Fill in the gaps, completing the conjugation for the following verbs:agarrar (to grab), escribir (to write), comprar (to buy), escuchar (to listen), romper (to break), yo ________ nosotros __________ tú ________ él, ella, Ud. _______ ellos, Uds. _________

Did you say ….agarrar (to grab), yo agarro, tú agarras, él agarra, nosotros agarramos, ellos agarranescribir (to write), yo escribo, tú escribes, él escribe, nosotros escribimos, ellos escriben comprar (to buy), yo compro, tú compras, él compras,nosotros compramos, ellos compranescuchar (to listen), yo escucho, tú escuchas, él escucha, nosotros escuchamos, ellos escuchan romper (to break), yo rompo, tú rompes, él rompe,nosotros rompemos, ellos rompenIf so, well done, you are now ready to move on to irregular verbs in the present tense but that will be in another lesson!

A note on using the present tense to refer to actions that began in the past but continue into the presentHace + time expressions Desde hace + time expressionsTo refer to action that began in the past but that is still continuing English speakers tend to use the present perfect tense; I have been …But this is not always necessary in Spanish – one common example is when using ‘hace’ (the present tense form of hacer) with time expressions.I've been studying Spanish for a month.Hace un mes que estudio español. Estudio español desde hace un mes. NB: the hace clause may be used either before or after the main verb; if used afterwards, desde is inserted before hace.