Verb conjugations

It is called verb conjugations, verb inflections or verbal paradigms to the different models by which a verb is modified. In the case of the Spanish language, the verb is capable of representing time, aspect, mode, person and number.

Three types of verb conjugations are recognized, from which a series of basic rules are derived that apply to regular verbs. Namely:

  • First conjugation (-ar)
  • Second conjugation (-er)
  • Third conjugation (-ir)

When putting verb conjugations into practice, it should be taken into account that verbs are divided into two parts (with the exception of some irregular verbs):

  • Root or radical, which corresponds to the first part of the verb, which remains unchanged.
  • Desinence or ending, which corresponds to the second part of the verb, which is modified with particles that express mode, time, aspect, person and number. In addition, it usually includes a thematic vowel that indicates the type of conjugation.

For example, let's analyze the morphology of the verb "to walk" conjugated in the past imperfect of the third person plural: they walked.

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  • Conjugation.
  • Verb.
  • Verb tenses.

First conjugation (-ar)

Corresponds to verbs ending in the suffix "ar". For example, the infinitive verbs love, help, sing.

Its thematic vowel is "a". For example, "Miguel am-a-ba to his pet."

The structure of the participle in the first conjugation is as follows: root + adored. For example, "Andrea has helped serve lunch."

The structure of the gerund in the first conjugation is: root + I walk. For example, "The choir is singing in church."

To give an example of the first conjugation, let's conjugate the verb "sing".

Indicative mood (simple tenses)

PersonPresentCopreterite or
Preterite
imperfectPreterite
or Pret.
perfect
simpleFuture or
Future
simplePost-past or
conditional
simpleMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theysinging
do you sing
sings
we sang
they sing
you sing
they singsang
you sang
sang
we sang
they sang
you sang
they sangsing
singing
singing
we sang
they sang
sang
they sangi will sing
you will sing
will sing
we will sing
they will sing
will sing
they will singwould sing
would sing
would sing
we would sing
would sing
would sing
would sing

Indicative mode (compound tenses)

PersonPret. perf.
compound or
before presentPreterite
pluscuamperf.
or antecopreterite

Preterite
previous or
antepreterite

Me
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyI have sung
You have sang
has sung
We have sung
They have sung
have sung
They have sunghad sung
had sung
had sung
we had sung
they had sung
had sung
they had sungI will have sung
would you have sung
had sung
we will have sung
they had sung
would have sung
they had sungPersonFuture
compound
or futureConditional
compound or
antepos-
preterite

Me
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / They

I will have sung
will have sung
will have sung
we will have sung
they will have sung
will have sung
they will have sungwould have sung
would have sung
would have sung
we would have sung
they would have sung
would have sung
they would have sung

Subjunctive mood (simple tenses)

Person

Present

Pret. imperfect
or past

Simple future
or futureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theysing
sing
sing
let's sing
sing
you sing
singsing
you will sing
sing
we would sing
they will sing
you will sing
they will singI will sing
songs
I will sing
we will sing
sing in
you will sing
sing in

Subjunctive mood (compound tenses)

Person

Pret. perf. comp. or
before present

Pret.
pluscuam-
perfect or
antepreterite

Future
compound
or futureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theyhave sung
have sung
have sung
we will have sung
have sung
have sung
have sung

would have * sung
would have sung
I would have sung
we would have sung
they would have sung
would have sung
they would have sung

would have sung
you would have sung
would have sung
we would have sung
they would have been singing
would have sung
they would have sung

(*) You can also use the form would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have.

Imperative mode

AffirmativeNegativesing (you)
sing (you)
let's sing (we)
sing (you)
sing (you)
they sing

Don `t sing
Don't sing
Let's not sing
Don't sing
Do not sing
Don't sing

Second conjugation (-er)

Corresponds to verbs ending in the suffix "er". For example, eat, fear, sew.

Its thematic vowel, therefore, is the "e". For example, "You guys eat really fast."

The structure of the participle is as follows: root + gone. For example, "Rafael has sewn the hem".

The structure of the gerund is: root + going. For example, "Ines is afraid that the traffic will collapse."

To give an example of the second conjugation, let's conjugate the verb "eat".

Indicative mood (simple tenses)

PersonPresentCopreterite or
Imperfect pastPast or
Pret. perf. simpleFuture or
Simple futurePost-past or
Simple conditionalMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyWhat
you eat
eat
we eat
eat
you eat
eatI used to eat
you ate
I used to eat
we ate
ate
you ate
ateate
You ate
ate
we ate
ate
you ate
ateI will eat
you will eat
will eat
we will eat
will eat
will eat
will eatwould eat
would you eat
would eat
we would eat
would eat
would eat
would eat

Indicative mode (compound tenses)

PersonPret. perf.
compound or
before presentPret.
pluscuam-
perfect or
antecopreteritePret. previous
or
antepreteriteMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyI have eaten
Have you eaten
has eaten
We have eaten
they have eaten
have eaten
they have eatenI had eaten
had eaten
I had eaten
We had eaten
they had eaten
you had eaten
they had eatenI have eaten
would you have eaten
had eaten
we will have eaten
they had eaten
would have eaten
they had eatenPersonFuture
compound
or futureConditional
compound or
antepos-
preteriteMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyI will have eaten
will have eaten
will have eaten
will have eaten
will have eaten
will have eaten
will have eatenwould have eaten
would have eaten
would have eaten
will have eaten
they would have eaten
would have eaten
they would have eaten

Subjunctive mood (simple tenses)

Person

Present

Pret. imperfect
or past

Simple future
or futureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theyeat
commas
eat
let's eat
eat
eat
eateat
would you eat
eat
we would eat
eat
you would eat
eateat
will you eat
eat
we will eat
eat
you will eat
eat

Subjunctive mood (compound tenses)

Person

Pret. perf. comp.
or before present

Pret. pluscuam-
perfect or
antepreterite

Future
compound
or antefutureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theyhave eaten
have eaten
have eaten
we have eaten
have eaten
have eaten
have eatenwould've eaten
you would have eaten
would've eaten
we would have eaten
they would have eaten
would have eaten
they would have eatenwould have eaten
would you have eaten
would have eaten
we would have eaten
they would have eaten
would have eaten
they would have eaten

(*) You can also use the form would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have.

Imperative mode

AffirmativeNegativeeat you)
eat (you)
let's eat (we)
eat (you)
eat (you)
eat (they or they)

Do not eat
Do not eat
Let's not eat
Do not eat
Do not eat
Do not eat

Third conjugation (-ir)

Corresponds to verbs ending in the suffix "go". For example, depart, define, live.

The thematic vowel is "i". For example, "Juan Carlos will go to Brazil next week."

The structure of the participle is as follows: root + gone. For example, "Luis and Marta have defined their situation as favorable."

The structure of the gerund is: root + going. For example, "Maria is living in Santa Lucia."

To give an example of the third conjugation, let's conjugate the verb "to live".

Indicative mood (simple tenses)

PersonPresentCopreterite or
Imperfect pastPast or
Pret. perf. simpleFuture or
Simple futurePost-past or
Simple conditionalMe
Your
He / They
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theyalive
do you live
it lives
we live
they live
you live
they liveshe lived
you lived
she lived
we lived
they lived
you lived
they livedi lived
you lived
lived
we live
they lived
you lived
they livedI will live
you will live
will live
we will live
will live
you will live
will livewould live
would you live
would live
we would live
would live
would you live
would live

Indicative mode (compound tenses)

PersonPret. perf.
compound or
before presentPret.
pluscuam-
perfect or
antecopreteritePret. previous
or
antepreteriteMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyI have lived
you've lived
has lived
we have lived
they have lived
you have lived
they have livedhad lived
you had lived
had lived
we had lived
they had lived
you had lived
they had livedI have lived
have you lived
had lived
we will have lived
have lived
would you have lived
have livedPersonFuture
compound
or futureConditional
compound or
antepos-
preteriteMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / TheyI will have lived
will have lived
will have lived
we will have lived
will have lived
will have lived
will have livedwould have lived
would have lived
would have lived
we would have lived
would have lived
would have lived
would have lived

Subjunctive mood (simple tenses)

Person

Present

Pret. imperfect
or past

Simple future
or futureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theylive
alive
live
let's live
live
live
livelive
you live
live
we would live
would live
would live
would livelive
will you live
live
we will live
will live
will live
will live

Subjunctive mood (compound tenses)

Person

Pret. perf. comp.
or before present

Pret. pluscuam-
perfect or
antepreterite

Future
compound
or futureMe
Your
He she
U.S
you guys
You
They / Theyhave lived
have you lived
have lived
we have lived
have lived
have lived
have livedwould * have lived
would have lived
would have lived
we would have lived
would have lived
would have lived
would have livedwould have lived
would you have lived
would have lived
we would have lived
would have lived
would have lived
would have lived

(*) You can also use the form would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have / would have.

Imperative mode

AffirmativeNegativelive your)
alive (you)
let's live (we)
live (you)
live (you)
live (they or they)

Do not live
Do not live
Let's not live
Do not live
Do not live
Do not live

NOTE

It is important to note that, in some cases, the thematic vowel may be absent or altered. These cases are as follows:

  • The first person present tense of the indicative mood in all three types of conjugations. For example, I sing, like, I live.
  • In all present persons of the subjunctive mood of the three types of conjugations. For example, sing, eat, live.
  • The first and third person of the past tense of the first and second conjugations. For example, I sang, ate / sang, ate.

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