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 Acciones: Los verbos
Actions: Verbs

 

Overview

  1. Main characteristics of the Spanish verb system
  2. Present tense indicative
  3. Preterite
  4. Imperfect
  5. Perfect tenses
  6. Subjunctive
  7. Commands

 

PRINCIPALES CARACTERÍSTICAS DEL SISTEMA VERBAL EN ESPAÑOL
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPANISH VERB SYSTEM

Verbs reflect the subject in their endings.

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[llega Elena 0:05-0:08]

 ¡Ya estamos aquí!
We are here already.

Subjects do not always appear explicitly, because the verbs have endings that indicate the subject.

Besides not needing an explicit subject in every sentence, Spanish is flexible regarding the subject position, which can appear before or after the verb, and not only in questions.

INSERT MINICLIP

Nos lo recomendó Andrea.
Andrea recommended it to us.

-¿Donde está mi celular?   –Tu celular está en la mesa.
-Where’s my cellphone?   -Your cellphone is on the table.

Me dijo mi hermana que estás estudiando biología.
My sister told me you are studying biology.

En esa fiesta nos conocimos mi marido y yo.
At that party my husband and I met.

study_new Subject pronouns

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-¿De dónde eres?
Soy de Italia. Soy el asistente de italiano.

The endings of verbs are formed (conjugated) according to the infinitive endings: -ar/-er/-ir.

Infinitive endings determine the conjugation, that is, all other endings for the verb, besides any internal irregularity the verb may have.

CONJUGACIONES
10 most frequent verbs for each infinitive ending

-ar  -er  -ir
hablar  to speak
estar  to be
dar 
to give
escuchar 
to listen (to)
necesitar   to need
mirar   to watch
jugar   to play
tomar    to take
andar  
to walk
buscar  
to look for
ser   to be
comer   to eat
beber   to drink
tener   to have
poder 
to be able (can)
poner to put
hacer   to do/make
querer   to want
entender   to understand
saber   to know
vivir   to live
ir  
to go
decir   to say
abrir  
to open
dormir  
to sleep
escribir  
to write
oír  
to hear
salir   to leave
sentir   to feel
preferir   to prefer

In terms of regularity, there are 3 kinds of verbs, depending to what happens to the stem (or root) when the verb is conjugated. The stem is the infinitive minus -ar/-er/-ir  endings:
estudi-ar     extend-er     asist-ir

A verb is not always stem-changing or irregular in every tense.

Patterns of regularity for verbs
Regular
no stem changes
Stem-changing
predictable stem changes

Irregular
unpredictable changes; irregular verbs are high frequency 

Conjugated verbs also indicate tense (time) and mood (real versus potential or subjective), or commands.

120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg In Wespañol, the only tenses presented are the present of indicative and subjunctive, the past tenses of the indicative, and commands.

Tenses Moods

present

past: preterite, imperfect, present perfect, pluperfect

future

conditional

indicative

subjunctive

commands

There are 3 verbal constructions in Spanish that appear very frequently but don’t have exact English equivalents.

study_new Verbs like gustar (to like)
study_new Reflexive verbs (actions affecting oneself)
study_new Se + verb (impersonal actions)

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EL TIEMPO PRESENTE DE INDICATIVO
PRESENT TENSE INDICATIVE 
USES ENDINGS
  • Recurrent actions in the present

Me levanto a las 8 todos los días.
I get up at 8 every day.

  • Generalizations

Hace frío en invierno.
It is cold in winter.

  •  Actions in development at the present moment: estar + -ando / -iendo

Me estoy levantando ahora mismo.
I’m getting up right now.

Están comiendo en la cafetería.
They are eating in the cafeteria.

  • Historic present

Obama llega a la Casa Blanca en enero de 2009.
Obama arrives at the White House in January of 2009.

  • Planned future actions ir a + infinitive

Mañana voy a levantarme a las 10.
Tomorrow I’m going to get up at 10.

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-¿Y dónde vives?
-And where do you live?
-Ahora vivo en la misma casa que Javier.
-Now I live in the same house as Javier.

 

 

The ending forms are presented below according to regularity patterns: 

verbos regulares verbos con cambios en la raíz verbos irregulares

120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg For space efficiency, conjugations are presented without the subject pronouns, according to the following pattern:

yo  / tú  / usted-él-ella / nosotras-nosotros /  ustedes-ellas-ellos
Example: ayudar:  ayudo / ayudas / ayuda / ayudamos / ayudan

VERBOS REGULARES

ar
ayudar   to help

ayudo / ayudas  / ayuda / ayudamos / ayudan

-er 
correr    to run

corro / corres / corre / corremos / corren

-ir
asistir    to attend

asisto / asistes / asiste / asistimos / asisten

amar    to love
bailar   to dance  
caminar   to walk
cantar   to sing
comprar   to buy
contestar   to answer
crear   to create 
dejar   to leave 
lavar   to wash 
llamar   to call 
llegar   to arrive

mandar   to send 
olvidar   to forget 
pagar   to pay 
preguntar   to ask
regresar   to return
terminar   to finish
tocar to touch
trabajar   to work
viajar   to travel

aprender   to learn
comprender   to understand
creer   to believe
deber   to owe
leer   to read
meter   to place
romper   to break
temer   to fear
vender   to sell
admitir    to admit
decidir   to decide
describir   to describe
descubrir   to discover
existir   to exist
permitir   to allow
recibir   to receive
subir   to ascend
sufrir   to suffer
unir   to join

 

VERBOS CON CAMBIOS EN LA RAÍZ: PRESENTE DE INDICATIVO
STEM-CHANGING VERBS: PRESENT INDICATIVE
Patterned changes in the stressed (strong) vowel of the stem
change in the stem vowel examples other verbs
e -> i

-ir:
pedir: pido / pides / pide  / pedimos / piden

reír(se)    to laugh
repetir    to repeat
seguir    to follow
sonreír   to smile
e -> ie -ar:
pensar: pienso / piensas / piensa / pensamos/ piensan
cerrar   to close
comenzar   to begin
despertar(se)   to wake
empezar   to begin
sentar(se)   to sit (down)
-er:
querer: quiero / quieres / quiere / queremos / quieren
defender   to defend
entender   to understand
perder   to lose
-ir:
preferir: prefiero / prefieres / prefiere / preferimos / prefieren
divertir(se)   to have fun
mentir   to lie
sentir(se)   to feel
o -> ue -ar:
encontrar: encuentro / encuentras / encuentra / encontramos / encuentran
contar   to count/tell
probar   to try
recordar   to remember
soñar   to dream
-er:
poder: puedo / puedes / puede / podemos / pueden
devolver   to return something
soler   to usually do
volver   to return
-ir:
dormir: duermo / duermes / duerme / dormimos / duermen

morir   to die

VERBOS IRREGULARES
All are irregular at least in the yo form.
conocer   to know conozco / conoces / conoce / conocemos / conocen
dar   to give doy / das / da / damos / dan
decir   to say
digo / dices / dice / decimos / dicen
estar   to be
estoy / estás / está / estamos / están
hacer   to do, to make
hago / haces / hace / hacemos / hacen
ir   to go voy / vas / va / vamos / van
jugar   to play juego / juegas / juega / jugamos / juegan
oír   to hear
oigo / oyes / oye / oímos / oyen
poner   to put, to place
pongo / pones / pone / ponemos / ponen
saber   to know
sé / sabes / sabe / sabemos / saben
salir   to leave, to go out salgo / sales / sale / salimos / salen
ser   to be soy / eres / es / somos / son
tener   to have tengo / tienes / tiene / tenemos / tienen
traer   to bring traigo / traes / trae / traemos / traen
ver   to see veo / ves/ ve / vemos / ven
venir   to come vengo / vienes / viene / venimos / vienen

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EL PRETÉRITO DE INDICATIVO
PRETERITE
USES FORM
  • Completed actions in the past

Ayer me levanté a las 8.
I got up at 8 yesterday.

  • The beginning or the end of a past action

El partido comenzó a las 8 y terminó a las 10.
The game started at 8 and ended at 10
.

  • In a series of actions, often indicating the sequence in which they occurred

Me levanté, me duché, me vestí y salí para el trabajo.
I got up, showered, dressed, and left for work.

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-Bueno, Elena, ¿Y cuándo llegaste?
-Well, Elena, when did you arrive?
-Llegué hace una semana, el miércoles pasado.
-I arrived a week ago, last Wednesday.

 

Forms are presented according to the following categories of verbs:

regular stem- changing
 irregular spelling changes

 

VERBOS REGULARES
A distinctive feature of the preterite is that the yo and usted forms are stressed on the last syllable and therefore require a stress mark.

ar
-é  /  -aste  / -ó  /  -amos  / -aron

ayudar:  ayudé / ayudaste / ayudó  / ayudamos / ayudaron

-er / -ir
-í  /  -iste  / -ió  /  -imos  / -ieron

correr: corrí / corriste / corr / corrimos / corrieron
asistir: asistí /
asisiste / asist / asistimos / asistieron

VERBOS CON CAMBIOS EN LA RAÍZ    STEM-CHANGING VERBS

  • Only 2 types of these verbs suffer any changes in the preterite (in contrast with the present)
  • Changes affect the stressed vowel of the stem — the forms for usted/él/ella and ustedes/ellos/ellas form.
change in the stem vowel examples other verbs

e -> i

pedir: pedí / pediste / pidió / pedimos / pidieron

divertir(se)
repetir
preferir
seguir

o -> u dormir: dormí / dormiste / durmió / dormimos/ durmieron morir(se)
  

LOS  IRREGULARES DE PRÉTERITO MÁS FRECUENTES

  • Not all verbs that are irregular in the present are irregular in the preterite (conocer, oír, and salir have regular preterites)
  • Many very common verbs have irregular preterites
  • A distinctive feature of the irregular preterites is the stress pattern of the yo and usted forms —they are stressed in the second-to-last syllable and therefore they don’t have a stress mark.
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Elena y yo fuimos a campamentos de la misma organización. Solo que, bueno, Elena fue a un campamento en Nueva Hampshire y yo fui a uno en Massachusetts.
Elena and I went to camps of the same organizations. Only, Elena went to a camp in New Hampshire, and I went to one in Massachusetts.
dar    to give di / diste / dio / dimos / dieron
decir    to say
dije / dijiste / dijo / dijimos / dijeron
estar    to be
estuve / estuviste / estuvo / estuvimos / estuvieron
hacer    to do, to make
hice / hiciste / hizo / hicimos / hicieron
ir   to go fui / fuiste / fue / fuimos / fueron
poner    to put, to place
puse / pusiste / puso / pusimos / pusieron
querer   to want quise / quisiste / quiso / quisimos / quisieron
saber    to know
supe / supiste / supo / supimos / supieron
ser    to be fui / fuiste / fue / fuimos / fueron
tener     to have tuve / tuviste / tuvo / tuvimos / tuvieron
ver     to see vi / viste / vio / vimos / vieron
venir    to come vine / viniste / vino / vinimos / vinieron
 

VERBOS CON CAMBIOS ORTOGRÁFICOS (SPELLING CHANGES)
120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg Spelling changes: in order to maintain the sound of the stem consonant, verbs that end in -car, -gar, -zar, and -eer suffer spelling changes. These are not irregularities–they are just adjustments to adequate the oral and written forms of the language

changes to  yo forms  

 

-car -> –qué
tocar ->toqué
buscar    
sacar
gar -> –gué
llegar -> llegué
jugar  
pagar
zar -> –
empezar -> empe
comenzar
utilizar
changes to usted/ustedes s  –eer/-uir -> –y-
leer -> leyó/leyeron
destruir -> destruyó / destruyeron
creer
construir

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EL IMPERFECTO DE INDICATIVO    IMPERFECT

120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg The imperfect (el imperfecto) has several equivalents in English:
(yo) comía = I ate / I used to eat / I would eat / I was eating

USES FORMS
  •  Habitual, recurrent actions in the past.

Cuando era niña, vivíamos en Madrid.
When I was a child we lived/were living in Madrid.

Cuando era pequeño, visitábamos a mis abuelos en Maine todos los veranos.
When I was a child, we would visit my grandparents in Maine every summer.

 

  • Descriptions (of people, things, weather, …) in the past.

Era un día de noviembre y llovía.
It was a November day and it was raining
.

Eran las 7 de la mañana y ya hacía calor.
It was 7 in the morning and it was already hot.

 

  • An action that was happening in the past when another one occurred — often the developing action is expressed in the progressive.

Estaba lloviendo cuando salimos de casa.
It was raining when we left home.

 

  • The imperfect progressive is often used to accentuate the sense of an action in development.

Estábamos comiendo cuando llamaste.
We were eating when you called.

The imperfect is an easy tense in terms of forms — only 3 irregular verbs.

VERBOS REGULARES

-ar -> -ba

-er/-ir -> -ía

hablar   

hablaba / hablabas  / hablaba / hablábamos / hablaban

beber 

bebía / bebías / bebía / bebíamos / bebían

vivir   

vivía / vivías / vivía / vivíamos / vivían

 

VERBOS IRREGULARES
ir: iba / ibas / iba / íbamos / iban
ser: era / eras / era / éramos / eran
ver: veía / veías / veía / veíamos / veían

 

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LOS TIEMPOS PERFECTOS DE INDICATIVO
PERFECT TENSES

  • Perfect tenses are compound verb tenses that include a conjugated form of  haber plus a past participle (eaten, given, done, etc…)
  • There are two in the past indicative: present perfect and pluperfect (or past perfect)

EL PRESENTE PERFECTO   PRESENT PERFECT

USES FORMS
  • The present perfect  in Spanish is very similar to English — it expresses past actions that are relevant in the present, or actions that originated in the past but are still current.

Mi familia ha viajado por todo el mundo.
My family has traveled all over the world.

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Bueno, he llegado ayer, así que…
Well, I have just arrived, so…

 

  •  Pronouns (reflexive or object) appear before the haber form.

¿Se han levantado los niños ya?
Have the kids woken up yet?

No nos hemos ido todavía.
We have not left yet.

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present tense of haber

(yo) he
(tú) has
(usted/él/ella) ha
(nosotros/as) hemos
(ustedes/ellos/ellas) han

past participle

trabajado
comido
vivido
hecho

 

Past participles
Regular forms Frequent irregular forms
-ar: –ado -er/-ir: –ido
dar: dado
hablar: hablado
jugar: jugado

beber: bebido
comer: comido
ir: ido
vivir: vivido

abrir: abierto
decir: dicho
hacer: hecho
morir: muerto
poner: puesto
romper: roto

 EL PLUSCUAMPERFECTO  PLUPERFECT OR PAST PERFECT
USES FORMS

The pluperfect in Spanish is identical to English — it expresses actions that occurred (or didn’t occur) prior to another action or moment in the past.

James había estudiado español varios años
antes de estudiarlo en la universidad.
James had studied Spanish for several years
before studying it in college.

No había empezado la tarea cuando llegaron mis amigas.
I hadn’t started the homework when my friends arrived.

Para el 2016 todavía no nos habíamos graduado de la universidad.
By 2016, we still had not graduated from college.

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imperfect of haber

(yo) había
(tú) habías
(usted/él/ella) había
(nosotros/as) habíamos
(ustedes/ellos/ellas) habían

 

past participle

trabajado
comido
vivido
hecho

alerta 120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg It never changes — always ends in -o.

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MODOS VERBALES
VERB MOODS
EL INDICATIVO The indicative mood is the most frequent verb mood, as it appears in all simple and complex sentences that are not commands. It is used to state reality, as it is known to the person who speaks — what is done, known, and thought.
EL SUBJUNTIVO
The subjunctive mood is used to express actions that are not real, or are unknown, or are tainted by subjectivity.
EL IMPERATIVO
The imperative is most commonly referred to as command forms (mandatos), and is used for giving instruction, or telling people what to do.

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EL SUBJUNTIVO

In general terms, subjunctive verbs:

  • Often express actions that have not taken place yet at the time of the sentence; in other words, they often refer to a possible future action; OR they express reality in a manner that reflects the speaker’s attitude towards it.
  • Almost always are subordinate (or dependent) verbs in a complex sentence (there is a part of the sentence in the indicative mood).
  • Follow que or another conjunction (word or group of words that connect ideas within a sentence).

There are 4 subjunctive tenses: present, imperfect, present perfect, and pluperfect. Wespañol only presents the present subjunctive.

EL PRESENTE DE SUBJUNTIVO
USES EXAMPLES

After a main verb that expresses influence or wishes that affect another subject.
Verbs that try to influence other people’s behavior trigger subjunctive in the next verb:
querer, esperar, prohibir, pedir, recomendar, sugerir, etc.

Quiero que María gane. (subject of querer = yo; subject of ganar = María)
I want María to win.
vs
Quiero ganar.
I want to win.

Notice that in English, although there are no subjunctive verb forms,
there are different structures to mark the subjunctive.

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Es que mi madre no quiere que mi abuelo viva solo.
The things is that my mom doesn’t want my granfather to live alone.

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Oye, pues te recomiendo que vayas a la tienda de segunda mano.
Hey, I recommend that you go to the second-hand store.

 

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Oye, ¿te importa que entremos en esta tienda un momento?
Hey, do you mind if we go in this store for a moment?

 

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…para que guardes tus cosas.
…for you to store your things.

 

After the expression of wishing ojalá (que)
alerta 120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg
Ojalá is not a verb, and it can only be used to refer to one’s own wishes.

Ojalá que mi equipo gane.
I hope my team wins.

Ojalá que la cola no sea muy grande en la cafetería.
I hope the line is not too long at the cafteria.

After a time conjuction in reference to a future time:
cuando; hasta que (until); tan pronto como/en cuanto que (as soon as); etc.

Vamos a tener una fiesta cuando María se gradúe.
We are going to celebrate when María graduates.

No vamos a celebrar nada antes de que María reciba las notas.
We are not going to celebrate anything before María receives the grades.

To describe people and things that don’t exist or whose existence we don’t know of.

— ¿Conoces a alguien que viva en Middletown?
     — No conozco a nadie que viva allí.
(vs.: Sí, tengo un amigo que vive allí.)

— Do you know anyone who lives in Middletown?
     — No, I don’t know anyone who lives there. (vs: Yes, I have a friend who lives there.)

FORMS

Regular With spelling changes

Most verbs (even highly irregular ones) have predictable forms  based on the yo form of the present indicative with a different ending vowel

habl-ø -> hable
beb-ø -> beba
viv-ø -> viva
teng-ø -> tenga

-ar

-e / -es / -e / -emos / -en

hable /hables / hable / hablemos / hablen

-er/-ir 

-a / -as / -a / -amos / -an

beba / bebas / beba / bebamos / beban

viva / vivas / viva / vivamos  / vivan

These are changes to maintain the sound of the stem consonant (like in the preterite indicative) 

-car –> –que buscar, sacar, … -gar –> –gue pagar, jugar, … zar –> –ce comenzar, utilizar, …
tocar–> toque / toques/… llegar–> llegue/llegue/… empezar –> empiece/empieces/…

 

 

 

MOST FREQUENT IRREGULAR VERBS IN THE PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE

  • Not all verbs that are irregular in the present are irregular in the preterite (conocer, oír, salir have regular preterites).
  • Many very common verbs have irregular preterites.
  • A distinctive feature of the irregular preterites is the stress pattern of the yo and usted forms–they are stressed in the second-to-last syllable and therefore they don’t have a stress mark.
dar    to give dé / des / dé / demos / den
estar    to be
esté / estés / esté / estemos / estén
haber    to have
haya / hayas / haya / hayamos / hayan
ir   to go vaya / vayas / vaya / vayamos / vayan
saber    to know
sepa / sepas / sepa / sepamos / sepan
ser    to be sea / seas / sea / seamos / sean

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EL IMPERATIVO / LOS MANDATOS
COMMANDS

There are command forms for tú, usted, ustedes, vosotras/os and nosotras/os. In Wespañol only the forms for usted/ustedes and are presented, which are the most common and widely used commands.

Usted/Ustedes
  -ar: jugar -er: hacer -ir: asistir
usted (no) juegue (no) haga (no) asista
ustedes (no) jueguen (no) hagan (no) asistan
 

Tú  

 affirmative

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Elena, ven. Mira las cosas que tengo.
Elena, come. Look at the things I have.

regular

identical to usted form in present indicative

habla
come
juega
duerme

 

irregular

hacer: haz
poner: pon
ser: sé
tener: ten
decir: di
ir: ve
salir: sal
venir: ven

negative: all regular

 

identical to form in present subjunctive

no hables
no hagas
no seas
no juegues
no duermas

 

MANDATOS CON PRONOMBRES

 Affirmative commands: command+pronoun(s) –> one word

 ayudame_small

 

 

Búscalo. 
Look for it.

Démela.
Give it to me.

Siéntense.
Sit down.

120px-Nuvola_apps_important_green.svg Notice the need of stress marks in the word formed by affirmative commands plus pronouns.

Negative commands: no  + pronoun(s)  +   command –> separate words

 

No lo busques. 
Don’t look for it.

No me la dé.
Don’t give it to me.

No se sienten. 
Don’t sit down.

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activity PRÁCTICA

 

ACTIVIDAD 1: ¿Qué significan?

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ACTIVIDAD 2:  ¿Qué hago en casa?

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ACTIVIDAD 3: En casa

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ACTIVIDAD 4: En la universidad

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ACTIVIDAD 5: En el restaurante

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ACTIVIDAD 6: ¿Qué hicieron Javier y Elena la semana pasada?

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ACTIVIDAD 7: La niñez

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ACTIVIDAD 8: El participio pasado

 

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ACTIVIDAD 9: ¿Qué han hecho los personajes?

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ACTIVIDAD 10:  La familia

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ACTIVIDAD 11: ¿Subjuntivo o indicativo?

ACTIVIDAD 12: ¿Qué mandato?

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