Spanish Verbs

Definition: A verb expresses an action, event or state. Spanish verbs are used to make a complete sentence, and it must be accompanied by a noun or pronoun that is acting, existing or in a mode of being. (In Spanish, it is common for the noun to be implied without being explicitly stated.)

Verbs in Spanish

Verb to BE (SER and ESTAR)

The verb to be is used for all kind of sentences. In Spanish language this verb has two translations and they are "ser" and "estar" that have the same use of verb to be; but it is necessary, learning the different uses that have each one of them.

The verb "SER"

This verb is most used for describing something or someone but only for the uses that are below. This verb can be used when you are describing one but you aren't talking about one condition.

Conjugation of this verb

English Spanish English Spanish
I am Yo soy We are Nosotros somos
You are eres You are Ustedes son
He/She is Él/Ella es They are Ellos/Ellas son

Basic uses for this verb

  1. To define or identify something or someone.
    SER + IDENTIFICACION (identification)
    • He is a doctor.
    • Él es un doctor.

    • This building is a hospital.
    • Este edificio es un hospital.

  2. To give attributes to a noun.
    • I am tall.
    • Yo soy alto.

    • Julia is beautiful.
    • Julia es bonita.

  3. To say time expressions
    SER + ADVERBIO DE TIEMPO (time adverb)
    • It is late.
    • Es tarde.

    • It is night.
    • Es de noche.

    • NOTE: Most of time expressions in Spanish language have tacit subject (These expressions don't have a subject).

  4. To ask and say the time.
    • What time is it?
    • ¿Qué hora es?

    • It is one o'clock.
    • Es la una en punto.

  5. To place a process in the time or space
    • Baptism is tomorrow.
    • El bautismo es mañana.

    • Meeting is in my house.
    • La reunión es en mi casa.

  6. To valuate a process
    • Rest on weekend is good.
    • Descansar el fin de semana es bueno.

    • Cleaning your room is healthy.
    • Limpiar tu cuarto es saludable.

The verb "ESTAR"

This verb is used when you want to talk about one condition. The basic uses for this verb are in the list below.

Conjugation of this verb

English Spanish English Spanish
I am Yo estoy We are Nosotros estamos
You are estás You are Ustedes están
He/She is El/Ella está They are Ellos/Ellas están

Basic uses for this verb

  1. To express a temporal situation in a specific condition
    ESTAN + PREPOSICION (preposition) + SUSTANTIVO (substantive)
    • Spanish language is in fashion.
    • El español está de moda.

    • Charles is a waiter.
    • Carlos está de camarero.

  2. To indicate situations or moods
    • Karen is sad.
    • Karen esta triste.

    • This house is pretty.
    • Esta casa es bonita.

  3. To ask and say the date (This form of express dates don't exist in English language)
    • What day is today? (this sentence can be translated in two different ways)
    • ¿En qué día estamos hoy?

    • Today is November 15.
    • Hoy estamos a 15 de Noviembre.

  4. For placing people, animals or things in a location.
    • Edgar is in the hospital.
    • Edgar está en el hospital.

    • Meat is in the kitchen.
    • La carne está en la cocina.

  5. To valuate a process
    ESTAR + ADVERBIO DE MODO (manner adverb)
    • It is good to rest on vacation.
    • Está bien descansar en las vacaciones.

    • It is bad to smoke every day.
    • Está mal fumar todos los días.

  6. To express action continuity (present perfect in English)
    ESTAR + GERUNDIO(gerund)
    • I am traveling in Miami.
    • Yo estoy viajando por Miami.

    • We are cooking for the party.
    • Nosotros estamos cocinando para la fiesta.

  7. To express an action result
    ESTAR + PARTICIPIO (main verb in past participle)
    • The food is already prepared.
    • La comida está preparada.

    • They are tired.
    • Ellos están cansados.

Action Verbs

These verbs are used to express the action of the subject in the sentence. There are two kinds of verbs
  1. Regular Verbs
  2. Irregular Verbs
First you have to remember that in Spanish language all of verbs in their infinitive form end with -ar, -er or -ir.

Using Action Verbs to Enhance Your Resume & Cover Letter

Verbs are words that help to describe an action, such as ran, threw, jumped, just to name a few. Go ahead, take out your resume and cover letter and take a good look at it. Learn how to write resume verbs in order to make a striking first impression, use action verbs as the first word of each bullet point to emphasize job descriptions in your resume.

Regular Verbs

The characteristic of these kind of verbs is that they have root (raíz o lexema); and this root doesn't change when we conjugate these verbs in different times.
We can learn this in the table below:
  • Hablar (to speak)
    Let see this verb has the root "habl" and the termination "ar"

  • Aprender (to learn)
    Let see this verb has the root "aprend" and the termination "er"

  • Escribir (to write)
    Let see this verb has the root "escrib" and the termination "ir"

Now we see the conjugation of these verbs:

English Spanish English Spanish
I speak Yo hablo We speak Nosotros hablamos
You speak hablas You speak Ustedes hablan
He/She speaks Él/Ella habla They speak Ellos/Ellas hablan
He is speaking Él está hablando They are speaking Ellos están hablando
I learn Yo aprendo We learn Nosotros aprendemos
You learn aprendes You learn Ustedes aprenden
He/She learns Él/Ella aprende They learn Ellos/Ellas aprenden
I learned Yo aprendó We learned Nosotros aprendimos
I write Yo escribo We write Nosotros escribimos
You write Tu escribes You write Ustedes escriben
He/She writes Él/Ella escribe They write Ellos/Ellas escriben
You will write Tu escribirás You will write Ustedes escribirán

Irregular Verbs

These verbs don't have a root; so These verbs are written different for each conjugation. You can see the table below to understand this better.

Here we conjugate the verbs pensar (to think) and ir (to go)

English Spanish English Spanish
I think Yo pienso We think Nosotros pensamos
You think piensas You think Ustedes piensan
He/She thinks Él/Ella piensa They think Ellos/Ellas piensan
He is thinking Él está pensando You thought pensaste
I go Yo voy We go Nosotros vamos
You go vas You go Ustedes van
He/She go Él/Ella va They go Ellos/Ellas van
I went Yo fui We went Nosotros fuimos

Spanish Verbs Videos

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