There are three types of Spanish verbs you need to know
In order to conjugate any verb in Spanish, you should first understand the different types of Spanish verbs involved in the conjugation. In this sense, the main clasifications you need to know are as follows:
- Regular and irregular verbs
- Sets “-ar”, “-er” and “-ir” depending on their infintive form of the verb, and
- Reflexive and no reflexive verbs.
You can learn how to classify the verbs as we need in order to conjugate them in this video and/or reading the post.
Conjugation and types of Spanish verbs involved
As you know, Spanish verbs change depending on the period of time they are referring to and the person who is carrying out the action. They normally keep their stem and change their ending. The ending we need to add to a verb will depend on when the action is taking place and who will carry out the action. Adding the proper ending is called ‘to conjugate”.
1. Regular and irregular verbs
What is a regular and an irregular verb
Regular verbs are the ones that follow a pattern. Normally the mayority of verbs follow a pattern to be conjugated in a certain tense. This means, that most of the verbs will behave in a same way and use the same endings. Please, be aware that regular verbs in the present, for example, may not be regular verbs in the future simple tense. Therefore, for every tense, we need to learn which verbs are irregular verbs and we will need to learn their conjugation in particular because they won’t follow the common pattern.
How do I know if it is irregular?
Sadly, there is no way to know. For every tense we must learn the pattern of the regular verbs and then learn the main irregulars. Normally, it is very useful to learn the regular tense and learn the irregular verbs by using them when we learn the different topics (daily routine, holidays, etc.).
On the other hand, some of the most useful verbs, we may say, are the most irregular verbs, in many of the tenses: hacer (to do), ir (to go), ser and estar (to be) are the verbs that less follow the rules.
2. -AR, -ER and -IR sets of verbs
There are three different sets of verbs depending on the ending of their infinitive. The infinitive is the neutral form of the verb, without any conjugation. There are only three endings of infinitive: “-ar”, “-er” and “-ir”.
Depending on the tense we are going to conjugate, it is important to know the set of infinitive it belongs to, because the set of endings may vary. For example, the present tense does have one different set of endings for every set (ar/er/ir verbs).
You can understand this better when you start learning one of the spanish tense conjugation.
The regular and irregular verbs can be “-ar”, “-er” and “-ir” verbs at the same time.
3. Reflexive or no reflexive verbs
Some Spanish verbs are reflexive. Reflexive verbs explain actions carried out by and for oneself. For example, taking a shower. The verb “duchar” is reflexive if we want to say “I shower myself”. The special thing about the reflexive verbs is that they are conjugated as regular/irregulars, ar/er/ir verbs but they need to use a pronoun as well.
You can learn more about the reflexive verbs in a post coming soon.
You can continue learning about conjugation reading the present Spanish tense conjugation (please click here).
There are many exercises, summary charts and flashcards about reflexive verbs and the present tense in general in our book, which you can order through amazon here (paperback) or here (online version) or read it for free in Amazon. It is very affordable in order to offer a good resource to practice already printed and organised.