Chapter 12 -- Talking About the Present Time
We use present time to describe events which are happening now, or which are continuous.
The Present Tense is the most complex of the Spanish tenses, with many irregular forms.
There are three sets of endings which are added to the verb stems, one set for each verb group.
The endings for group 1 are -o, -as, -a, -amos, áis, -an.
Group 1 - regular verbs example: pagar = to pay (the stem is pag-)
|pag||o||yo||pago||I pay, do pay, am paying|
|pag||as||tú||pagas||You (familiar, singular) pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||a||él||paga||He pays, does pay, is paying|
|pag||a||ella||paga||She pays, does pay, is paying|
|pag||a||usted||paga||You (polite, singular) pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||a||quién||paga||Who pays, does pay, is paying|
|pag||amos||nosotras, -os||pagamos||We pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||áis||vosotras, -os||pagáis||You (familiar, plural) pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||an||ellas, -os||pagan||They pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||an||ustedes||pagan||You (polite, plural) pay, do pay, are paying|
|pag||an||quienes||pagan||Who pay, do pay, are paying|
In group 1, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
continuar, to continue: continúo, continúas, continúa, continuamos, continuáis, continúan like continuar : actuar, to act graduar, to measure graduarse, to graduate situar, to place, situate
dar, to give: doy, das, da, damos, dáis, dan
errar, to err: yerro, yerras, yerra, erramos, erráis, yerran
estar, to be: estoy, estás, está, estamos, estáis, están
enviar, to send: envío, envías, envía, enviamos, enviáis, envían like enviar :
confiar, to confide espiar, to spy fiar, to buy or sell on credit fiarse, to trust someone guiar, to guide
resfriar, to cool, chill
resfriarse, to catch cold variar, to vary
jugar, to play: juego, juegas, juega, jugamos, jugáis, juegan
mostrar, to show: muestro, muestras, muestra, mostramos, mostráis, muestran like mostrar :
|aclocar, to stretch out||acollar, to caulk||acordar, to agree||acordarse, to remember|
|acornar, to gore||acostar, to lay s.t. down||acostarse, to lie down, rest||aforar, to gauge|
|agorar, to guess||almorzar, to eat, have lunch||amoblar, to furnish||apercollar, to seize by the neck|
|alongar, to elongate||amolar, to grind, sharpen||apostar, to bet, wager||aprobar, to approve|
|asolar, to raze, destroy||atronar, to deafen||avergonzar, to embarrass||clocar, to cluck|
|colar, to strain, filter||colgar, to hang, in, on, out||concordar, to reconcile||consolar, to console|
|contar, to count||costar, to cost||degollar, to butcher||demostrar, to demonstrate|
|denostar, to insult||derrocar, to overthrow||descollar, to stand out||descornar, to dehorn, poll|
|desolar, to plunder||desollar, to skin, flay||desovar, to spawn||desvergonzarse, to be shameless|
|discordar, to be out of tune||emporcar, to soil, be a pig||encontrar, to find, meet, encounter||encorar, to cover with leather|
|encorvar, to bend down, over||engrosar, to increase||forzar, to force||holgar, to relax|
|jugar, to play||mancornar, to hobble||poblar, to people||probar, to prove, test, taste, try|
|recontar, to recount||recordar, to remember||recostar, to lie back, recline||rescontrar, to offset|
|resollar, to pant, breathe heavily||renovar, to renew||revolcar, to knock down||rodar, to go round, turn|
|rogar, to beg||solar, to pave, floor||soldar, to solder||soltar, to loosen or untie|
|sonar, to sound||soñar, to dream||tostar, to toast||trascordar, to forget totally|
|trocar, to barter, exchange||tronar, to thunder||volar, to fly|
pensar, to think: pienso, piensas, piensa, pensamos, pensáis, piensan like pensar :
|acertar, to hit the mark||acrecentar, to increase||adestrar, to guide||aferrar, to grapple|
|alebrarse, to cower||alentar, to cheer||apacentar, to graze cattle||apretar, to tighten|
|arrendar, to rent||aserrar, to saw||asosegar, to appease||aterrar, to terrify|
|asentar, to sit||atestar, to cram, stuff||atravesar, to cross over||aventar, to ventilate, fan|
|calentar, to heat||cegar, to blind, make or grow blind||cerrar, to close, lock||comenzar, to commence|
|confesar, to confess||denegar, to deny||dentar, to roughen||derrengar, to bend, twist|
|desertar, to desert||desherbar, to weed||desmembrar, to dismember||despertar, to awaken|
|desterrar, to exile||emparentar, to marry into||empedrar, to pave||empellar, to shove|
|empezar, to begin||encerrar, to lock up||encomendar, to commend||enhestar, to set upright|
|enmendar, to emend||enmendarse, to mend one’s ways||ensangrentar, to bloody||enterrar, to bury|
|entesar, to make taut||escarmentar, to teach a lesson to||estregar, to scrub, scour||fregar, to mop, wash|
|gobernar, to govern||helar, to freeze||incensar, to incense||invernar, to winter|
|manifestar, to manifest||merendar, to picnic||negar, to negate, refuse, deny||nevar, to snow|
|plegar, to fold||quebrar, to break||regar, to water plants or animals||regimentar, to regiment|
|remendar, to mend||requebrar, to flatter||restregar, to rub, scour||reventar, to burst, shatter|
|salpimentar, to season with spice||sentar, to sit down||serrar, to saw, ~ up, ~ off||sosegar, to calm down, to quiet|
|temblar, to tremble, shake||tentar, to tempt||trasegar, to shuffle, move around||tropezar, to trip, stumble|
The regular endings for group 2 are -o, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, -en
Group 2 - regular verbs example: beber = to drink (the stem is beb-)
|beb||o||yo||bebo||I drink, do drink, am drinking|
|beb||es||tú||bebes||You (familiar, singular) drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||e||él||bebe||He drinks, does drink, is drinking|
|beb||e||ella||bebe||She drinks, does drink, is drinking|
|beb||e||usted||bebe||You (polite, singular) drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||e||quién||bebe||Who drinks, does drink, is drinking|
|beb||emos||nosotras, -os||bebemos||We drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||éis||vosotras, -os||bebéis||You (familiar, plural) drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||en||ellas, -os||beben||They drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||en||ustedes||beben||You (polite, plural) drink, do drink, are drinking|
|beb||en||quienes||beben||Who drink, do drink, are drinking|
In group 2, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
caber, to fit: quepo, cabes, cabe, cabemos, cabéis, caben
caer, to fall : caigo, caes, cae, caemos, caéis, caen like caer : decaer, to decay recaer, to fall back, relapse
cocer, to cook: cuezo, cueces, cuece, cocemos, coceis, cuecen like cocer : escocer, to smart, sting torcer, to twist
coger, to grab or take hold of something, cojo, coges, coge, cogemos, cogéis, cogen like coger : descoger, to spread out encoger, to shrink escoger, to choose proteger, to protect recoger, to gather, collect
conocer, to know, to be acquainted with: conozco, conoces, conoce, conocemos, conocéis, conocen
like conocer :
|aborrecer, to hate||adolecer, to suffer from||adormecer, to become drowsy||agradecer, to thank|
|amarillecer, to turn yellow||amortecer, to quiet, muffle||anochecer, to get, become night||apetecer, to crave, long for|
|aparecer, to appear||aridecer, to dry , make arid||carecer, to lack||complacer, to be pleased, to humor|
|convalecer, to convalesce||crecer, to grow||desaparecer, to disappear||desconocer, to be unaware|
|embebecer, to fascinate||embebecerse, to daydream||embellecer, to embellish||emblandecer, to soften|
|embobecer, to become silly||embrutecer, to dull the senses||empequeñecer, to make smaller||emplumecer, to grow feathers|
|empobrecer, to impoverish||enaltecer, to extol||enardecer, to inflame, excite||encandecer, to incandesce|
|endentecer, to teethe||endurecer, to harden||enflaquecer, to make thin||enfurecer, to infuriate|
|engrandecer, to agrandize||enloquecer, to drive mad||enmohecer, to rust||enmudercer, to become mute|
|ennegrecer, to blacken||ennoblecer, to ennoble||enorgullecer, to make proud||enrarecer, to rarefy, strain|
|enriquecer, to enrich||enrojecer, to blush||enronquecer, to make hoarse||ensombrecer, to overshadow|
|ensordecer, to become deaf||entenebrecer, to darken||enternecer, to pity||entontecer, to be a foolish|
|entorpecer, to become slower||entumecer, to numb||envanecer, to become vain||envejecer, to age|
|enverdecer, to turn green||envilecer, to be, become vile||escarnecer, to scoff, ridicule||esclarecer, to clarify|
|establecer, to establish||estremecer, to shudder||fallecer, to pass away||favorecer, to favor|
|fenecer, to finish, end||florecer, to flower, bloom||fortalecer, to fortify||guarecer, to shelter|
|guarnecer, to garnish, adorn||languidecer, to languish||mecer, to rock, swing||merecer, to merit|
|nacer, to be born||obedecer, to obey||obscurecer, to obscure||ofrecer, to offer|
|pacer, to graze||padecer, to suffer||palidecer, to become pale||parecer, to seem|
|perecer, to perish||permanecer, to remain||pertenecer, to belong||prevalecer, to prevail|
|recrudecer, to worsen||reconocer, to recognize||rejuvenecer, to rejuvenate||resplandecer, to sparkle|
|restablecer, to re-establish||tallecer, to sprout||verdecer , to turn green|
descender, to descend: desciendo, desciendes, desciende, descendemos, descendéis, descienden like descender :
|ascender, to ascend||atender, to attend to||condescender, to condescend||defender, to defend|
|entender, to understand||encender, to light, to ignite||extender, to extend||heder, to reek, stink|
|hender, to crack, split||perder, to lose||querer, to want, to love||tender, to lay, spread|
|transcender, to transcend|
haber, to have: he, has, ha, hemos, habéis, han
hacer, to make, to do: hago, haces, hace, hacemos, hacéis, hacen like hacer: contrahacer, to counterfeit deshacer, to undo; satisfacer, to satisfy
poder, to be able, can: puedo, puedes, puede, podemos, podéis, pueden
poner, to place, put, set: pongo, pones, pone, ponemos, ponéis, ponen like poner :
|componer, to compose||disponer, to dispose||exponer, to expose||imponer, to impose|
|oponer, to oppose||ponerse, to become||proponer, to propose||reponer, to replace|
|suponer, to suppose||transponer, to transpose|
saber, to know: sé, sabes, sabe, sabemos, sabéis, saben
ser, to be: soy, eres, es, somos, sois, son
tener, to have: tengo, tienes, tiene, tenemos, tenéis, tienen like tener :
|contener, to contain||detener, to detain||mantener, to maintain||obtener, to obtain|
|retener, to retain||sostener, to sustain|
traer, to bring: traigo, traes, trae, traemos, traéis, traen like traer :
|abstraer, to abstract||atraer, to attract||contraer, to contract||distraer, to distract|
|retraer, to retract||retrotraer, to make retroactive||substraer, to subtract|
valer, to be worth: valgo, vales, vale, valemos, valéis, valen like valer : equivaler, to be equivalent prevaler, to prevail
vencer, to defeat, conquer: venzo, vences, vence, vencemos, vencéis, vencen like vencer : mecer, to sway, rock
ver, to see: veo, ves, ve, vemos, véis, ven like ver : prever, to preview, foresee rever, to review
volver, to turn: vuelvo, vuelves, vuelve, volvemos, volvéis, vuelven like volver:
|conmover, to emote||devolver, to return||doler, to pain, to ache||llover, to rain|
|moler, to grind, mill||mover, to move||oler (o to hue), to smell||poder, to be able (can)|
|remover, to remove||resolver, to resolve||soler, to be in the habit of||solver, to solve|
The regular endings for group 3 are -o, -es, -e, -imos, -ís, -en
Group 3 - regular verbs example: dividir = to divide (the stem is divid-)
|divid||o||yo||divido||I divide, do divide, am dividing|
|divid||es||tú||divides||You (familiar, singular) divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||e||él||divide||He divides, does divide, is dividing|
|divid||e||ella||divide||She divides, does divide, is dividing|
|divid||e||usted||divide||You (polite, singular) divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||e||quién||divide||Who divides, does divide, is dividing|
|divid||imos||nosotras, -os||dividimos||We divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||ís||vosotras, -os||dividís||You (familiar, plural) divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||en||ellas, -os||dividen||They divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||en||ustedes||dividen||You (polite, plural) divide, do divide, are dividing|
|divid||en||quienes||dividen||Who divide, do divide, are dividing|
In group 3, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
asir, to sieze: asgo, ases, ase, asimos, asís, asen
conseguir, to get, achieve: consigo, consigues, consigue, conseguimos, conseguís, consiguen like conseguir : perseguir, to persue seguir, to follow
consentir, to consent: consiento, consientes, consiente, consentimos, consentís, consienten like consentir :
|adherir, to adhere||adquirir, to acquire||advertir, to advertise||arrepentir, to repent|
|asentir, to assent, agree||concernir, to concern||conferir, to confer, award||consentir, to consent, allow|
|controvertir, to dispute||convertir, to convert||deferir, to defer||diferir, to differ, disagree|
|digerir, to digest||discernir, to discern||divertir, to enjoy||hervir, to boil|
|inferir, to infer||ingerir, to ingest||inquirir, to inquire||invertir, to invert or invest|
|mentir, to lie, speak falsely||pervertir, to pervert||preferir, to prefer||preterir, to leave out|
|proferir, to profer||referir, to refer||rendir, to yield||rendirse, to surrender|
|requerir, to require||resentir, to resent||sentir, to regret, be or feel sorry||sentirse, to feel well or ill|
|sugerir, to suggest||transferir, to transfer|
corregir, to correct: corrijo, corriges, corrige, corregimos, corregís, corrigen like corregir :
|afligir, to afflict||colegir, to gather, understand||dirigir, to direct||elegir, to choose, elect|
|exigir, to demand||fingir, to pretend||mugir, to moo, bellow||regir, to rule, reign|
|urgir, to be urgent|
decir, to say, to tell: digo, dices, dice, decimos, decís, dicen like decir :
|bendecir, to bless||contradecir,to contradict||desdecir, to disagree||interdecir, to forbid, prohibit|
|maldecir , to curse||predecir, to predict|
distinguir, to distinguish: distingo, distingues, distingue, distinguimos, distinguís, distinguen like distinguir : extinguir, to extinguish
dormir, to sleep: duermo, duermes, duerme, dormimos, dormís, duermen like dormir : dormirse, to fall asleep morir, to die (thing or animal) morirse, to die (a person)
huir, to flee: huyo, huyes, huye, huimos, huís, huyen like huir :
|afluir, to flow into||argüir, to argue||atribuir, to attribute||circuir, to encircle|
|concluir, to conclude||confluir, to flow together||constituir, to constitute||construir, to construct|
|contribuir, to contribute||derruir, to demolish||destruir, to destroy||difluir, to flow out|
|diluir, to dilute||disminuir, to diminish||distribuir, to distribute||estatuir, to enact|
|excluir, to exclude||fluir, to flow||imbuir, to imbue||incluir, to include|
|influir, to influence||instituir, to institute||instruir, to instruct||luir, to rumple|
|obstruir, to obstruct||prostituir, to prostitute||retribuir, to pay, repay||restituir, to restitute, restore|
|sustituir , to substitute|
ir, to go: voy, vas, va, vamos, vais, van
oir, to hear: oigo, oyes, oye, oimos, oís, oyen
pedir, to ask a favor or a price: pido, pide, pide, pedimos, pedís, piden like pedir :
|ceñir, to wear tight clothing||comedirse, to restrain oneself||competir, to compete||concebir, to conceive|
|derretir, to melt||desleir, to dilute||despedir, to say goodbye||embestir, to assault, attack|
|engreir, to make vain||expedir, to send off||gemir, to groan||heñir, to knead|
|impedir, to impede||medir, to measure||rendir, to yield||rendirse, to surrender|
|reñir, to quarrel||repetir, to repeat||revestir, to cover||revestirse, to face someone|
|servir, to serve||teñir, to tint, dye||vestir, to dress||vestirse, to dress oneself|
reírse, to laugh: río, ríes, ríe, reímos, reís, ríen like reir : freír, to fry refreír, to refry sonreír, to smile
salir, to go out: salgo, sales, sale, salimos, salís, salen
traducir, to translate: traduzco, traduces, traduce, traducimos, traducís, traducen like traducir :
|aducir, to adduce||conducir, to conduct||deducir, to deduce||inducir, to induce|
|introducir, to introduce||lucir, to shine, excel||producir, to produce||reducir, to reduce|
|seducir, to seduce|
venir, to come: vengo, vienes, viene, venimos, venís, vienen like venir:
|circunvenir, to circumvent||convenir, to convene||intervenir, to intervene||prevenir, to prevent|
|reconvenir, to reconvene||revenirse, to change one’s mind|
Because of the fact that the “we” form of the present tense has very few irregularities, it is commonly used in ordinary speech.
In Spain, the vosotros form is used frequently, for the same reason.
Stem changes in Spanish verbs
Except for irregular verbs, all of the stem changes in Spanish verbs are based on the pronunciation of the verb, with an emphasis on preserving the original sound.
With very few exceptions, verbs are regular in the nosotros and vosotros forms, and there are no spelling changes.
1. spelling changes to preserve the original sound
If the regular suffix of a verb will produce a sound which is different from the original verb, the spelling will be changed to preserve the original sound.
For example, in the "yo" form of the past tense of the verb "pagar", the regular suffix will be the letter "é".
So, the stem is changed to "pagu" and the verb will become "pagué", thus preserving the hard sound of the letter "g" in the stem.
Such changes will occur when:
A. the verb stem ends in "c", and the suffix is either "a" or "o", the letter "c" will be replaced by the letter "z"
Example: vencer; the stem "venc" will become "venz" before "a" or "o"
EXCEPTIONS: decir and its compounds are irregular
B. the verb stem ends in "ec", "oc" or "uc" and the suffix is either "a" or "o", the letter "z" will be inserted before the letter "c" of the stem
Example: agradecer; the stem will become "agradezc" before "a" or "o"
conocer; the stem will become "conozc" before "a" or "o"
traducir, the stem will become "traduzc" before "a" or "o"
C. the verb stem ends in "g", and the suffix is "a" or "o", the letter "g" will be replaced with the letter "j"
Example: coger; the stem will become "coj" before "a" or "o"
2. stem changes All stem changes are based on the accent of the stem.
A. when the accent falls on the letter "e" of the stem, that letter will be replaced by "ie"
Example: pensar; the stem is "pens" which will be changed to "piens" when the accent falls on the letter "e"
Yo pienso Nosotros pensamos
Tú piensas Vosotros pensáis
Ella piensa Ellas piensan
Included in this group are the verbs tener and venir and their compounds except for the "yo" form
EXCEPTIONS: beber and deber (both regular)
Example: acordar; the stem is "acord" which will be changed to "acuerd" when the accent falls on the letter "o"
In Group 3 there are 24 verbs with the letter "e" in the stem, that letter will be replaced only by the letter "i" not "ie" (see the list above)
Example: pedir; the stem is"ped" which will be changed to "pid" when the accent falls on the letter "e"
Yo pido Nosotros pedimos
Tú pides Vosotros pedís
Ella pide Ellas piden
B. generally, when the accent falls on the letter "o" of the stem, that letter will be replaced by "ue".
Yo acuerdo Nosotros acordamos
Tú acuerdas Vosotros acordáis
Ella acuerda Ellas acuerdan (also the other pronouns)
This generalization holds true when the letter “o” is followed by a single consonant (except “r”), “lc”, “ld”, “lg”, “lt”, “lv”, “nt”, “rc”, “rd”, “rn”, “rz”, “st” plus the group ending.
Examples: amolar, revolcar, soldar, colgar, soltar, solver, contar, recordar, encornar, almorzar. The verb rogar belongs to this group, but its compounds are regular.
EXCEPTIONS: poner and its compounds; tomar, and verbs which end in "ormar" or "ortar".
C. in the case of verbs which end with "uir", the stem is changed to "uy-"
Example: huir; the stem is "hu" which is changed to "huy"
Yo huyo Nosotros huimos
Tú huyes Vosotros huís
Ella huye Ellas huyen
This book is available from lulu.com under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.
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