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Spanish 131 Guide

Present Tense -ar Verbs

Present Tense Regular Verb Conjugation 

Just like in English, Spanish has basic pronouns used to refer to different people.  Below is a chart illustrating their correspondence in both languages. 

I -> yo                                                             We -> Nosotros 

You (informal) -> tú                                     *Vosotros -> y'all (you all) 

You (formal) he/she/ -> usted/él/ella       You all/they (m)/they (f) -> Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas 

Spanish has two ways of saying “you.”  “Tú” is used when talking to someone you are close to, such as a friend, sibling, or parent.  “Usted” is used as a formal term to refer to someone important, such as the president, a teacher, or boss.  In addition, there are two ways of saying “you all.”  “Vosotros” is a form used only in Spain and is an informal way of saying “you all.” Everywhere else, “ustedes” is used to refer to “you all."

You have to change a verb in Spanish slightly depending on who you are talking to or about.  Changing the form of the verb to fit the person who is performing the action is called conjugation.  In Spanish, there are three basic verb types:  

Verbs that end in “-ar” 

Verbs that end in “-er” 

Verbs that end in “-ir” 

The Verb Gustar

Verbs that Work Like Gustar

Forming Questions

Conjugating an -ar Verb

Conjugations for “-ar” verbs 

-o             -amos 

-as            -aís 

-a              -an 

Let’s take the verb “hablar” (to speak) and conjugate it using these endings. 

The first step is to take the infinitive form of the verb (the –ar/-er/-ir form) and cross off the last two letters.   

Hablar -> hablar 

This leaves us with “habl”.  This is the verb stem. 

Now let’s go through the list and add the endings to the stem. 

Yo hablo 

Tú hablas 

Usted/él/ella habla  

Nosotros hablamos 

Vosotros hablaís 

Ustedes/ellos/ellas hablan