Spanish Grammar


Search here!

Try these: SubjunctivesVerbsNounsExamsAdjectivesPast TensePronouns

Generic filters
Filter by Categories


Spanish Grammar A1 ⮟
Ser and Estar in Spanish for Beginners
Está and Hay in Spanish to Express Location
The Present Indicative in Spanish
The verb querer in Spanish: how to use it
The Verb Gustar in Spanish
Demonstratives in Spanish and Adverbs of Place
Possessive Adjectives in Spanish
The Present Continuous in Spanish: Estar + Gerund
The Gerund in Spanish: Form and Basic Uses
Expressions of Quantity in Spanish: Muy and Mucho
Spanish Grammar A2 ⮟
Present Perfect Indicative in Spanish
The Past Simple in Spanish
The Preterite Imperfect Indicative in Spanish
Indicative past tenses in Spanish
How to Express Future in Spanish
How to use por and para in Spanish
Possessive Pronouns in Spanish
Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
Ya in Spanish: Meaning and Usage
Subject Personal Pronouns in Spanish
Expressing Obligation in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B1 ⮟
The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish
The Future Simple in Spanish
The Conditional Simple in Spanish
The imperative mood in Spanish
The present subjunctive in Spanish
Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
General Rules of Accentuation in Spanish
Expressing Wishes with the Subjunctive in Spanish
The Use of Cuando with Indicative and Subjunctive
Position of Object Pronouns in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B2 ⮟
Advanced Uses of Conditional Simple
The Future Perfect in Spanish
The Conditional Perfect in Spanish
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How do I use the past imperfect subjunctive?
The Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How to express probability in Spanish
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
Verbs of Change in Spanish
Reported Speech in Spanish
Spanish Grammar C1 ⮟
The passive Voice in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish
Clauses of Purpose in Spanish
Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish
Uses of the Pronoun SE with Syntactic Function
Uses of the Pronoun Se as a Verb Mark
The Indeterminate Feminine in Spanish

The Present Indicative in Spanish

The present indicative in Spanish is the first verb tense a student encounters on With the present tense, a speaker can form his or her first sentences. Let’s see how this tense is formed.

How to Form the Present Indicative in Spanish

To form the present indicative in Spanish we must keep in mind that there are a large number of irregular verbs. This makes it especially difficult for a student who begins to study a Romance language for the first time. We will start by learning the regular verbs.

How Regular Verbs Are Formed

To form a verb in the present indicative in Spanish we must look at the ending of the infinitive (-ar, -er, -ir). We will remove that ending and get the verb stem (hablar > habl). We will add the specific endings for each person to that stem (yo habl + o).

Regular verbs in the present indicative in Spanish

How Irregular Verbs Are Formed

There is a great variety of irregularities in the present indicative in Spanish. We are going to study them in different groups, depending on the pattern they follow. We will start with irregular verbs only in the first person.



Irregular Verbs in the Person “Yo”

There are verbs that are irregular only in the first person singular (yo). To conjugate those verbs we only need to learn the yo stem and conjugate the rest of the persons like regular verbs. Now, we will look at the first person singular of some of these verbs:

  • Hacer = hago
  • Poner = pongo
  • Dar = doy
  • Saber = sé
  • Salir = salgo
  • Ver = veo
  • Traer = traigo
  • Coger = cojo
  • Conocer = conozco

Irregular Verbs with Vowel Changes

Some verbs suffer a change in a vowel of their stem in the present indicative in Spanish. This irregularity is repeated in all persons except nosotros/as and vosotros/as. We can classify these verbs in three large groups:

Irregular verbs with stem changing in the present indicative in Spanish

Here is a list of other verbs with a vowel change.

  • e > ie: comenzar, empezar, perder, preferir, sentir, recomendar…
  • o > ue: costar, dormir, morir, encontrar, doler, llover, mostrar, volar…
  • e > i: servir, repetir, elegir, seguir, vestir, reír, corregir, medir…

Some verbs like jugar or adquirir have irregularities similar to the previous ones: jugar > juego and adquirir > adquiero.

Mixed Irregular Verbs: First Person and Vowel Change.

Other verbs share irregularities in the present indicative in Spanish. The first person singular modifies its stem and, at the same time, the rest of the persons has a vowel change (except nosotros/as and vosotros/as).

Mixed irregular verbs in the present indicative in Spanish

Highly Irregular Verbs in the Present Indicative in Spanish

Finally, we are going to look at a group of verbs that do not fit any of the previous patterns. Interestingly, some of them are among the most commonly used verbs in Spanish.

Other irregular verbs in the present indicative in Spanish

When to Use the Present Indicative

The present indicative in Spanish is considered an “unmarked” verb tense. This means that it can be used in many situations, even in tenses that do not correspond to it. Let’s look at some of these uses:

  • Frequent actions: Normalmente como con mi familia en casa.
  • Descriptions: El examen DELE A1 es muy fácil.
  • Actions at the moment of speaking: ¿Qué canción suena?
  • Near future: Mañana tengo una clase de conversación.
  • Actions in the past: El hombre llega a la Luna en 1969.

As you can see, the present indicative in Spanish is very useful for elementary level students. Only with this tense, you can express many ideas; however, its conjugation is not easy. If you want to learn more irregular verbs or practice them with a teacher, reserve a class with us. If you want to try it first, book a trial lesson on Spanishviaskype and start speaking Spanish on Skype from day one.

Infography about the present indicative in Spanish