Present in Spanish

Las acciones dicen más que las palabras
Actions speak louder than words
example of present indicative

The name of this tense in Spanish is: "presente simple del indicativo".

Present Conjugation

In Spanish there are 3 types of regular verbs ("ar", "er" and "ir" verbs). Each type has a different conjugation. But don't worry we will explain you.

First Conjugation "-ar"

Next, we study the conjugation of the verb "cantar", the other Verbs ending in "-ar" follow the same conjugation table:

cantar (to sing)

[stem] + "-ar"
yo cantoI sing
cantasyou sing
él cantahe sings
nosotros cantamoswe sing
vosotros cantáisyou sing
ellos cantanthey sing

Second Conjugation "-er"

The conjugation of the "er" verbs is not very different, only changes the vowal "a" to "e", as example we will see the verb "beber":

beber (to drink)

[stem] + "-er"
yo beboI drink
bebesyou drink
él bebehe drinks
nosotros bebemoswe drink
vosotros bebéisyou drink
ellos bebenthey drink

Third Conjugation "-ir"

The conjugation of the "ir" verbs is the most difficult, but come on!, you can learn it:

vivir (to live)

[stem] + "-ir"
yo vivoI live
vivesyou live
él vivehe lives
nosotros vivimoswe live
vosotros vivísyou live
ellos viventhey live

Summary of 'present tense' endings

Next, we will show you a table with the endings of the 3 for you with all of the first, second and third person conjugations of regular verbs in the present indicative.

[stem] + "-ar"
[stem] + "-er"
[stem] + "-ir"

Uses of the present indicative

In Spanish, the present tense is used in the following cases:

  1. When speakers give, ask for or get information relating to present time

    Lucía trabaja mucho en casa
    Lucía works a lot at home

    María vive en Madrid
    María lives in Madrid

  2. When actions that are currently taking place are described

    Lucía lleva un abrigo muy bonito
    Lucía is wearing a very nice coat

    ¡Mira!, María camina muy deprisa
    Look!, María is walking very fast

  3. When we talk about universal laws or general truths

    La tierra es redonda
    The earth is round

    Viajar abre tu mente
    Travel opens your mind

  4. When we are talking about something that is done habitually

    Los viernes voy a clases de natación
    On Fridays I go to swim lessons

    Todos los jueves como paella
    Every Thursday I eat paella

  5. When talking about the near future (something that is already known about) using temporal adverbs

    ¿Quedamos el viernes a comer?
    So we´ll go for lunch on Friday?

    Te recojo en la estación esta tarde
    I´ll meet you in the station this afternoon

  6. When instructions are given, for example, in a recipe

    Se pone el fuego al máximo,
    Put the heat on high,

    a continuación pelamos las cebollas y las cortamos en trozos pequeños
    then peel the onions and cut them into small pieces

  7. When making suggestions

    ¿No vas a la biblioteca a estudiar?
    Aren´t you going to the library to study?

    ¿Bajas la pelota y jugamos?
    Will you bring the ball down to play?

  8. When asking for advice or favors

    ¿Me pongo la falda o (me pongo) el pantalón?
    Which one will I put on, the skirt or the pants?

    ¿Me ayudas con las matemáticas?
    Will you help me with math?

  9. When we offer our help

    ¿Te ayudo?
    Can I help you?

    Mamá, ¿Bajo la basura?
    Mom, should I throw out the trash?

The question with the present indicative

When we ask a question, generally, we switch the position of the verb to that of the personal pronoun. This rule is applicable to the three conjugations.

tú cantas
you sing
¿cantas (tú)?
do you sing?
él come
he eats
¿come (él)?
does he eat?

Negation of the present indicative

To make the negative form, simply put the adverb "no" before the verb, or, in other words, to the left of the verb.

yo quiero
I want
yo no quiero
I don't want
él corre
he runs
él no corre
he doesn't run

In Spanish, if we know the personal pronoun in advance, it´s omitted in most cases, because it is implicit in the verb tense used to speak.

You can see more information about omitting the personal pronoun in the following link: Personal pronouns (Pronombres personales)