The Spanish Present Tense

present tense in Spanish

How to form the Spanish present tense (Presente de indicativo).

In this grammar class we’re going to show you how to form the present tense of the three major Spanish verb groups, as well as some common irregular verbs.

If you’re confused about AR, ER and IR verbs then check out our class here (coming soon!).

Unlike English, the Spanish language has a different verb form for each person, singular and plural.

This can make learning verbs a little tedious at first, but you should soon eventually get used to it.

Audio files with native speakers

We’ve provided lots of example phrases and questions, and have added audio files so that you can hear the correct pronunciation of each phrase.

So, let’s dive in and start by looking at regular verbs in the Presente de indicativo.

  • Presente de indicativo

Regular verbs in the Spanish present tense

As we explained in a previous class, there are actually three different types of regular verbs in Spanish: AR, IR and ER verbs. Let’s see how to conjugate Hablar, Vivir and Comer in the present tense. These three verbs serve as models for ALL regular Spanish verbs:

Person /Verb Hablar – Speak Vivir – Live Comer – Eat
yo hablo vivo como
hablas vives comes
él / ella habla vive come
nosotros hablamos vivimos comemos
vosotros habláis vivís coméis
ellos hablan viven comen

Some examples

Here are some example phrases:

  • Nosotros vivimos en el centro de Madrid.
    We live in the centre of Madrid.
  • No hablo español bien.
    I don’t speak Spanish well.
  • Comemos carne cada día en nuestra casa.
    In our house we eat meat every day. 

Irregular verbs

Many Spanish verbs are irregular in the present tense. In fact, this group of irregular verbs includes some of the most common verbs in the Spanish language.
Luckily, these verbs are often only a little bit irregular, you just need to add an additional letter here or there.

Person /Verb Estar – Be Ser –Be Ir – Go
yo estoy soy voy
estás eres vas
él / ella está es va
nosotros estamos somos vamos
vosotros estáis sois vais
ellos están son van

Examples using these verbs:

  • Estoy muy cansado.
    I’m very tired.
  • Mi hermana está en la ducha.
    My sister is in the shower.
  • Somos ingleses.
    We’re English.
  • Sois colombianos ¿Verdad?
    You’re Colombians, aren’t you?
  • ¿Vas a la fiesta mañana?
    Are you going to the party tomorrow?

More examples

You can see more examples of the Spanish present tense in our series of videos on basic Spanish phrases.