The Spanish regular present ( -AR verbs)

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 In Spanish, there are three kind of verbs.

1) Verbs whose infinitive( remember: the “to” form) ends in -AR : cantAR ( to sing) ; trabajar ( to work)...

2) Verbs whose infinitive ends in -ER: comER ( to eat) ; beber (to drink) …

3) Verbs whose infinitive ends in -IR: vivIR ( to live)...


Student note: And why do I need to know this? You told me you would  focus on communication, not boring grammar!!

 Calm down baby! This is not pure boring grammar, this is THE BASE of Spanish verb system.

You already know that in Spanish, the verbs change depending on the subject. Well, the thing is that depending on the kind of verb (infinitive ending in -AR, -ER or -IR), the verbs change in one way or another.

The -AR verbs in Spanish

This lesson we are going to focus only on the verbs that belong to the first category, those whose infinitive ends in -AR. We will use the verbs cantar ( to sing) and trabajar (to work) to show you how these verbs change in present tense, depending on the subjects (if you have problems with the subjects...go back to our Introduction to the Spanish verb system!)



To sing


To work


First Person singular

I → sing


I → work


Second Person singular

You → sing


You → work


Third person singular (including single objects!)

He/my mother/my parrot → sings


He/ my friend/ Tom Cruise → works


First person plural

We → sing


We → work


Second person plural

You → sing


You → work


Third person plural (including plural objects!)

They /my friends / The singers→ sing


They /the politicians→ work


So, you have to remove the -AR and then add a different ending depending on the subject.

Therefore, “I sing opera” would be “Canto ópera”.

Remember that you don´t need to say “Yo canto ópera”, because saying cantO it´s enough to know that you are talking about “I”, due to the ending – O.

The fastest way to learn the present tense: Study examples

So, study the following examples, re read them, try to understand them, use the dictionary if needed, and when you feel you have mastered those sentences...go back to them!

Remember that this self-learnt knowledge that you´ll get from studying the sentences is far more effective than any lesson you´ll be given! (Well, maybe our super Skype lessons could match it :p )


My father sings rap

Mi padre canta rap

Your friends and you work in McDonalds?

¿Tus amigos y tú trabajáis en McDonalds?

I don´t work in Spain

(Yo) no trabajo en España

My friends sing opera very well!

¡ Mis amigos cantan ópera muy bien !

Where do you work?

¿Dónde trabajas?

My brother and I sing very well

Mi hermano y yo cantamos muy bien

Obama doesn´t sing rap

Obama no canta rap

Luis works in Barcelona

Luis trabaja en Barcelona

Where do your parents work?

¿Dónde trabajan tus padres?

Where do Sting sing?

¿Dónde canta Sting?

The Germans work a lot

Los alemanes trabajan mucho

Do your boyfriend and you sing rap?

¿Tu novio y tú cantáis rap?

We don´t sing opera

(Nosotros) No cantamos ópera

You work in Spain

Trabajas en España

You-all work in Spain

Trabajáis en España 

Done it? Give it a last glance, and get ready for the regular present tense with -ER and -IR endings!



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Guest Thursday, 17 August 2017

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