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Overview and Forms of Verbs
Spanish Grammar Part II
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Overview and Forms of Verbs

Overview and Forms of Verbs

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Author: Sophia Tutorial
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Recognize the first person singular and third person singular forms of verbs.

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Tutorial

what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn about the different forms of verbs in Spanish and how to use them. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Los Verbos (Verbs)
    1. Los Infinitivos (Infinitives)
    2. La Primera Persona Singular (First Person Singular)
    3. La Tercera Persona Singular (Third Person Singular)

1. Los Verbos (Verbs)

Pronouns, such as "he," tell you how to form your verbs.

EXAMPLE

You wouldn't say, " I walks to work." The word "walks" is the form that you would use with "he" or "she." You also wouldn't say, "I to walk to work." In that sentence, the verb has not even been conjugated (changed) at all. It is in its infinitive or pure form.

To make the verb agree with the subject, you must conjugate, or change, it into a form that does agree with the subject. Therefore, the correct sentence is "I walk to work."

Infinitive Conjugated Forms
to walk I walk, you walk, he/she walks

1a. Los Infinitivos (Infinitives)

Spanish has different endings for the different verb forms just like English does. All Spanish infinitives end in one of the following combinations of letters:

  • ar
  • er
  • ir
Those endings are the equivalent of saying "to" in English.

Infinitive English Translation
hablar to speak
comer to eat
vivir to live

1b. La Primera Persona Singular (First Person Singular)

We must also learn the form of each verb that we can use with the pronoun "yo" (I). This is called the first person singular form of the verb. The verb forms that agree with "yo" almost always end in the letter "o." Simply take off the "ar," "er," or "ir," and attach an "o."

First Person Singular English Translation
yo hablo I speak
yo como I eat
yo vivo I live

You can also leave off the pronoun "yo" and the meaning will remain the same (as if the pronoun were there). This is because the verb endings imply the pronouns with which they match; the pronoun is implied in the verb ending. It is still important to know which pronoun you’re using so that you choose the correct verb form.

1c. La Tercera Persona Singular (Third Person Singular)

Finally, we need to learn the third person singular form of the verb. This form is extremely important to learn because it is used with all of the following pronouns:

  • usted (you)
  • él (he)
  • ella (she)
It is also used when the subject of a sentence is any other singular noun (not a person). In English, we would use the pronoun "it" to refer to such singular nouns. However, in Spanish, every noun has gender (masculine/feminine). Therefore, in Spanish there is no such single pronoun (e.g., "it") to refer to objects. However, you can use this form of the verb to talk about singular objects.

To create the third person singular verb form, simply take off the "ar" and add an "a," or take off the "er" or "ir" and add an "e." See the examples below, which use the same verbs with different pronouns.

Third Person Singular English Translation
él habla he speaks
ella habla she speaks
usted habla you speak
él come he eats
ella come she eats
usted come you eat
él vive he lives
ella vive she lives
usted vive you live

This is also the verb form that you would use when talking about a single person when using his or her name instead of the pronouns "él" and "ella" (he and she).

summary
In this lesson, you learned about verbs in the Spanish language. The infinitive form of verbs all end in "ar," "er," or "ir". To create the first person singular form of a verb, you simply need to replace the verb ending with an "o." To create the third person singular form of a verb that ends in "ar," you will replace the verb ending with "a;" if the verb ends in "er" or "ir," you will replace the verb ending with "e."

¡Buena suerte!

Source: This content has been adapted from "Pharmacy Spanish" by Stephanie Langston.