Spanish Verb Conjugation: Helpful Charts & Tips

A big part of learning to speak Spanish is an understanding of basic grammar rules — and one of the first things you’ll need to know is Spanish verb conjugation.

Let’s start with the most important question: why is it important to learn conjugation? Conjugation enables us to use verbs to describe real live situations and events.

Without knowing how to conjugate verbs we would not be able to form coherent sentences. Just like in English, conjugating verbs (along with other Spanish grammar basics) is essential to learning the language.

Even though most native English-speakers don’t know this, we conjugate verbs all the time in English. Let’s use the example of the verb to watch in English. To conjugate it, we say:                            

As you can see, verb conjugation in English is quite simple. Almost all English verbs only have two variants when conjugating (i.e. watch vs. watches), with the exception of the verb to be which has three variants:

How to Conjugate Spanish Verbs

Spanish, on the other hand, always conjugates verbs into five variants. Let’s use the same example of the verb to watch in Spanish, which is mirar.

Again, as you can see, Spanish breaks down verbs into five different ending variants, which can feel overwhelming and confusing. Learning how it works can appear complicated at first, but luckily you can use the formula below that makes it so easy, it will become second nature.

Start with the following three steps to conjugate Spanish verbs:How to Conjugate Spanish Verbs

 

How to Conjugate -ar Verbs in Spanish

Let’s take mirar (to watch), for example:

How to Conjugate -er Verbs in Spanish

Let’s take comer (to eat), for example:

How to Conjugate -ir Verbs in Spanish

Here’s a great Spanish verb conjugation chart from Spanish411.net that summarizes these rules:

spanish verb conjugation chart

Spanish Conjugation Chart for More Practice

Use a simple chart like the one below, and practice conjugating each of the verbs.

Spanish conjugation chart

It seems easy, right? The formula is straightforward but it does get a little tricky when the verbs are “stem-changers” or irregular, which a Spanish tutor can help you understand in more detail. Additionally, conjugation in Spanish varies significantly when the tense changes to past or future.

What About Vosotros?

As you’re working on your Spanish conjugation practice, you may notice that some charts have a space for vosotros conjugation, while others don’t. Spain is the only Spanish-speaking country that actually breaks down verbs into six variants, not five, which commonly isn’t taught in Spanish classes in the United States. Here, Spain makes a distinction between “they” and “you all,” which is used interchangeably in all other Spanish-speaking countries, as speakers use contextual cues to decipher the difference.

Want Extra Spanish Conjugation Practice?

Check out the CoolJugator, a free online Spanish verb conjugator that makes practicing easy. Search for any verb, and you’ll see all of the conjugations, as well as examples in Spanish along with the English translation.

Of course, your Spanish tutor will also have recommendations for exercises and activities to try. This article will get you started, but a Spanish tutor will be able to really help you conjugate Spanish verbs with mastery!

Photo by The LEAF Project

Need help learning Spanish?

Try one of our most popular online Spanish classes for free

Practice Speaking Spanish for All Levels
Are you ready to start speaking Spanish in a fun, interactive group setting? The easiest way to learn Spanish starts with diving right into conversational Spanish. You'll be surprised how quickly your phrasing and accent improves when you speak! This class is perfect for anyone looking to practice speaking and listening.
Learn Basic Spanish Vocabulary for Beginners
Are you ready to embark on your Spanish speaking journey? These online Spanish classes are an excellent starting point. You’ll begin by learning some basic verbs and vocabulary so you can describe yourself, your family, and your weekly routine to others.
Using Verbs to Form Complete Sentences
Take your skills to the next level in this online Spanish class! You’ll learn how to use present tense verbs to form complete thoughts and sentences. You will also have the ability to describe actions and things you do on a regular basis. Lastly, the class will begin writing simple sentences with guidance from an expert Spanish instructor.
Spanish for Customer Service
Customer service is a vital part of any successful business, and the most valuable customer service reps are those who make an attempt to understand people of all backgrounds. These online classes will prepare you to ask for and give personal information in Spanish. You’ll also learn the necessary vocabulary for returning an item to a store, and many more useful topics!
Essential Spanish for Your Dream Vacation
Get ready for your trip to a Spanish-speaking country in these interactive, group Spanish classes! You’ll learn useful phrases for traveling and get to practice conversational Spanish with other students. Being prepared to speak in Spanish will make your next trip a breeze!
Essential Vocabulary & Phrases for Food
Food is a very important part of Spanish culture, and this online Spanish class will teach you the basics of talking about it! An expert instructor will walk you through common terms you’ll see in grocery stores and food ads. You’ll also learn to describe food and talk about specific dietary preferences.
Spanish Verb Conjugations for Beginners
Verbs are an important building block for forming sentences in Spanish. These beginner Spanish classes will break down the different conjugations and make them easier to understand. You’ll begin with the regular, present tense verbs and move into the irregulars. Soon you’ll be able to describe plans and even find out when to use “ser” versus “estar.” You won’t feel like a beginner for long!
Intro to the Spanish Alphabet, Greetings, & More
This online Spanish class will give you a firm foundation of skills so you can start your journey to fluency on the right foot. After this class, you’ll be able to introduce yourself and others in Spanish. Proper pronunciation and spelling will also be covered so you can develop both speaking and writing skills. Lastly, identifying words that sound similar in Spanish and English, also called “cognates,” will help you master even more vocabulary!