The Grammar Page

Grammar Basics



Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

FAQs & About drlemonĀ©®

Email me!

Creative Commons License by Deborah R. Lemon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

There are three types of verbs in Spanish. We call them Ar, Er and Ir  verbs. We catagorize verbs based on the last two letters of their infinitive (or unconjugated) form.

To conjugate a verb, let's start with a common -Ar verb in its infinitive form:
  1. Hablar

  2. The first thing we do is take off the last two letters: the -ar  ending. Then we are left with the "root" of the verb:
    • Hablar - ar = Habl

  3. Now we add on one of the present tense endings to our root:
    • o
    • as
    • a
    • amos
    • an

  4. habl  + (one of the endings)---->Hablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, hablan

Present Tense Endings

Ar verbs

Er Verbs

Ir Verbs

Yo o o o
(you-casual) as es es
Él, Ella, Usted
(He, She, You-formal)
a e e
Nosotros (We-males/mixed group)
Nosotras (we-females)
amos emos imos
Ellos (they-males/mixed group)
Ellas (they-females)
Ustedes (you all)
an en en

Notice that the endings for the Er and Ir verbs are identical except for the Nosotros form.




 él, ella, usted


Ellos, ellas, Uds.

Hablar Hablo Hablas Habla Hablamos Hablan
Vivir Vivo Vives Vive Vivimos Viven
Comer Como Comes Come Comemos Comen

I like to think of the three categories as : Los buenos, Los malos, y Los feos (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.) This is because the -Ar verbs are pretty stable and have few irregulars or stem-changers, while the -Er verbs seems really predictable too and then suddenly have an irregular or stem-changer when you don't expect it. And the -Ir verbs thoroughly enjoy being irregular and quirky.

¡La Fiesta! Photo examples of present tense verbs