Regular "er" Verbs



In Spanish, there are three categories of verbs. The category is determined by the last two letters of the infinitive:

-ar verbs (like hablar)
-er verbs (like comer)
-ir verbs (like vivir)



The infinitive is the base form of the verb, such as to speak, to eat, to live, etc. In Spanish, all infinitives end in -ar, -er, or -ir.

-ar verb
hablar (to speak)

-er verb
comer (to eat)

-ir verb
vivir (to live)



To conjugate a verb means to manipulate the infinitive so that it agrees with the different possible subjects. Here is the present tense conjugation of the infinitive "to speak":

to speak

I speak
you speak
he speaks
she speaks
we speak
you-all speak
they speak



The present tense in Spanish can mean three things. The Spanish phrase "yo hablo" can mean:

yo hablo
I speak

yo hablo
I am speaking

yo hablo
I do speak



Many Spanish verbs are completely regular, meaning that they follow a specific pattern of conjugation. In this lesson you will learn to conjugate regular -ar, -er, and -ir verbs (in the present tense). Before you can do that, you must memorize the following subject pronouns.

yo (I)
tú (you - informal)
él (he)
ella (she)
usted (you - formal)

nosotros/nosotras (we)
vosotros/vosotras (you-all - informal)

ellos/ellas (they)
ustedes (you-all formal)

For a review of the subject pronouns, click here.



Spanish infinitives are divided into two parts: the ending and the stem. The ending is the last two letters. Remember, all infinitives end in -ar, -er, or -ir. The stem is everything that's left after you remove the ending.

habl + ar = hablar
com + er = comer
viv + ir = vivir



In this lesson, we will use the model verb: comer. In Spanish, you conjugate verbs by changing the ending. If the subject is I (yo), conjugate by dropping the ending and add -o.

yo como (comer - er + o = como)
I eat, I am eating, I do eat



If the subject is you - informal (tú), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -es (for -er verbs).

tú comes (comer - er + es = comes)
you eat, you are eating, you do eat



If the subject is he (él), she (ella) or you - formal (usted), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -e (-er verbs).

él/ella/usted come (comer - er + e = come)
he eats, she is eating, you (formal) do eat



If the subject is we (nosotros/nosotras), conjugate by dropping the ending and add -emos for -er verbs.

nosotros comemos (comer - er + emos = comemos)
we eat, we are eating, we do eat



If the subject is you-all - informal (vosotros/vosotras), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -éis for -er verbs.

vosotros coméis (comer - er + éis = coméis)
you-all eat, you-all are eating, you-all do eat



If the subject is they (ellos/ellas) or you-all - formal (ustedes), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -en (-er verbs).

ellos/ellas/ustedes comen (comer - er + en = comen)
they eat, they are eating, you-all (formal) do eat



As you can see, to conjugate regular -er verbs, simply drop the ending (-er) and add one of the following:

o
es
e
emos
éis
en



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