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Verbs.  What are they?  Simply speaking, they express the action in a sentence. John walks to school.  In this sentence which word is the action?  WALKS.  This is the verb.  The verb tells what the subject is doing.  But, what is the subject?    John likes to walk.  Which is the main verb here?  What does John do?  He LIKES something, so "LIKES" is the verb.  Get it?

In Spanish, all verbs have what is called an infinitive form- the equivalent of "to + the action" [to walk, to talk, to eat, etc.] in English.  This infinitive form always ends in one of three ways- either AR, ER or IR.  This is important to know for two reasons.  First of all, when you come across a Spanish verb you do not know, you have to look up the infinitive form in the dictionary.  For example, let's say that while reading you came across the word "explicamos".  The word explicamos is not in the dictionary, but knowing that the word must end in AR, ER, or IR you look up "explicar" and learn that this means "to explain".  Secondly, verbs are conjugated in Spanish based on whether the infinitive ends in AR, ER or IR.

What is conjugation?  Go find out.

Now that you know what conjugation is, let's see if we can figure out how to do it en español.  Well, at least we'll get started.  At this point you have been  been working with a number of different verb forms (hablo, como, escribo; hablas, comes, escribes; habla, come, escribe; hablamos, comemos, escribimos; hablan, comen, escriben, and all those other words we've used).  These verb forms all come from infinitives.  The infinitives for these three verbs are:  HABLAR, COMER, and ESCRIBIR.  The verb forms were different because they came from different types of verbs.  This is a great place to start.  Let's make a chart showing the endings based on infinitive ending. ¡Qué emocionante!

Infinitives and their Endings
(present tense indicative)


So.  What do those endings go with?  The first column, all ending in "O" goes with "YO", the Spanish first person singular (="I").  The second column ending in "AS" or "ES" is the familiar  (Click here to learn about how to say "you" in Spanish.) second person singular, "" (= "you, my friend, peer,  family member, etc.")  The third column ending in "A" or "E" is primarily for "EL" or "ELLA" (= "he" or "she"); and is also used for the formal you- usted (abbreviated Ud. or Vd.) The words ending in "MOS" are for "nosotros" or "nosotras" (= "we").  Finally, the last column, ending in "N" is for "ellos" or "ellas"; and also for talking to a group of people "ustedes" "Uds." or "Vds." (= "you guys" or "youse guys", if you are from Revere).

Now put a chart in your notebook or on your paper that demonstrates the different infinitive types and the appropriate endings based on the subject.  It should look like the one above, except you need to add a row for the subjects (yo tú, él, etc.).

So where did these endings go?  Did we put them at the end of the infinitive?  Nope.  We dropped the "infinitive ending", in other words we got rid of the "AR", "ER" or "IR" before we added the ending.  It's really that simple.

Now you have a reference chart of endings to go by, and you know how to use them.  Use this information to write the correct form of the verbs below based on the subject that is given with it.  Even though you probably do not know what all these words mean, although you might, you can still put them in the correct form by using what you have learned.  (Write these on the sheet in the space provided.)

Go check your answers.  If you got any wrong, see if you can figure out why.  If you do not understand, see your teacher.

Actividades:  Your teacher has activities for you write, I'm sure.  Also, you need to do the activities linked below.  For each activity read the lesson.  Then at the bottom of the lesson(under free activities for everyone), do the quiz, the oral quiz and take the test.  Make sure you submit your test to the gradebook- estudiantes míos.  NOTE-  These activities include the "vosotros" form mentioned in the "you" page.  Familiarize yourself with this subject and its forms.

Just a little disclaimer, clarification- in case you thought it was really this simple for the whole language:

Are there exceptions to this?  Of course there are, and you have used some of them, and in fact using the language is the only way to learn it.  Here are some words you commonly use that do not follow the pattern from above:  How are they different form the pattern above?

You use most of these, if not all, correctly now because you have been using them.  As you continue to study and practice your Spanish, your skills will continue to develop and you will master the irregular ones, too.  But for now whenever you need to use a new verb, unless you know it is weird or irregular, you should treat it as if it is regular by using what you have learned form this page, as well as all the work you have been doing in class.

SUBJECT:  grammatically speaking, the subject of a sentence is whoever or whatever does the action of the verb- It is NOT what the subject is about!!!!

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