Spanish -AR Verbs (present tense)

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

Spanish –ar verbs, in particular, are an essential part of learning Spanish. -Ar verbs share the same construction, so you can easily link them in your mind. This will make all of the words easier to remember.

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Conjugating Regular -AR Verbs in The Present Tense in Spanish

In Spanish we conjugate our verbs just like we do in English. But, what does conjugate mean?

Conjugating verbs is when we change the ending (and sometimes the stem!) of a verb based on the subject of the sentence. Let’s take the verb “to be” for example. Watch how “be” changes based on the subject of the sentence in these examples: I am, You are, He is. We do this with every verb we use – unless using it in its infinitive form.

In order to conjugate verbs in Spanish, we need to know which type of verb we are conjugating. To determine the type of verb you are working with, you will simply look at its ending. The ending of a verb will always be the last two letters.

NOTE! The verb type simply means a verb ends in either -ar, -er or -ir.

The stem is the remaining beginning part of the verb. There are three types of verbs in Spanish. They are: -AR verbs (ex: caminar, hablar, trabajar), -ER verbs (ex: comer, vender, leer), and -IR verbs (ex: permitir, vivir, recibir).

Verb Stem

Verb Ending

Whole Verb

HABL-

AR

HABLAR

COM-

ER

COMER

VIV-

IR

VIVIR

 

Once you determine the type of verb you are conjugating, you are ready to conjugate the verb using these three short steps:

STEPS TO CONJUGATING REGULAR PRESENT TENSE VERBS IN SPANISH

  1. Chop off your -AR, -ER or -IR ending (viajar, beber, abrir) so that you are left with just the stem.
  2. Determine the subject of the sentence (yo, tú, él, etc.).
  3. Add your new ending based on the subject of the sentence. (yo viajo, tú bebes, nosotros abrimos)

For step 3, here are the new endings you will add to -AR verbs only (we will talk about -ER and -IR verbs in our upcoming lessons!).

-O

-AMOS

-AS

-ÁIS

-A

-AN

 

Here is the verb MIRAR (to look at) conjugated in each form. The new endings have been highlighted in red for you.

Yo miro

Nosotros(as) miramos

Tú miras

Vosotros(as) miráis

Él/Ella/Usted mira

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes miran

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In Spanish, some of the first conjugations to master are present tense, regular verbs. This includes verbs that end in an -ar, -er, or-ir. Each have a different set of rules to follow when speaking and writing. Learn your -ar verbs first before moving onto the -er and -ir verb conjugations.

In Spanish, it is important to match your conjugation with the subject pronoun. This is who you are speaking to, at, or about. When in a formal setting, like a business meeting, make sure to use formal subject pronouns like Usted or Ustedes. (For clarification on the topic of subject pronouns see previous modules.)

Here are some example verbs with "ar":

Nadar              To swim

Caminar          To walk

Hablar             To talk

Escuchar         To hear/ listen

Trabajar          To work

Below is a chart with the verb endings for "ar" verbs:

Spanish ar-verbs


This is easier to memorize if you think of a song inside your head. (-o, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, -an).

How to conjugate

First, “drop” the ending "ar", then replace with one of the appropriate verb endings.  

Example:

STEP 1: Yo +  camin (drop the -ar ending)
STEP 2: Yo + camino (add the conjugation ending that matches the pronoun)

Let’s practice!
Once you finish this activity, be sure to click READ MORE to see the answer key! 

Part I:

  1. In Spanish how many types of verbs do we have?
  2. What are the different types of verbs in Spanish?

Part II:
Based on the subject of the sentence, pick the correct conjugation of the verb in the following sentences:

3. Me gusta la música. Yo ____________ siempre.

                        a. canto                       b. cantas                      c. canta

 

4. Le gusta la clase de arte. Ella ___________ en la biblioteca.

                        a.  dibuja                     b. dibujamos               c. dibujan

 

5. Nos gusta hablar. Nosotros __________ todo el tiempo.

                        a. hablo                       b. habla                       c. hablamos

 

6. Os gusta la radio. Vosotros __________ la música mucho.

                        a. escucha                   b. escuchamos            c. escucháis

 

7. Les gustan los programas de televisión. Ellos __________ la televisión cada día.

                        a. miro                         b. miran                      c. miras

Part III:
Fill the blank with the correct conjugation of the verb in parenthesis:

8. Nosotros ____________ por teléfono todos los  días. (hablar)

9. Tú ____________ mucho durante la semana. (trabajar)

10. Yo ____________ con mi compañero en la óficina. (colaborar)

Answer key: 1. Three, 2. -AR, -ER, -IR, 3. A, 4. A, 5. C, 6. C, 7. B, 8. Hablamos, 9. Trabajas, 10. Colaboro 

Match the ending with the correct subject pronoun: 

1. -o               A. Nosotros
2. -amos        B. Vosotros
3. -an             C. Yo
4. -áis            D. Ella
5. -as             E. Ellos
6. -a               F. Tú


7. Yo ____ en la escuela.  (I work in the school).
   a. trabajo
   b. trabajas 
   c. trabajamos 
   d. trabajan 

8. Nosotros ___ por la calle. (We walk down the street.) 
   a. camino
   b. camina
   c. caminan 
   d. caminamos 

9. Vosotros ____ francés. (You all (informal) speak French.)
   a. habla
   b. hablan
   c. habláis
   d. hablo
   
10. Él ____ a la televisión. (He watches the television.)
   a. miro
   b. mira
   c. miras
   d. miramos
   e. miráis 
 
Answers:

1C, 2A, 3E, 4B, 5F, 6D, 7A, 8D, 9C, 10B

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