Spanish -AR Verbs (present tense)


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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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 StemVerb EndingWhole Verb

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


  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!).


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

Yo miroNosotros(as) miramos
Tú mirasVosotros(as) miráis
Él/Ella/Usted miraEllos/Ellas/Ustedes miran

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.