Spanish Grammar: Present Tense [-IR] Verbs

Spanish Grammar: Present Tense [-IR] Verbs

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Spanish Grammar: Present Tense [-IR] Verbs
la gramática española: verbos presentes [-ir]

  • There are three classes of verbs: [-AR], [-ER], [-IR].
  • Know what is acting or being acted upon.


60-Second Spanish Grammar Lesson


Infinitive verbs are verbs that are unchanged. They are in their most basic form, and can be adapted in many different ways. (An infinite number of ways, so to speak.)

Infinitive verbs in Spanish will always end with [-AR], [-ER], or [-IR].

Infinitive verbs, in English, always mean to do … (action).
For example: to run, to read, to speak, to live, to eat, to see, to hear, to work, to study …

Verb tenses and moods help identify when (timeframe) or how (intent) an action is occurring.

Present tense – Occurring now
Past tense – Occurred in the past (already happened)
Future tense – Will occur in the future.

Each one of tenses or moods have their own verb endings. We can change the timeframe of an action just by replacing the endings on each verb.

When we work with verbs, it’s easiest to start with the Present Indicative tense. This will help us discuss what is happening right now.

[-IR] verbs are all infinitive verbs that end with the letters [-IR]. Besides the [-IR] ending, there really is no kind of pattern to why certain verbs are [-IR] verbs.

ABRIR : To open

ASISTIR : To attend

DECIDIR : To decide

DEFINIR : To define

INSISTIR : To insist

OCURRIR : To occur

RECIBIR : To receive

SUBIR : To climb

TRANSMITIR : To transmit

VIVIR : To live

The system of adapting infinitive verbs to different people, places, and things is called verb conjugation.

When we conjugate verbs, we team them up with different Subject Pronouns to attach actions to people, places or things. Like from TO SPEAK to HE SPEAKS.

When we conjugate verbs, we DROP the [-IR] ending, and then reattach a NEW ENDING that lets us know who or what is acting or being acted upon.

Subject Pronoun + New Ending = Correctly Conjugated Verb!

[-IR] Verb Endings (Present Tense, Indicative Mood)
yo -o
él / ella / usted -e
nosotros(as) -imos
vosotros(as) -ís
ellos / ellas / ustedes -en


¿Dónde vive usted?
Where do you live (formal)?

Yo vivo en Nueva York.
I live in New York.

¿Dónde vives tú?
Where do you like (familiar)?

Yo vivo en Barcelona.
I live in Barcelona.

¿Por favor, abre la puerta?
Please open the door.

Si, yo abro la puerta.
Ok, I open the door.



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