Posted on February 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM.
Today we want to share with you a small grammar post about verb conjugation and how it works. It is definitely one of the most difficult aspects for Spanish learners to understand, but it's definitely NOT impossible!
"To conjugate" a verb is to inflect it for mood and tense. In Spanish, conjugated verbs also reflect the person and number of the subject. We do this with a unique suffix.
Learning to conjugate verbs properly in Spanish is often one of the biggest challenges for English-speaking learners of Spanish. Luckily, the vast majority of Spanish verbs follow predictable patterns:
Regular Verbs. There are three classes of regular verbs; they are usually referred to by their infinitive endings: -ar verbs, -er verbs, and -ir verbs.
True irregular verbs. Some very high frequency verbs like ser (to be) and ir (to go) have highly unpredictable forms. These forms must be learned by rote memory, which is made easier by the fact that they are so high frequency.
Other So-called “irregular verbs.” There are some Spanish verbs whose forms in the simple tenses are not predictable; that is, they are not follow regular rules of conjugation. These are often sloppily labeled “irregular” and are presented haphazardly to the dismay of the students. However, some of the so-called “irregular” verbs do follow a pattern; these verbs that pattern together will be presented together and given a nifty SpanishPod name, to indicate that they are not true irregulars.
On this site, we will use the word “irregular” only in the strictest sense; that is, only for verbs that do not follow conjugation patterns.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section!
-The SpanishPod Team
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