Hola and welcome to a new lesson. This one is strongly related to the one about regular verbs, so we expect you to have a basic understanding of how Spanish regular verbs work before continuing. Spanish irregular verbs are special in the sense that they do not follow rules when conjugated. Although they are a challenging part of the language, they are widely used in a daily basis. In this grammar lesson you will learn a short list of Spanish irregular verbs in the present tense, and more importantly, the way to use these verbs to make meaningful sentences in the present tense. We have included many examples, tips and other resources that will make the lesson very interesting.
What are Spanish irregular verbs? – Los verbos irregulares
Spanish irregular verbs, los verbos irregulares, are a special type of verbs that do not follow conjugation rules like regular verbs do. For a typical regular verb like “ESTUDIAR”, we know that the conjugations or forms for each pronoun are predictable based on the rules for “-AR” ending verbs, so we could say “Yo estudio“, “Tú estudias” and so on. On the contrary, the Spanish irregular verb SER, for instance, will be conjugated as SOY for the subject pronoun YO, very differently to its original form.
Irregular verbs are really common in the language so to use them we must memorize their conjugations. Some of them will change their form for a few pronouns, but not for others, but most of the time they have an unpredictable behavior. Here is a video explaining more about irregular verbs in Spanish and giving some specific examples.
Conjugating ESTAR (to be) in the present tense
ESTAR is a pretty common irregular verb and it is actually one of the first ones you should add to your list of Spanish irregular verbs. ESTAR is one of the forms of the verb to be and it is particularly useful to talk about states, feelings and emotions, actions in progress and to indicate the location of objects. If ESTAR were regular, then for YO we would say [EST + O], but it is irregular so it will actually become ESTOY as in “Yo estoy”. The chart below shows the conjugations for the Spanish irregular verb ESTAR as well as some sentences in the present tense in Spanish with this verb. Pay attention to the correct pronunciation of the verb. Please check the related lesson to learn more about this verb.
|Sentences with the conjugations of ESTAR|
Yo estoy enojado
I am angry
Tú estás/Vos estás ocupada todo el tiempo
You are busy all the time
Él/Usted/ Ella – Ella está haciendo su tarea
He/you/She is doing her homework
Nosotros estamos felices de estar aquí
We are happy to be here.
¿Vosotros estáis enfermos?
Are you sick?
Ellos, Ustedes – ¿Ustedes están tomando clases de español?
Are you taking Spanish classes?
Conjugating SER (to be) in the present tense
SER is the second form of the verb to be and it is also one of the most common Spanish irregular verbs. Unlike ESTAR, SER is used to describe things like rooms and parts of the house, to describe people, to talk about time, nationalities and many other things. SER will change completely for some pronouns. The chart below shows how to conjugate the irregular verb SER and make present tense sentences in Spanish for all pronouns.
|Sentences with the conjugations of SER|
Yo soy tu hermano
I am your brother
Tú eres muy inteligente
You are very smart
Vos sos mi mejor amigo
You are my best friend
Él, Ella, Usted – Usted es mi maestro favorito.
You are mi favorite teacher
Nosotros somos de Japón
We are from Japan
Vosotros sois tan talentosos.
You are so talented
Ustedes/Ellos – ¿Ellos son tus amigos?
Are they your friends?
Conjugating IR (to go) in the present tense
IR (to go) is another common verb you should really know how to use. It can be used in simple sentences in the present tense in Spanish or as an auxiliary for the future tense, especially for making future plans just like the structure “going to” in English. As you may suspect, the verb IR like other Spanish irregular verbs, will change totally when conjugated for all the pronouns. The chart below shows how to conjugate IR.
|Sentences with the conjugations of IR (to go)|
(Yo) voy a la casa de mis padres casa fin de semana
I go to my parent’s house every weekend
Tú vas al cine cada jueves
You go to the movies every Thursday
Ella, Él, Usted – Él va a terminar eso mañana.
He is going to finish that tomorrow
Nosotros vamos a la playa en verano
We go to the beach in summer
¿Vosotros váis ahí a menudo?
Do you go there often?
Ellos/Ustedes – Ellos van a jugar hoy.
They are going to play today
A list of common Spanish irregular verbs in the present tense
There are many other Spanish irregular verbs apart from SER, ESTAR and IR. You can check a few other in this lesson by Linguasorb. We would like to focus more on providing examples of sentences using Spanish irregular verbs for you to see that they are important in everyday conversations and that there is no way to master the language without spending time on them. We will be covering some of these verbs with more details and activities in other lessons. For now, here is a short list of common Spanish irregular verbs, “verbos irregulares”. Click on play to listen to the conjugations.
|A list of Spanish irregular verbs and their conjugations|
Tener – Yo tengo, tú tienes, él tiene, nosotros tenemos, vosotros tenéis, ellos tienen
To have – I have, you have, he has, we have, you have, they have
Dar – Yo doy, tú das, él/ella da, nosotros damos, vosotros dais, ellos/ustedes dan
To give – I give, you give, he/she gives, we give, you give, they/you give
Hacer – Yo hago, tú haces, él hace, nosotros hacemos, vosotros hacéis, ellos hacen
To do – I do, you do, he does, we do, you do, they do
Caer – Yo caigo, tú caes, él cae, nosotros caemos, vosotros caéis, ellos caen
To fall – I fall, you fall, he falls, we fall, you fall, they fall
Salir – Yo salgo, tú sales, ella sale, nosotros salimos, vosotros salís, ellos salen
To go out – I go out, you go out, she goes out, we go out, you go out, they go out
Saber – Yo sé, tú sabes, él sabe, nosotros sabemos, vosotros sabéis, ellos/ustedes salen
To know – I know, you know, he knows, we know, you know, they know
Ver – Yo veo, tú ves, él ve, nosotros vemos, ustedes, ellos ven
To see – I see, you see, he sees, we see, you see, they see
More examples of sentences using Spanish irregular verbs:
1. Ellos hacen sus tareas solos. (They do their homework by themselves)
2. Yo tengo 2 hijos y ellos tienen tres (I have 2 children and they have 3)
3. Yo se que tú tienes la razón. (I know you’ve got the reason)