Lesson 4 of 15: Talking in the Present and Future – Spanish in 30 min a Day

present tense in Spanish

OK, verbs.

I’m sure you were expecting me to mention them soon, right?

Every sentence in about every language needs a verb, or a word describing the “action”.

Verbs can also help us tell whether the action takes place in the present, past or future.

Today, we’ll learn how to talk in both the present and future in Spanish.

Expressing the Present (El Presente)

To express the present tense in Spanish all you have to do is conjugate the verbs you use in the present form. There are three types of verbs in Spanish (ones that end in –ar, -er, and –ir), each of which are conjugated slightly differently depending on the subject of the sentence.

But knowing how to conjugate one, you know how to conjugate almost all of them. (There are a few irregular verbs.)

Here are the possible subjects.
Yo = I
tú/usted = you
él/ella =  he/she
nosotros = we
ellos/ellas = they

Examples: Notice how the verbs change ending according to the subject.

-ar: Verbs ending in –ar change like the one below in the present tense.

To work: trabajar

I work = (yo) trabajo
You work = (tú) trabajas
He/she works = (él, ella) trabaja
They work = (ellos, ellas) trabajan
We work = (nosotros) trabajamos

-ir: Here is an –ir verb in the present tense.

To live: vivir

I live = (yo) vivo
You live = (tú) vives
He/she lives = (él, ella) vive
They live = (ellos, ellas) viven
We live = (nosotros) vivimos

-er: Here is an –er verb in the present tense.

To eat: comer

I eat = (yo) como
You eat = (tú) comes
He/she eats = (él, ella) come
They eat = (ellos, ellas) comen
We eat = (nosotros) comemos

Note: But remember you don’t have to include the subjects (yo, tú, él, ella, etc.) when talking unless you want to emphasize “who” is doing the action: because in Spanish the conjugated verb tells the receiver of the message both the “who” and the “what”.

But if it is easier to talk with them for now, do it, everyone will still understand you.

Exercise 1.1: Now you try a couple. Change the verb according to the subject given.

Example: (comprar, yo) compro (I buy)

1. (andar, tú) _______ (you walk)
2. (perfeccionar, él) ________ (he perfects)
3. (tomar, nosotros) _________ (we take)
4. (cambiar, ellos) ____________ (they change)
5. (poner, tú) ___________ (you put)
6. (buscar, yo) ___________ (I look for)
7. (subir, ella) ___________ (She goes up)
8. (hablar, nosotros) ___________ (You and me (we) talk)
9. (bajar, ellos) _________ (they go down)
10. (salir, él) __________ (he goes out)
11. (esperar, yo) _________ (I wait)

Now you can talk in the present! Keep going to learn how you can talk about the past and future.

Expressing the Future (El Futuro)

Expressing something that will happen in the future is easy in Spanish, because like English, you just put the “to go” verb conjugated in the present tense in front of the verb expressing whatever it is you are going to do.

I WILL run.  OR  I am going to run.  = Voy a correr.

Ir (to go) + a + verb (not conjugated )

Example: Voy a beber (to drink). = I am going to drink.

Ir (to go) in present

Yo voy
Tù vas
Èl/ella va
Nosotros vamos
Ellos/ellas van

Exercise 3.1: Now say you (or the subject stated) are going to do the following things in the future.

Example: (yo) __voy_ a querer. (I will want)

1. (él) ________ perfeccionar la táctica. (He is going to perfect the tactic).
2. (nosotros) _________ tomar la cerveza. (We are going to drink the beer.)
3. (ellos) ____________ cambiar el mundo. (They will change the world.)
4. (yo) ___________ buscar en Google. (I will search in Google.)
5. (ella) ___________ subir las escaleras. (She will go up the stairs.)
6. (Nosotros) ___________ hablar más tarde. (We will talk later.)
7. (él) __________ salir de la casa. (He will go out of the house.)
8. (yo) _________ esperar para ti. (I will wait for you.)
9. (tú) _______ rendir muy bien. (You will perform well.)
10. (nosotros) ________ pasar la prueba. (We will pass the test.)

Now you can talk in both the present and the future.

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