- Identify the correct conjugations of verbs ending in -ar
- Answer questions using -ar verbs
Here’s that list of verbs again:
- ayudar (to help)
- bailar (to dance)
- buscar (to look for)
- caminar (to walk)
- cantar (to sing)
- cocinar (to cook)
- comprar (to buy)
- descansar (to rest)
- desear (to wish)
- enseñar (to teach)
- escuchar (to listen)
- esquiar (to ski)
- estudiar (to study)
- ganar (to win)
- hablar (to talk)
- llamar (to call)
- llegar (to arrive)
- mandar (to send)
- mirar (to look at)
- nadar (to swim)
- necesitar (to need)
- practicar (to practice)
- preguntar (to ask)
- regresar (to return)
- tomar (to take)
- trabajar (to work)
- usar (to use)
- viajar (to travel)
The verbs in the list above are in their infinitive form. That’s why the English translation usually starts with “to” (to help, to dance, etc.).
All Spanish infinitives end in the letter r, and the three regular conjugation patterns are classified into -ar, -er, and -ir verbs. We’ll learn about -er and -ir verbs in the next chapter. For now, let’s look at the -ar verbs.
Regular verbs ending in –AR are conjugated in the present tense by removing the -AR infinitive ending and adding one of the following personal endings:
|Regular -ar Verbs|
|First||(yo) -o||(nosotros) -amos|
|Second||(tú) -as||(vosotros) -áis *|
|Third||(él / ella / usted) -a||(ellos / ellas / ustedes) -an|
* Note: This second-person plural form (vosotros) is only used in the variety of Spanish used in Spain. In other Spanish dialects the third person plural form (ustedes) is used in both formal and informal plural direct-address situations.
Now that we can conjugate some verbs, let’s be sure we understand how to put them into complete sentences.
Basic sentence structure: statements
The basic structure of simple sentences in Spanish is the same as in English: subject – verb – object. Since the verb will be conjugated differently according to the different subjects, the verb ending will often make it perfectly clear who is doing the action and you can leave the subject off unless you want to clarify or emphasize who is doing the action.
- Estudiamos el español. (We study Spanish.)
- La profesora explica la gramática. (The professor explains the grammar.)
Basic sentence structure: yes-no questions
Yes-no questions are also quite simple in Spanish, and there are two ways of expressing them: either they have the same word order as a simple sentence and are spoken with a rising intonation instead of falling, or the verb and subject are reversed (verb – subject – object). Just be sure to put the upside-down question mark at the beginning and the upside-right question mark at the end of each question. Also note that Spanish does NOT use an auxiliary or helping verb like English (do/does).
- ¿Estudiamos el español? (Do we study / are we studying Spanish?)
- ¿Explica la profesora la gramática? (Does the professor explain the grammar?)
Basic sentence structure: negation
Answering affirmatively is easy, you just say “sí” (yes) and state your answer. To make a negative sentence, just put the word “no” before the verb (subject – no – verb – object). The Spanish word “no” means both “no” and “not”. And remember that Spanish does NOT use the auxiliary or helping verb (do/does).
- No estudiamos el francés. (We do not study French.)
- La profesora no explica la tecnología. (The professor doesn’t explain the technology.)
- No, los estudiantes no escuchan música en la clase. (No, the students do not listen to music in class.)
Some verbs can have another verb as their object; these are called modal verbs. The same person needs to be doing both actions, and the second verb is *not* conjugated.
- Necesito ir al baño. (I need to go to the bathroom.)
- Deseo estudiar un idioma de cada continente. (I want to study one language from each continent.)