How Spanish verb tenses work

Usually, when I learn a language, verbs are one of the first things to learn and sometimes it’s not easy to memorize them. For this reason, I’d like to talk about what we can do to learn Spanish verb tenses (regular verbs) in this post.

It’s easy and fast. You only need to practice with different exercises and you’ll see how you’ll learn regular verbs in Spanish.

At the end of the post, you will be able to download my PDF file with everything I talk in this post plus exercises to learn Spanish verb tenses. In addition, I give you a verb template where you can write every conjugation of a verb and that way, you will have every conjugation of different verbs you learned organized.

Video lesson to know how spanish verb tenses work


Moods and tenses

There are three moods in Spanish: indicativo (indicative), subjuntivo (subjunctive) and imperativo (imperative) and inside these moods, there are verb tenses.

Spanish verb tenses in indicative and subjunctive are similar but the imperative mood is completely different.

Indicative and subjunctive have simple and compound verb tenses which can be conjugated in any person: yo, tú, él/ella/usted, nosotras/as, vosotros/as, ellos/as.

  • Simple Spanish verb tenses: presente, pretérito indefinido (also called pretérito perfecto simple), pretérito imperfecto, futuro simple and condicional simple.
  • Compound Spanish verb tenses: pretérito perfecto (compuesto), pretérito pluscuamperfecto, pretérito anterior, futuro compuesto and condicional compuesto.

Every tense has its own conjugation and the ending of the verb is different for each person.

You can read below which endings are and in my free PDF you have three moods with their Spanish verb tenses and the complete conjugation in addition to some exercises to practice.

Spanish conjugation forms

If you want to communicate in Spanish, you need to know the conjugated forms. This is the easiest step because you only need to know the verb endings for the regular verbs.

I want to help you in this step so I’m going to show you how it works. Don’t worry about the irregular verbs; I’ll talk about them in another post ;D.

Spanish –AR ending verbs:


To be able to conjugate presente, indefinido and imperfecto, it’s necessary to give the first part of the verb. Example: AMAR= AM-O/ AM-É/ AM-ABA.

To conjugate futuro and condicional, you need to take the infinitive: AMAR-É/ AMAR-ÍA.




For the perfect tenses
, it’s necessary to use the verb “haber” plus past participle.

In the perfect tenses, the participle never changes and it happens the same with the verbs ending in –ar –er and –ir.

I hope this post about Spanish verb tenses help you to understand better how Spanish verbs work. I see you in the next post.

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