Learning Spanish grammar is not difficult with good practice, so, to give you a good start, we have chosen the most important and common Spanish verbs. Of course, there are lots more, but we have prepared a list with the ones that will give you a great boost if you learn their conjugation. We have mixed regular and irregular verbs, so keep in mind they will be organized in terms of utility not from the easiest to the hardest.
With that clear, let’s start:
VERBS SER Y ESTAR:
These two verbs are translated in English as “to be”, so it’s crucial to understand in which cases you can use one or the other. In Spanish we use them to talk about our origins, our current location, time, moods, etc. Let’s check their conjugation in simple present tense and some very handy examples (remember that in Spanish we usually just use the verb conjugated when talking):
Examples with SER:
- Alejandra es de Medellín y yo soy de Cali = Alejandra is from Medellín and I am from Cali.
- Soy estudiante de español = I am a Spanish student.
- Él es mi amigo = He is my friend
Examples with ESTAR:
- Estoy feliz = I am happy.
- ¿Cómo estás? = How are you? (informal)
- ¿Cómo está? = How are you? (formal)
- Perdón, ¿dónde está el museo? = Excuse me, where is the museum?
Certainly one of the most common Spanish verbs and your soon-to-be best friend. “Ir”, which is “to go” in English, is a very useful verb to express your plans and intentions. As long as you learn the conjugation, you can use it in the present tense to talk about your routine or also in future tenses. Let’s check the conjugation and some examples:
Examples with IR:
- Voy al supermercado a comprar unas cervezas = I go to the supermarket to buy some beers.
- Mañana vamos a visitar el cerro de Monserrate = Tomorrow we will visit Moserrate mountain.
- ¿A dónde vas? = Where are you going?
- ¡Vamos! =Let’s go
Maybe you have listened to this before, but “tener” (to have) is a verb native speakers usually use to talk about very important topics, such as age, moods, periods of life, and responsibilities. If you don’t want to starve to death in a Spanish-speaking country or even more important to break the ice with that good looking guy or girl in the bar without sounding weird, you will need to learn this verb.
Examples with TENER:
- Me llamo Ángela y tengo 27 años ¿Y tú? = My name is Ángela and I am 27, what about you?
- ¿Tienen hambre? ¿Vamos por una pizza? = Are you hungry? Shall we go for a pizza?
- En Cartagena siempre tengo calor = In Cartagena I am always hot.
- Tengo que practicar para hablar más español = I have to practice more to speak Spanish.
- If you are hot always say “tengo calor” because “estoy caliente” has a sexual connotation.
- If you are cold please say “tengo frío” because “estoy frío” will sound as you need to warm up for exercise and “soy frío” will make you look expressionless or a cold person.
- If you want to talk about age, always use “tener”, in Spanish age is something we possess, never something we are.
- If you are hungry say “tengo hambre” (I have hunger), and if you are thirsty say “tengo sed” (I have thirst). In those cases “ser” or “estar” will never be used by a Spanish speaker.
As we really like you, we decided to help you further so you don’t make these famous mistakes! If you want to learn more about the most common mistakes non-natives speakers make when talking Spanish, check this link.
This verb means “to want” and according to the context “to love”. If you are in a restaurant asking for food you can use “me gustaría una hamburguesa…” (I would like a burger), but “querer” plus “por favor” (please) can be key when ordering whatever you want. If you want to know how “querer” can be used for expressing love (check this link to learn more about it).
Examples with QUERER:
- Quiero una ensalada y una limonada de coco, por favor = I want a salad and a coconut lemonade, please.
- Queremos dos margaritas y una cerveza fría, por favor = We want two margaritas and a cold beer, please.
- John quiere viajar a Colombia = John wants to travel to Colombia.
- ¿Quieres algo más? = Do you want something more?
We hope this list of some of the most common Spanish verbs proves to be useful when learning, talking, and interacting in Spanish! Good luck 🙂
For another interesting article about Spanish grammar, check When Do We Use “Llevar” and “Traer” in Spanish?
This was written by Angela, one of the super amazing teachers at Whee.