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LEARN SPANISH PRESENT SIMPLE (Presente - Present Simple) THE INDICATIVE MOOD
Before we study the present simple we need to learn some basic concepts about
Spanish verbs. Spanish verbs are always either regular or irregular as it happens
with English verbs. All Spanish verbs end either in "-ar", "-er"
or "-ir". These are the three Spanish conjugations.
Hablar (to speak), Correr (to run), Añadir (to add)
To form the present simple of the indicative mood, we need to take the verb as we
find it in the dictionary. Then we will remove the last two letters and we will
add the appropriate ending for each person.
For the verbs ending in -ar:
Example: We take the verb "andar" (to walk). We remove the "-ar": We are left with and- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.
For verbs ending in -er:
Example: We take the verb "correr" (to run). We remove the "-er": We are left with corr- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.
For verbs ending in -ir:
Example: We take the verb "añadir" (to add). We remove the "-ir": We are left with añad- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.
The differences between the persons "tú" (you), "vosotros" (you all), "usted" (you formal) and "ustedes" (you all formal) are explained in Spanish Personal Pronouns.
Some of the irregular verbs will be conjugated exactly in the same form, adding the same sets of endings; the only difference is that they will have some spelling changes in the stem of the verb. ***Remember*** Spanish Irregular verbs can be highly irregular and the general rule is "The rules do not apply".
You should practice conjugating the Spanish verbs with this online Spanish verb Trainer.
SOME GENERAL USES
The present simple is used to express events that are always true and not necessarily
only valid or true now.
La tierra es un planeta.
The Earth is a planet
This example tells us a fact, the Earth was a planet yesterday, it is a planet today and it will always be a planet.
We also use the present simple to talk about habits, routines or customs. When an
action is repeated in our lives and forms part of our day-to-day way of life, we
will speak about it using the present simple.
Me levanto a las ocho en punto.
I get up at eight o'clock
This example means that "(yo) me levanto" (I get up) always at the same time, at 8.00
Siempre me tomo una taza de café a primera hora de la mañana.
I always have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning
This example means that every morning "(yo) me tomo" (I have) a cup of coffee and not tea for example.
We can also use the present tense to refer to an immediate and planned future.
Mañana nos vamos a Madrid a las 6.30 de la tarde.
Tomorrow we go to Madrid at 6.30 pm
In some cases we can also find the present simple to tell an action that happened
in the past. We use the present simple to bring the story to life, to make the action
closer to the speaker in time.
Llegamos al hotel, el recepcionista nos dice que no hay ninguna reserva a nuestro nombre...
We arrive at the hotel, the receptionist tells us that there is no reservation under our name ...
With the present simple it is frequent to find adverbs of time and time expressions
such: siempre (always), normalmente (usually), a menudo (often), a veces (sometimes),
casi nunca (hardly ever), nunca (never), todos los días (every day), dos veces por
semana (twice a week), etc.
Ella siempre estudia inglés por las tardes.
She always studies English in the evenings
Casi nunca vamos a esquiar.
We hardly ever go skiing
Ellos nunca van a la playa.
They never go to the beach
Escuchamos la radio todos los días.
We listen to the radio every day