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3.17: Los verbos regulares "-er", "-ir"

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    Regular "-er", "-ir" ending verbs

    In 2.2.0 we mentioned that in Spanish, the basic form of a verb, or the infinitive form, always ends in either "-ar", "-er", OR "-ir".

    (In the examples below, all infinitive endings are in blue.)

    Infinitive form







    As a review, to conjugate "-ar" ending verbs, remove the "-ar" ending and replace it with the following endings:

    (In the charts below, the subject pronouns and their conjugation endings are noted in blue.)

    Subject Pronoun (Singular) Conjugation of -ar (bailar) Subject Pronoun (Plural) Conjugation of -ar (bailar)
    Yo bailo nosotros/nosotras bailamos
    bailas vosotros/vosotras bailáis
    usted, él/ella baila ustedes, ellos/ellas bailan

    Regular verbs ending in "-er", "-ir" will follow the same conjugation pattern as regular "-ar" ending verbs, but with the following new endings:

    Subject Pronoun (Singular) Conjugation of -er (comer) Subject Pronoun (Plural) Conjugation of -er (comer)
    Yo como nosotros/nosotras comemos
    comes vosotros/vosotras coméis
    usted, él/ella come ustedes, ellos/ellas comen
    Subject Pronoun (Singular) Conjugation of -ir (abrir) Subject Pronoun (Plural) Conjugation of -ir (abrir)
    Yo abro nosotros/nosotras abrimos
    abres vosotros/vosotras abrís
    usted, él/ella abre ustedes, ellos/ellas abren

    ¡Ojo! The endings for "-er" and "-ir" are almost the same, except for the "nosotros, nosotras" and the "vosotros, vosotras" form.

    When two verbs are used together in a sentence with no change of subject pronoun or noun, the second verb is not conjugated (infinitive). In a negative sentence, place the "no" before the conjugated verb:


    Yo debo barrer el piso hoy.

    Yo no asisto a muchos conciertos.

    Common regular "-er", "-ir" verbs

    -er verbs -ir verbs
    aprender (a) - to learn abrir - to open
    barrer - to sweep asistir (a) - to attend (a place/event)
    beber - to drink compartir - to share
    comer - to eat consumir - to consume
    comprender - to understand decidir - to decide
    correr - to run definir - to define
    creer - to believe (in) describir - to describe
    deber - should escribir - to write
    leer - to read insistir - to insist
    meter - to put in; to insert permitir - to allow
    prender - to catch; to turn on persistir - to persist
    romper - to break prohibir - to prohibit; to forbid
    temer - to fear; to dread recibir - to receive
    vender - to sell vivir - to live


    • Aprender: The "a" is required only when used with another verb in the infinitive:

    Aprendo el español. (but) Aprendo "a" hablar el español.

    • Asistir: Is not to be confused with the verb 'to assist' (helping someone). The "a" is required in the sentence when used with a "noun of place or event". When "a" is used with the masculine singular definite article "el", "a + el" combine to "al":

    Asisto "al" partido de fútbol los domingos. Asistimos "a" la universidad.

    • Prohibir: Requires a written accent on the letter "i" for all the conjugations except the "nosotros, nosotras" and the "vosotros, vosotras" form: prohíbo, prohíbes, prohíbe, prohibimos, prohibís, prohíben. All conjugations that require an accent on letter "i" are noted in bold.