Spanish Verb Conjugation Forms

Verb conjugations refer to the forms a verb takes (e.g. present tense see and past saw). Spanish uses more conjugations than English. Below is a description of each of the Spanish verb forms.


Infinitive - Also known as the "dictionary form", the infinitive is the most basic of form of a verb. By itself, it says nothing about how many people are performing the verb's action or when

Example - Quiero ir a tu casa para hablarte. (I want to go to your house to talk to you.)


Past Participle - Used an a djective participle, past participles are used to describe the nature or states of things.

Example - La escuela está cerrada durante el verano. (The school is closed for summer.)


Gerund (Present Participle) - The form of the verb as an adverb, used to indicate that one action caused or happened at the same time as another.

Example - Él se está duchando. (He is showering.)


Present - This tense is used to express something that is happening currently, in the near future, or a general truth.

Example - No lo conozco. (I don't know him.)

Preterito Imperfecto

Imperfect (Past Continuous) - Used to describe events taking place in the past without regards to when the event began or ended, the imperfect tense describes actions that were happening, used to happen, or happened regularly in the past and on going.

Example - Él la amaba mucho pero la engañó. (He loved her a lot, but he cheated on her.)


Preterite (Simple Past) - Expressing actions which took place in the past, the preterite indicates that an action taken once in the past was completed at some point in the past.

Example - Lo bajé de Internet. (I downloaded it from the Internet.)


Future - This is the verb form that marks the event described by a verb as not having happened yet, but expected to in the future.

Example - Me casaré cuando tenga treinta años. (I will get married when I'm 30 years old.)


Subjunctive - The most difficult tense for Anglophones to learn, the subjective expresses wishes, commands (in subordinate clauses), emotion, possibility, judgement, necessity, and statements that are contrary to fact at present.

Example - Ella quiere que nosotros viajemos en tren. (She wants us to travel by train.)

Imperfecto de Subjunctivo

Subjunctive Imperfect (Past Subjunctive) - Used in the same way as the present subjunctive but for events in the past, this verb tense can also be used as an alterative to the conditional in certain structures.

Example - El entrenador prometió que si ganaran el partido se dejaría el bigote. (The coach promised that if they won he would shave his mustache.)


Conditional - The is the verb form used in conditional sentences to refer to a hypothetical state of affairs, or an uncertain event that is contingent on another set of circumstances.

Example - Si hubieras traído sacacorchos, ahora podríamos tomar vino. (If you had brought a corkscrew, we could drink wine right now.)


Imperative (Command) - This verb form is used when making commands.

Example - Para de quejarte. (Stop complaining.)