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Grammar - Conjugating AR Verbs - Present Tense (1)

This Spanish Easy Review grammar quiz takes a look at conjugating AR verbs in the present tense. As you have already learned by now, there are three types of verbs in Spanish. We call them ar verbs, er verbs and ir verbs.

We categorize Spanish verbs based on the last two letters of their infinitive or base form. For example:

caminar (to walk) - becomes - caminAR (ar verb)

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correr (to run) - becomes - corrER (er verb)

escribir (to write) - becomes - escribIR (ir verb)

Up until now you have only learned how to say the base form of a verb but as you know, verbs are action words so they need to show an action taking place. In order to do that, the verb needs to be conjugated. We will start off by conjugating in the present tense with regular ar verbs. To conjugate means to break the verb down in parts to form the correct verb spelling that goes along with the correct pronoun (I, you, he, she, we, they).

To begin, you take off the ar ending so that the verb caminar becomes: caminar - ar = camin. Now we add on one of the present tense endings - o, as, a, amos, áis, an - so that you now have the following: camin + (present tense ending):

Pronoun Present Tense English Meaning
yo camino I walk
caminas you walk (familiar)
usted camina you walk (formal)
él camina he walks
ella camina she walks
nosotros/as caminamos we walk (note the masculine and feminine forms)
vosotros/as camináis you walk (plural – familiar) (note the masculine and feminine forms)
ustedes caminan you walk (plural – formal)
ellos/ellas caminan they walk (note the masculine and feminine forms)

The conjugating of all ar regular verbs will be done this same way in the present tense so be sure to take plenty of time to practice and become very familiar with the present tense endings. Remember that for the pronoun 'we', if you have all boys you would say 'nosotros' and if you have all girls you would say 'nosotras' but if you have a mixture of boys and girls you will always use 'nosotros'. This holds true for you, plural familiar, 'vosotros' for all boys, 'vosotras' for all girls and 'vosotros' for a mix of boys and girls. For the word 'they' you use 'ellos' for all boys, 'ellas' for all girls and 'ellos' for a mix of boys and girls. Spanish always focuses on gender.

When you believe you have grasped how to conjugate ar verbs, move on to the quiz section. It contains ten present tense verbs in English with their corresponding pronouns. From the answers provided, determine the correct Spanish verb and pronoun that will match. See how well you can do without looking back at the introduction.

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  1. they study (group of girls)
    The first hint is to look for the Spanish pronoun for 'they' when it includes all girls. When it includes all girls, the Spanish pronoun for 'they' is 'ellas'. This means that the first, third and last answers are not correct. The second answer shows the correct pronoun, as well as the correct conjugated present tense form of the verb for 'they study'.
  2. he helps
    The first thing to look at is the pronoun. The word 'he' is the pronoun and 'he' in Spanish is él. This tells us that the first, second and last answers are all incorrect which leaves the third answer. The third answer shows the correct pronoun and the correct conjugated present tense form of the verb for 'he helps'.
  3. we kiss (boy and girl)
    The first hint is to look for the Spanish pronoun for 'we' when it includes boys and girls or a boy and a girl. When it includes both genders, the Spanish pronoun for 'we' is 'nosotros'. This means that the first, second and last answers are not correct. The third answer shows the correct pronoun, as well as the correct conjugated present tense form of the verb for 'we kiss'.
  4. you dance (daughter)
    The first thing to do is to check out the pronoun. The pronoun for 'you' when 'you' is a 'daughter' means that the person is a familiar person. The Spanish pronoun for a familiar 'you' person is tú. This means that the second, third and last answers are each incorrect leaving the first answer which does show the correct pronoun and present tense form of the verb 'you dance'.
  5. you judge (community)
    The first thing to look at is the pronoun. The Spanish pronoun for 'you' when it refers to a community would be, first plural and second, formal as opposed to familiar. The plural, formal version of 'you' is ustedes. This means that the first, second and last answers are not correct. The third answer on the other hand has the correct pronoun and present tense form of the verb 'you judge'.
  6. I save
    The quickest way to find the answer is to determine the right pronoun. The Spanish pronoun for 'I' is 'yo'. Now you can quickly eliminate the first, second and third answers. The last answer shows the correct pronoun and present tense form of the verb 'I save'.
  7. you balance (cousins)
    First determine which pronoun should be used. Here we have the pronoun 'you' and 'you' refers to 'cousins'. As there is more than one cousin we know we need to use a plural form of the pronoun and 'cousins' are familiar so we need the plural, familiar form of the pronoun 'you'. As we do not know if it is all boy cousins or all girl cousins or a mix, we always use the masculine pronoun when that answer is unknown. The plural, familiar Spanish pronoun for 'you' is 'vosotros'. The second answer shows the correct pronoun and present tense form of the verb 'you balance'.
  8. we whistle (girls)
    First look at the pronoun. The pronoun here is 'we' and we know it means all girls. The Spanish pronoun for 'we' when it is all girls is 'nosotras'. This means that the first, second and last answers are each incorrect. The third answer, however, shows the correct pronoun and the correct present tense of the verb 'we whistle'.
  9. she sings
    First determine what the pronoun should be. The Spanish pronoun for 'she' is 'ella'. This means that the first, second and third answers are each incorrect. The last answer shows the correct pronoun, as well as the correct present tense of the verb 'she sings'.
  10. they pay (men)
    The first step is to determine the correct pronoun. The Spanish pronoun for 'they' when they are all men (masculine) is 'ellos'. This means you can eliminate the second, third and last answers. The first answer shows the correct pronoun and present tense of the verb 'they pay'.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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