Regular "ir" Verbs

In Spanish, there are three categories of verbs. The category is determined by the last two letters of the infinitive:

-ar verbs (like hablar)
-er verbs (like comer)
-ir verbs (like vivir)

The infinitive is the base form of the verb, such as to speak, to eat, to live, etc. In Spanish, all infinitives end in -ar, -er, or -ir.

-ar verb
hablar (to speak)

-er verb
comer (to eat)

-ir verb
vivir (to live)

To conjugate a verb means to manipulate the infinitive so that it agrees with the different possible subjects. Here is the present tense conjugation of the infinitive “to speak”:

to speak

I speak
you speak
he speaks
she speaks
we speak
you-all speak
they speak

The present tense in Spanish can mean three things. The Spanish phrase “yo hablo” can mean:

yo hablo
I speak

yo hablo
I am speaking

yo hablo
I do speak

Many Spanish verbs are completely regular, meaning that they follow a specific pattern of conjugation. In this lesson you will learn to conjugate regular -ar, -er, and -ir verbs (in the present tense). Before you can do that, you must memorize the following subject pronouns.

yo (I)
tú (you – informal)
él (he)
ella (she)
usted (you – formal)

nosotros/nosotras (we)
vosotros/vosotras (you-all – informal)

ellos/ellas (they)
ustedes (you-all formal)

For a review of the subject pronouns, click here.

Spanish infinitives are divided into two parts: the ending and the stem. The ending is the last two letters. Remember, all infinitives end in -ar, -er, or -ir. The stem is everything that’s left after you remove the ending.

habl + ar = hablar
com + er = comer
viv + ir = vivir

In this lesson, we will use the model verb: vivir. In Spanish, you conjugate verbs by changing the ending. If the subject is I (yo), conjugate by dropping the ending and add -o.

yo vivo (vivir – ir + o = vivo)
I live, I am living, I do live

If the subject is you – informal (tú), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -es (for -ir verbs).

tú vives (vivir – ir + es = vives)
you live, you are living, you do live

If the subject is he (él), she (ella) or you – formal (usted), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -e (-ir verbs).

él/ella/usted vive (vivir – ir + e = vive)
he lives, she is living, you (formal) do live

If the subject is we (nosotros/nosotras), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -imos for -ir verbs.

nosotros vivimos (vivir – ir + imos = vivimos)
we live, we are living, we do live

If the subject is you-all – informal (vosotros/vosotras), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding ís (-ir verbs).

vosotros vivís (vivir – ir + ís = vivís)
you-all live, you-all are living, you-all do live

If the subject is they (ellos/ellas) or you-all – formal (ustedes), conjugate by dropping the ending and adding -en (-ir verbs).

ellos/ellas/ustedes viven (vivir – ir + en = viven)
they live, they are living, you-all (formal) do live

As you can see, to conjugate regular -ir verbs, simply drop the ending (-ir) and add one of the following:

o
es
e
imos
ís
en

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