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Mastering Conjugations: "Core" Verbs

This page is designed to provide comprehensive, hands-on verb form practice for students who, one way or another, have encountered most or all of the Spanish verb tenses and wish to practice them. If you have studied just the first few tenses, click here.

The exercises provided are designed to bring you to a level where you can readily produce, when speaking or writing, a verb form when you need it without looking it up. The goal here is active knowledge, not mere recognition.

We begin with a list of 39 "core verbs."

 

WHAT'S A "CORE VERB"?

It's nothing official, actually. It's just a term I use to give you an idea of how to address the task of learning to conjugate Spanish verbs.

It's simple: If you can correctly conjugate the verbs on the list below in all their forms, plus the verbs (if any) conjugated just like them, you can call yourself a master of Spanish verbs. There are some low-frequency verbs not covered here, but you'll have most of it.

The list consists of model and uniquely irregular verbs.

Model verbs represent a group of verbs that, regular or otherwise, are conjugated the same way. For example, hablar represents all regular -ar verbs. If you can conjugate it, you can conjugate any regular verb in that class. For each model verb, other common verbs of its type are listed. The lists are representative rather than exhaustive.

Uniquely irregular verbs are very common ones that are either "one-of-a-kind" (ser, for example) or that represent a very small class, the other members of the class being compounds of the same verb (eg, poner→oponer, suponer, etc.).

 

Order of the List
Verbs are listed by group (regular, uniquely irregular, stem-changing, etc.). They are listed first in the table and then further down, with more detail added. This order also represents a suggested order for review of the verbs. (But that too is not official.)

Click on the verb itself to see a description of the verb type it represents, and see a representative list of others of the same type. From there you can go to its full conjugation, and to interactive quizzes where you actually input the verb forms and get instant feedback.

 

How to Proceed

  • Go to the list right below, and click on hablar. View its full conjugation if desired.
  • Then click on the quizzes link and practice the regular verbs, of which hablar is one. For each verb type, you will see two quizzes, which cover the most common tenses. Repeat any quiz in which weaknesses show up.
  • Continue with following quizzes or close the quiz window and return to this window.
  • Go back to list and try other verb types.
  • Practice the forms and tenses not covered in these quizzes:
ˇSuerte!
LIST OF CORE VERBS    top of page

Verbs in *bold are the first in each general type (regular, irregular, stem-changing, etc.). Each quiz group starts with a verb of that type. Click on each verb to see a description of its chacteristics; from there you can go to its full conjugation or directly to quizzes on that verb type.

List should be read left to right.

  *hablar comer vivir *estar ser  
  ir dar ver *perder contar  
  preferir servir dormir *decir hacer  
  querer saber tener venir poder  
  poner traer reducir *salir *conocer  
  *construir creer oír reír *pagar  
  jugar distinguir cruzar convencer buscar  
  proteger averiguar *enviar continuar    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REGULAR VERB GROUP
hablar (speak)   full conjugation  quizzes on regular verbs   list   top of page
Model for: the class of regular -ar verbs. All regular -ar verbs are conjugated like hablar in all tenses and forms. Some other verbs of this type:
bailar (dance); comprar (buy); estudiar (study); llevar (carry, wear); tomar (take, drink); trabajar (work)
comer (eat)   full conjugation  quizzes on regular verbs   list   top of page
Model for: the class of regular -er verbs. All regular -er verbs are conjugated like comer in all tenses and forms. Some other verbs of this type:
aprender (learn); comprender (understand); meter (put in); vender (sell)
vivir (live)  full conjugation  quizzes on regular verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of regular -ir verbs. All regular -ir verbs are conjugated like vivir in all tenses and forms. Some other verbs of this type:
asistir (attend); decidir (decide); existir (exist); invadir (invade); recibir (receive); subir (go up)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IRREGULAR VERB GROUP
estar (be)  full conjugation  quizzes on irregular verbs     list   top of page
Uniquely Irregular Verb: irregular in present, preterite and by derivation the imperfect subjunctive. Note the irregular tuv- stem that it shares with tener in preterite and imperfect subjunctive.
ser (be)  full conjugation  quizzes on irregular verbs     list   top of page
Uniquely Irregular Verb: irregular in all simple tenses and forms except future/conditional, the participles, and the affirmative vosotros imperative. Identical to ir in preterite and imperfect subjunctive.
ir (gofull conjugation  quizzes on irregular verbs     list   top of page
Uniquely Irregular Verb: irregular in all simple tenses and forms except future/conditional, the past participle, and the affirmative vosotros imperative. Identical to ser in preterite and imperfect subjunctive.
dar (givefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular verbs    list   top of page
Uniquely Irregular Verb: irregular present indicative yo form; irregular in preterite and by derivation the imperfect subjunctive. Identical first- and third-person singular form of the present subjunctive () bears an accent.
ver (seefull conjugation  quizzes on irregular verbs    list   top of page 
Uniquely Irregular Verb: irregular present indicative yo form (inserts an e, which by derivation is also seen in the present subjunctive); irregular imperfect (inserts an e); irregular past participle.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
STEM-CHANGING VERBS
perder (lose)  full conjugation  quizzes on stem-changing verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ar and -er verbs whose final stem-vowel is e and that have e→ie changes in some present and imperative forms. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
cerrar (close); confesar (confess); defender (defender); entender (understand); pensar (think)
contar (count, tell)  full conjugation  quizzes on stem-changing verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ar and -er verbs whose final stem-vowel is o and that have o→ue changes in some present and imperative forms. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
demostrar (demonstrate); encontrar (meet); probar (try, taste ); recordar (remember); volver (return)
preferir (preferfull conjugation   quizzes on stem-changing verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ir verbs whose final stem-vowel is e and that have e→ie and e→i changes in some present and imperative forms, and e→i changes in third-person preterite forms, all imperfect subjunctive forms, and the present participle. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
convertir (convert); divertirse (enjoy); interferir (interfere); mentir (lie); sentir (feel)
servir (servefull conjugation   quizzes on stem-changing verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ir verbs whose final stem-vowel is e and that have e→i changes in some present and imperative forms, and e→i changes in third-person preterite forms, all imperfect subjunctive forms, and the present participle. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
competir (compete); impedir (impede); medir (measure); pedir (request); vestir (dress)
dormir (sleepfull conjugation   quizzes on stem-changing verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ir verbs whose final stem-vowel is o and that have o→ue and o→u changes in some present and imperative forms, and o→u changes in third-person preterite forms, all imperfect subjunctive forms, and the present participle. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) The only other verb of this type:
morir (die)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IRREGULAR PRETERITE GROUP

These verbs all have irregular preterite stems in all forms. In first- and third-person singular forms, they differ from regular verbs in their stress pattern and endings. Those with stems ending in j drop the i from the third-person plural ending.

Each verb has additional irregular features.

decir (say, tellfull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Compounds of this verb are conjugated identically except that bendecir (bless) and maldecir (curse) are regular in the affirmative <ú> command, future/conditional and past participle, predecir (predict) in the affirmative command and future/conditional, and contradecir (contradict) in the affirmative <ú> command.
hacer (do, makefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) The common compound deshacer (undo) is conjugated identically.
querer (want)  full conjugation  quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
saber (knowfull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
tener (havefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Compounds of this verb such as contener (contain), detener (detain), mantener (maintain), obtener (obtain) are conjugaged identically.
venir (comefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Compounds of this verb such as intervenir (intervene), prevenir (prevent), are conjugaged identically.
poder (be ablefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
poner (put)  full conjugation  quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Compounds of this verb such as exponer (expose), oponerse (oppose), proponer (propose), suponer (suppose) are conjugaged identically.
traer (bringfull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Compounds of this verb such as contraer (contract), distraer (distract) are conjugaged identically.
reducir (reducefull conjugation   quizzes on irregular preterite verbs     list   top of page
Model for: the class of -ucir verbs. All -ucir verbs are conjugated like reducir in all tenses and forms. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Comounds of this verb, such as conducir (drive); introducir (introduce); producir (produce); traducir (translate), are conjugated identically.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SALIR
Salir is really in a class by itself. I've grouped it and the -cer verbs that follow into one set of quizzes in order to limit the number of separate quizzes. The two are actually quite different.
salir (leavefull conjugation   quizzes on salir and -cer verbs     list   top of page
Uniquely Irregular Verb: has a variety of irregular features. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-CER VERBS
conocer (know, be acquainted with)  full conjugation  quizzes on salir and -cer verbs     list   top of page
Model for: almost all verbs ending in -acer, -ecer, ocer. These verb insert a z in the present indicative yo form, which also affect all forms of the present subjunctive. These are the only irregular forms. Some other verbs of this type:
crecer (grow); nacer (be born);ofrecer (offer); parecer (seem)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VERBS WITH Y AND I CHANGES
construir (buildfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with y/i changes     list   top of page
Model for: all verbs ending in -uir.(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
destruir (destroy); huir (flee); incluir (include)
creer (believefull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with y/i changes     list   top of page
Model for: most verbs ending in -aer, -eer. These verbs insert a y in third person forms of preterite, all forms of the imperfect subjunctive, and the present participle. Some other verbs of this type:
caer (fall); leer (read); poseer (possess)
oír (hearfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with y/i changes     list   top of page
Uniquely irregular verb: (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
reír (laugh)  full conjugation  quizzes on verbs with y/i changes     list   top of page
Model for: -eír verbs: these verbs delete an i in some forms where ii would otherwise occur, as in third-person preterite forms (*riió→rió; *riieronrieron), and elsewhere. These verbs also have the same ei changes as servir-type verbs. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Other verbs of this type:
freír (fry); sonreír (smile)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VERBS WITH CONSONANT SPELLING CHANGES
pagar (payfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -ar verbs whose stem ends in a "hard" g sound. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
llegar (arrive); pegar (stick)
 
jugar (play)  full conjugation  quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
A common verb that has consonant spelling changes and a very unusual u→ue stem change in some forms. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.)
distinguir (distinguishfull conjugation  quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -ir verbs whose stem ends in a "hard" g sound. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
conseguir (get); extinguir (extinguish); seguir (follow)
cruzar (crossfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -ar verbs whose stem ends in an s (th in Spain) sound that is spelled either z or c. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
abrazar (embrace); cazar (hunt); organizar (organize)
convencer (convincefull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -er and -ir verbs whose stem ends in s (th in Spain) sound that is spelled either z or c. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
ejercer (exercise); esparcir (scatter); vencer (triumph); zarcir (darn)
buscar (look for)  full conjugation  quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -ar verbs whose stem ends in a k sound. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
aplicar (apply); clasificar (classify); sacar (take out); tocar (play an instrument )
proteger (protectfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -er and -ir verbs whose stem ends in the jota sound. (Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
dirigir (direct); escoger (choose); exigir (demand); recoger (collect); regir (rule)
averiguar (ascertainfull conjugation   quizzes on verbs with consonant changes     list   top of page
Model for: all -ar verbs whose stem ends in a gw sound.(Click on "full conjugation" above and see the bold forms.) Some other verbs of this type:
aguar (water); apaciguar (pacify); atestiguar (testify)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VERBS WITH STRESS SHIFT
enviar (sendfull conjugation   quizzes on stress-shifting verbs     list   top of page
Model for: those -iar verbs whose stress shifts from its expected place in some forms, and therefore differ from -iar verbs with normal stress like cambiar and estudiar. This stress shift is seen in some present indicative and subjunctive forms and is marked with an accent. Some other verbs of this type:
criar (raise, rear); guiar (guide); variar (vary)
 
continuar (continuefull conjugation   quizzes on stress-shifting verbs     list   top of page
Model for: those -uar verbs whose stress shifts from its expected place in some forms, and therefore differ from -uar verbs normal stress like averiguar. This stress shift is seen in some present indicative and subjunctive forms and is marked with an accent. Some other verbs of this type:
actuar (act); evaluar (evaluate); graduarse (graduate); perpetuar (perpetuate)
 
 
 
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