Unit 2.1

Present indicative

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Introduction

The present indicative [presente de indicativo] is a verb tense that expresses actions that occur at the moment of speaking, general things, habitual actions, and future actions.

Form

The indicative is one of the verbal modes or categories in which different verb tenses (present, past, future, etc.) are grouped. It conveys precise information.

The present indicative has three different conjugations which depend on the endings of the infinitive verb (-ar, –er, –ir) and has this structure:

(Subject +) verb [root + desinence] + …

The verb root is the segment that remains after removing the ending (-ar, -er, -ir) from the infinitive (e.g., the root of the verb hablar is habl-).

The endings of infinitive verbs are as follows:

  • infinitive verbs ending in –ar-o-as-a-amos-áis-an;
  • infinitive verbs ending in –er-o-es-e-emos-éis-en;
  • infinitive verbs ending in –ir-o-es-e-imos-ís-en.

The three conjugations of regular verbs in the present indicative tense are as follows:

Persona Hablar
(-AR)
Comer
(-ER)
Vivir
(-IR)
Yo hablo como vivo
hablas comes vives
Él/Ella/Usted habla come vive
Nosotros/-as hablamos comemos vivimos
Vosotros/-as habláis coméis vivís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes hablan comen viven

Example

  • Yo me baño en el mar dos veces al año;
  • bebes agua cuatro veces al día;
  • Ella sube a la montaña cada semana;
  • Nosotros siempre compramos leche temprano;
  • Vosotras coméis chuletas cada tres meses;
  • Ellos viven el momento al máximo.

Use

The present indicative is used to talk about:

  • actions that are being carried out at the moment of speaking (present);
  • activities carried out in the past, are being carried out in the present and will continue to be carried out in the future (present durative);
  • usual actions;
  • general things.

Summary

The present indicative is used to talk about present, habitual and general actions.

In Spanish, verbs in the present indicative are conjugated according to their ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and have this structure:

Subject + verb [root + desinence] + …

For example:
— «Siempre como a las 2 de la tarde.» = Usual activity;
— «Vivimos en la calle La Paz.» = General activity;
— «¿De qué habláis = Action of the moment we speak.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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Español (original) | français | Italiano | Polskie

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