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IB SPANISH REVIEW

PRESENT INDICATIVE TENSE


Even though weve focused on learning various new tenses this year, you cant forget about the plain, old
present tense. As you know, its used to talk about actions and events that occur generally or are occurring now
(and, in some cases, that will occur in the future). Here are the present indicative endings for REGULAR verbs:
Subject

Endings for
AR verbs

Endings for
ER verbs

Endings for
IR verbs

yo
t
l / ella / usted
nosotros
ellos / ellas / ustedes

-o
-as
-a
-amos
-an

-o
-es
-e
-emos
-en

-o
-es
-e
-imos
-en

Remember, many verbs have irregularities in the present tense, especially in the yo form. You should know the
main yo-go verbs (verbs whose present indicative yo forms end in go), common verbs whose yo forms end
in y (dar, ir, estar, ser) and verbs like saber and conocer.
Common
yo-go verbs

Verbs with
yo forms in y

Other common verbs


with irregular yo forms

decir digo
hacer hago
or oigo
poner - pongo
salir salgo
seguir sigo
tener tengo
traer traigo
venir vengo

dar doy
estar estoy
ir voy
ser soy

conocer conozco
saber s
ver veo

Also note that Spanish has many stem-changing or boot verbs in which there is a stem change in every
present-tense conjugation EXCEPT the nosotros form (and the vosotros form, but were not focusing on that
form in this course). Here are some of the more common boot verbs you should know the meaning and
conjugations of ALL of these:
e ie
e i
o ue
u ue

cerrar, pensar, sentarse, querer, preferir


pedir, servir, vestirse
dormir, morir, poder, acostarse
jugar

PRETERITE
The preterite is one of two simple past tense forms that exist in Spanish. (The other is the imperfect.) It is used
to talk about actions that happened and were completed in the past.
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-AR verbs
-
-aste
-
-amos
-aron

-ER and IR verbs


-
-iste
-i
-imos
-ieron

[NOTE ACCENTS]
[NOTE ACCENTS ON FINAL -]

As you know, many verbs are irregular in the preterite, including some very common verbs. There are several
that you should know by now. Note that (a) there are patterns here with certain endings (i.e., most use -e, -iste-,
-o, -imos and ieron), and (b) NONE of these forms has accents.
dar
decir
hacer
ir
ser
estar
poder
poner
querer
saber
tener
venir
ver

di, diste, dio, dimos, dieron (note ABSENCE of accents here)


dije, dijiste, dijo, dijimos, dijeron (note ABSENCE of i in they form)
hice, hiciste, hizo, hicimos, hicieron (note z in he/she/Ud. form)
fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron
fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron
estuve, estuviste, estuvo, estuvimos, estuvieron
pude, pudiste, pudo, pudimos, pudieron
puse, pusiste, puso, pusimos, pusieron
quise, quisiste, quiso, quisimos, quisieron
supe, supiste, supo, supimos, supieron
tuve, tuviste, tuvo, tuvimos, tuvieron
vine, viniste, vino, vinimos, vinieron
vi, viste, vio, vimos, vieron (note ABSENCE of accents, as with dar)

Some -ir verbs that are boot verbs (stem-changers) in the present tense are regular in all preterite forms
except the third person singular and plural (the l/ella/Ud. and ellos/ellas/Uds. forms). These verbs have a
special spelling change in both third person preterite forms: either [e i] or [o u]. Verbs in this category
you must know: pedir (pidi/pidieron), servir (sirvi/sirvieron), divertirse (se divirti/se divirtieron), dormir
(durmi/durmieron), and morir (muri/murieron).
Some verbs have a meaning change when used in the preterite tense. You must know the meanings of the
following verbs in the preterite:
Infinitive

Meaning of
verb in preterite

conocer

met (for 1st time)

Conoc a mi esposa en Nicaragua.


I met my wife [for 1st time] in Nicaragua.

poder

managed to,
succeeded in

Pudiste abrir la puerta? No, no pude.


Did you manage to open the door? No, I
didnt (manage to).

saber

found out

Juan rompi con Mara. Lo supe anoche.


Juan broke up with Mara. I found out (about
it) last night.

Example

IMPERFECT
The imperfect is used to talk about actions that were in progress in the past, or that occurred regularly or
habitually in the past. These uses of the imperfect are often translated into English using the term used to.
Example:

Cuando yo era nio, jugaba en el parque todos los sbados.


When I was a boy, I used to play in the park every Saturday.

When used with the preterite, the imperfect describes the background action, and the preterite is used
for the specific action or event that in some sense interrupted the background action.
Example:

Marta jugaba al ftbol cuando ocurri el accidente.


Marta was playing soccer when the accident occurred.

To describe two actions that were going on at the same time in the past one was happening while the other
was happening you would normally use the imperfect tense for both.
Example:

Mi pap lavaba los platos mientras mi mam los secaba.


My dad washed the dishes while my mom dried them.

For verbs that are regular in the imperfect (and almost all are regular), you drop the infinitive ending (-ar, -er or
-ir) and add these endings:
-AR verbs

-ER and IR verbs

-aba
-abas
-aba
-bamos
-aban

-a
-as
-a
-amos
-an

Note the accent in the nosotros form of the ar endings, and in all forms of the er and ir endings. Also note
that for each of these two categories, the yo form is the same as the l/ella/Ud. form.
Only three important verbs are irregular in the imperfect (you must memorize these forms):
ser

ir

ver

era
eras
era
ramos
eran

iba
ibas
iba
bamos
iban

vea
veas
vea
veamos
vean

Note the accents in the imperfect nosotros forms of ser and ir. Also note that for each of these three verbs, the
yo form is the same as the l/ella/Ud. form.
PRETERITE VS. IMPERFECT

In very basic terms, the preterite is used for specific past time frames, and the imperfect is used when the time
frame is nonspecific. Heres a summary of the main distinctions between these two PAST tenses:
Use preterite for actions/verbs that
- can be viewed as single, completed events
- were repeated a specific number of times
- occurred during a specific period of time
- were part of a chain of events
- refer to the beginning or end of a process/event
- refer to a persons reaction to an event/situation

Use imperfect for


- actions that were habitual/regularly repeated
- background action for a specific event
- telling time in the past
- stating someones age in the past
- mental/emotional/physical states (usually)
- describing people, things or conditions
in the past

The imperfect and the preterite are used together in sentences in which a specific action or event interrupts, or
in some sense stands out against, a background action that was going on at that time in the past. Use the
imperfect for the background action and the preterite for the interrupting event. Examples:
Dormamos cuando lleg mi pap.
Juan lea un libro cuando son el telfono.

We were sleeping when my dad arrived.


Juan was reading a book when the phone rang.

Note that in English the past progressive tense (were sleeping, was reading, etc.) is often used to translate the
Spanish imperfect-tense verb in this type of sentence.
Remember that the difference between these two tenses has to do with how the speaker is viewing the past. If the
speaker views the action(s) as somehow ongoing in the past, and/or is simply not focusing on the beginning or end
of the action(s), then the sentence will use the imperfect:
Yo jugaba al tenis mientras Juan lea.

I played (was playing) tennis while Juan


read (was reading).

However, if the speaker is viewing the action(s) as completed in the past, she would use the preterite:
Ayer yo jugu al tenis y Juan ley.

Yesterday I played tennis and Juan read.

FUTURE TENSE
This tense is used to talk about future actions and events. In English we have to use the auxiliary verb will to
form the future tense of a main verb (as in I will call you tomorrow, She will arrive next week, etc.). In
Spanish THERE IS NO AUXILIARY VERB THAT MEANS WILL. Instead, you form the future by adding
endings to the infinitive (if regular). The endings are as follows:
ending

Example

-
-s
-
-emos
-n

hablar
hablars
hablar
hablaremos
hablarn

I will speak
You will speak
He/She/Ud. will speak
We will speak
They/Uds. will speak

Note the accent in all forms except nosotros.


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Some verbs are irregular in the future, in that the stem is not the infinitive. The endings used are still exactly
the same ones listed above, however.
Infinitive

stem used for future

decir
haber
hacer
poder
poner
querer
saber
salir
tener
valer
venir

dirhabrharpodrpondrquerrsabrsaldrtendrvaldrvendr-

conjugations
dir, dirs, dir, diremos, dirn
habr, habrs, habr, habremos, habrn
har, hars, har, haremos, harn
podr, podrs, podr, podremos, podrn
pondr, pondrs, pondr, pondremos, pondrn
querr, querrs, querr, querremos, querrn
sabr, sabrs, sabr, sabremos, sabrn
saldr, saldrs, saldr, saldremos, saldrn
tendr, tendrs, tendr, tendremos, tendrn
valdr, valdrs, valdr, valdremos, valdrn
vendr, vendrs, vendr, vendremos, vendrn

NOTE: You must also know thoroughly the so-called pseudo-future tense, which is simply the IR + A +
INFINITIVE construction. Examples: Voy a hablar con ella (Im going to speak with her); Paco va a
estudiar esta noche (Paco is going to study tonight); Vamos a pintar la casa maana (Were going to paint the
house tomorrow).
CONDITIONAL
As in English, the conditional tense is used to talk about what would or would not happen under certain
circumstances. In English the conditional is formed by placing the auxiliary verb would before a verb (I
would study if I had a book; With a little encouragement, she would run for office). In Spanish THERE IS
NO AUXILIARY VERB THAT MEANS WOULD. Instead, you form the conditional by adding endings to
the infinitive (if regular). The endings are as follows:
Subject

ending

Example

yo
t
l / ella / usted
nosotros
ellos / ellas / ustedes

-a
-as
-a
-amos
-an

hablara
hablaras
hablara
hablaramos
hablaran

I would talk
you would talk
he/she/Ud. would talk
we would talk
they/Uds. would talk

Certain verbs use irregular stems instead of the infinitive. GOOD NEWS: these are the same verbs that use
irregular stems for the future tense, and the irregular stems for the conditional are exactly the same as
the stems used for the future. Remember, the conditional endings are always the same, regardless of whether
the stem is regular (i.e., the infinitive) or irregular.
stem used for
Infinitive
conditional
conjugations
decir
dirdira, diras, dira, diramos, diran
haber
habrhabra, habras, habra, habramos, habran
hacer
harhara, haras, hara, haramos, haran
poder
podrpodra, podras, podra, podramos, podran
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poner
querer
saber
salir
tener
valer
venir

pondrquerrsabrsaldrtendrvaldrvendr-

pondra, pondras, pondra, pondramos, pondran


querra, querras, querra, querramos, querran
sabra, sabras, sabra, sabramos, sabran
saldra, saldras, saldra, saldramos, saldran
tendra, tendras, tendra, tendramos, tendran
valdra, valdras, valdra, valdramos, valdran
vendra, vendras, vendra, vendramos, vendran

Here are some examples with the conditional:


Yo comprara esa camisa, pero no tengo dinero.
I would buy that shirt, but I dont have any money.
Ella ira al cine contigo, pero tiene que trabajar.
She would go to the movies with you, but she has to work.
PRESENT PERFECT TENSE
The present perfect is used to talk about actions and events that have already occurred but that still affect, or
have continuing relevance for, the present moment. The Spanish present perfect is used much like its English
counterpart (I have spoken / She has seen/ They have walked etc.).
This is a compound tense, which means it has two parts. The first part consists of a conjugated form of the
auxiliary verb haber, and the second part is a form of the main verb (the one that actually names the action that
occurred) known as the past participle. So the formula is:
Present perfect = conjugated haber + past participle
First, conjugate the auxiliary verb haber according to its subject (the person doing the action). Your choices
are as follows:
Subject

Conjugation
of haber

yo
t
l / ella / usted
nosotros
ellos / ellas / ustedes

he
has
ha
hemos
han

Then, use the past participle of the main verb. A past participle may be regular or irregular. Verbs that have
regular past participles follow these rules:
-AR verbs (hablar, cambiar, etc.)

-ER and IR verbs (comer, vivir, etc.)

1. Drop the ar of the infinitive.


2. Add the ending ado

1. Drop the er or -ir of the infinitive.


2. Add the ending ido.

Examples: Yo he hablado con Juan.


Lima ha cambiado mucho.

Examples: Ellos han comido el postre.


Has vivido en Francia?
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Many common verbs have irregular past participles. These must be memorized.
resuelto
roto
escrito
visto
vuelto
muerto
abierto
cubierto
puesto
hecho
dicho
descubierto

resolver
romper
escribir
ver
volver
morir
abrir
cubrir
poner
hacer
decir
descubrir

to solve, to resolve
to break, to tear
to write
to see
to return
to die
to open
to cover
to put
to do, to make
to say, to tell
to discover

Note that you cant insert any other words between conjugations of haber and a past participle i.e., the two
parts of this tense form an indivisible unit.
THE PROGRESSIVE TENSES
The progressive tenses are fairly easy to learn in that they work very much like their English counterparts. The
present progressive is used to talk about what is happening NOW (e.g., I am speaking, you are eating, etc.).
Heres the formula:
Present progressive = present tense conjugation of estar + present participle
The present participle is equivalent to the ing form in English. You form it by dropping the infinitive endings
and adding ando for AR verbs, and iendo for ER and IR verbs. Examples:
Hablar
Comer
Leer

Estoy hablando.
I am speaking.
Ests comiendo.
You are eating.
Ellos estn leyendo. They are reading.

Note that for verbs like leer, the rule stated above would give us three vowels in a row in the ending (eiendo). In such cases, change the i to y (e.g., leyendo, oyendo, construyendo, etc.).
The imperfect progressive is used to talk about what was happening at some time in the past (e.g., I was
speaking, you were eating, etc.). Heres the formula:
Imperfect progressive = imperfect tense conjugation of estar + present participle
Note that the second part of this compound tense the present participle is exactly the same in the present
progressive and the imperfect progressive. The only difference is the change in the tense of the helper verb
estar. Examples:
Hablar
Comer
Leer

Estbamos hablando. We were speaking.


Estaban comiendo. They were eating.
Yo estaba leyendo. I was reading.

SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
The subjunctive (el subjuntivo) is one of the three moods in Spanish, the other two being the indicative and the
imperative. The subjunctive mood in Spanish often expresses the opposite of the objective and truthful
indicative. The subjunctive is used to express desires, doubts, wishes, wants, demands, doubts, the
unknown, the abstract, and emotions.
Formation:
Yo form of present tense/drop the o/ add opposite vowel ending
ar
e

er/ir
emos

es

amos

as

en

an

irregulars
haya haber

saber - sepa

vaya ir

dar d

sea ser

estar est

cha cha cha!

Elements of the Subjunctive


There are three main parts to a subjunctive sentence:

1. Two Different Subjects


One subject in the main clause, and one in the dependent clause.

Yo quiero que t limpies el bao.

2. Que
This pronoun links the two clauses and translates to mean "that." (often eliminated in English)

Yo quiero que t limpies el bao.

3. Two Verbs: One WEIRDO/WEDDING and One Subjunctive


The WEIRDO (indicative) verb (see uses below) is the verb that signals the verb in the next clause will be in
the subjunctive.

Yo quiero que t limpies el bao.

Uses (WEIRDO)
The subjunctive may seem a bit difficult for many native English speakers since we dont use the subjunctive
too often in English. But if you can keep in mind that each Spanish mood is just that, a mood, then you will
begin to "feel" the difference in speech. Of course there are also lots of handy rules and tips to help you until
you get the "feelings" of the subjunctive. The acronym WEIRDO seems to encompass most of the situations
you will need to use the subjunctive. The subjunctive is used to express: Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal
Expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, and is used after the words Ojal (I hope to God that...).

1. Wishes
Wishing, wanting, demanding, desiring, expecting, ordering, and preferring all fall into this category. Also
mentioning the nonexistence or indefiniteness of something that is desired falls into this category. Because the
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dependent clause represents what we want from someone else, the actions have not yet occurred and may never
occur, thus they are in the subjunctive mood and not the indicative.

Yo espero que l me compre unas flores. (I hope that he buys me flowers.)

No hay nadie que quiera sacar la basura. (There is no one that wants to take out the trash.)

Nosotros agradecemos que t cocines bien. (We are grateful that you cook well.)

Useful Verbs of Wishfulness


Querer que

esperar que

desear que

2. Emotions
Being annoyed, angry, happy, regretful, sad, scared, or surprised all fall into this category. Any personal
reaction to a situation is emotional. The focus is not on a factual observation of a situation but how is makes the
subject feel. Since how a person feels is always subjective, you use the subjunctive.

Me alegro de que t sonras. (It makes me happy that you smile.)

Les molesta que l escuche la msica fuerte? (Does it bother you that he listens to loud music?)

Siento mucho que no puedan venir a la fiesta. (Im sorry that they cant come to the party.)

Useful Verbs of Emotion


Estar enojado/alegre/furioso/sorprendido/triste/emocionado que
Me gusta que

me molesta que

sentirse que

3. Its Expressions
Its expressions work a lot like emotions in that they are someones opinion or value judgment. They focus on
the subjectivity of the subject and not on the actual truth or reality of the situation.
Impersonal Expression Formula
Almost any phase with the es + adjective + que can be an impersonal expression as long as it doesnt state any
truth (es verdad que), certainty (es cierto que), or fact (es hecho que). These are indicative. But their opposites
(no es verdad que) are subjunctive.

Es necesario que Jaime lea este libro. (It is necessary that Jaime reads this book.)

Es extrao que yo reciba un regalo porque no es mi cumpleaos. (Its odd that I receive a gift because
it isnt my birthday.)

Es increble que los guepardos corran tan rpidamente. (It is incredible that cheetahs can run so
quickly.)

Useful Impersonal Expressions (not a complete list!)


es
it is nice
agradable

es
estupendo

it is great

es necesario
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it is necessary

es urgente

it is urgent

es bueno

it is good es extrao

it is
curious
it is
es dudoso
doubtful
it is
es esencial
essential
es curioso

it is strange es probable

es
it is
importante important
it is
es increble
incredible
es malo

it is bad

es raro

it is probable
it is rare

es
it is
recomendable recommended
es una lstima it is a pity

es
it is a
vergonzoso disgrace
it is not
no es cierto
certain
it is not a
no es hecho
fact
no es
it is not true
verdad

4. Recommendations
When a person recommends, suggests, wants, or asks another person to do something, the subjunctive is used.
In this case, the que separates the recommender for the recommendation.

Mi doctor recomienda que yo beba ms agua. (My doctor recommends that I drink more water.)

Yo le ruego que mi hija tenga ms cuidado. (I beg that my daughter is more careful.)

Ellos sugieren que t leas este libro. (They suggest that you read this book.)

Useful Verbs of Recommendation


aconsejar to advise proponer to suggest
sugerir to suggest
decir
to say recomendar to recommend
rogar to beg
mandar to order rogar
to beg
pedir to ask for

5. Doubt
Doubt indicates that a situation seems unreal, therefore, not factual (indicative). To doubt or deny something is
to question is sense of reality.

Dudo que l tenga mi nmero de telfono. (I doubt that he has my phone number.)

No creen que los extraterrestres existan. (They dont believe that aliens exist.)

T niegas que la camisa sea ma. (You deny that the shirt is mine.)

Useful Verbs of Doubt


dudar
to doubt
no creer
not to believe no pensar not to think
negar
to deny
no estar seguro not to be sure no suponer not to assume
no comprender not to understand no parecer
not to seem
Creo que/pienso que/es cierto que/es verdad que/no dudo que are all indicative as they indicate what the subject
knows, believes, thinks to be true and part of reality.

6. Ojal
Ojal is a Spanish word with Arabic origins. Originally it meant "Oh Allah!" and may have been used in
prayers. Nowadays, it has taken on several more general meanings: "I hope to God..." "I hope..." or "If only..."
Ojal can introduce a subjunctive phrase with or without the relative pronoun que.
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Ojal que recuerde nuestro aniversario! (I hope to God he remembers our anniversary.)

Ojal llueva! (I hope it rains!)

Ojal que venga el padre Noel. (I hope Santa Clause comes!)

PAST SUBJUNCTIVE
The past subjunctive is used to express the same subjectivity as the present subjunctive but in the past.
Formation:
-

Ellos form of preterite

Drop the ron

Add

hablar hablara, hablaras, hablara,


hablramos, hablaran
vivir viviera, vivieras, viviera,

o ra

ramos

viviramos, vivieran

o ras
o ra

tener tuviera, tuvieras, tuviera


ran

tuviramos, tuvieran

Ex: Quera que los chicos vinieran a la fiesta. I wanted the boys to come to the party.
Fue importante que Uds. llegaran a tiempo. It was important that you all arrived on time.

SEQUENCE OF TENSES
How to choose between present or past subjunctive
WEIRDO verb

present - Quiero que

future Querr que

present perfect He querido que

Preterite Quise que

Imperfect Quera que

Conditional Querra que

Subjunctive
Present subjunctive
t vengas a mi casa.

Past subjunctive
t vinieras a mi casa.

SI CLAUSE
Used to express hypothetical situations. Think of the lottery song If I had a million dollars, Id buy you a
house.
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SI + imperfect subjunctive, conditional


Ex: Si tuviera un milln de dlares, te comprara una casa.
Si pudiera, ira a la fiesta. If I could, I would go to the party.
You can also reverse the order of the sentence. The only thing you must remember is that the imperfect
subjunctive immediately follows the word si.
Ex: Te comprara una casa si tuviera un milln de dlares. I would buy you a house if I had a million dollars.
Ira a la fiesta si pudiera. I would go to the party if I could.
COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE EXPRESSIONS
To talk about the differences between people and things, use the expressions ms ____ que and menos ____
que. An adjective, noun or adverb can go in the blank.
Anita es ms alta que Juan.
Jorge es menos generoso que Carlos
Yo leo ms libros que Marta.
Ella trabaja menos cuidadosamente que yo.

Anita is taller than Juan.


Jorge is less generous than Carlos.
I read more book than Marta.
She works less carefully than I.

To say that someone or something does or is the most of something, we use a superlative expression. The
superlative is formed by using the appropriate form of the (el/la/los/las) plus ms with the adjective, followed
by de (literally, of). Note: use de, NOT en. Examples:
Susana es la muchacha ms aplicada de la clase. (S. is the most studious girl in the class.)
Borat es la pelcula ms cmica del ao. (Its the funniest movie of the year.)
The adjectives bueno and malo have special comparative and superlative forms:
bueno/buena
mejor (better)
el/la mejor (the best)
malo/mala

peor (worse)
el/la peor (the worst)
Examples:
Ricardo escribe peor que yo.
Shakira es la mejor cantante del mundo.

Ricardo writes worse than I do.


Shakira is the best singer in the world.

We use comparisons of equality to talk about things that are the same in quality or quantity. To compare equal
qualities, use tan ____ como; to compare equal quantities, use tanto/a/os/as ____ como. For example:
Sandra es tan atltica como Ana.
Sandra tiene tantas medallas como Ana

Sandra is as athletic as Ana.


Sandra has as many medals as Ana.

Hint: to remember the difference between tan and tanto/tanta/tantos/tantas, remember: tan and as are both
very short words, and tanto/tanta/etc. and as much/many as are both longer expressions.
Note that you have to use the correct form of tanto/a/os/as to agree in number and gender with the noun it
modifies. (Tengo tanta lechuga como t, tengo tantos libros como t, etc.)

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EL IMPERATIVO -- COMMANDS IN SPANISH


The command form of Spanish verbs is called el imperativo (the word for command is el mandato). There
are different command sub-forms depending on whether the command is informal (used with people you call
t) or formal, and whether it is singular (youre talking to one person) or plural (youre talking to more than
one person). First, lets look at t commands the informal singular commands.
The t commands have different forms depending on whether they are affirmative (youre telling someone to
do something) or negative (youre telling someone NOT to do something). Most affirmative t commands use
the same form as the third-person singular (he/she/usted) conjugation of the verb. This means that stemchanging verbs DO HAVE the stem change in the informal commands. Here are some examples (note the stem
change in the last two):
Hablar
Comer
Escribir
Cerrar
Dormir

Habla con el profesor.


Come la ensalada.
Escribe la carta.
Cierra la puerta.
Duerme ocho horas.

(Speak with the professor.)


(Eat the salad.)
(Write the letter.)
(Shut the door.)
(Sleep [for] eight hours.)

Certain very common verbs have irregular affirmative informal command forms. As youll recall, these are the
ones for which we learned the little song or chant.
Venir
ven
(come)
Tener
ten
(have)
Poner
pon (put)
Hacer
haz
(do, make)
Salir
sal
(leave, go out with)
Decir
di
(say, tell)
Ir

ve
(go)
Ser

s
(be) NOTE ACCENT!!
T commands are fun!
The negative t and affirmative and negative usted and ustedes, have a central feature in common, in that
they use the opposite vowel.
If regular, all the commands were concerned with here (except the affirmative t form, which has a different
formation rule, as noted above) can be formed by using the following three-step procedure:
1. Take the present-tense yo form of the verb.
2. Drop the final o.
3. Add endings featuring the opposite vowel. Ex.:

Ex.: hablo
Ex.: hablno hables (neg. t)
hable / no hable (usted)
hablen / no hablen (ustedes)
hablemos (nosotros)

The above rule works for almost all verbs, including yo-go verbs and many other verbs with irregularities in the
present-tense yo form.
When object pronouns (reflexive, indirect, or direct) are used with commands, the OP goes AFTER the
AFFIRMATIVE command form (i.e., attached to it to make one word), and BEFORE the NEGATIVE
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command form (as a separate word after no). Also, if the resulting affirmative command has more than two
syllables, put an accent over the stressed vowel. Examples:
Decir (t):
Preguntar (Ud.):
Levantarse (Uds.):

Ana, dime la verdad.


Pregntele a la profesora.
Chicos, levntense.

BUT
BUT
BUT

Ana, no me digas mentiras.


No le pregunte.
Chicos, no se levanten.

Here is a summary table for the regular commands:

Command forms for REGULAR verbs


Person(s) being addressed
Affirmative command
Regular: 3rd person singular
Irregulars: Song
T
habla
come
escribe
cierra
ven-ten-pon-haz-sal-di-ve-s
usted form of verb
with opposite ending
Usted
hable
coma
escriba
cierre
salga
ustedes form of verb
with opposite ending
Ustedes
hablen
coman
escriban
cierren
salgan

Negative command
No + t form of verb
with opposite ending
No hables
No comas
No escribas
No cierres
No pongas, no tengas, etc.
No + usted form of verb
with opposite ending
No hable
No coma
No escriba
No cierre
No salga
No + ustedes form of verb
with opposite ending
No hablen
No coman
No escriban
No cierren
No salgan

However, the above three-step process does NOT work for some very common verbs, including ir, ser and dar.
One has to memorize the irregular command forms for these verbs. Here are tables for ir, ser and dar:
Command forms for DAR (give):
Person(s) being addressed
Affirmative command
Negative command
T
da
No des
Usted
d*
No d*
Ustedes
den
No den
*Note the accent on these forms. The accent distinguishes the command from the preposition de, which means
of or from.
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Command forms for SER (be):


Person(s) being addressed
Affirmative command
T
s
Usted
sea
Ustedes
sean

Negative command
No seas
No sea
No sean

Command forms for IR (go):


Person(s) being addressed
Affirmative command
T
ve
Usted
vaya
Ustedes
vayan

Negative command
No vayas
No vaya
No vayan

Verbs that end in car, gar and zar have spelling changes in all forms except the affirmative t. The spelling
changes preserve the pronunciation of the word, and are the same as those that occur in the yo form of the
preterite:
-car: c qu
-gar: g gu
-zar: z c

Ex: sacar
Ex: llegar
Ex: comenzar

No saques la basura.
Llegue a las ocho.
Comiencen ahora.

OBJECT PRONOUNS and their placement


There are three main types of object pronoun in Spanish: reflexive (RPs), indirect (IDOPs), and direct (DOPs).
Unlike English, Spanish places OPs BEFORE the conjugated verb (except affirmative commands):
RP example:
IDOP example:
DOP example:

Ellos se baan.
Ella me escribi.
Yo te veo.

They bathe (themselves).


She wrote to me.
I see you.

As you know, in some situations a verb has to stay in the infinitive form for example, if the verb immediately
follows a conjugated form of a helper verb like deber (should) or poder (can, to be able to). If an object
pronoun is used in such a two-verb construction, the OP can either be attached to the end of that infinitive,
or placed in front of the conjugated helper verb as a separate word. Examples:
Yo tengo que baarme.
Ana quiere escribirme.
Nosotros podemos verte.

OR
OR
OR

Yo me tengo que baar.


Ana me quiere escribir.
Nosotros te podemos ver.

(I have to take a bath.)


(Ana wants to write me.)
(We can see you.)

Something very similar happens when you use OPs with the progressive tenses. That is, the OP can either be
attached to the end of the present participle, or placed in front of the conjugated helper verb (normally a form of
a estar) as a separate word. For example, I am eating it (where it = la manzana) could be stated in either of
these two ways :
Estoy comindola.

OR

La estoy comiendo.

Note that, if you attach the OP to the present participle, you have to put an accent on the appropriate vowel of
the ending (e.g., estabas comprndolo, estamos vendindolas, etc.)
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Reflexive Pronouns And Reflexive Verbs. You have to know how to conjugate a reflexive verb, regardless of
the tense or mood it may be in.
Remember, a reflexive verb is one in which the person who performs the action and the person who receives the
action are one in the same (i.e., the person performs the action on himself). For some Spanish verbs it is fairly
clear why they are reflexive (e.g., lavarse, to wash oneself or a part of oneself); for other verbs, the logic is not
readily apparent to an English-speaking student, and you just have to learn that they are reflexive in Spanish
(e.g., darse cuenta de, to realize).
When conjugating reflexive verbs, follow these two steps:
1. First, identify the subject of the reflexive verb and choose the correct reflexive pronoun (RP). The RPs
appear below (note that le is NOT one of them!!). Remember, unless its a command, a conjugated
reflexive verb must always have a reflexive pronoun out in front, as a separate word.
If the subject of the
reflexive verb is:

Use this RP:

yo
t
l / ella / usted
nosotros
ellos / ellas / ustedes

me
te
se
nos
se

2. Second, conjugate the main part of the verb according to the rules of Spanish grammar (i.e., according to
person, number, tense, and mood). Here are examples of exercises you might encounter:
Ayer / yo / [acostarse] / a las ocho. Ayer yo me acost a las ocho.
Jorge / [levantarse] / a las seis. Jorge se levanta a las seis.
Please, please remember that nosotros and nos are NOT interchangeable!! The word nos means (to)
ourselves if reflexive, and (to) us if used as an IDOP or DOP. ONLY NOSOTROS MEANS
WE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Indirect Object Pronouns. The IDOPs are as follows:
IDOP

English meaning

me
te
le (se)
nos
les (se)

To/for me
To/for you (fam.)
To/for him/her/Ud.
To/for us
To/for them/Uds.

Note se stands in for le in some cases (see below)


Note se stands in for les in some cases (see below)

Remember, an IDOP answers the question To or for whom? with respect to the verb. In the sentence, I
threw it to him, the word him is acting as an IDOP (Threw to whom? To him!)
Many important Spanish verbs take IDOPs. The most common one is gustar (to be pleasing to). Note that,
with this and similar verbs, the conjugation of the verb tells us what is pleasing to somebody, and is usually in
third person singulat or third person plural (me gusta = it pleases me, me gustan = they please me)
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Direct Object Pronouns. The DOPs are as follows:


DOP

English meaning

me
te
lo/la
nos
los/las

me
you (fam.)
him/her/Ud./it
us
them/Uds./them

Note gender agreement is required


Note gender agreement is required

Remember, a DOP answers the question What (or, sometimes, whom)? In the sentence, I threw it to him,
the word it is acting as a DOP (Threw what? Threw it!).
IMPERSONAL SE
In addition to acting as a reflexive pronoun (see above), se can function in impersonal expressions. The
construction se + (conjugated verb) is used to express what you do/one does, what they say/think/etc., and
what is done/known/believed/etc. The impersonal se is most commonly used with the third person singular
form of the verb:
Se dice que
Se cree que
Se habla espaol.
No se sabe.

It is said that / They say that


It is believed that / They think that
Spanish is spoken [here]. (type of thing youd see on a sign)
It is not known.

However, if the verb refers to more than one thing or concept, than you use the third person plural conjugation:
Se vende leche all.
(Milk is sold there)

BUT

Se habla espaol.
BUT
(Spanish is spoken.)

Se venden tomates all.


(Tomatoes are sold there)
Se hablan espaol y francs.
(Spanish and French are spoken.)

THE SPECIAL VERB HAY


hay = there is / there are (present indicative)
haya = there is / there are (present subjunctive)
haba = there was / there were (imperfect indicative)
habr = there will be (future indicative)
habra = there would be (conditional indicative)
hubiera = there was/would be/were (past subjunctive)

TO CONJUGATE, OR NOT TO CONJUGATE?


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You have learned a good deal about when to conjugate verbs and when to leave them in the infinitive form.
Heres a brief summary of what you should know (the following are generalizations and may not hold up in
certain special circumstances ):
You CONJUGATE a verb

When that verb follows an explicit or implied subject pronoun (yo, t, l/ella/usted, nosotros,
ellos/ellas/ustedes, etc.). As you know, the subject pronoun is often omitted in Spanish, since a conjugated
verbs ending tells us much or all of what we need to know about its subject. Example:
Yo necesito un bolgrafo. = Necesito un bolgrafo.
Note that there can be a negative term, object pronoun or adverb in between the subject pronoun and the
conjugated verb:
Ella no tiene un perro.
Carlos y Paco (ellos) siempre me dicen la verdad.

When that verb comes after the relative pronoun que (that) in longer sentences having a main clause
and a subordinate clause. In such situations the word que is introducing the subordinate clause, and you
have to conjugate the verb that follows. The only question is whether to conjugate the verb in the
indicative or the subjunctive mood. Examples:
Sabemos que Mara tiene tres hermanos.
Dudo que Juan tenga un gato azul.

(Sabemos que is an indicative trigger.)


(Dudo que is a subjunctive trigger.)

In general, then, conjugate a verb if it follows the word que (and here we mean the que that means
that, and NOT qu with an accent, which means what). Note, however, that there are certain
expressions in which verbs following the word que are left in the infinitive, not conjugated. The que in
these expressions is actually playing a different grammatical role compared to the que just discussed, but its
probably easiest to simply memorize these as stock phrases that take the infinitive. The two you must know
and remember are:
Tener que + infinitive
Hay que + infinitive

To have to _________
It is necessary to _________

Tengo que estudiar.


Hay que lavar el carro.

Use the INFINITIVE form of a verb

For the second verb in so-called two-verb constuctions. There are many such constructions in Spanish.
Note that some require a preposition such as a or de between the two verbs. Remember: CONJUGATE
FIRST VERB, INFINITIVE FOR SECOND VERB. Examples:
Quieres estudiar conmigo?
Necesito practicar ms.
Pedro no puede jugar hoy.
Ana y Julia deben levantarse temprano.
Voy a hacer la tarea.
(Dont forgot our old friend ir + a + infinitive!)
Ayer trataron de abrir la puerta.
(Note: tratar de + inf. = to try to ______)
Mi sueo es ganar el campeonato. (My dream is to win the championship)
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Note, however, that compound tenses are NOT two-verb constructions. They use a conjugated form of the
appropriate helper verb i.e., haber for the perfect tenses, and estar (usually) for the progressive tenses
plus a special verbal form that is NOT considered a conjugation: the past participle (-ado/-ido ) for the perfect
tenses, and the present participle (-ando/-iendo) for the progressive tenses.

When the verb comes immediately after a preposition (a, de, con, en, para, por, hasta, etc.). In Spanish, if
a verb follows a preposition, it MUST be in the infinitive. Compare this to English, which often uses the
ing form after prepositions:
No me gusta su forma de pensar.
Necesito un lpiz para escribir.

I dont like his way of thinking.


I need a pencil in order to write.

WORDS FREQUENTLY CONFUSED


salir (de)
to leave, to go out (of)
Sale de la casa.
dejar
to leave (something behind)
Dej su libro en casa.
to return, to go back
Volver a las tres.
devolver
to return, to give back
Devolv el coche a la agencia.

He leaves the house.


He left his book at home.

volver

He will return at three.


I returned the car to the agency.

conocer
to know (a person, place)
Conoces a Juan Lpez?
Do you know Juan Lpez?
saber
to know (a fact, info), to know how to
Ella sabe su direccin.
She knows his address.
No s cocinar.
I dont know how to cook.
preguntar
to ask (a question, for info)
Qu hora es? pregunt el chico.
pedir
to ask for, request
Ella pidi ayuda.

What time is it? asked the boy.


She asked for help.

pasar

to spend (time)
Pasa todo el verano all.
She spends the whole summer there.
gastar
to spend (money), to waste (time or money)
Ella gast 50 dlares en la tienda.
She spent $50 in the store.
El gastar toda su herencia.
He will waste his whole inheritance.
jugar
tocar

to play (sport or game)


Juega muy bien al tenis.
to play (music)
Tocamos la flauta.

He plays tennis very well.


We play the flute.
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Ella toca msica rap.

She plays rap music.

pensar en
to think of (to direct ones thoughts to)
Ella piensa en su hermano en Irak.
She is thinking of her brother in Iraq.
pensar de
to think of (to have an opinion about)
Qu piensas de esa situacin?
What do you think of that situation?
poder

can, to be able (physically)


Ella no puede esquiar. She cant ski. (shes injured or
doesnt have permission)

saber

can (to know how)


Ella no sabe esquiar.

She cant (doesnt know how to) ski.

haber to have (followed by the past participle, to form the perfect tenses)
Ella ha dejado su libro en casa.
She has left her book at home.
tener to have (possession)
Tiene un perro feo.
She has an ugly dog.
ponerse to become (generally followed by an adjective indicating a temporary change)
Susana se puso nerviosa.
Susan became nervous.
llegar a ser
to become (followed by a noun, indicating effort toward a goal)
Lleg a ser mdico.
He became a physician.
tomar to take
Ella tom el tranva.
Miguel tom la pluma.
llevar take (from one place to another)
Llev su perro a la escuela.
Me llev al centro.
country (nation)
Espaa es un pas variado.
campo country (rural area)
Me gusta pasar tiempo en el campo.

She took the streetcar.


Mike took the pen.
She took her dog to school.
He took me downtown.

pas

pequeo little (size)


Luisa es una nia pequea.
poco
little (quantity)
Tengo poco dinero.
time (hour of the day)
Qu hora es?
Es hora de salir.
tiempo time (duration of time)
Pasa mucho tiempo en mi casa.

Spain in a varied country.


I like to spend time in the country.

Luisa is a little girl.


I have little money.

hora

What time is it?


It is time to leave.
He spends a lot of time at my house.
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vez

time (in a sequence) First time, last time, many times


Te lo digo por ltima vez.
Im telling you for the last time!
La segunda vez que la vi..
The second time I saw her.

pero

but
Es guapo pero malo.
but (on the contrary..)

sino

No es divertido sino aburrido.


boring.

Hes good-looking but evil.


Hes not fun but (on the contrary)

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VOCAB & EXPRESSIONS


While any word/expression covered this year could potentially be on the final exam, the test will focus on two
or three of the following areas presented in the texts As se dice sections:

Expressing inters / indiferencia / aversin (disgusto) (p. 9)


Describing yourself and others (involves ser vs. estar) (p. 17, but mainly vocab. hand-out)
Talking about responsibilities (p. 73)
Talking about how food tastes (p. 89)
Expressing qualified agreement & disagreement (p. 117)
Talking about hopes and wishes (p. 125)
Saying what needs to be done (i.e., impersonals with subjunctive) (p. 144)
Giving and suggestions and recommendations, esp. with the subjunctive (p. 150 but only Te aconsejo
que, Recomiendo que, Sugiero que, and Es mejor que)

Be absolutely sure that you know basic vocab, expressions and rules such as:

the MEANINGS of all the irregular verb forms you have to memorize!!
ir + a + infinitive (if you have to ask what this means, you have some studying to do!!)
the special verb hay:
hay = there is / there are (present indicative)
haya = there is / there are (present subjunctive)
haba = there was / there were (imperfect indicative)
habr = there will be (future indicative)

OBJECT pronouns go BEFORE conjugated verbs (Yo te veo, NOT Yo veo t)


two-verb constructions (conjugate 1st, infinitive for 2nd)
nosotros (we), nos ([to] us / [to] ourselves) and nuestro/a/os/as (our) are NOT interchangeable!
The pronouns se and le are NOT interchangeable, although se sometimes has to stand in for le.
The meanings, conjugations and basic differences between ser and estar see p. R47 of text. A quick and
semi-accurate way to distinguish their uses is to recall that the acronym HELP (health, emotions, location
and progressive tenses) applies to estar, while ser is used for just about everything else i.e., to identify and
define people/things, describe appearance and personality, express time and date, etc.
Bien and bueno/a/os/as are NOT interchangeable, nor are mal and malo/a/os/as.
Adjectives MUST agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify.
Verbs MUST agree in person and number with their subjects (t hablas, ellos hablan)
The phrase tener un buen tiempo is a monstruous literal translation; use pasarlo bien.
The phrase tuvimos divertido is an ungrammatical, nonsensical, hideous abomination; use nos divertimos.
The verb gustar does NOT mean to like, it means to be pleasing to which means the Spanish syntax is
backwards compared to English, and you have to use IDOPs.
Literal translations of English phrasal verbs involving get (get up, get home, get out, get well, etc.) are
execrable atrocities that are doomed to failure. Think of a verb you know in Spanish, and use that one (e.g.,
llegar a casa for to get home).

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