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Report Thread starter 3 months ago
Has anyone got any ideas on how to help me with my problem;

I am struggling to understand spanish and my GCSEs are coming up next year!

I struggle to write using the correct tense, I don’t understand how the tenses work. For e.g I don’t understand when to put ‘ir’ at the end of a word. Things like that really confuse me!

Please can anyone give some help!
Badges: 19
Report 3 months ago

Don't worry about it too much. Tenses can be really tricky to get your head around in the beginning but you have plenty of time to practice and improve.

In Spanish there are 3 different types of verbs: ar, er and ir verbs. Bailar (to dance) would be an ar verb as it ends in ''ar'' and vivir (to live) would be an ir one as it ends in ''ir''. In order to form most tenses we need to remove these endings so that we're left with the ''stem'' (e.g the stem of bailar is just ''bail''). Once we've done that we then need to add the tense endings which you simply just need to learn. The present tense endings for ar verbs are: o (I), as (you), a (he/she), amos (we), áis (you all) and an (they) and for ir and er verbs they are: o (I/you), es (you/tú), e (he/she/él/ella, emos (we/nosotros), éis (you all/ustedes) and en (they/ellos/ellas). To form a verb in the present tense all we need to do is take off the ending so that we're left with the ''stem'' and add the ending we want. So if we wanted to say ''I eat'' we would do this: comer -> com -> como. You can add ''yo'' in front of this but it's a bit redundant and most Spanish speakers just leave it out.

Unfortunately it isn't all that simple and a few irregulars do exist and it really is just a case of memorising them which can be a bit boring. An example which you probably know would be ''ir''. This wouldn't follow the normal pattern but instead would go voy, vas, va, vamos, vais, van. There are also some verbs that are only irregular in the first person form (so yo or I). An example of this is ''dar'' (to give). To say ''I give'' it would be ''doy'' but after that it follows the normal conjugation pattern (so das, da, damos, dais, dan). I'll leave a link down below of the most common irregular verbs. Don't feel like you have to memorise them all at once, I'd focus on one or two every time you revise Spanish.

We also have 2 past tenses: the preterite and the imperfect. These can be a bit complicated and do come with quite a lot of rules in regards to using them but at GCSE level I really wouldn't worry about it (heck, I'm doing Spanish at university and my coursemates and I still get confused sometimes as to when to use each one ). The simplest way to put it is that the imperfect is used for repeated actions in the past. So for example if you were trying to say ''I played football when I was younger'' you would always use the imperfect as this was something you used to do repeatedly in the past (you didn't just play football once and then stopped forever). This would be ''jugaba al fútbol cuando era más joven''. The preterite is used for ''done'' actions so if you wanted to say ''I ate breakfast this morning'' you would use the preterite as the morning is now over and the action is completed (Comí el desayuno esta mañana). To form the imperfect all we need to do is to remove the ar/er/ir ending of the verb like we did in the present tense so that we're left with the stem and add the imperfect endings. For ar verbs these would be: aba (I), abas (you), aba (he/she), ábamos (we), abais (you all), aban (they) and for er and ir verbs it would be: ía (I), ías (you), ía (he/she), íamos (we), íais (you all), ían (they) (remember the accent on the ''i'').

Finally we have the future and conditional tense. The future tense is just used to so that we can describe things in the future (easy eh? :cool:) and the conditional tense is just the fancy way of saying you/he/she/we/they would do something or something would happen if *insert scenario here*. The endings for the future tense are: é, ás, á, emos, éis, án (these are the endings for ar, er, and ir verbs). The conjugation for the future tense is a little different as we don't need to remove the ar, er, or ir endings before adding the verb tense. We simply just take the ''infinitive'' (fancy word for basically just the unconjugated verb so the infitive or ''bailar'' would just be ''bailar'') and then add the endings. So for ''we will dance'' it would be bailaremos.

The conditional tense is similar to the future tense as we don't need to remove any endings to form it. We simply take the infitive again and add the endings.The endings for the conditional tense are: ía, ías, ía, íamos, íais, ían. To say ''they would drink'' we just take the verb ''beber'' and add the ''they'' ending to it so it would beberían.

Here are the common irregular verbs in the present tense:

I hope this helped a little bit! If you have any questions feel free to ask

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