Section 1: Introduction (Optional)
Section 2: Basics of Spanish Verbs

Instruction: Spanish Infinitive Forms (-ar, -er, -ir)

In Spanish, the infinitive form of a verb is its base form, which is equivalent to the English “to” form, such as “to speak” or “to eat.” Infinitives are not conjugated, meaning they do not change based on the subject or tense. Recognizing and understanding infinitive forms is a crucial first step in mastering Spanish verb conjugation.

The Three Infinitive Endings

 

Spanish verbs in their infinitive forms end in one of three ways: -ar, -er, or -ir. These endings determine the conjugation patterns that the verbs will use. Each group has its own set of rules and regularities. Let’s explore each type in detail:

  1. -ar Verbs
  2. -er Verbs
  3. -ir Verbs

1. -ar Verbs

Characteristics:

  • Verbs that end in -ar are the most common type of verbs in Spanish.
  • They often follow a regular pattern for conjugation, making them easier to learn for beginners.

Examples:

  • Hablar (to speak)
  • Estudiar (to study)
  • Bailar (to dance)

In-Context Examples:

  • Quiero hablar contigo. (I want to speak with you.)
  • Ella necesita estudiar para el examen. (She needs to study for the exam.)
  • Nos gusta bailar en las fiestas. (We like to dance at parties.)

2. -er Verbs

 

Characteristics:

  • Verbs that end in -er are the second most common type of verbs.
  • They have their own conjugation patterns, distinct from -ar verbs.

Examples:

  • Comer (to eat)
  • Leer (to read)
  • Correr (to run)

In-Context Examples:

  • Me gusta comer pizza. (I like to eat pizza.)
  • Ellos prefieren leer libros de ficción. (They prefer to read fiction books.)
  • Nosotros vamos a correr en el parque. (We are going to run in the park.)

3. -ir Verbs

 

Characteristics:

  • Verbs that end in -ir are less common but still follow regular conjugation patterns.
  • These verbs have similarities with -er verbs but also have distinct endings in some forms.

Examples:

  • Vivir (to live)
  • Escribir (to write)
  • Abrir (to open)

In-Context Examples:

  • Quiero vivir en una casa pequeña. (I want to live in a small house.)
  • Ella va a escribir una carta. (She is going to write a letter.)
  • ¿Puedes abrir la puerta, por favor? (Can you [are you able toopen the door, please?)

Conclusion

 

In the next lesson, you’ll be able to learn and practice Spanish verb infinitives.

While both English and Spanish require verb conjugation, Spanish is more complex due to its varied endings, subject-specific forms, and extensive use of different tenses and moods. Understanding these differences can help you approach Spanish conjugation with greater clarity and confidence. By recognizing the patterns and practicing regularly, you will become proficient in navigating the rich verb landscape of the Spanish language.