Spanish Present Simple

Learn about present simple in Spanish

Definition

The present tense is used to express things happening now or the near future, routines, habits, universal truths, facts and when we order in a restaurant or shop.

When to use the Present Simple

We use the imperfect tense in the following situations

To talk about things happening now

For actions happening at the moment of speaking we use the present simple. In English we normally would use the present continuous (-ing). In Spanish we can also use the continuous form however, it is very common to replace it by the present tense.

Examples:
  • ¿Qué comes? Nada en especial, como una galleta.
    What are you eating? Nothing special, I am eating a biscuit.

To talk about actions happening in the near future

These sentences in present simple normally need a time expression like mañana (tomorrow), en un mes (in a month), en una hora (in an hour), etc. 

Examples:
  • Mañana mi esposo y yo vamos al gimnasio.

Tomorrow my husband and I are going to the gym.

  • Te veo a las cuatro en punto.

See you at 4 o’clock.  

To talk about habits and routines

Actions that a person does every day or often. These include routines, leisure activities, responsibilities, work related activities, etc. 

Examples:
  • Gracias pero no bebo alcohol.

Thank you but I don’t drink alcohol.

  • Trabajamos de las nueve a las cinco. 

We work from 9 to 5.

  • Los domingos María corre 10 kilómetros.

On Sundays María runs 10 km. 

To talk about universal truths and facts

Commonly known information such as facts, truths and proverbs are generally expressed in present simple. 

Examples:
  • El agua hierve a 100°C.

Water boils at 100°C.

  • Los humanos no son inmortales. 

Humans are not immortal.

  • El mundo es un pañuelo. 

The world is a handkerchief. (It’s a small world)

To order in a restaurant or shop

Present simple can be used when ordering food in a restaurant or buying items in a shop. It is commonly used with the word interjection Por Favor (please). 

Examples:
  • Quiero la sopa del día, por favor.

I would like the soup of the day, please.

  • ¿Me trae una cerveza, por favor?

Would you bring me a beer, please?

How to form the Present Simple

Present tense for regular verbs ending in -ar

The present tense of regular -ar verbs is formed by dropping the infinitive ending and adding the present simple ending that matches with the subject.

Subject Pronoun Preterite Simple Ending Caminar (to talk)
yo -o camino
-as caminas
él, ella, usted -a camina
nosotros, nosotras -amos caminamos
vosotros, vosotras -áis camináis
ellos, ellas, ustedes -an caminan
Example:
  • Todos los días camino al menos media hora.
    Every day I walk at least half an hour.

Present tense for regular verbs ending in -er

The present tense of regular -er verbs is formed by dropping the infinitive ending and adding the present simple ending that matches with the subject.

Subject Pronoun Preterite Simple Ending Ver (to see)
yo -o veo
-es ves
él, ella, usted -e ve
nosotros, nosotras -emos vemos
vosotros, vosotras -éis véis
ellos, ellas, ustedes -en ven
Example:
  • Normalmente mis hijos no ven televisión entre semana.
    Normally my children do not watch TV during the week.

Present tense for regular verbs ending in -ir

The present tense of regular -ir verbs is formed by dropping the infinitive ending and adding the present simple ending that matches with the subject.

Subject Pronoun Preterite Simple Ending Vivir (to live)
yo -o vivo
-es vives
él, ella, usted -e vive
nosotros, nosotras -imos vivimos
vosotros, vosotras -ís vivís
ellos, ellas, ustedes -en viven
Example:
  • Ernesto y su familia viven en Orlando.

Ernesto and his family live in Orlando. 

Present tense for irregular verbs

Here are some commonly used irregular verbs in present simple.

Subject Pronoun Ir (to go) Ser (to be) Hacer (to do) Tener (to have)
yo voy soy hago tengo
vas eres haces tienes
él, ella, usted va es hace tiene
nosotros, nosotras vamos somos hacemos tenemos
vosotros, vosotras vais sois hacéis tenéis
ellos, ellas, ustedes van son hacen tienen
Example:
  • Tengo veintiocho años.

I am twenty-five years old. (In spanish we use “to have” for expressing age).

  • ¿A dónde vais? Vamos al parque.

            Where are you guys going? We are going to the park.

Related Lessons

Learn about present simple with Casa Spanish lessons.