Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Week 3 Day 5: -ER/-IR Verb Conjugations

What’s in store for you today: -Er and -Ir verbs:

Today’s goals are:

●     To learn the –Er verbs and conjugations

●     To learn the –Ir verbs and conjugations

●     To learn about the “Personal ‘a’”

Listen to Track 3.5.1


Juan: Hola. Me llamo Juan. ¿Cómo te llamas? (Hello, my name is Juan. What is your name?)

María: Me llamo María. Encantada. (My name is María. It’s a pleasure.)

Juan: Es un placer conocerte.  (It’s a pleasure to meet you.)

María: Yo vivo en Madrid. ¿Dónde vives tú?  (I live in Madrid. Where do you live?)

Juan: Yo vivo en Ávila pero trabajo en Madrid. (I live in Ávila but I work in Madrid.)

María: ¿Cómo llegas al trabajo? (How do you get to work?)

Juan: Uso el autobús. Leo en el viaje. ¿Lees mucho tú? (I take the bus. I read during the journey. Do you read a lot?)

María: Sí, leo mucho. También escribo. Mi hermano y yo escribimos un blog. ¿Escribes tú? (Yes, I read a lot. Also, I write. My brother and I write a blog. Do you write?)

Juan: No, no escribo. (No, I don’t write.)


Verb Conjugation Review

Last lesson we focused on -ar verb conjugations. In order to conjugate our verbs, we learned that you have to drop the ending from the infinitive (the -ar for -ar verbs) and add the appropriate ending.

In case you forgot, those looked like this:







We also mentioned that there are three categories for regular Spanish verbs. Today, let’s look at the other two: -er and -ir verbs.

Er Verbs

Listen to Track 3.5.2


Below you’ll find a list of some of the most common -er verbs:

  1. Comer – To eat
  2. Comprender – To understand
  3. Correr – To run
  4. Aprender – To learn
  5. Responder – To respond
  6. Vender – To sell
  7. Depender – To depend
  8. Proteger – To protect
  9. Beber – To drink
  10. Creer – To believe
  11. Leer – To read
  12. Romper– – To break
  13. Ver – To see


So, we have all these verbs. Now what do we do with them? Conjugate them, of course! Don’t forget to drop your -er ending before adding the conjugated ending.

The conjugations you will use for your -er verbs are:







Listen to Track 3.5.3


So, the verb comer* would be conjugated like this:

(Yo) como

(Nosotros/as) comemos

(Tú) comes

(Vosotros/as) coméis

(Él/Ella/Usted) come

(Ellos/as/Ustedes) comen

*Note: “Comer” can mean “to eat” OR in Spain, it means “to have lunch.”

The verb ver is a little different than the others. But only in the 1st person singular and 2nd person plural. Here’s how it conjugates:








-Ir Verbs

Listen to Track 3.5.4


Below you’ll find a list of the most common regular -ir verbs:

  1. Abrir – To open
  2. Decidir – To decide
  3. Descubrir – To discover
  4. Escribir – To write
  5. Permitir – To permit/To allow
  6. Recibir – To receive
  7. Sufrir – To suffer
  8. Subir – To go up
  9. Vivir – To live
  10. Asistir* – To attend

* This is one of those tricky “false cognates” we talked about before. It might look like the word “assist” in English, but it’s not! So be careful!

Our –ir conjugations will look like this:







You’ll notice that most of these look very familiar! The only difference in the -er and –ir conjugations will be found in the 1st person plural and the 2nd person plural.

So, the verb abrir will look like this:

Listen to Track 3.5.5










The “Personal ‘a’”

Listen to Track 3.5.7


Now that we have some verbs to play around with, we’re probably going to want to start putting together some more complex sentences. That’s great!

But before we do that, there’s one little thing we need to discuss – the “personal ‘a’.”

The personal ‘a’ is used in Spanish when the object of the verb is a person. For example:

  • Ayudo a mi madre con las tareas de casa. (I help my mother with the housework.)
  • Esteban escribe a sus abuelos cada semana. (Esteban writes his grandparents every week.)
  • Una madre protege a sus hijos. (A mother protects her children.)

It is required. It is not optional. It may not seem natural now, but if you start making an effort to work it into your speech now, you’ll find that, eventually, sentences sound weird without it.

Don’t get this “a” confused with the preposition “to.”

  • Viajo a Miami con mucha frecuencia. (I travel to Miami frequently.)


Today we talked about the -er and -ir verb conjugations:















We also talked about using the “personal ‘a’” when the object of a verb is a person:

Llamo a mi madre cada día (I call my mother every day).