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Week 3 Day 4: -AR Verb Conjugations/More with Questions

What’s in store for you today: -AR verbs

Today’s goals are:

●     To learn about the –ar conjugation

●     To learn more about asking questions

Listen to Track 3.4.1


Girl: Yo estudio mucho. Estudio español todos los días. ¿Estudias tú español? (I study a lot. I study Spanish every day. Do you study Spanish?)

Boy: No, no estudio español. Pero mi amiga estudia español. Yo dibujo. (No, I don’t study Spanish. But my friend studies Spanish. I draw.)

Girl: Yo no dibujo, pero mi padre dibuja muy bien. (I don’t draw, but my father draws very well.)

Boy: ¿Dibuja él todos los días? (Does he draw everyday?)

Girl: Sí, él dibuja todos los días. (Yes, he draws everyday.)

Boy: También, yo nado mucho. ¿Nadas tú? (Also, I swim a lot. Do you swim?)

Girl: ¡Sí! Mis amigos y yo nadamos mucho. (Yes! My friends and I swim a lot.)

Over the last two and a half weeks, we’ve learned a lot! By now, you understand subject pronouns, ser and estar, and can put together some pretty complex sentences. Today, we’re going to start working on a very important part of Spanish that will help to significantly grow your ability to use the language. We’re going to start looking at verbs!

-Ar Verbs

Listen to Track 3.4.2


The verbs we’ve looked at before (ser, estar, and tener) are considered irregular verbs. This means that they don’t follow the traditional verb conjugation patterns that others do. Let’s start getting familiar with those patterns. Today, we’re going to work with the first group of verbs: the -ar verbs.

Some of the most common regular -ar verbs are:

  1. Hablar – To talk
  2. Caminar – To walk
  3. Trabajar – To work
  4. Estudiar – To study
  5. Escuchar – To listen
  6. Visitar – To visit
  7. Viajar – To travel
  8. Usar – To use
  9. Llegar – To arrive
  10. Bailar – To dance
  11. Nadar – To swim
  12. Cocinar – To cook
  13. Llorar – To cry
  14. Terminar – To finish
  15. Esperar – To wait
  16. Buscar – To search for
  17. Mirar – To look (at)
  18. Pintar – To paint
  19. Pagar – To pay
  20. Comprar – To buy
  21. Ayudar – To help
  22. Necesitar – To need
  23. Desayunar – To have breakfast
  24. Cenar – To have dinner
  25. Dejar – To leave (i.e. To abandon)/To quit/To let

You’ll notice that all of the verbs end in -ar, hence why they are called “-ar verbs.” When you see a verb in this form (with the -ar ending still attached), it’s called an infinitive. You’ll also notice that the English translation of verbs that are in their infinitive form include the “to” before them (“to talk,” “to help,” etc.).

However, these verbs aren’t going to keep that -ar around forever! We have to conjugate them.

Rules to Remember

  1. To conjugate your regular -ar verbs, you’ll take off that -ar ending
  2. … and add one of the following, depending on what your subject is:

Yo (I) -o

Nosotros/as (we) -amos

Tú (you – singular familiar) -as

Vosotros (you – plural familiar) -áis

Él (he) Ella (she) Usted (you – singular formal) -a

Ellos/ as (they) Ustedes (you – plural formal) –an

Again, we’re going to keep using this nifty little chart. Here, you’ll find all your endings paired neatly with their corresponding subjects.

Listen to Track 3.4.3


If we were to take the verb “hablar” (to talk) and put it into that chart, it would look like this:

Yo hablo

Nosotros/as hablamos

Tú hablas

Vosotros/as habláis

Él/ Ella/ Usted habla

Ellos/as/ Ustedes hablan

Following our steps, it’s:

  1. Hablar (Drop the -ar).
  2. Pick your ending (-o, -as, -a, etc.) and add it onto the stem (what’s left, in this case habl).

It would be the same with the verb “cantar” (to sing).

Yo canto

Nosotros/as cantamos

Tú cantas

Vosotros/as cantáis

Él/ Ella/ Usted canta

Ellos/as/ Ustedes cantan


Present Tense Verbs in Spanish

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here, let’s talk about what we’re talking about! The conjugations we’re looking at here are for the present tense. That means that we’re talking about things that happening now – in the moment.

Listen to Track 3.4.5


In English, we only use the simple present when we say things like “I talk,” or “she reads,” or “they run.” But in Spanish, the present tense can be used to convey a larger variety of things. So, when I say, “yo hablo” in Spanish, I can be saying any one of the following:

  • I talk.
  • I am talking.
  • I do talk.

The context of my sentence will let the listener know which one I mean. For example, if you were to ask me, “¿Qué haces?” (What are you doing?), I can answer, “hablo con mi madre” (I’m talking to my mom) if I am literally in the process of talking to her – I’m standing there, on the phone, in the middle of my conversation.

Tengo una pregunta… I have a question…  

Listen to Track 3.4.6


Yesterday, we talked about question words:

  • ¿Dónde trabajas? – Where do you work?
  • ¿Quién baila bien? – Who dances well?


Today, let’s talk a little bit more about questions.

Questions with “do” or “does”

You’ll notice in the first example above (¿Dónde trabajas?) that there might seem like there’s something missing! In English, we say, “where do you work?”

In Spanish, “do” and “does” are not used in questions. Instead, we have a few options for how we’re going to make questions, especially those that don’t have a question word. For example:

  • ¿Trabaja María en el restaurante?
  • ¿María trabaja en el restaurante?

In the first example, we’ve switched the order of the words: Verb+subject. In the second, we have to use our voice and intonation to ensure that the people we’re talking to know we’re asking a question.

Exercise 3.4.2

Using the following adverbs of frequency, answer the questions about yourself:

Listen to Track 3.4.7

  • Siempre – Always
  • A veces – Sometimes
  • Nunca – Never

Note: For now, let’s keep our adverbs of frequency in front of the verb.

Example: Nunca nado. A veces bailo. Siempre cocino.

  • ¿Con qué frecuencia desayunas? (How often do you have breakfast?)
  • ¿Con qué frecuencia lloras? (How often do you cry?)
  • ¿Con qué frecuencia estudias español? (How often do you study Spanish?)
  • ¿Con qué frecuencia tocas el piano? (How often do you play piano?)
  • ¿Con qué frecuencia llegas tarde al trabajo? (How often do you arrive late to work?)


Additional Vocabulary

Todos los días: Every day

Con: With

Mucho: A lot

Poco: A little

Bien: Well

Muy: Very


Today, we talked about -ar verbs.

● We reviewed the conjugations for regular -ar verbs.

● We talked about dropping the infinitive verb ending, and adding the following to the stem:

Yo (I) -o

Nosotros/as (we) -amos

Tú (you – singular familiar) -as

Vosotros (you – plural familiar) -áis

Él (he) Ella (she) Usted (you – singular formal) -a

Ellos/ as (they) Ustedes (you – plural formal) -an

We also talked about the present tense in Spanish.

And, lastly, we looked at asking questions:

       ●   There is no do or does in Spanish questions. Instead we:

                 ○ Use our intonation OR

                 ○ Use question tags OR

                 ○ Change the order of the words.