Family Names in Spanish

These verbs all end with the letters "-er" and are conjugated using the following:

We can use the verb Beber (to drink) to help us see this conjugation in action.

Subject:Verb ends in:
Yo-o
Tu-es
El, Ella, Usted (Ud.)-e
Nosotros-emos
Vosotros-eis
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes (Uds.)-en
BEBER – beh-bear (to drink)BEB + ending
Subject:Verb Conjugation:
YoBebo
TuBebes
El, Ella, Ud.Bebe
NosotrosBebemos
VosotrosBebeis
Ellos, Ellas, Uds.Beben

Now that you see the pattern, you can conjugate almost any verb that you come across that ends in 'er".

EXERCISE

Fill in the blank with the correct verb form.

  1. Yo __ (beber) zumo de frutas. (I drink fruit juice.)
  2. Tu __ (beber) aqua. (I drink water.)
  3. Nosotros _ (comer) pizza. pee-sah (I eat pizza.)
  4. Vosotros _ (aprender) espanol. (You [all] learn Spanish.)
  5. Uds. _ (deber) estudiar espanol. (You [all -formal] must have to learn Spanish.

Answers: 1. bebo 2. bebes; 3.comemos; 4. aprendeis; 5. Deben
*Notice how a conjugated verb + another verb (as in number 5 above) work together. The first verb is the only one conjugated. It is a verb + infinitive. Also, the verb 'tomar" (to take) is usually used when referring to drinking alcoholic beverages.

The 'IR" family of verbs:

Subject:Verb ends in:
Yo-o
Tu-es
El, Ella, Usted (Ud.)-e
Nosotros-imos
Vosotros-is
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes (Uds.)-en

We can use the verb VIVIR (to live) to help us see this conjugation in action.

IMPORTANT POINT: Notice how the above conjugations are almost exactly identical to the second family, the 'ER" verbs. Only the nosotros and the vosotros forms are a bit different.

VIVIR – Vee-Virr (to live)VIV + ending
Subject:Verb Conjugation:
YoVivo
TuVives
El, Ella, Ud.Vive
NosotrosVivimos
VosotrosVivis
Ellos, Ellas, Uds.Viven

Now that you see the pattern, you can conjugate almost any verb that you come across that ends in 'ir".

EXERCISE

Fill in the blank with the correct verb form.

  1. Yo _ (escribir) a mi hermano. (I write to my brother.)
  2. Tu _ (vivir) en San Diego. (You live in San Diego.)
  3. El __ (decidir) ir a Africa. (He decides to go to Africa.)
  4. Nosotros _ (abrir) los libros. (We open the books.)
  5. Ellos _ (recibir) un gato para la Navidad. (They receive a cat for Christmas.)

Answers: 1.escribo; 2. vives; 3. decide; 4. abrimos; 5. reciben

Algunos Verbos para Memorizar (Some verbs to memorize):

Try to conjugate the following verbs on notecards. Use them to practice. Once you have the patter down, you can apply it to almost any regular Spanish verb.

to eat :comerAyudar: to help
to buy: comprarbuscar: to look for
to work: trabajardesear: to desire
to understand: comprenderenviar: to send
to walk: andarescuchar: to listen
to read: leerto read: leer
to travel: viajartomar: to take, or drink alcholic beverages
to run: corrercomer: to eat
to study: estudiarasistir: to attend
to learn: aprendersubir: to climb, go up