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Can you explain the very basics of how Spanish verbs work?

All Spanish verbs end in AR ER or IR.

The first part of the verb is called the stem and "AR ER or IR" are the affixes which go after the stem.

Here are examples of the 3 types of verbs.

Beb + ER = Beber (drink)
Viv + IR = Vivir (live)
Habl + AR = Hablar (speak)

Spanish like Latin has an inflexional verb system which means that we use the verb stem plus affixes to make tenses and meaning.

For example this is the present tense of the verb "Hablar" (speak)

Hablo - I speak
Hablas - You speak
Habla - He, she or it speaks
Hablamos - We speak
Habáis - You speak
Hablan - They speak

You can see the full conjugations of the regular verbs using these links.
Regular verbs are verbs which follow all the standard rules.
Once you know how to conjugate one regular verb you will know how to conjugate hundreds of verbs.

Beber

Vivir

Hablar

Spanish also has irregular verbs such as Ser (to be)
With this verb you could say:

Soy inglés (I am English)
¿Eres escocés? (Are you Scottish)
No soy galés. (I am not Welsh)

Click here to see the conjugation of ser

 

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