What is conjugation in Spanish?

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Today is the day for you to learn about this important grammar concept.

We conjugate verbs a lot, but many people do not know what it is. Do you? Don’t worry we’ll go over it right now.

Conjugation changes verbs. Before we go on you need a little lesson on verbs.

  • Verbs are words that express action or a state of being.
  • They are one of the parts of speech.
  • Every sentence has at least one verb.

Verbs are the only type of word that conjugates.

We’re going to explore conjugation and discover how conjugation works in sentences. Are you ready? Great!

In Spanish, conjugation is la conjugación.

What does that mean?

It means there are many forms of a verb. The verb form changes to match the subject of the sentence. This is called subject verb agreement.

They also change to show time and mood (also known as verb tense).

But wait! First you need to know that the infinitive is the base verb form. They are not conjugated because they don’t have any context like the other verbs forms do.

Click here to see a list of infinitives.

Infinitive Graphic

Infinitives have a stem and ending. On the left, the stem provides the word meaning. On the right, the ending changes form.

stem | ending

Ganar becomes gan|an. Ellos siempre ganan. They always win.

Venir becomes vien|e. Viene el doctor. The doctor is on his way.

Correr becomes corr|e. El perro corre. The dog runs.

Infinitive verb with no subjectganarto win
Verb with a subject¡Nosotros ganamos!We won.
Verb with no subject¡Ganamos!We won.

As you can see, the verb form tells us about the subject of the sentence. Because of that, the personal pronouns (replaces subject) can be dropped most of the time.

Here are some examples of subjects and verbs.

Example: Yo hablo español.

verb formhablo
subject (personal pronoun)yo

Example: ¿Sabes bailar?

helping verb form (verb phrase)sabes
subject pronoun (not stated)
main verb form (verb phrase)bailar
subject (personal pronoun)(none)

What is conjugation? Got it all? Here is a summary.

  • Conjugation changes the form of the verb.
  • Infinitive verbs are the base form.
  • Verbs have two parts (stem, ending).
  • The stem provides the word meaning and ending tells us who.
  • Two verbs can work together (a type of verb phrase).

Take note, endings also change to show time and purpose of the sentence. You can learn more about verb tenses and moods here (click on the links).

For next next bit, we’re going to focus on subject verb agreement.

Remember that verbs tell us about the subject? The verb ending matches the person and number of the subject of the sentence.

Person is first, second, third. First person is the speaker. Second Person is the person spoken to. Third person is the person spoken about.

Number is singular, plural. Singular is one subject. Plural is two or more subjects.

The six verb forms are first person singular, second person singular, third person singular, first person plural, second person plural, third person plural.

A conjugation matrix looks like this.

First Person Singular

Camino todos los días.
First Person Plural

Caminamos a la playa.
Second Person Singular

Ahora caminas.
Second Person Plural

Camináis de vez en cuando.
Third Person Singular

Ella camina con su perro.
Third Person Plural

Ustedes caminan y corren.

Did you notice how many times the verb changed form? That’s right six times!

Six boxes for six verb forms. There are six combinations of person and number.

Personal Pronouns

The subject can be replaced with a personal pronoun (a type of pronoun).

Personal Pronouns are yo, tú, vos, él, ella, usted, nosotros, nosotras, vosotros, vosotras, ellos, ellas, ustedes.

They agree with the verb in person and number.

Example: ¿Quién arregla?

Who fixes?

arreglarto fix
First Person Singular

Yo arreglo.
First Person Plural

Nosotros arreglamos.
Nosotras arreglamos.
Second Person Singular

Tú arreglas.
Vos arreglas.
Second Person Plural

Vosotros arregláis.
Vosotras arregláis.
Third Person Singular

Él arregla.
Ella arregla.
Usted arregla.
Third Person Plural

Ellos arreglan.
Ellas arreglan.
Ustedes arreglan.

The personal pronouns also have gender (masculine, feminine). Gender does not change the verb form. This means masculine and feminine subjects share the same verb form.

Example: ¿Quién ama?

Who loves?

amarto love
First Person Singular
First Person Plural
Second Person Singular
Second Person Plural
Third Person Singular
Third Person Plural


Yo amo. Tú amas. Vos amas. Él ama. Ella ama. Usted ama. Nosotros amamos. Nosotras amamos. Vosotros amáis. Vosotros amáis. Ellos aman. Ellas aman. Ustedes aman.

This is how conjugation works.

Verbs change to agree with the subject in the sentence.

group of friends hanging out on a cafe

Recommended Set of Conjugation Flashcards

Becoming familiar with conjugations is important to be able to communicate confidently and clearly in Spanish. Flashcards are a great learning tool. Make your own or grab this set of flashcards:

Spanish Verb Conjugation Flashcards Amazon

You can learn new conjugations, tenses, review, or test your memory.

Grammarians, the fancy word for conjugation is inflection.

Congratulations! You’ve reached the bottom of the lesson. You’re a conjugation pro now!

You have earned this trophy. 🏆


Conjugation changes the verb form to match the subject. There are six verb forms. The verb and the subject agree in person and number.

Now you’re ready to conjugate Spanish verbs!

Instant Conjugation Kit Ipad DeskIf you’d like to fast-track your way through verb conjugations, you need to check out our Instant Conjugation Kit!

It’ll save you time and wasted effort, and it will bring you well-earned confidence.

I hope this lesson helped you learn about verb conjugation!

This is original content from https://www.growspanish.com/what-is-conjugation-in-spanish

Other Helpful Resources

How to Practice Spanish Verb Conjugation

Using Spreadsheets to Conjugate Verbs

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