The present tense and irregular verbs

Some of the most common verbs in Spanish are irregular verbs. This means that they don't follow the usual pattern in the present tense. You have to learn each one separately.

The four most common irregular verbs are:

ser (to be)estar (to be)tener (to have)ir (to go)

These irregular verbs are also useful:

  • decir (to say) digo, dices, dice, decimos, decís, dicen
  • venir (to come) vengo, vienes, viene, venimos, venís, vienen

Verbs which are irregular in the 'I' form only

Some verbs are only irregular in the first person ('I' form) of the verb. These include:

  • conocer (to know) → conozco (I know)
  • dar (to give) → doy (I give)
  • hacer (to do/make) → hago (I do/make)
  • poner (to put/set) → pongo (I put/set)
  • saber (to know) → (I know)
  • salir (to go out/leave) → salgo (I go out/leave)
  • ver (to see/watch) → veo (I see/watch)

Practice using irregular verbs

Complete the sentences with the 'I' form of each verb and translate them into English.


Nunca ________ al insti cuando ________ enfermo. (infinitive = ir / estar)

Nunca voy al insti cuando estoy enfermo. (I never go to school when I am ill.)


Siempre ________ mi programa favorito. ¡________ que ________ adicto! (infinitive = ver / saber / ser)

Siempre veo mi programa favorito. ¡ que soy adicto! (I always watch my favourite programme. I know that I'm addicted!)


Normalmente ________ mis deberes y luego ________ con mis amigos, si ________ tiempo. (infinitive = hacer / salir / tener)

Normalmente hago mis deberes y luego salgo con mis amigos, si tengo tiempo. (Normally, I do my homework and then I go out with my friends, if I have time.)