Indicative mood
Modo indicativo

The indicative mood expresses certainty and communicates facts.

Usage
Uso

Simple tenses
Tiempos simples

Present
Presente

Actual present
Presente real

An action being done at the very moment.

  • El hombre cocina la comida y canta un canción. = The man is cooking the food and singing a song.
Habitual present
Presente habitual

An action being done regularly or habitually.

  • La mujer viaja cada año y compra muchas cosas. = The woman travels each year and buys many things.
Atemporal present
Presente atemporal

General truths not bounded by time.

  • Dos más cuatro son ocho. = Two plus four equals eight.
Historical present
Presente histórico

An action that happened in the past but is accepted as historical fact.

  • Los EE. UU. lanzan una bomba nuclear sobre Hiroshima el 6 de agosto de 1945. = The U.S. drops a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima 6 August 1945.
Immediate future
Futuro inmediato

An action that will be done in the near future with a high degree of certainty.

  • Viajo este mes al extranjero. = I travel this month abroad.
Imperative present
Presente imperativo

An action that should be done at the very moment or near future. Sometimes used to give instructions in steps. Sometimes used with an exclamatory tone when scolding children or inferiors.

  • Ahora vas a la esquina y esperas. = Now you go to the corner and wait.

Imperfect
Pretérito imperfecto

Habitual past
Pasado habitual

An action done habitually in an indefinite past. It does not focus on when the action ended.

  • Él hablaba alemán con su familia. = He used to speak German with his family.
Interrupted action
Acción interrumpida

An action that was in progress when another action took place.

  • Comíamos cuando él entró. = We were eating when he entered.
General description
Descripción general

A past setting such as the background for a narrative.

  • El clima estaba en calma. Mirábamos las noticias. = The weather was calm. We were watching the news.

Preterite
Pretérito perfecto

Past action
Acción pasada

An action viewed as a completed event. Often accompanied by adverbial expressions of time.

  • Fui a la tienda y compré comida. = I went to the store and bought food.
Interrupting action
Acción de interrupción

An action which interrupted another action taking place. It is considered a completed event.

  • Comíamos cuando él entró. = We were eating when he entered.
General truth
Verdad general

A past relationship viewed as finished.

  • Chile fue parte del Imperio Español. = Chile was part of the Spanish Empire.

Future
Futuro

The future tense can also be expressed with the present indicative of ir followed by a and an infinitive verb: Te voy a ver pronto. = I am going to see you soon.

Future action
Acción futura

An action done in the future.

  • Ella irá mañana. = She will go tomorrow.
Uncertainty/Probability
Incertidumbre/Probabilidad

An inference rather than direct knowledge.

  • ¿Quién estará caminando afuera? — Será Juan. = Who will that be walking outside? — That will be Juan.
Command/Prohibition/Obligation
Orden/Prohibición/Obligación

A lesser used alternative to the imperative mood which can be considered graver.

  • Tú no traerás esta comida en mi auto. = You will not bring this food into my car.

Compound tenses
Tiempos compuestos

Present perfect
Pretérito perfecto

A past event that has present consequences. Used just like the present perfect in English.

  • Nos hemos preparado comida. = We have prepared food for ourselves.

Past perfect
Pretérito pluscuamperfecto

A past action that occurred prior to another past action.

  • Habíais terminado cuando llegué. = You (all) had finished when I arrived.

Past anterior
Pretérito anterior

A past action that ended immediately before another past action.

  • Cuando hubieron llegado los invitados, empezó la festín. = When the guests had arrived, the feast began.

The past anterior is rare in spoken Spanish but it is sometimes used in formal written language where it is almost entirely limited to subordinate (temporal, adverbial) clauses. It is usually introduced by temporal conjunctions such as cuando, apenas or en cuanto. The information conveyed by this tense can also be expressed using the preterite tense or the past perfect tense.

Future perfect
Futuro compuesto

A future action that will be finished right before another action.

  • Cuando llegues a la lección, habrán salido todos. = When you arrive to the lesson, everybody will have left.

The subordinate clause to the future perfect tense is in the subjunctive mood (llegues).

Conjugation
Conjugación

-ar verbs
Verbos -ar

Infinitive: -ar
yo él/ella/ello
usted
nosotros
nosotras
vosotros
vosotras
ellos/ellas
ustedes
Present: -o -as -a -amos -áis -an
Imperfect: -aba -abas -aba -ábamos -abais -aban
Preterite: -aste -amos -asteis -aron
Future: infinitive + é infinitive + ás infinitive + á infinitive + emos infinitive + éis infinitive + án

-er/-ir verbs
Verbos -er/-ir

Infinitive: -er -ir
yo él/ella/ello
usted
nosotros
nosotras
vosotros
vosotras
ellos/ellas
ustedes
Present: -o -es -e -emos -imos -éis -ís -en
Imperfect: -ía -ías -ía -íamos -íais -ían
Preterite: -iste -ió -imos -isteis -ieron
Future: infinitive + é infinitive + ás infinitive + á infinitive + emos infinitive + éis infinitive + án