Present Tense

El presente de indicativo

El presente - Spanish present tense
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The Spanish present tense, also known as the present indicative, is very similar in usage to the English simple present, but there are some key differences. The Spanish present tense can talk about any of the following:

1. Current actions or states of being

Vamos al mercado.   We are going to the market.
Estoy listo.   I am ready.

2. Habitual actions or states of being

Voy a la escuela todos los días.   I go to school every day.
Veo una película los sábados.   I see a movie on Saturdays.

3. Absolute and general truths.

La tierra es grande.   The earth is big.
La escuela es importante.   School is important.

4. Actions which will occur in the near future.

Voy al mercado lunes.   I’ll go to the store Monday.
Ana llega a las dos.   Ana’s arriving at two.

5. Conditions in si clauses

Si puedo, iré contigo.   If I can, I will go with you.

  Spanish vs English

Much of the above applies to the English present tense, but as you can see in some of the translations, the Spanish present tense often has three possible English equivalents – the English helping verbs "to be" and "to do" are not translated into the Spanish present tense.

I eat } Yo como.
I am eating
I do eat

However, if you want to emphasize the fact that something is happening right now, you can use the present progressive:

I am eating (right now) } Estoy comiendo.
I’m in the process of eating

Present tense conjugations

Spanish quizzes Present Tense Quizzes

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the Spanish present tense with these fill-in-the-blanks exercises:

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Spanish present tense