Quiz: Can You Conjugate These Spanish Verbs Correctly?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Conjugate These Spanish Verbs Correctly?
By: Kevin Zed
6 Min Quiz
Image: Terry Vine / DigitalVision / Getty Images
About This Quiz
We've all been there: that moment you're trying to speak a foreign language and ... and ... nothing comes out. The words have magically disappeared from your vocabulary; all your grammar lessons conveniently erased from your mind. And don't even get started on those pesky verb conjugations. "Is there an 'e' or an 'o' at the end when it's past tense? Oh shoot, it's an irregular verb, now what?" You desperately look to Google Translate for solace, cursing the day you ever decided to learn a new language.
But sometimes, you have to persevere, and Spanish is one of those languages worth mastering. With about 577 million Spanish speakers worldwide and 20 countries using it as their official language, there's no doubt that Spanish can come in handy. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 41 million people whose mother tongue is Spanish. So, whether you need to brush up on your pasado or forgot the conjugation for first-person singular, this quiz will guide through various tenses, subject-verb agreements, formality, and both regular and irregular verbs. The next time you need to hablar, don't worry about awkwardly making up words on the spot and adding random Latin suffixes to your words. We've got you. Vamos!
Time to eat! How are you conjugating the present, first-person singular of the verb "comer"?
Nice! Standard "ER" verbs are conjugated with an "O" in first-person singular. If you're in a hurry and want your food to go, just say "para llevar" after your order. But if you have time to sit at a restaurant, a table "afuera" means you'll dine outside while "adentro" means you'll sit inside.
Your neighbors tell you that they're taking a trip to Madrid next week. How are they conjugating the verb "ir"?
While "vamos" is technically conjugated in the present and does not refer to a future action, it's more typical to use this conjugation when talking about taking an upcoming trip.
What's the present, third-person plural conjugation of "hablar"?
For all the chatterboxes out there, Spanish has many ways to talk about, well, talking. "Dar una conferencia" denotes giving a lecture, while "chismear" means you're gossiping about someone.
Your colleague is describing how his two roommates would wake up at 4:00 a.m. every day. Which verb and conjugation are they using?
Since the roommates repeated the same action in the past, the imperfect tense is the way to go. As with many other tenses, imperfect verbs end with "N" when the subject is third-person plural. This is also a reflexive verb, hence the "se" at the beginning.
Your best friend is describing how her annoying ex used to repeatedly chew loudly. How is she conjugating "masticar"?
This verb is conjugated in "Imperfecto," which reflects continuous, repeated actions in the past. Regular "AR" verbs end in some form of "aba," so that poor friend must have had to listen to a lot of chewing!
What's the simple future, second-person singular conjugation of "caminar"?
When using regular verbs, the future tense is conjugated with the infinitive, so the "AR" "ER" and "IR" are always included in the word. You just need to add the proper ending that corresponds with the subject.
Your mom tells you she went to the movies last week. How is she conjugating "ir"?
"Ir" is an irregular verb, so its conjugation may not be as obvious. "Fui" is conjugated as a "Preterite" past verb, which is used for actions that both began and ended in the past. No loose ends here.
You're dancing at a club when a fellow reveler asks if you and your friends want to dance. How did they just conjugate "querer"?
While "querer" is technically an irregular verb, its first-person and second-person plural actually fit the mold of regular verbs. If you were to answer yes, you'd say "queremos," and if not, well, that's a different story.
Your friend is telling you that his roommate is currently sleeping. How is he conjugating "dormir"?
Since your friend is talking about an action occurring in this very moment, the present progressive is the way to go. You can form the present progressive by conjugating the verb "estar" with the present participle.
Tell us the present, first-person plural conjugation of "cocinar."
Regular "AR" verbs, when conjugated in third-person plural, end in "amos." Now, in the event that you burn your meal, you'd say "nos quemamos," which is a reflexive verb and therefore requires the "nos."
Your colleague says her spouse is bringing their pet dog to the office later this week. Which verb and conjugation is she using?
The verb "traer" means "to bring," and in this case, the conjugation should be in the future tense since the spouse will be bringing the dog later. Regular, third-person singular verbs in the future end with "á."
Class is in session! How are you conjugating the preterite, third-person plural of the verb "aprender"?
"Aprender" is a regular "ER" verb, meaning that its past, third-person plural conjugation ends in "ieron." For a synonym, use "enterarse de" if you want to talk about becoming aware or getting wind of something.
Your friend is telling you he once knew a famous celebrity. Which verb and conjugation is he using?
The verbs "saber" and "conocer" are a bit tricky: they both mean "to know," but the former refers to knowing facts while the latter is for knowing people. In this case, since the action is in the past and does not have a specific time frame, you'd use the imperfect tense.
What's the future simple, first-person plural conjugation of "escribir"?
First-person plural conjugations of regular, future simple verbs vary from other conjugations: no accent is needed; you just add "emos" to the end of the infinitive regardless of whether the verb ends in "ER," "AR," or "IR."
You're reminding your friend how he would go to the park as a kid. Which verb and conjugation are you using?
The verb "ir" means "to go," canceling out "estaba," which is the imperfect tense of "estar," the Spanish for "to be." Since you're referring to a habitual past action, you'd use the imperfect, eliminating "fuiste," which is in preterite tense and used for past actions with a clearer timeline.
How do you conjugate the present, third-person singular of the verb "poder"?
"Poder" is an irregular verb, so it's conjugation isn't "pode" in the same way that regular "ER" verbs would end. Meaning "can" or "to be able to," you can also say "ser capaz," meaning "be capable," though this isn't as common.
It's time for a negative verb! Your landlord says there's no electricity in your building. How did she conjugate "haber"?
When conjugating negative verbs, the "no" will precede the verb itself. Meaning "to have," the verb "haber" is irregular, hence its strange conjugation. It is used to express something's existence ("No hay luz" means "There is no light").
What's the present perfect, second-person singular conjugation of "ser"?
To form the present perfect, you just have to conjugate "haber," meaning "to have," according to the subject, and then add the past participle. To form the past participle, add "ido" to "ER" and "IR" verbs and "ado" to "AR" verbs.
Your friend tells you he went swimming last week. Which verb and conjugation is he using?
"Nadar," meaning "to swim," should be conjugated in the preterite tense because the friend is referring to a past action that was not habitual and officially completed in the past with a clear timeline.
Tell us the imperfect, first-person plural conjugation of the verb "reír."
As with other regular verbs, the imperfect, first-person plural of "reír" is conjugated with an ending of "amos."
Your friend tells you she'll describe her new car to you later. Tell us the verb and conjugation she used.
"Descubrir" actually means "to discover," knocking out the first two answers. Since this is the future tense and your friend is the first-person singular subject, the "é" is the correct ending.
Tell us the imperfect, second-person plural of the verb "ser."
"Ser" is one of those pesky irregular verbs that always has a different conjugation depending on the tense. Further complicating matters, the imperfect, second-person plural of "ser" does not contain an accent, deviating from other "ER" verbs.
Your colleague tells you she might work an extra hour, depending on how things go. How did she conjugate "trabajar"?
Since your colleague working longer depends on other factors, you'd use the conditional tense. Even for several irregular verbs, conditional is conjugated with in the infinitive form and with an added ending.
Your friend tells you his neighbors looked for his cat but couldn't find it. Which verb and conjugation did he use?
"Buscar" means "to search" or "to look for," eliminating the last two options, which are past tenses of "ver," meaning "to see." Since this is a regular "AR" verb, you simply add the standard "aron" ending.
Your friend says she would listen to your new mixtape but doesn't have time. Which verb and conjugation did she use?
The first two options are conjugations of the verb "oyer," which means "to hear." The last two are conjugations of "escuchar," meaning "to listen," and the last is correct because it's in conditional form, and the colleagues' inability to listen is dependent on another action.
Which verb and conjugation would you use if saying you opened a bank account yesterday?
"Abrir" means "to open." As this is a regular "IR" verb in the first-person, past tense conjugations end with "í," whereas the other options are also past tense and first-person but take the "é" because their infinitive ends in "AR."
Your running partner says he had run your suggested track before. Which verb and conjugation did he use?
Since your running partner says they "have" done something, you'd use the present perfect, which is always preceded by a variation of "haber" and then the past participle of your verb choice. In this case, since your partner is speaking in the first person, the conjugation of "haber" is "he."
How would you conjugate the past, second-person plural of the verb "decir"?
"Decir" is another one of those often-used but annoyingly irregular verbs. All of its preterite conjugations start with "dij" but it's worth noting that its third-person plural conjugation ends in "eron," not "ieron" like most "IR" verbs.
It's time for a negative verb! You tell your friend you've never been to that Italian restaurant down the road. How did you conjugate "estar"?
"Nunca" translates to never, eliminating the first and third answers. The last option translates to "was never" because there's no word to denote the "have" in your statement, and even if there were, the answer would be grammatically incorrect.
Your mom says she is having a problem with her fridge. How did she conjugate "tener"?
While "tengo" is technically grammatically correct because it's the present tense, it's more appropriate to use the present progressive because the speaker is experiencing a problem at this very moment.
Your friends text you, saying they'll know the time for an upcoming concert later today. Which conjugation of "saber" did they use?
Another day, another annoying irregular verb. While most future tenses are conjugated in the infinitive with an added ending, the "r" and the "e" in "saber" switch spots. You'll get into the hang of this soon!
Your Spanish professor says his colleague translated your last assignment. Let us know the verb and conjugation he used.
"Trasladar" means "to move," as in "to move houses," eliminating the first two answers. "Traducir" is also an irregular verb, hence the random "J" that seems out of place. Go home "traducir," you're drunk!
Oh, snap, time for a nap! Tell us how to translate the present, first-person plural of the verb "dormitar."
Just like how English has distinct verbs for napping and sleeping, so too does Spanish: "dormir" means "to sleep," while "dormitar" refers to dozing, napping, or anything in between.
Your friend says he likes your shirt. Let us know how he conjugated the verb "gustar."
"Gustar," what a lovely verb. People use "me gusta" because it denotes that something is pleasing to them, whereas the expected "yo gusto" means that you are pleasing to something else.
You're telling your friend that you had already been studying French when you started learning Spanish. How did you conjugate the first verb, "estudiar"?
This is where it gets a bit tough. You have to use the past perfect because the verb "estudiar" is the first of the two past actions, and was ongoing before being interrupted by the second, in this case learning Spanish.
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