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Top 100 Spanish Verbs You Should Know

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Why learn Spanish verbs? Why are they important?

Language would pretty much not exist without verbs. We would still be able to talk, of course, and understand one another. But think of how you would need to describe something that you would normally express with a verb. For example, if you wanted to tell someone they need to run. Using verbs, this is something that we can express by just saying “Run!”

Take a moment to think of how you would say that with no verbs at all. It won’t take you very long: surely you’ll easily find another way of saying the exact same thing, but it might sound silly and you would probably use a few more words. This is one of the many reasons we need verbs.

Sadly, as you might already know, Spanish verbs aren’t as easy as English verbs. However, they’re similar to verbs in other romance languages (such as Italian or French), so if you already speak one of them, it won’t be that difficult. If you don’t, well, that’s why we’re here—to help you learn them. Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. What You Need to Know
  2. Different Groups of Verbs
  3. Action Verbs
  4. Self-care Verbs
  5. Linking Verbs
  6. Helping Verbs
  7. Verb Placement in a Sentence
  8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. What You Need to Know

The first thing that you need to know about Spanish verbs is that they have conjugations. In case you only speak English or another language that doesn’t have (many) conjugations, we’ll try to explain it simply.

English verbs don’t usually change much, but the few changes they have will help us explain Spanish verb conjugation. Any regular verb in English has the same form in the present tense, except for the third-person: 

  • “I buy” 
  • “You buy” 
  • “He/She buys” 

Can we say that’s a conjugation? Yes, it is! If we look at the verb “to be,” however, there are more changes:

  • “I am” 
  • “You are
  • “He/She is
  • “We are

In Spanish, this happens to every verb. The good news is that most of the time, it’s only the ending that changes and not the entire word. The only exception is for the Spanish irregular verbs.

Something else you need to know is that Spanish, unlike other languages, tends to avoid using the subject. The reason for this is completely related to conjugations: Because the verb changes according to the subject, you already know the subject of this action without actually using the corresponding pronoun. We only use the pronoun when it might not be so obvious who the subject is, or when we want to emphasize it.

Here’s an example:

  • Voy a comer un helado. 

“I’m going to eat ice cream.”

Voy is already expressing that I am the person who is going to eat it.

However, a few different things could happen to this same example. Let’s say the person you’re talking to didn’t hear you properly and asks you: 

  • ¿Quién va a comer un helado? 

“Who is going to eat ice cream?”

In this case, you would need to emphasize that it’s you, so you would say: YO voy a comer un helado.

If that same example was in the third-person (Va a comer un helado), the person we’re talking to might not know who we’re talking about and we might need to use a pronoun or even their actual name. But this is exactly the same thing that happens in English!

2. Different Groups of Verbs

Top Verbs

Verbs in Spanish can be divided into three different groups. This division is what helps us know which conjugation the verb follows, and it’s based on the ending of the verb in its infinitive form, which is the one you’ll always find in a dictionary. On top of that, we could say there’s still a fourth (and last) group which consists, of course, of irregular verbs. 

The three main groups are:

  • Spanish verbs with AR
  • Spanish verbs with ER
  • Spanish verbs with IR

We’re only going to take a brief look at the different verb groups here because we’ll soon be publishing an article about conjugations.

Verbs that end in -ar 

The first group of verbs, which we call “first conjugation,” is formed by all Spanish verbs with the infinitive ending –ar. Some examples are cantar (“to sing”), jugar (“to play”), and amar (“to love”).

Verbs that end in -er

The second conjugation is formed by verbs that end in –er in their infinitive form. Some examples are comer (“to eat”) and leer (“to read”).

Verbs that end in -ir 

The third and last conjugation is, as you might have guessed by the subtitle, verbs that end in –ir in their infinitive form. Two examples of this conjugation are salir (“to exit”) and dormir (“to sleep”).

Irregular verbs 

As mentioned before, sadly, there are also some irregular verbs. The classic examples are ser and estar (“to be”), but there are a few more—such as ir (“to go”)—that we’ll mark with a (!) on the following list of verbs. 

Irregular verbs can have different kinds of irregularities. For example, some verbs might be completely irregular and have conjugations that don’t look like their infinitive form at all, while others have only certain irregularities, sometimes in a specific tense, such as the present. 

Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s our list of Spanish verbs you need to know as a beginner! 

3. Action Verbs

More Essential Verbs

Physical Verbs 

1- andar

Meaning: “to walk”

Example: Todos los días voy andando al trabajo.

Translation: “I walk to work everyday.”

2- arreglar 

Meaning: “to fix”

Example: He tenido que llamar a un fontanero para que me arreglara el váter.

Translation: “I had to call a plumber to fix my toilet.”

3- besar

Meaning: “to kiss”

Example: ¿Vas a besarme o qué?

Translation: “Are you going to kiss me or what?”

4- caer

Meaning: “to fall”

Example: Ayer me caí y me rompí el brazo.

Translation: “Yesterday, I fell and broke my arm.”

5- cantar

Meaning: “to sing”

Example: A mi hermana le gusta mucho cantar.

Translation: “My sister really likes singing.”

Girl singing

6- cocinar

Meaning: “to cook”

Example: No sé qué cocinar esta noche.

Translation: “I don’t know what to cook tonight.”

7- comer

Meaning: “to eat”

Example: Hoy he comido cereales para desayunar.

Translation: “Today, I ate cereal for breakfast.”

8- comprar

Meaning: “to buy”

Example: Me he comprado un ordenador nuevo.

Translation: “I have bought a new computer.”

9- conducir

Meaning: “to drive”

Example: ¿Sabes conducir?

Translation: “Do you know how to drive?”

10- conseguir

Meaning: “to obtain” or “to achieve”

Example: He conseguido el visado.

Translation: “I have obtained the visa.”

11- correr

Meaning: “to run”

Example: Voy a tener que correr si quiero coger el autobús.

Translation: “I’m going to have to run if I want to take the bus.”

12- dar (!)

Meaning: “to give”

Example: Si te portas bien, te daré un trozo de chocolate.

Translation: “If you behave well, I’ll give you a piece of chocolate.”

13- decir (!)

Meaning: “to say”

Example: José me ha dicho que me quiere.

Translation: “José has told me that he loves me.”

14- descansar

Meaning: “to rest”

Example: ¿Has descansado bien?

Translation: “Have you rested well?”

15- empezar (!)

Meaning: “to start”

Example: Mañana empiezo a trabajar en una tienda.

Translation: “Tomorrow, I start working at a store.”

16- encontrar (!)

Meaning: “to find”

Example: Aún no he encontrado las llaves.

Translation: “I haven’t found my keys yet.”

17- enseñar

Meaning: “to teach” or “to show”

Example: Mi madre me enseñó a nadar cuando era pequeño.

Translation: “My mother taught me how to swim when I was little.”

18- entrar

Meaning: “to enter”

Example: Claro que puedes entrar en mi habitación.

Translation: “Of course you can enter my room.”

19- enviar

Meaning: “to send”

Example: He enviado una postal a mi abuela. 

Translation: “I have sent a postcard to my grandma.”

20- escribir

Meaning: “to write”

Example: Juan escribió su primer libro cuando tenía veinte años.

Translation: “Juan wrote his first book when he was twenty years old.”

21- ganar

Meaning: “to win”

Example: Ya hemos ganado tres partidos.

Translation: “We have already won three matches.”

22- gritar

Meaning: “to scream” or “to yell”

Example: ¡No me grites!

Translation: “Don’t yell at me!”

23- hacer (!)

Meaning: “to do” or “to make”

Example: ¿Has hecho los deberes?

Translation: “Have you done your homework?”

24- intentar

Meaning: “to try”

Example: He intentado decirle la verdad, pero no he podido.

Translation: “I tried to tell him the truth, but I couldn’t.”

25- ir (!)

Meaning: “to go”

Example: Este verano me voy de vacaciones a Londres.

Translation: “This summer, I’m going on holiday to London.”

26- jugar (!)

Meaning: “to play”

Example: Martín y yo jugamos a tenis los martes.

Translation: “Martín and I play tennis on Tuesdays.”

27- leer

Meaning: “to read”

Example: ¿Qué libro estás leyendo?

Translation: “What book are you reading?”

28- limpiar

Meaning: “to clean”

Example: Tengo que limpiar la cocina.

Translation: “I have to clean the kitchen.”

29- llamar

Meaning: “to call”

Example: Llámame cuando estés en casa.

Translation: “Call me when you’re home.”

30- llegar

Meaning: “to arrive”

Example: ¡Hemos llegado!

Translation: “We have arrived!”

31- llevar

Meaning: “to bring”

Example: ¿Vas a llevar algo a la cena?

Translation: “Are you bringing anything to dinner?”

32- mirar

Meaning: “to look” 

Example: ¡Mira a la derecha!

Translation: “Look right!”

33- mover

Meaning: “to move”

Example: Muévete, estás en medio.

Translation: “Move, you’re in the way.”

34- morir (!)

Meaning: “to die”

Example: Su abuela murió hace años.

Translation: “His grandmother died years ago.”

35- nadar

Meaning: “to swim”

Example: Me dijiste que te gustaba nadar, ¿no?

Translation: “You told me you liked to swim, didn’t you?”

36- pagar

Meaning: “to pay”

Example: Me gustaría pagar la cuenta.

Translation: “I would like to pay the bill.”

37- parar

Meaning: “to stop”

Example: Cuando llegues al final de la calle, para el coche.

Translation: “When you get to the end of the street, stop the car.”

38- perder

Meaning: “to lose”

Example: He perdido un poco de peso.

Translation: “I have lost a bit of weight.”

39- poner (!)

Meaning: “to put (on)”

Example: Ayer me puse un vestido nuevo.

Translation: “Yesterday, I put on a new dress.”

40- preguntar

Meaning: “to ask”

Example: ¿Te puedo preguntar algo?

Translation: “Can I ask you something?”

42- reír (!)

Meaning: “to laugh”

Example: Siempre te ríes cuando cuento un chiste.

Translation: “You always laugh when I tell a joke.”

42- regalar

Meaning: “to give (as a gift)”

Example: Creo que mis padres me quieren regalar un coche para mi cumpleaños.

Translation: “I think my parents want to give me a car for my birthday.”

43- robar

Meaning: “to rob” or “to steal”

Example: Me han robado el móvil.

Translation: “My phone has been stolen.”

44- salir (!)

Meaning: “to exit” or “to go out”

Example: Saldré en media hora.

Translation: “I’ll go out in half an hour.”

45- saltar

Meaning: “to jump”

Example: Tenemos que saltar a la vez.

Translation: “We have to jump at the same time.”

46- seguir

Meaning: “to follow”

Example: Vamos, ¡sígueme!

Translation: “Come on, follow me!”

47- trabajar

Meaning: “to work”

Example: Trabajo de camarera en un bar conocido.

Translation: “I work as a waitress in a well-known bar.”

48- vender

Meaning: “to sell”

Example: ¿Quieres que te venda mi televisión vieja?

Translation: “Do you want me to sell you my old TV?”

49- vivir

Meaning: “to live”

Example: Siempre he vivido en Valencia.

Translation: “I have always lived in Valencia.”

50- volar

Meaning: “to fly”

Example: Ese pájaro está volando muy cerca del fuego.

Translation: “That bird is flying very close to the fire.”

Mental Verbs

Negative Verbs

51- amar

Meaning: “to love”

Example: Siempre te amaré.

Translation: “I will always love you.”

52- aprender

Meaning: “to learn”

Example: Estoy aprendiendo español.

Translation: “I am learning Spanish.”

Girl having fun learning

53- confiar

Meaning: “to trust”

Example: Solo confío en mi mejor amiga.

Translation: “I only trust my best friend.”

54- creer

Meaning: “to believe”

Example: ¿Crees en Dios?

Translation: “Do you believe in God?”

55- decidir

Meaning: “to decide”

Example: Hemos decidido casarnos.

Translation: “We have decided to get married.”

56- desear

Meaning: “to wish”

Example: Te deseo un feliz cumpleaños.

Translation: “I wish you a happy birthday.”

57- divertirse

Meaning: “to have fun”

Example: Me he divertido mucho hoy.

Translation: “I’ve had a lot of fun today.”

58- encantar

Meaning: “to love” (not romantic)

Example: ¡Me encanta el chocolate!

Translation: “I love chocolate!”

59- entender (!)

Meaning: “to understand”

Example: No te entiendo cuando hablas con la boca llena.

Translation: “I don’t understand you when you speak with your mouth full.”

60- gustar

Meaning: “to like”

Example: Siempre me ha gustado el arte.

Translation: “I have always liked art.”

61- juzgar

Meaning: “to judge”

Example: No juzgues a la gente sin conocerla.

Translation: “Don’t judge people without knowing them.”

62- necesitar

Meaning: “to need”

Example: Necesitas dormir más.

Translation: “You need to sleep more.”

63- odiar

Meaning: “to hate”

Example: Odio cuando te portas así.

Translation: “I hate when you behave like this.”

64- olvidar

Meaning: “to forget”

Example: ¿No se te olvida algo?

Translation: “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

65- pensar

Meaning: “to think”

Example: Queremos que sepas que pensamos mucho en ti.

Translation: “We want you to know that we think a lot about you.”

66- preocuparse

Meaning: “to worry”

Example: No te preocupes.

Translation: “Don’t worry.”

67- prohibir

Meaning: “to forbid”

Example: El gobierno ha prohibido fumar en la playa.

Translation: “The government has forbidden smoking at the beach.”

68- querer

Meaning: “to want” or “to love”

Example: No quiero ir al colegio.

Translation: “I don’t want to go to school.”

69- recordar

Meaning: “to remember” or “to remind”

Example: Te recuerdo que hoy te toca invitarme.

Translation: “Let me remind you that today, it’s your turn to invite me.”

70- saber (!)

Meaning: “to know”

Example: ¿Sabías que mi madre es italiana?

Translation: “Did you know that my mother is Italian?”

71- soñar

Meaning: “to dream”

Example: Anoche soñé con mi abuelo.

Translation: “Last night, I dreamed of my grandad.”

72- sorprender

Meaning: “to surprise”

Example: Mi novio nunca me sorprende.

Translation: “My boyfriend never surprises me.”

73- tener (!)

Meaning: “to have”

Example: Cuando era pequeño tenía dos perros.

Translation: “When I was little, I had two dogs.”

4. Self-care Verbs

You might notice that in this section, all verbs end in –se after their regular verbal ending. These verbs are called reflexive and require a reflexive pronoun. Even though English doesn’t require pronouns for this kind of verb, it’s important to use them in Spanish. We recently published an article about pronouns that will most likely help you understand these verbs. Just in case, we’ve also added a literal translation to each of these translations.

Man Shaving

74- afeitarse

Meaning: “to shave”

Example: Mi padre se afeita todas las mañanas.

Translation: “My dad shaves every morning.” (Literally: “He shaves himself”)

75- arreglarse

Meaning: “to get ready”

Example: Espera cinco minutos, aún no me he arreglado.

Translation: “Wait five minutes, I didn’t get ready yet.” (Literally: “I didn’t get myself ready yet”)

76- bañarse 

Meaning: “to bathe”

Example: Me gusta bañarme antes de ir a dormir.

Translation: “I like to bathe before going to sleep.” (Literally: “I bathe myself”)

77- despertar(se)

Meaning: “to wake up”

Example: Siempre me despierto a las siete.

Translation: “I always wake up at seven.” (Literally: “I wake myself up”)

78- dormirse (vs. dormir [“to sleep”])

Meaning: “to fall asleep”

Example: Anoche me dormí a las once de la noche.

Translation: “Last night I fell asleep at eleven p.m.” (“Literally: “I put myself to sleep”)

79- ducharse

Meaning: “to shower”

Example: Todos los días me ducho antes de ir al trabajo.

Translation: “Every day, I shower before going to work.” (Literally: “I shower myself”)

80- levantarse 

Meaning: “to get up”

Example: No soy capaz de levantarme antes de las ocho.

Translation: “I’m not capable of getting up before eight.” (Literally: “I get myself up”)

81- maquillarse

Meaning: “to put on makeup”

Example: Marta nunca sale de casa sin maquillarse.

Translation: “Marta never leaves the house without putting on makeup.” (Literally: “She puts makeup on herself”)

82- peinarse

Meaning: “to brush one’s hair”

Example: ¿Te has peinado?

Translation: “Have you brushed your hair?” (In this case, we wouldn’t say it literally translates to “yourself,” because we already used “your.”)

83- vestirse

Meaning: “to get dressed”

Example: Deja que me vista primero.

Translation: “Let me get dressed first.”

Clothes

5. Linking Verbs

84- ser (!) vs. 85- estar (!)

You’ve probably heard of these two verbs before. We know, they’re not fun. However, they’re extremely important in Spanish. They only have one translation in English, which is the verb “to be.”

An easy way of making a distinction between these two verbs is that ser is generally used for things that are permanent, while estar is used for things that are temporary. For example, I can say Soy española (“I am Spanish”) using the verb ser, because I will always be Spanish. But if I want to say “I’m sad,” I’ll use the verb estar, because I’m not always going to be sad: Estoy triste.

For some more information, check out our lesson on whether to use ser or estar.  

86- convertirse 

Meaning: “to turn into”

Example: Bruce Banner se convierte en Hulk.

Translation: “Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk.”

87- girar

Meaning: “to turn”

Example: Gira a la derecha después del edificio azul.

Translation: “Turn right after the blue building.”

88- oír (!)

Meaning: “to hear”

Example: Habla más alto, no te oigo.

Translation: “Speak louder, I can’t hear you.”

89- oler (!)

Meaning: “to smell”

Example: ¡Este perfume huele genial!

Translation: “This perfume smells great!”

90- parecer

Meaning: “to seem”

Example: A mí me parece que esto no va a funcionar.

Translation: “To me, it seems like this isn’t going to work.”

91- permanecer

Meaning: “to remain”

Example: Tienes que permanecer quieto.

Translation: “You need to remain still.”

92- saber (!)

Meaning: “to taste” (something tastes like…)

Example: Esta sopa no sabe a pollo.

Translation: “This soup doesn’t taste like chicken.”

93- saborear

Meaning: “to taste” (I taste…)

Example: Siempre saboreo bien el chocolate antes de comerlo.

Translation: “I always taste the chocolate well before eating it.”

94- sentir (!)

Meaning: “to feel”

Example: Siempre haces que me sienta especial.

Translation: “You always make me feel special.”

95- ver (!)

Meaning: “to see”

Example: No te veo.

Translation: “I don’t see you.”

6. Helping Verbs

96- deber

Meaning: “must” (or “should” if it’s in the conditional form debería)

Example: Debo verla.

Translation: “I must see her.”

97- haber

This verb is different than all the other verbs in Spanish, and it can have two different uses.

One of these two uses is that it’s the translation of “there is” and “there are.” For example: 

  • Hay dos cabras. 

“There are two goats.”

  • Hay solo una cama en mi habitación. 

“There is only one bed in my bedroom.”

The other use is purely as a Spanish auxiliary verb that we could translate to the verb “to have” in English, and we’ve actually seen it before throughout this article, in some tenses. For example, when in English we say “I have eaten,” we use “have” to express this tense. In Spanish, we use the verb haber

This same sentence, for example, would be translated into He comido, where he is the first-person in the singular of the verb haber in the present tense. “He has eaten,” as another example, would be translated to Ha comido.

98- poder (!)

Meaning: “can”

Example: No puedo ir al cine hoy.

Translation: “I can’t go to the cinema today.”

99- soler

Meaning: “use to”

Example: De pequeño solía ir en bici al colegio.

Translation: “When I was little, I used to go to school by bike.”

100- tener que

Meaning: “have to”

Example: Tengo que ir al trabajo.

Translation: “I have to go to work.”

7. Verb Placement in a Sentence

In Spanish, the basic sentence pattern is S+V+O, so: subject (which is optional, as you might remember), followed by a verb, and then possibly an object. For example: 

  • Mi vecino tiene un gato

“My neighbor has a cat.”

In the case of questions, we have different options. If the question is preceded by an interrogative pronoun, the subject might be found after the verb. For example: 

  • ¿Qué desea comer la señora? 

“What would the lady like to eat?”

However, unlike in English, if the question doesn’t need an interrogative pronoun, the pattern will be the same as in a regular affirmative sentence, such as: 

  • ¿Tu hermano ha terminado el libro?

“Has your brother finished the book?”

Man Reading a Book on the Train

8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

We hoped this Spanish verbs lesson helped you get a bit more familiar with verbs in Spanish. Remember to keep following this blog so that you can read our more in-depth Spanish verb conjugation article once it’s published! As we mentioned before, we realize it can sound a bit scary when your mother tongue has simpler verbs, but once you learn them, you’ll see it’s not as hard as it looked at first!

You should also keep in mind that we’ve also published an article dedicated to the top 100 nouns in Spanish and a similar one about adjectives, as well as the previously mentioned article about pronouns. 

For some more vocabulary, you might like to subscribe to our Free Spanish Word of the Day and get an email with new words everyday. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Spanish verbs you still want to know. We look forward to hearing from you!

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