What are the verb tenses?

Verb tenses are grammatical models of verbal conjugation that place an action or a state in time. In the Spanish language, verb tenses are affected by appearance and manner.

The verbal or grammatical aspect indicates whether the action is finished or unfinished with respect to the moment of the enunciation. It is expressed in the terms perfect (finished action), imperfect (unfinished action) and pluperfect (one action before another).

The verbal mode corresponds to the different modalities in which the verb tenses are expressed. The indicative mode is known, which indicates concrete actions; the subjunctive mood, which indicates possibilities, and the imperative, which represents orders or instructions. The latter only manifests in a while.

There are different classification criteria for verb tenses in the Spanish language.

According to the form of the verb or its syntactic construction:

  • Simple tenses:those of simple structure or construction, that is, they do not need auxiliary verbs to express the action. For example: “You can”.
  • Compound tenses:are those that are formed with the help of the auxiliary verb. The structure is: auxiliary + verb. For example, “I would have gone if not for the rain.”

According to the moment of the enunciation:

  • Absolute tenses: theyrefer to an action directly related to the moment of the enunciation. Among them are the present, the past and the future of the indicative way. For example, “I will go tomorrow”
  • Relative tenses: theyrefer to an action related to another moment other than the enunciation. Among them are the co-past and post-past tense of the indicative mood, and the tenses of the subjunctive mood. For example, “I would have risked more.”

The following verb tenses result from the conjunction of time, mode and aspect categories:

Indicative mode Subjunctive mode

Simple times
Present

Past or past imperfect Past

or past perfect simple

Future or future simple

Post-past or conditional simple

Present

Past or past perfect

Future simple or future


Compound Tempos
Present perfect or past present

Past perfect or past preterite

Past or past preterite

Present perfect or past present

Past perfect or past present

Compound future or future

See also:

  • Verb conjugations.
  • Word.

For example:

As an example, we are going to conjugate the regular verb amar , belonging to the model of the first conjugation.

INDICATIVE MODE
Simple times
Present Copretérito or
Past
Imperfect
Past
or Pret.
perfect
simple
Future or Simple
Future

Post-past or simple
conditional

Person
I
You
He / She
We
You
You
/ They
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
loved
loved
loved
loved
loved
you loved
loved
I loved
loved
loved
loved
loved have
loved
loved
I will love will
love
will love
will love
will love
you will love
will love
would love
would love
would love
would love
would love
would love
would love

 

INDICATIVE MODE Compound
times

Pret. perf.
compound or
present
Past
perfect.
or antecopretérito
Present
above or
antepretérito
Person
I
You
He / She
We
You
You
/ They
I have loved
you have loved
has loved
we have loved
have loved
have loved
have loved
had loved
had loved
had loved
had loved
had loved
had loved
had loved
I had loved you
had loved
there were loved we
had loved
they had loved you had
loved they
had loved

 

Person
Compound future
or future
Conditional
compound or
antepos-
past
I
You
He / She
We
You
You
/ They
will
have loved
will
have loved
will
have loved
will have loved will have loved will have loved will have loved
would
have loved
would
have loved
would have loved
would have loved would have loved would have loved would
have loved

 

SUBJUNCTIVE MODE Simple
times
Present Pret. imperfect
or past tense
Simple
future or future
Person
I
You
He / She
We
You
You
/ They
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
amara
amaras
love
love Him
loved
Amarais
loved
amare
amares
amare
we will love
amaren
you will love
amaren

 

MODE SUBJUNTIVO
times
compounds
Pret. perf. comp. or
present
Pret.
pluscuam-
perfect or past
tense

Compound future
or future
Person
I
You
He / She
We
You
You
/ They
have loved
have loved
have loved
have loved
have loved
have loved
have loved
would
have loved
would
have loved
would have loved would have loved would have loved would
have loved
would have loved
any loved
loved thou
any beloved will
have been loved
there Were loved
ye loved
there Were loved

(*) It is also correct to use the auxiliary verb in the form there / had / had / had / had / had / had / had.


IMPERATIVE MODE
Affirmative Negative
love (you)
love (you)
love (we)
love (you)
love (you)
love (they)
Don’t love
Do
n’t love
Do n’t love Do n’t love Do
n’t love
Don’t love

 

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