AR Verbs in Spanish Explained: Endings & Common AR Verbs

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Anybody in the process of learning Spanish should know that there are 3 main verb groups: AR verbs, ER verbs and IR verbs. In this post, we focus on AR verbs (verbs ending in AR).

Like all verb groups in Spanish, AR verbs follow a specific conjugation pattern, with specific endings in the regular form.

In the next few minutes, you’ll learn the following:

👍 How AR verbs in Spanish end in various tenses
👍 What this looks like in practice and how to use these examples to boost your language skills
👍 What regular, irregular and stem-changing verbs are and why it’s important to learn them

image of blog author with book on 501 Spanish verbsOh, by the way, this is me! My name is James, I’m a Spanish tutor and the author of most of the language material on this site.

The book I’m holding, Barron’s 501 Spanish Verbs, is the book I used to learn over 500 regular, irregular and reflexive verbs in multiple tenses. I highly recommend it! You can get your copy below 🙂

Regular AR verbs in Spanish

Now, let’s take a look at the most common verbs in Spanish:

🇪🇸 Hablar
Meaning: to talk

🇪🇸 Mirar
Meaning: to watch

🇪🇸 Escuchar
Meaning: to listen

🇪🇸 Gritar
Meaning: to shout

🇪🇸 Desayunar
Meaning: to have breakfast

🇪🇸 Almorzar
Meaning: to have lunch

🇪🇸 Cenar
Meaning: to have dinner

🇪🇸 Regalar
Meaning: to gift

🇪🇸 Ayudar
Meaning: to help

🇪🇸 Amar
Meaning: to love

🇪🇸 Odiar
Meaning: to hate

🇪🇸 Manejar
Meaning: to drive

🇪🇸 Trabajar
Meaning: to work

🇪🇸 Caminar
Meaning: to walk

🇪🇸 Festejar
Meaning: to celebrate

How to conjugate AR verbs in Spanish: 6 different endings

Obviously, we cannot cover the conjugations of all AR verbs in Spanish throughout this post.

Luckily, however, we don’t actually need to. Once you have learned the regular endings, you will be able to conjugate any regular AR verb in Spanish.

Let’s take a look at the endings below. Make sure you’re ready to memorize them!

SubjectEndings
yo- o
- as
él / ella / usted- a
nosotros / nosotras- amos
vosotros / vosotras- áis
ellos / ellas / ustedes- an

Now, take a look at the AR verbs below in their infinitive form. Try to conjugate them yourself in the present tense (or el presente).

We have highlighted the two letters in each verb. Take away these letters and replace them with the relevant endings, which you will find above.

We’ll do the first one for you 😉

🇪🇸  Trabaj(ar)

SubjectVerb: TrabajarTranslation
yo- trabajoI work
- trabajasyou work
él / ella / usted- trabajahe / she / you (f) work
nosotros / nosotras- trabajamoswe work
vosotros / vosotras- trabajáisyou (pl) work
ellos / ellas / ustedes- trabajanthey / you (f. pl) work

🇪🇸  Limpi(ar)

🇪🇸  Alcanz(ar)

🇪🇸  Festej(ar)

🇪🇸  Camin(ar)

The 15 most common AR verbs in Spanish

Here, we list the most common regular and irregular AR verbs in Spanish.

🇪🇸 hablar
Meaning: to talk

🇪🇸 enseñar
Meaning: to teach

🇪🇸 estudiar
Meaning: to study

🇪🇸 dibujar
Meaning: to draw

🇪🇸 tocar
Meaning: to play an instrument

🇪🇸 caminar
Meaning: to walk

🇪🇸 usar
Meaning: to use

🇪🇸 cantar
Meaning: to sing

🇪🇸 tocar
Meaning: touch / take

🇪🇸 usar
Meaning: to use

🇪🇸 utilizar
Meaning: to use

🇪🇸 bailar
Meaning: to dance

🇪🇸 practicar
Meaning: to practice

🇪🇸 escuchar
Meaning: to listen

🇪🇸 comprar
Meaning: to buy

Using the formula above, try to conjugate these AR verbs by removing the -ar at the end each word and replacing it with the relevant endings.

What makes a verb regular?

Believe it or not, understanding regular and irregular verbs is actually relatively straightforward.

A regular verb is a verb which follows a normal and regular pattern when conjugated. An irregular verb, on the other hand, does not follow a normal or regular pattern when conjugated.

The great thing about regular verbs is that once you have learned the correct endings, you will be able to conjugate any other regular verb.

Shortly, we will see what this look like in practice.

What is a conjugation? How to recognise conjugations in Spanish?

If you have not come across the term ‘conjugation’ before then do not worry. It’s very simple.

A verb conjugation is a set of endings and word changes that signify who is being referred to.

When learning a new verb, it’s important to learn how to conjugate it in the Spanish present tense, or any tense for that matter.

Let’s take the infinitive of the verb to walk. Note that in English the conjugation is as follows. We have included the subject pronouns.

⭐ Infinitive: to walk

– I walk

– you walk

– he / she / it walks

– we walk

– they walk

Note that the ending changes in the third person.

The infinitive form of the verb to walk in the Spanish language is caminar. The conjugations of this verb in the present tense are as follows.

⭐ Infinitive: caminar

– yo camino

– tú caminas

– él / ella camina

– nosotros caminamos

– vosotros camináis

– ellos / ellas caminan

Spanish AR Verb Endings in the Simple Present Tense

Let’s take the normal verb hablar to see its form in the simple present tense with each appropriate ending.

You will see an example of present tense endings below listed with personal pronouns.

Observe how the stem remains the same even though the endings vary:

SubjectVerb: HablarTranslation
yo- habloI speak
- hablasyou speak
él / ella / usted- hablahe / she / you (f) speaks
nosotros / nosotras- hablamoswe speak
vosotros / vosotras- habláisyou (pl) speak
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablathey / you (f. pl) speak

Side note: Remember, in Spanish there is a formal and informal way to say ‘you‘ in the singular and plural forms.

With the AR verb hablar, this looks like the below:

⭐ usted habl(a)

⭐ ustedes (habl(an)

If you are using Latin American Spanish then you are unlikely to use the vosotros form.

If you are learning or planning to use European Spanish, or speak Spanish in Europe, then you will need to learn the vosotros form.

This is not exclusive to AR verbs in Spanish.

What is an irregular verb?

Do you remember that earlier in the article we were discussing regular and irregular verbs?

We learned that a regular verb follows normal, regular endings, whilst an irregular verb does not.

So, an irregular verb is a verb that does not follow the standard pattern for conjugation.

A Spanish irregular verb may have a different ending or stem change than what is normally seen in Spanish verbs, and these changes will affect how the conjugated form of the verb ends and sounds.

Common irregular AR verbs in Spanish

Below, you’ll see a list of common irregular AR verbs. It is difficult to learn these because they are not following formula, as is the case with regular verbs.

🇪🇸 estar
Meaning: to be

🇪🇸 Comenzar
Meaning: to start

🇪🇸 Negar
Meaning: to deny

🇪🇸 Dar
Meaning: to give

🇪🇸 Jugar
Meaning: to play

🇪🇸 Despertar
Meaning: to wake up

🇪🇸 Mostrar
Meaning: to show

🇪🇸 Pensar
Meaning: to think

🇪🇸 Recordar
Meaning: to remember

🇪🇸 Soñar
Meaning: to dream

🇪🇸 Volar
Meaning: to fly

Let’s see a few examples of some of these with their stem changes in the simple present tense.

Note that stem changing verbs are still irregular, but do follow similar patterns, so can be grouped together for context.

SubjectVerb: EstarTranslation
yo- estoyI am
- estásyou are
él / ella / usted- estáhe / she / you (f) is
nosotros / nosotras- estamoswe are
vosotros / vosotras- estáisyou (pl) are
ellos / ellas / ustedes- estánthey / you (f. pl) are
SubjectVerb: DarTranslation
yo- doyI give
- dasyou give
él / ella / usted- dahe / she / you (f) gives
nosotros / nosotras- damoswe give
vosotros / vosotras- dáisyou (pl) give
ellos / ellas / ustedes- danthey / you (f. pl) give
SubjectVerb: JugarTranslation
yo- juegoI play
- juegasyou play
él / ella / usted- juegahe / she / you (f) plays
nosotros / nosotras- jugamoswe play
vosotros / vosotras- jugáisyou (pl) play
ellos / ellas / ustedes- jueganthey / you (f. pl) play
SubjectVerb: VolarTranslation
yo- vueloI fly
- vuelasyou fly
él / ella / usted- vuelahe / she / you (f) flies
nosotros / nosotras- volamoswe fly
vosotros / vosotras- voláisyou (pl) fly
ellos / ellas / ustedes- vuelanthey / you (f. pl) fly

What are stem changing verbs in Spanish?

In Spanish, many verbs undergo a stem change when conjugated (in the simple present and past tense).

This often takes place without affecting the ending of the conjugated form, so it’s a little confusing at times.

Stem-changing verbs in the present tense use the same endings as regular -AR, -ER and -IR verbs when conjugated.

However, there is a vowel change in the last syllable of the stem.

But what does this look like in practice for -AR verbs?

Common AR Verbs with e > ie Changes

SubjectRecomendar ConjugationEnglish Translation
yorecomiendoI recommend
recomiendasyou recommend
él / ella / ustedrecomiendahe / she / you recommend
nosotros / nosotrasrecomendamoswe recommend
vosotros / vosotrasrecomendáisyou (pl.) recommend
ellos / ellas / ustedesrecomiendanthey / you (pl. f) recommend
SubjectPensar ConjugationEnglish Translation
yopiensoI think
piensasyou think
él / ella / ustedpiensahe / she / you thinks
nosotros / nosotraspensamoswe think
vosotros / vosotraspensáisyou (pl.) think
ellos / ellas / ustedespiensanthey / you (pl. f) think
SubjectCerrar ConjugationEnglish Translation
yocierroI close
cierrasyou close
él / ella / ustedcierrahe / she / you closes
nosotros / nosotrascerramoswe close
vosotros / vosotrascerráisyou (pl.) close
ellos / ellas / ustedescierranthey / you (pl. f) close
SubjectConfesar ConjugationEnglish Translation
yoconfiesoI confess
confiesasyou confess
él / ella / ustedconfiesahe / she / you confesses
nosotros / nosotrasconfesamoswe confess
vosotros / vosotrasconfesáisyou (pl.) confess
ellos / ellas / ustedesconfiesanthey / you (pl. f) confesses

Looking at the pattern above, you should see the clear formula to follow when conjugating stem changing verbs. Below you will find a list of other verbs which follow the e > ie stem change.

Try writing your own tables, as above, with the verbs you see below.

🇪🇸 despertarse
Meaning: to wake up

🇪🇸 fregar
Meaning: to wash/scrub

🇪🇸 encerrar
Meaning: to lock up/put away

🇪🇸 nevar
Meaning: to snow

🇪🇸 sentarse
Meaning: to sit down

🇪🇸 tropezar
Meaning: to stumble/fall over

🇪🇸 calentar
Meaning: to heat up

🇪🇸 comenzar
Meaning: to start

🇪🇸 helar
Meaning: to freeze

🇪🇸 negar
Meaning: to deny

🇪🇸 remendar
Meaning: to mend

AR Verb endings in the past tense (preterite)

The preterite tense is used to describe actions that have already taken place. It is the simple paste tense in Spanish.

In English, an example of this tense would be “I drove the car.”

For more on how to use the Spanish preterite, see our guide on the imperfect vs the preterite.

Conjugating a regular AR verb in the preterite tense is a little more difficult than in the simple present tense.

Each conjugation and verb ending is as follows:

SubjectVerb EndingsEnglish Translation
Yo- éI
- isteYou
Él / Ella / Usted- oHe / She / You
Nosotros / Nosotras- imosWe
Vosotros / Vosotras- isteisYou
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes- ieronThey / You

Simple Future Tense Endings

The future tense is one of the easiest tenses to master in the Spanish language.

Instead of taking away the AR at the end of verb (as we have seen so far), simply add the ending to the full infinitive form.

Let’s use the verb

The simple future conjugation rules are as follows:

SubjectVerb EndingsEnglish Translation
Yo- éI
- ásYou
Él / Ella / Usted- áHe / She / You
Nosotros / Nosotras- aremosWe
Vosotros / Vosotras- aráisYou
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes- aránThey / You

Summing up AR verbs in Spanish: What we’ve learned

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you for reading this post on AR verbs in Spanish. We hope that these explanations have helped to clarify some of the most common questions and confusions around conjugating regular, irregular and stem changing verbs. Please do share this article if you have found it helpful.

The video explanations in this post are part of an online Spanish course titled “Spanish For Beginners” with Spanish tutor, James. You can access all 40 lessons for just $15 by visiting the course page.

Finally, remember to continue to use these verbs in your spoken Spanish as much as possible. Additionally, you can use the lists above to master the endings.

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