The Hablar Conjugation in Spanish: A Guide

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Hablar is a regular AR verb in Spanish. So, many students often learn the hablar conjugation before any other verb. 

It means “to speak” and it is a regular verb ending in -ar, which means that almost all other verbs ending in -ar, (the most common verb type in Spanish), are conjugated the same way.

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The process of changing a verb to reflect its application, such as indicating its tense or mood, is known as conjugation. This is not unique to Spanish. We conjugate verbs in English too. Take the word “speak,” for example. When conjugated, this becomes “spoke,” “speaks” and “spoken.”

In this article, we take you through all conjugated forms of hablar and when to use it in context.

Oh, 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.

When I was learning Spanish tenses, I used LingoPie, an online language tool that lets you learn Spanish by watching TV. I highly recommend it! You can access a free trial for Lingopie via the link below, or check out my LingoPie Review. 🙂

How to Conjugate Hablar in the Present Indicative Tense

The present tense form of the hablar Spanish verb means that the verb is expressing an action that is happening in the present moment.

Indicative means the verb is a statement of fact, as opposed to the subjunctive (which we come on to later).

In Spanish, this tense is known as the presente del indicativo. An example is, “Do you speak English?” – Hablas inglés? or hablais inglés in the plural form.

Let’s look at the conjugation of the verb hablar in the present tense below.

yo- hablo
- hablas
él / ella / usted- habla
nosotros / nosotras- hablamos
vosotros / vosotras- habláis
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablan

Hablar in the Preterite Tense

The Spanish preterite indicative form, referred to more commonly as the preterite tense, is used for past events that have already taken place at a fixed time. In Spanish, we call this el pretérito. 

For example, “Julia spoke with Martin yesterday,” is translated to Julia habló con Martin ayer. 

The preterite indicative form of hablar in English is “spoke.”

The preterite tense is often difficult for students learning Spanish due to the relative complexity of the endings, even for a regular ar verb. For irregular preterite endings, see our Guide to Irregular Preterite Endings.

Below, you will see each verb conjugation for the preterite tense in Spanish.

yo- hablé
- hablaste
él / ella / usted- habló
nosotros / nosotras- hablamos
vosotros / vosotras- hablasteis
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablaron

The Imperfect Indicative of Hablar

In Spanish, we use the imperfect indicative form, or imperfecto del indicativo, to describe a past action or state of being without specifying exactly when it began or ended.

In English, this could be “used to speak” or “was speaking”. As an example, “I used to speak with her every day” is translated to Yo hablaba con ella todos los días.

Another example of the imperfect indicative form of hablar is “was speaking.” “I was speaking with her” is also translated to Yo hablaba con ella.

Below, you will see each verb conjugation for the for the imperfect tense in Spanish.

yo- hablaba
- hablabas
él / ella / usted- hablaba
nosotros / nosotras- hablábamos
vosotros / vosotras- hablabais
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablaban

How to Conjugate Hablar in the Future Indicative

We now leave our group of past tenses in Spanish and move on to our first future tense.

The future indicative form, or futuro del indicativo in Spanish, is used to tell what will happen. The important word here is will, as this is how we translate the future indicative tense into English.

In the conjugated form of the verb, the future indicative means “will” do something e.g. “will speak”. For example, Hablaré con mis amigos mañana por la mañana, means “I will speak with my friends tomorrow morning.”

yo- hablaré
- hablarás
él / ella / usted- hablará
nosotros / nosotras- hablaremos
vosotros / vosotras- hablaréis
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablarán

The Conditional Indicative of Hablar

The conditional tense in Spanish, or el tiempo condicional, is another frequently used form of future tense.

We use it to express probability, possibility, wonder or conjecture. In English, this translates as would, could, must have or probably.

For example, “Would you speak Spanish every day if you could?” translates to ​¿Hablarías español todos los días si pudieras?

As a side note, “would you speak?” and “you would speak” is the same in Spanish. This makes the translation easier to remember.

Below, you will see each verb conjugation for the conditional tense.

yo- hablaría
- hablarías
él / ella / usted- hablará
nosotros / nosotras- hablaríamos
vosotros / vosotras- hablaríais
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablarían

The Present Subjunctive Form of Hablar

We now come on to one of the greatest causes of migraine amongst Spanish learners – our beloved subjunctive. The key here is to look at the Spanish subjunctive as any other tense.

The present subjunctive, or el presente subjuntivo, functions much like the present indicative tense in terms of time.

However, the use of the subjunctive depends on the mood. This does not mean you can use it based on how you feel! We use the subjunctive in Spanish in situations of doubt, desire, or emotion.

For example, “I want you to speak with me in Spanish every day,” would be said, Yo quiero que hables conmigo en español todos los días.

Below, you will see each verb conjugation for the present subjunctive form of hablar.

yo- hable
- hables
él / ella / usted- hablemos
nosotros / nosotras- hablaríamos
vosotros / vosotras- habléis
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablen

The Imperfect Subjunctive of Hablar

In Spanish, the imperfect subjunctive, or imperfecto del subjuntivo, is used to describe something in the past and is used in situations of doubt, desire or emotion.

You also use que with the pronoun and verb. For example, “Did you want me to speak with him tomorrow morning?” which translates to, ¿Querías que yo hablara con él mañana por la mañana? 

yo- hablara
- hablaras
él / ella / usted- hablara
nosotros / nosotras- habláramos
vosotros / vosotras- hablarais
ellos / ellas / ustedes- hablaran

The Affirmative Imperative Form of Hablar

The imperative, or imperativo in Spanish, is one of the easiest forms of hablar to remember.

However, its conjugation depends on who you are speaking to (and whether this is formal or informal).

The imperative form is used to give commands or orders. For example, “Speak more slowly, please. I don’t understand you” translates to Habla más despacio, por favor. No te entiendo.

yo -
- habla
él / ella / usted- ¡hable!
nosotros / nosotras- ¡hablemos!
vosotros / vosotras- ¡hablad!
ellos / ellas / ustedes- ¡hablen!

The Negative Imperative Form of Hablar

The negative imperative form of the verb hablar is straightforward.

When you are telling somebody not to do something, the conjugation of the verb changes. Look at the table below to see how this works.

yo -
- ¡no hables!
él / ella / usted- ¡no hable!
nosotros / nosotras- ¡no hablemos!

vosotros / vosotras- ¡no habléis!

ellos / ellas / ustedes- ¡no hablen!

The Perfect Tense Form of Hablar

We use the Spanish Present Perfect to talk about things that started in the past but continue or repeat in the present. We also use it to talk about things that have happened in the recent past.

An example of this may be “I have spoken” – he hablado. The verb we conjugate here is not hablar, but ‘haber, an auxiliary verb ‘to have.’

Below, you will see each verb conjugation for the present perfect form of hablar.

yo - he hablado
- has hablado
él / ella / usted- ha hablado

nosotros / nosotras- hemos hablado
vosotros / vosotras- habéis hablado

ellos / ellas / ustedes- han hablado

Summing Up: Hablar Spanish Verb Conjugation

As you can see, conjugating the verb hablar in Spanish is fairly straightforward. And, conjugating it will help you to learn Spanish tenses more easily.

Hablar is a great first verb to learn on your Spanish journey. If you are interested in learning Spanish online, check out LingoPie.

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