The 69 Most Common Spanish Verbs You’ve Gotta Know to Survive [with Free PDF]

If you’re learning Spanish, you’ve got to know about the top Spanish verbs out there.

These are survival verbs, essential to communicating day-to-day activities, introducing yourself and expressing how you feel and also your origins.

Here are 69 of the most common Spanish verbs to get you speaking the language sooner rather than later:


1. Ser (to be)

Meaning: To be, mainly used for time, date, nationality, occupation or profession, physical description of people and places and event locations


Soy de Nueva York.
(I am from New York.) 

Soy americano(a).
(I am American.)

Hoy es viernes.
(Today is Friday.)

¿Eres de Alemania?
(Are you from Germany?)

La fresa es roja. 
(The strawberry is red.)

2. Estar (to be)

Definition: To be, mainly for feelings, describing food, what you’re doing or what’s actively happening and location of buildings. See a full explanation of the usage of ser and estar here.


Estoy triste porque no hace sol.
(I am upset because it isn’t sunny.)

La sopa está muy rica.
(The soup is delicious.)

El banco está al lado de mi casa.
(The bank is right beside my house.)

Estoy cansada.
(I am tired.)

María está enojada con su novio.
(Maria is angry with her boyfriend.)

3. Tener (to have)

Meaning: To have. It can also be used for expressing age. 

Useful Phrases:

Tengo 25 años
(I am 25 years old)

Tengo que ir al cine
(I have to go to the cinema)

Tienen una hermana
(They have a sister)

Tengo la tarea. 
(I have the homework.)

Apenas tengo tiempo para el gimnasio.
(I hardly have time for the gym.)

4. Hacer (to make or do)

Meaning: To make or to do. In Spanish, there’s no difference between the activities we do and the things we make, both activities are described with the verb hacer.


Hago una tarta.
(I am making a cake.)

Ella hace sus tareas.
(She is doing her homework.)

Hacemos el tonto.
(We are being silly.)

Haz tu tarea. 
(Do your homework.)

Los empresarios de éxito hacen sus camas todas las mañanas.
(Successful entrepreneurs make their bed every morning.)

5. Poder (to be able to)

Meaning: To be able to, can


Puedo ir a la fiesta. 
(I am able to go to the party.)

Puedo ayudarte.
(I can help you.)

Podemos ir a mi casa a comer.
(We can go eat at my place.)

Puede ser.
(It’s possible.)

6. Decir (to say)

Meaning: To say or to tell. However, decir isn’t used to tell stories or facts—in those instances the verb contar would be used, but don’t worry about that one just yet!


Ahora te lo digo.
(I will tell you / let you know straight away.)

Voy a decir que no.
(I am going to say no.)

Te digo una cosa.
(Let me tell you something.)

Mi profesora dice que tenemos tarea.
(My professor says that we have homework.)

7. Ir (to go)

Meaning: To go. Ir is almost exclusively used with the preposition a, check it out in the examples below.


Voy al parque.
(I am going to the park.)

Vas a tu casa.
(You are going home.)

Vosotros vais a correr una maratón.
(You guys are going to run a marathon.)

Voy corriendo.
(I’m in hurry.)

8. Ver (to see)

Meaning: To see, to watch. It can also be used to mean physically seeing a specific person.


Veo una película.
(I am watching a movie.)

Voy a ver la televisión.
(I’m going to watch the television.)

Ven a un amigo hoy.
(They will see a friend today.)

Veo como eres.
(I see how you are.)

9. Comer (to eat)

Definition: To eat. In Spain, comer can be used as “to have lunch” as well as a general verb for eating. In Central and South America and perhaps certain parts of Southern Spain (such as the Canary Islands), comer is used as a general verb for eating.


Voy a comer.
In Spain: (I am going to have lunch.)
Everywhere else: (I am going to eat.)

Comemos una pizza.
(We are eating a pizza.)

No se te olvide comer.
(Don’t forget to eat.)

Me gusta comer fresas. 
(I like to eat strawberries.)

Los españoles comen a altas horas de la noche.
(The Spanish eat late at night.)

10. Tomar (to take)

Definition: To take; to catch the bus, train, airplane or taxi; to drink or consume 


Tomo el autobús para ir al trabajo.
(I take the bus to work.)

Tomemos una copa.
(Let’s grab a drink.)

Tomamos un taxi a las 21h00.
(We are going to catch a taxi at 9pm.)

El hombre toma el dinero y desaparece.
(The man takes the money and disappears.)

Tomo agua.
(I drink/take/consume water.)

11. Amar (to love)

Meaning: To love


Tus hijos te aman mucho.
(Your kids love you very much.)

12. Andar (to walk)

Meaning: To walk


¡Andas tan lenta!
(You walk so slow!)

13. Aprender (to learn)

Meaning: To learn


Aprendes los verbos. 
(You learn the verbs.)

14. Ayudar (to help)

Meaning: To help


Él ayuda a su hermana con la tarea.
(He helps his sister with homework.)

¿Puedes ayudarme
(Can you help me?)

15. Beber (to drink)

Meaning: To drink


Solo bebo vino blanco.
(I only drink white wine.)

16. Buscar (to look for)

Meaning: To search for, to look for


¿Vosotras buscáis recetas en línea?
(Do you look for recipes online?)

17. Cambiar (to change)

Meaning: To change


Quiero cambiar mi vida.
(I want to change my life.)

18. Cocinar (to cook) 

Meaning: To cook


Su papá cocina la mayoría de las comidas. 
(His dad cooks most of the meals.)

19. Comprar (to buy)

Meaning: To buy


Necesito comprar la comida. 
(I need to buy the food.)

20. Comprender (to understand)

Meaning: To comprehend, to understand


No comprendo la tarea.
(I don’t understand the homework.)

21. Conducir (to drive) 

Meaning: To drive


¿De qué lado de la carretera conduces?
(Which side of the road do you drive on?)

22. Conocer (to know)

Meaning: To know, to meet. While the word saber is also defined as “to know,” these two verbs aren’t used interchangeably. Conocer is often used to refer to recognizing or knowing more personal things, while saber is used in cases of things considered to be more universally known.


Yo no conozco malas palabras en español.
(I don’t know any swear words in Spanish.)

¿Conoces a la profesora?
(Have you met the professor? / Do you know the professor?)

23. Creer (to believe)

Meaning: To believe


Creo que la escuela es importante. 
(I believe school is important.)

24. Dar (to give) 

Meaning: To give


Damos a nuestros gatos mucho amor y atención.
(We give our cats a lot of love and attention.)

Dame la tarea.
(Give me the homework.)

25. Deber (to have to)

Meaning: To have to. This is similar to “should” or “must.”


Debo hacer mi tarea.
(I should do my homework.)

26. Decidir (to decide)

Meaning: To decide.


Tienes que decidir qué quieres. 
(You have to decide what you want.)

27. Descansar (to rest)

Meaning: To rest


En la tarde, necesito descansar. 
(In the afternoon, I need to rest.)

28. Dormir (to sleep)

Meaning: To sleep


¿A qué hora dormís por la noche?
(What time do you sleep at night?)

Duermo bien. 
(I sleep well.)

29. Empezar (to begin) 

Meaning: To begin


Empezamos nuestra lección en unos minutos.
(We start our lesson in a few minutes.)

30. Encontrar (to find)

Meaning: To find


Mi madre encuentra objetos extraños debajo de su sofá.
(My mother finds strange objects under the couch.)

31. Entender (to understand)

Meaning: To understand


¿Entendéis la pregunta?
(Do you understand the question?)

32. Escribir (to write)

Meaning: To write


Joanna escribe cartas a sus abuelos.
(Joanna writes letters to her grandparents.)

Escribo un ensayo.
(I write an essay.)

33. Escuchar (to listen)

Meaning: To listen


Escucho música. 
(I listen to music.)

34. Esperar (to wait)

Meaning: To wait, to hope, to expect


Yo espero tu regreso. 
(I wait for your return.)

Espero que sea verdad. 
(I hope it is true.)

35. Estudiar (to study)

Meaning: To study


¿Estudias español? 
(Do you study Spanish?)

36. Ganar (to win) 

Meaning: To earn, to win


Ellos ganan el juego. 
(They win the game.)

37. Gustar (to like)

Meaning: To like, to please


Me gusta dormir. 
(I like to sleep.)

38. Haber (to have)

Meaning: To be, have. When haber can be translated as “to be,” it’s being used to describe if an object exists or if it’s actually present. When it can be translated more as “have,” it’s generally being used in combination with other verbs to describe things that have or haven’t happened.


He trabajado en la biblioteca.
(I have worked in the library.)

Hay tres libros en la mesa. 
(There are three books on the table.)

39. Hablar (to speak)

Meaning: To speak or talk


Hablo inglés, mandarín y español.
(I speak English, Mandarin and Spanish.)

Quiero hablar con mi madre. 
(I want to talk with my mother.)

40. Jugar (to play)

Meaning: To play


¿Qué videojuegos juegas?
(What videogames do you play?)

41. Lavar (to wash)

Meaning: To wash


¿Cuándo te lavas el cabello?
(When do you wash your hair?)

42. Limpiar (to clean)

Meaning: To clean


Mi esposo y yo limpiamos la casa todos los domingos.
(My husband and I clean the house every Sunday.)

43. Llamar (to call)

Meaning: To call


Llama a tu madre. (Call your mother.)

44. Leer (to read)

Meaning: To read


¿Vosotros leéis en voz alta?
(Do you read aloud?)

Leo un libro.
(I read a book.)

45. Llegar (to arrive)

Meaning: To arrive


¿Llegáis a tiempo al trabajo?
(Do you get to work on time?)

46. Mirar (to look)

Meaning: To look


Mira, ¡qué linda! 
(Look, how pretty!)

47. Morir (to die)

Meaning: To die


Las plantas mueren sin luz solar ni agua.
(Plants die without sunlight or water.)

48. Mover (to move) 

Meaning: To move


Yo me muevo al ritmo. 
(I move to the beat.)

49. Necesitar (to need)

Meaning: To need


Yo necesito un corte de pelo.  
(I need a haircut.)

Necesito descansar. 
(I need to rest.)

50. Oír (to hear)

Meaning: To hear


Oigo la música.
(I hear the music.)

51. Pagar (to pay)

Meaning: To pay


Tengo que pagar la cuenta. 
(I have to pay the check.)

52. Pensar (to think)

Meaning: To think


Pienso que debemos ir. 
(I think we should go.)

53. Poner (to put)

Meaning: To put


Pones la tarea en el escritorio.
(You put the homework on the desk.)

54. Preguntar (to ask)

Meaning: To ask


Quiero preguntar algo. 
(I want to ask something.)

55. Quedar (to remain)

Meaning: To remain; to be left with


¿Quedan algunas galletas? 
(Are there any cookies left?)

56. Querer (to want)

Meaning: To want, to love 


Sus hijas quieren otra mascota.
(Their daughters want another pet.)

Quiero comer.
(I want to eat.)

Yo te quiero mucho. 
(I love you a lot.)

57. Recibir (to receive)

Meaning: To receive


Recibo la tarea. 
(I receive the homework.)

58. Regresar (to return)

Meaning: To return


Nosotros regresamos a la escena del crimen. 
(We return to the scene of the crime.)

59. Saber (to know)

Meaning: To know. This is used when talking about knowledge of facts or skills.


Mis amigas y yo no sabemos nadar.
(My friends and I don’t know how to swim.)

¿Sabes la respuesta?
(Do you know the answer?)

60. Salir (to leave)

Meaning: To go out, to leave


Nosotros salimos temprano de las fiestas.
(We leave parties early.)

Salgo de mi casa. 
(I leave my house.)

61. Sentirse (to feel)

Meaning: To feel


Me siento triste. (I feel sad.)

62. Trabajar (to work)

Meaning: To work


Nosotros trabajamos cinco días a la semana.
(We work five days a week.)

Trabajo muchas horas. 
(I work many hours.)

63. Traducir (to translate) 

Meaning: To translate


Roberto traduce del inglés al español para sus padres.
(Roberto translates from English to Spanish for his parents.)

64. Traer (to bring)

Meaning: To bring


¿Qué traéis a una comida compartida?
(What do you bring to a potluck?)

65. Usar (to use)

Meaning: To use


¿Con qué frecuencia usas la aplicación?
(How often do you use the app?)

Uso la computadora para escribir. 
(I use the computer to write.)

66. Venir (to arrive)

Meaning: To arrive, to come


Vengo a mi casa. 
(I arrive at my house.)

67. Viajar (to travel)

Meaning: To travel

Me gusta viajar a España. 
(I like to travel to Spain.)

68. Vivir (to live)

Meaning: To live


¿Vives en la ciudad?
(Do you live in the city?)

Vivo en la ciudad.
(I live in the city.)

69. Volver (to return)

Meaning: To return


Vuelvo a mi casa. 
(I return to my house.)


There you have it, your verb list! 

In addition to this list, also make sure to review your present tense conjugations for each one to really get your verb usage going. Check out this handy online conjugation tool, select a verb from the list and hit conjugate.

For a fun way to pick up more verbs, you can also practice with Spanish songs:

In any case, start with the most common verbs, and they’ll carry you far in day-to-day Spanish.

So make sure you learn them as soon as you can!

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