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24 Most Common IR Verbs in Spanish and How To Use Them (With PDF Download)

Spanish verbs have three possible endings: -ar, -er and -ir

In this post, we’ll shine our spotlight exclusively on the Spanish -ir verbs.

Why? Well odds are, you will use -ir verbs in almost every Spanish conversation you have.

And lucky for you, you’ll be well equipped after reading this guide—so get ready to learn the 24 most common -ir verbs in Spanish, plus how to conjugate and practice them. 

Contents

Conjugating Spanish IR Verbs

As with any verb, to form the different tenses with -ir verb, drop the -ir from the infinitive (the base form of the verb) and add the following endings:

SubjectPresentPast ImperfectPreteriteSimple Future
Yo-o-ía
-es-ías-iste-ás
Él/ella/usted-e-ía-ió
Nosotros-imos-íamos-imos-emos
Vosotros-ís-íais-isteis-éis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes-en-ían-ieron-án

For example, if you were to conjugate escribir (to write) in the present tense, you’d end up with:

Yo escribo
Tú escribes
Él/ella/usted escribe
Nosotros escribimos
Vosotros escribís
Ellos/ellas/ustedes escriben

Note that vosotros (the plural informal “you”) is only used in Spain. If you’re planning on just speaking Spanish in the Americas, you’ll use ustedes with any groups of people you encounter.

When it comes to irregular -ir verbs, every conjugation may be a little bit different. You mostly have to memorize irregular verbs and their conjugations, but some patterns will help you.

However, most of the time the nosotros form is not irregular. Let’s take the verb dormir (to sleep) for example. Notice how the stem from dorm- to duerm- for all of the different forms except for the nosotros form:

Yo duermo
Tú duermes
Él/ella/usted duerme
Nosotros dormimos
Vosotros dormís
Ellos/ellas/ustedes duermen

Most Common Regular IR Verbs in Spanish

There are quite a few -ir verbs that will follow the conjugation rules without any strange changes. These are 12 of the most common regular -ir verbs that you will use. 

1. Compartir  — To share

Ellos comparten la comida. — They share the food.

2. Confundir  — To confuse

If you’ve already learned about reflexive verbs, you’ll definitely want the reflexive form as well, confundirse (to get mixed up, be confused, make mistakes):

Siempre confundo la bachata con el merengue. — I always get bachata mixed up with merengue.

Laura se confunde con todo. — Laura’s got everything all wrong.

3. Decidir  — To decide

Decidimos que no deberíamos ir. — We decided that we shouldn’t go.

4. Describir  — To describe

Él describió al asesino. — He described the murderer.

5. Descubrir  — To discover

Ahora descubrimos nuestros límites. — Now we’re discovering our limits.

6. Discutir  — To argue

Siempre discutimos sobre eso. — We’re always arguing about that.

7. Escribir  — To write

Escribo un correo electrónico a mi madre cada semana. — I write an email to my mother every week.

8. Existir  — To exist

Pienso, luego existo. — I think, therefore I am. (The translation of Descartes’ famous cogito ergo sum.)

9. Permitir  — To permit

No se permite nadar. — No swimming allowed.

10. Recibir  — To receive

¿Recibiste mi correo? — Did you receive my email?

11. Subir  — To rise up

Suben al autobus. — They’re getting on the bus.

12. Vivir  — To live

Vivo con mi padre. — I live with my father.

Most Common Irregular IR Verbs in Spanish

13. Decir — To say

Le digo hola al policía cada día. — I say hello to the policeman every day.

14. Dormir — To sleep

Ella duerme todo el día. — She sleeps all day.

15. Ir — To go

Rafael va a cocinar la cena esta noche. — Rafael is going to cook dinner tonight.

16. Morir — To die

Me muero de hambre. — I’m dying of hunger.

17. Oír — To hear

¿Oyes eso? — Do you hear that?

18. Pedir — To ask

Los estudiantes están pidiendo más tiempo para terminar el examen. — The students are asking for more time to finish the exam.

19. Reírse To laugh

Se ríe de los chistes del comediante. — He laughs at the comedian’s jokes.

20. Repetir — To repeat

Repites después de mí. — You repeat after me.

21. Seguir — To follow

Sigo a su novia en Instagram. — I follow his girlfriend on Instagram.

22. Sentir — To feel

Se sienten tristes por la muerte de su madre. — They feel sad about their mother’s death.

23. Servir — To serve

Sirven alcohol hasta la medianoche. — They serve alcohol until midnight.

24. Venir — To come

Vengo de Guatemala. — I come from Guatemala.

How to Practice Spanish Verb Conjugations

Here are some tips on how to learn and practice verb conjugation:

  • Spend time making real sentences with these verbs conjugated in the present tense. This is how the conjugations start to feel natural.
  • Immerse yourself in Spanish content. I suggest using an immersion learning program like FluentU, which helps you learn Spanish vocabulary and grammar topics (like -ir verb conjugations) in context.
  • Try them out in writing and speech. The more you apply things to your own speech and writing, the more you’ll understand.
  • Memorize entire short sentences when you study, instead of just learning each verb conjugation by itself. This way you’ll learn vocabulary and context along with the conjugations.
  • Study with flashcards. This is a quick way to pick up on conjugations.
  • Write a list of things you do on an average day or in an average week. Use as many of your newly-learned -ir verbs as you possibly can.

 

Now that you know how to conjugate -ir verbs, you’ll be able to talk about all kinds of important things!

The more you practice, the more natural it will be!

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