Last month we talked about regular ‘–ar’ verbs in the past simple tense and finished off with a short text.  The idea was to encourage you to say similar things about yourself, but as I generally don’t trust students an inch I suspect you probably put the article aside with all good intentions and forgot about it.

Here is the text again and just in case you’re out of it completely, I will be kind to you and write the translation below:

Ayer me levanté a las siete y media.  Me duché y después desayuné té y cereales.   Llevé a mis hijas al instituto y empecé a trabajar.  Trabajé muchas horas, pero entre clase y clase tomé un café.  Por la tarde paseé por el centro de San Pedro y cené en casa.  Me acosté temprano para ir a trabajar al día siguiente.   ¿Y tú?   ¿A qué hora te levantaste?

Yesterday I got up at half past seven.  I had a shower and then I had tea and cereal for breakfast.  I took my daughters to secondary school and started work.  I worked a lot of hours, but between classes I had a coffee.  In the afternoon I went for a walk in the centre of San Pedro and had dinner at home.  I went to bed early in order to go to work the following day.   And you?  What time did you get up?

Some of that text might seem a little stilted, but basically you can see that I’ve managed to give a fair account of the day, limiting my vocabulary to the verbs that we have already studied.  As I mentioned at the end of the last article, that is a skill in itself and one that we should work at developing.  There’s never any point in not saying something just because you haven’t got the right word – just find another way of saying the same, or something similar.

Anyway, enough of this pep talk, let’s get on with the task in hand, which is to learn about regular ‘-er’ and ‘-ir’ verbs.  Well, this tense does have its difficulties, but one piece of good news is that these two groups have the same endings which are as follows:

Í – imos

Íste – isteis

Ió – ieron

Here are two common examples:

Notice that the difference in pronunciation between these two particular verbs is in the root vowel ‘e’ and ‘I’ – the rest sounds identical.  It’s up to you whether you want to say “I lived there three years” or “I drank there three years”.

Beber         to drink

bebí I drank

bebiste you drank

bebió he/she drank

bebimos we drank

bebisteis you drank (plural)

bebieron they drank

Vivir           to live

viví I lived

viviste you lived

vivió he/she lived

vivimos we lived

vivisteis you lived (plural)

vivieron they lived

See you next month. 

Jane Cronin’s ‘Step by Step Spanish’ articles are available as Ebooks via her website where you can also obtain her ‘Step by Step Internet Spanish Course’.