The most common Spanish verb forms:

An auxiliary verb is combined with part of another 'main' verb. The auxiliary verb conveys on to the main verb some grammatical features such as tense. In other words, it "helps" to construct a compound verb form. For example, in English would be asking, we can say that ask is tha main verb and would and be are auxiliary verbs. In Spanish, the following are often classed as auxiliary verbs:

Auxiliary verbUseExample
haberConstruction of compound past tenses such as the perfect tense (equivalent of English I have been etc).ha preguntado
(he/she) has asked
estarConstruction of continuous verb forms (equivalent of English I am etc).está preguntando
(he/she) is asking
serConstruction of the passive.sera hecho
it will be done
hacer, dejarUsed in causative constructions, where the subject 'causes' the complement to carry out the action of the main hizo leer la carta
he made me read the letter

Note that in Spanish, haber is only used as an auxiliary1; it is not used to mean 'have' as in 'possess'.

1. haber is also used with the 'existential sense': hay = there is/are; habrá = there will be etc.

Browse verbs by category: * Action * Aspectual * Copular * Existential * Locative * Modal * Movement * Perception * Relationship * State * Utterance

Form typeCommon translationFrequency
hahaberPresent 3 Sing(he/she/it) has ...
Note: Used to form perfect tense 'has ...ed'; followed by 'de', means 'has to ...'
48.0 % of sources
esserPresent 3 Sing(he/she/it) is46.8 % of sources
hanhaberPresent 3 Plur(they) have ...
Note: Used to form perfect tense 'have ...ed'; followed by 'de', means 'have to ...'
29.0 % of sources
fueserPreterite 3 Sing(he/she/it) was/went
Note: Also used to fill in for the preterite of 'ir' meaning 'to go'.
26.5 % of sources
estáestarPresent 3 Sing(he/she/it) is20.9 % of sources
sonserPresent 3 Plur(they) are19.1 % of sources
serserInfinitive(to) be18.9 % of sources
sidoserPast participlebeen17.4 % of sources
estadoestarPresent participlebeing
Note: As a noun, 'estado' means 'state'.
15.7 % of sources
hacehacerPresent 3 Sing(he/she/it) does/makes
Note: Can also mean '... ago'.
14.5 % of sources
habíahaberImperfect 3 Sing;Existentialthere was/were; (he/she/it) had...
Note: Used to form the pluperfect tense: 'he/she/it had ...ed'
12.5 % of sources
estánestarPresent 3 Plur(they) are12.1 % of sources
fueronserPreterite 3 Plur(they) were/went
Note: Also used to fill in for the preterite of 'ir' meaning 'to go'.
11.1 % of sources
hacerhacerInfinitive(to) do/make10.4 % of sources
hechohacerPast participledone/made
Note: As a noun, 'hecho' means 'fact', 'deed'.
10.4 % of sources
seráserFuture 3 Sing(he/she/it) will be10.1 % of sources
haberhaberInfinitive(to) have ...
Note: Used to form a perfect infinitive, as in 'to have eaten'
8.2 % of sources
estarestarInfinitive(to) be7.1 % of sources
hizohacerPreterite 3 Sing(he/she/it) did/made6.9 % of sources
estabaestarImperfect 3 Sing(he/she/it) was6.6 % of sources
hayahaberSubjunctive 3 Sing;Existentialthere will/should/might be; (he/she/it) will have etc6.1 % of sources
fueraserPast subjunctive 3 Sing(he/she/it) was/would have been
Note: As a preposition, also means 'outside'.
5.8 % of sources
hemoshaberPresent 1 Plurwe have ...
Note: Used to form perfect tense 'we have ...ed'; followed by 'de', means 'we have to ...'
4.8 % of sources
seaserSubjunctive 1 Sing(he/she/it) will/might be4.7 % of sources
estamosestarPresent 1 Plurwe are4.6 % of sources
dejódejarPreterite 3 Sing(he/she/it) left/let4.4 % of sources
seránserFuture 3 Plur(they) will be4.4 % of sources
habíanhaberImperfect 3 Plur(they) had ...; there were ...
Note: Used to form the pluperfect tense: 'they had ...ed'; sometimes used instead of 'había' to mean 'there were ...'.
4.3 % of sources
estabanestarImperfect 3 Plur(they) were3.8 % of sources
seríaserConditional 3 Sing(he/she/it) would be3.7 % of sources
siendoserPresent participlebeing3.4 % of sources
estuvoestarPreterite 3 Sing(he/she/it) was3.3 % of sources
eranserImperfect 3 Plur(they) were3.2 % of sources
hacenhacerPresent 3 Plur(they) do/make2.7 % of sources

* Home * Spanish Dictionary * Spanish Phrases

Page compiled by Neil Coffey. Copyright © Javamex UK 2008. All rights reserved.