Introduction to Spanish Verb Tenses

Work on learning about timeframes and how to decide which form of the verb to use because of how you want to communicate what happened, when it happened, and who done it ...
Ignore my English. It gits real bad sometimes here in Texas.
It snowed today!
About Verb Tenses ...
This is the grammatical term for identifying the different "timeframes" in which actions are conveyed in communication, specifically through verb forms.
That means, you gotta change the verb forms so that they tell you a little more information than a grunt would.
Most of you really know what I'm talkin' about here.


Spanish Studies
Verb Tenses
Verb Conjugation
Grammar Terms
Noun Cognates
Verb Lists
Vocabulary Lists

The following links take you to the various tenses and types of conjugations you will need to study for mastery of Spanish verbs. The main focus should be to learn all forms for REGULAR verbs first, and then work on the deviations from that point.
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Regular -ar Verbs
Regular -er Verbs
Regular -ir Verbs
Stem e -> ie
Stem o -> ue
Stem e -> i
Stem iar: i -> í
Stem uar: u -> ú
Stem uir: i -> y
Stem ger/gir: g -> j
Yo form -oy
Yo form -zco
Yo form -go

Imperfect Tense
AR Verbs
ER & IR Verbs

Preterite Tense
Regular AR Verbs
Ending -car
Ending -gar
Ending -zar
ER/IR Verbs
ER/IR Verbs vowel Stem
IR Stem-changers
Irregular Stems

Future Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems

Conditional Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems

Progressive Tenses
Present Progressive
Imperfect Progressive
Preterite Progressive
Future Progressive
Conditional Progressive

Perfect Tenses
Present Perfect
Past Perfect
Future Perfect
Conditional Perfect

Perfect Progressive Tenses
Present Perfect Progressive
Past Perfect Progressive
Future Perfect Progressive
Conditional Perfect Progressive
First Level of Thinking
Indicative Mood - Real
Subjunctive Mood - Not Real
Language related with verbs conjugated in the indicative mood reflect what is really transpiring. Most of what we do, act upon, experience - is related using verb forms in the indicative mood. In other words: use indicative mood to tell what is real.
Language related with verbs conjugated in the subjunctive mood include any ideas or events as they transpire in someone's mind, whether a command form (most of them), or an idea, or conjectural speculation. Use subjunctive for imagined.
Second Level of Thinking
Indicative: This is really going on!
Subjunctive: ... in somebody's head!
PRESENT TENSE covers the territory of what's going on now! I work at Joe's. I'm eating in a restaurant. We're going to Spain next summer. He works hard. Those are all examples of sentences in the present tense.
Present subjunctive provides possibilities of what we see others doing. It has nothing to do with the reality of what IS, but merely conveys those possibilities: I want you to study. (I want something. What is it? ... that you study.) Are you studying?
IMPERFECT TENSE is a past tense. It tells what was happening, what would regularly occur, what used to go on. It provides information that is usually background for events. It was raining when the tree fell on the house. There's an event and a background in that statement. Which is which?
Past subjunctive works the same as the present, only within a past timeframe. Only one past form is used (the imperfect), which covers all events that (someone thinks) occurred in the past.
PRETERITE TENSE is a past tense. It provides verbs in the form of stating a past event, an occurrence, ... it happened! It is the event of the tree falling onto the house. An accident that occurred. A deed someone did. This is what News Reporters are out to tell you, as they sensationalize some small doing in Podunk, USA. Mrs. Smith broke her leg today.
FUTURE TENSE is a glimpse into the unknown, looking "ahead." It gives information in a conjectural form, more than stating what is going to happen. It may be used for "future actions" - but generally is not. If you want to state or ask what somebody might be thinking of doing, use a verb in the future tense! Where do you think they're going?
There is no future subjunctive. Since the future tense already relates to events "unknown" - there is already a sense of conjecture built into the tense itself. By its very use, one knows that something "might" or "might not" be. Since the future IS unknown, there's no need to convey that the information is transpiring only in the speaker's head.
CONDITIONAL TENSE is also a glimpse into the unknown, looking at possibilities. It is always "would" do something, if something else were to be the circumstances or something else were to occur. Nothing about the conditional tense is real, in the sense that the action is never really going on. It's based on some condition that's not known to exist yet. I would buy a new car if I had the money.
There is no conditional subjunctive. An "if-clause" already precludes the conditional tense, which means the action relies on the presence or absence of certain conditions, be they real or imaginary. At any rate, the "sense" of the conditional carries its own weight for conveying basically unfounded information.

Progressive Tenses are compound tenses in that they involve a main verb and an auxiliary verb. The auxiliary verb for Spanish progressive tenses is ESTAR. It is this verb that gets changed into the same forms as you learned above - and that gets stated in conjunction with the present participle (the -ing form) of whatever verb* it is that you're working with.
Present Progressive
I am eating. She is eating.
Imperfect Progressive
I was eating. She was eating.
Preterite Progressive
I was eating. She was eating.
Future Progressive
I will be eating. She will be eating.
Conditional Progressive
I would be eating. She would be eating.
Present Progressive Subj.
... that I be eating. ... that she be eating.
Past Progressive Subj.
... that I was eating. ... that she were eating.

Perfect Tenses do the same thing as progressive tenses, and use the auxiliary verb: haber. Haber = the helping verb "to have." In each of the tenses, haber is conjugated accordingly. The name of the tense = the form of haber.
Present Perfect
I have eaten.
She has worked.
Past Perfect
I had eaten.
She had worked.
Future Perfect
I will have eaten.
She will have worked.
Conditional Perfect
I would have eaten.
She would have worked.
Present Perfect Subj.
... that I have eaten.
... that she have worked.
Past Perfect Subj.
...had I eaten (were I to have eaten)
... had she worked (were she to have worked)

Perfect Progressive Tenses mix the compound tenses together. You have the helping verb "have," along with the helping verb "been," - both attached to the main verb in its -ing form. ESTAR stays in its past participle form (estado), and the verb HABER, as the helper, gets conjugated in the various tenses you've been studying.
Present Perfect Progressive
I have been eating.
Past Perfect Progressive
I had been eating.
Future Perfect Progressive
I will have been eating.
Conditional Progressive
I would have been eating.
Present Progressive Subjunctive
... that I have been eating.
Past Progressive Subjunctive
... that I had been eating.