Spanish Verb Tenses
There are verb forms that express the same time and present the action in the same way. These forms are grouped into sets that we call verb tenses. The forms of the same verb tense only differ in the number and the person they express.
Verb tenses are usually made up of six verb forms. For example, the forms of the present indicative of the verb comprar are these: compro, compras, compra, compramos, compráis, compran.
Verb tense classes
- Simple and compound tenses
Simple tenses are made up of simple verb forms. For example, compramos.
Compound tenses are made up of compound verb forms. For example, hemos comprado.
In the indicative and subjunctive moods, each simple tense corresponds to a compound tense.
- Past, present and future tenses
Past tenses are made up of verb forms that place the action in the past. For example, compraron.
Present tenses are made up of verb forms that place the action in the present. For example, compran.
Future tenses are made up of verb forms that place the action in the future. For example, comprarán.
- Perfect and imperfect tenses
Perfect tenses are made up of verb forms that express completed actions. Perfect tenses are all compound tenses and the simple perfect past tense. For example, he comprado, compró.
Imperfect tenses are made up of verb forms that express unfinished actions. Imperfect tenses are all simple tenses except the simple perfect past tense. For example, compraban, comprarían.