How many Spanish verb forms are there ?

How many Spanish verb forms are there ?


A while ago I bought a big chunky book to try and help with my Spanish verbs. It's called '501 Spanish Verbs' by Christopher Kendris, and is excellent. So pleased was I with my purchase, that I also bought '501 French Verbs' by the same author (apparently Dr Kendris really loves verbs). The French book came as an ambivalent revelation. On one hand I felt dismayed at how poorly I recall French verbs (although maybe 'recall' is stretching it, since I probably never knew many of them), although on the other hand, realised that if I can manage quite well in French with only imperfect knowledge of verb structures, then perhaps I don't really need to learn the entire Spanish book either.

Of course, I don't. I realise that. It's a very comprehensive book, and I suspect some native speakers might struggle with some of the more obscure, less commonly used forms in the verb tables.

In any event, it made me think how many Spanish verb forms are there ? The good Dr Kendris's tables present 14 forms for each verb (7 simple tenses and 7 compound tenses) plus the imperative. However, it seems to me that in everyday Spanish there are yet further verb forms that these tables overlook, particularly compound forms, for example using estar and ir.

Below I've posted an example of a verb table from his book for the verb pensar, and below that a few examples of 'additional' verb forms. I suspect there may be more, and of course it might be appropriate to render these forms in the subjunctive (please let me pause to take my inhaler) from time to time.

I realise some folk might consider this slightly controversial and riposte, for example, that 'ir + infinitive' isn't really a distinct verb form. However, I don't see why ir should have any less claim to being considered in this regard than haber. That said, other forms are perhaps more borderline, and I acknowledge that maybe one needs to 'draw the line' somewhere, e.g. 'deber + infinitive' perhaps shouldn't count.

I would be interested in other view on this grin

For example, does anyone know of any more complete verb tables ?

Are the examples that I give correct ?

Gracias por ayudarme grin

enter image description here

Compounds with Estar

  1. Estoy pensando... I am thinking
  2. Yo estaba pensando... I was thinking
  3. He estado pensando... I have been thinking
  4. Yo había estado pensando... I had been thinking

Compunds with Ir

  1. Voy a pensar... I am going to think
  2. Yo iba a pensar... I was going to think
updated JUN 9, 2015
edited by Faldaesque
posted by Faldaesque
Well, you have provided your own answer! - annierats, JUN 9, 2015
Are you retired or is work very slow nowadays? ;-) - Winkfish, JUN 9, 2015
;-) - Faldaesque, JUN 9, 2015

1 Answer


Hello Falda,

Very good question! wink

I use this same book: Barrons' 501 Spanish verbs (7th edn) which I agree is excellent! wink

In this verb book the authors list 7 simple and 7 compound verb constructions which you have included in your post. Our esteemed, native Spanish friend and teacher Lazarus, once wrote a post in SpanishDict (and If I can find it I will include a link to it) in which he mentioned that there are 17 verb forms of which 14 are in current use and that the future subjunctive is not used in every day conversation and rarely used except in literary works....it has been replaced by the present subjunctive where a future meaning is implied;

ex: Espero que mis amigos lleguen mañana = I hope that my friends arrive tomorrow. .

I use an online website called Elemadrid to check Spanish verb forms of verbs not included in this book. Here is the link to this invaluable website: enter link description here

I hope this helps smile

updated JUN 9, 2015
edited by FELIZ77
posted by FELIZ77
:-) - Faldaesque, JUN 9, 2015
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.