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The Present Indicative (El Presente de Indicativo)

The Present Indicative is used in a similar way both in Spanish and in other languages. Its main function is to express an action that happens in the moment in which the speaker expresses it.

María estudia Economía en la Universidad de Salamanca.
Maria studies Economics in the University of Salamanca.

When talking about the present, it is normally followed by "de indicativo" to differentiate it from the Present Subjunctive (presente de subjuntivo), which mostly expresses unreal situations, wishes or advice among others and not current or present actions.

The Present Indicative is conjugated as follows (regular verbs):




cant-o beb-o viv-o

cant-as beb-es viv-es

él, ella, usted

cant-a beb-e viv-e


cant-amos beb-emos viv-imos


cant-áis beb-éis viv-ís

ellos, ellas, ustedes

cant-an beb-en viv-en

Uses of the Present Indicative

1.- Current events – the Present Indicative is used to describe actions that happen now in the present.

Ella lee un libro de Paulo Coelho.
She reads a Paulo Coelho book.

Mi madre cocina para la fiesta de cumpleaños de mi hermana.
My mother cooks* for my sister´s birthday party.

* In English, it is common to use the Present Continuous instead of the Present Simple in situations where the Present Simple is used in Spanish, although the Present Continuous could also be used in Spanish without modifying the meaning of the sentence.

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