Spanish hack: Simple way to learn PAST and FUTURE tense in Spanish in 5 minutes

What if you could speak Spanish in past and future tense without learning any rows of verbs and conjugations: by just knowing these 12 words. Here is my hack to speak Spanish in past and future tense without actually learning it.

When you are learning Spanish the first verbs you learn will most likely be the present. At least, that would make the most sense.
Mastering the present means you simple have the learn how to conjugate your AR, IR and ER regular verbs, irregular verbs, reflective verbs etc. You simply have to memorise them. There is no escaping this.
And if after all this time you have mastered them. Than congralutations! You are now mastering 1 of 14 categories of form. Only 13 to go. When I found out how many forms of past, present, future there were I became so demotivated, because it’s just hard to keep yourself motivated when looking upon a mountain of boring learning.

Luckily a very talented Spanish teacher revealed the secret to learning how to use the past and future tense in 1 simple lesson:

Future tense in Spanish: learn this 3 minute hack

The fast trick is to the future tense

Ir + a + the (infinitive) verb

The verb “Ir” means “to go”. Lets conjugate the verb Ir + a

Voy aI am going to
Vas aYou are going to
Va aHe/He/She is going to
Vamos aWe are going to
Vais aYou are going
Van aThey are going to
Conjugation of the verb “Ir” + a

So you get it. This verb is used to say: I am going to…
Now lets say you want to say:
I am going to sleep
I am going to talk
I am going to buy

All you need to figure out now is how to create the sleeping, talking and buying part of the sentence. This is the best part of this trick: You just add the verb. The main verb (or infinitive if you will) as you have been learning them.

I am going to sleep – will become – Voy a dormir
I am going to talk – will become – Voy a hablar
I am going to buy – will become – Voy a comprar

Want to test if you have got it right? Try to translate these sentences into Spanish:

I am going to write.
We are going to buy.
You are going to learn.
Are you going to bring…?

The answers to the questions above are:

Voy a escribir
Vamos a comprar.
Va a aprender
?Vas a traer….?

You are now possessing the possibility to speak in Future form in Spanish.
Ir + a + the (infinitive) verb
How simple is that!

This way of speaking Spanish in the future tense is not always the correct way or suitable. It is most often used to talk about the near future. But at least you can make yourself understood and go about. All the other future forms you will learn along the way!

Past tense in Spanish: Learn this 3 minute hack

The fast trick is to the past tense =

Haber + participio (past particle)

Let’s first of all see how we conjugate the verb Haber:

HeI have
HasYou have
HaHe/she has
HemosWe have
HabéisYou have
HanThey have
Conjugation of the verb “Haber”

The Spanish Verb “Haber” means “To have”. It might confuse you a bit because the verb Tener also means “To have”. The main difference is that Tener focusses on possessing something. I have blond hair. I have a ball. I have a backpack.
Haber is the kind of “To have” that refers to what you have been doing. I have been driving. I have been asleep. I have been working.

Look at the list above and learn these 6 conjugations by heart. Than it is time to learn the participio. These might take you some practice because not all of regular.

The past particle or participio are important to know when you start to use the past tense.
The participio in Spanish is often the STEM over the verb

  • + ido for the verbs ending in ER
  • + ido for the verbs ending in IR
  • + ado for the verbs ending in AR

To name a few:
Hablado (Hablar)
Bebido ( Beber)
Vivido (Vivir)
Empezar (Empezado)
Salido (Salir)
Sabido (Saber)
Tenido (Tener)
Jugado (Jugar)
Venido (Venir)
Pedido (Pedir)
Dormido (Dormir)

This was of presenting the past tense is known as Perfecto de indicativo. It is one of the 14 categories to conjugate in Spanish language.

It is as simple as that.
Haber + participio
Now you know how to use Spanish in a past tense.

This is a very correct way to use the past tense, but not alway the best way to use it. However managing this trick gives you a great ability to make a lot more conversation in Spanish and I’m sure you will learn the other ways of speaking in past tense along the way! If you are interested in learning more past en future tenses in Spanish. We have created a free Spanish conjugation chart that you can download and print.

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