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Catalan Verb Conjugation

For now, this page concentrates on the two most frequent tenses: Present and Periphrastic Past. The total number of tenses in Catalan is comparable to French and Spanish, i.e. there are several past and future forms as well as conditional and subjunctive moods.

Table of Contents

  1. Present
    1. Verbs ending in -ar
    2. Verbs ending in -er and -re
    3. Verbs ending in -ir
    4. Irregular Verbs
  2. Periphrastic Past
  3. Sources

Present

Similar to French and Spanish, the verb conjugations are sorted into different groups according to their ending in the infinitive. And of course there are some irregular verbs.

Verbs ending in -ar

The present tense of Catalan verbs ending in -ar is formed by taking the ending -ar off and adding the following endings:

Present Endings for -ar verbs
jo -o nosaltres -em
tu -es vosaltres -eu
ell
ella
-a ells
elles
-en

For a perfectly regular verb, this yields:

cantar - to sing
jo canto nosaltres cantem
tu cantes vosaltres canteu
ell
ella
canta ells
elles
canten

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Verbs ending in -re or -er

- To be added -

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Verbs ending in -ir

This group is divided into two subgroups: Verbs which insert the infix -eix- if the ending does not carry stress, and verbs which do not do so. Much to the learner's confusion, some verbs can be conjugated both ways. In these cases, the conjugation using -eix- is considered the modern one. Some verbs can also have different meanings depending on which conjugation pattern is used.

Verbs using -eix-

The infix -eix- is not used in the first and second person plural:

Present endings for -ir verbs using -eix-
jo -eixo nosaltres -im
tu -eixes vosaltres -iu
ell
ella
-eix ells
elles
-eixen

The conjugation of a regular verb in this subgroup:

llegir - to read
jo llegeixo nosaltres llegim
tu llegeixes vosaltres llegiu
ell
ella
llegeix ells
elles
llegeixen

Verbs not using -eix-

Here the endings do not include -eix- and in the second person singular the e is usually left out:

Present endings for -ir verbs not using -eix-
jo -o nosaltres -im
tu -s vosaltres -iu
ell
ella
- ells
elles
-en

dormir - to sleep
jo dormo nosaltres dormin
tu dorms vosaltres dormiu
ell
ella
dorm ells
elles
dormen

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Irregular Verbs

The irregularity of some verbs is debatable, from the linguistic point of view they follow the rules of their own subgroup. However, a student of the Catalan language has to remember that they not follow the rules explained above - thus they are irregular to him or her. This list is limited to the most frequently used irregular verbs. The list starts with the four most important irregular verbs to know and then goes on alphabetically.

ser/ésser - to be
jo sóc nosaltres som
tu ets vosaltres sou
ell
ella
és ells
elles
són
estar - to be
jo estic nosaltres estem
tu estàs vosaltres esteu
ell
ella
està ells
elles
estan
anar - to walk
jo vaig nosaltres anem
tu vas vosaltres aneu
ell
ella
va ells
elles
van
haver - to have (aux.)
jo he nosaltres hem
tu has vosaltres heu
ell
ella
ha ells
elles
han
caber - to fit, hold, contain
jo caibo nosaltres cabemos
tu cabes vosaltres cabedes
ell
ella
cabe ells
elles
caben
escriure - to write
jo escric nosaltres escrivim
tu escrius vosaltres escriviu
ell
ella
escriu ells
elles
escriuen
fer
jo faig nosaltres fem
tu fas vosaltres feu
ell
ella
fa ells
elles
fan
poder - to be able, to can
jo puc nosaltres podem
tu pots vosaltres podeu
ell
ella
pot ells
elles
poden
saber - to know
jo nosaltres sabem
tu saps vosaltres sabeu
ell
ella
sap ells
elles
saben
sortir
jo surto nosaltres sortem
tu surts vosaltres sortiu
ell
ella
surt ells
elles
surten
tenir - to have, to hold
jo tinc nosaltres tenim
tu tens vosaltres teniu
ell
ella
ells
elles
tenen
venir - to come
jo vinc nosaltres venim
tu véns vosaltres veniu
ell
ella
ve ells
elles
vénen
veure - to see
jo veig nosaltres veiem
tu veus vosaltres veieu
ell
ella
veu ells
elles
veuen
viure - to live
jo visc nosaltres vivim
tu vius vosaltres viviu
ell
ella
viu ells
elles
viuen
voler - to want
jo vull nosaltres volem
tu vols vosaltres voleu
ell
ella
vol ells
elles
volen

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Periphrastic Past (Passat Perifràstic)

English, French and Spanish as well as other languages all have the going to-Future, i.e. a future tense constructed from the conjugated form of to go and the infinitive of the verb. In Catalan there is something similar, the Passat Perifràstic or as one might call it unscientifically the going to past. This is actually very convenient for learners because you can use all verbs in the past by only learning the conjugation of a single verb. According to the Catalan people I know it is also the past tense used most frequently, so that it should be acceptable for beginners to only use this form.

The verb used for the periphrastic past is anar, but the conjugation is different to anar as a full verb: The verb is now completely irregular and loses the regular conjugation in the first and second plural forms:

anar - to go (aux.)
jo vaig nosaltres vam
tu vas vosaltres vau
ell
ella
va ells
elles
van

This conjugated form of anar is then combined with the infinitve of the verb without any preposition:

Passat Perifràstic of dormir - to sleep
jo vaig dormir nosaltres vam dormir
tu vas dormir vosaltres vau dormir
ell
ella
va dormir ells
elles
van dormir

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Sources

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