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Let’s learn and practice Vivir, the Spanish verb for “to live”. This is our first regular verb ending in I-R, so it’s going to help us conjugate lots of other verbs going forward!

Full Podcast Episode



Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Let’s explore the verb Vivir, which means “to live”. Just like in English, in Spanish, when you talk about “living”, you might use this verb to emphasize the fact that someone is alive, but more likely you’re using the verb to talk about where they are living. For example:

We’re leaving this year; we’re going to live in Argentina.

Nos vamos este año; vamos a vivir en Argentina.

Try it yourself in this next example:

Their friends must live here.

Sus amigos deben vivir aquí.

Now, the verb Vivir is considered a regular verb. But wait a second — it ends with I-R. We already know that regular verbs that end with A-R are conjugated exactly like Hablar, and regular verbs that end with E-R are conjugated exactly like Deber. So what about regular verbs that end with I-R?

The good news is that regular verbs that end with I-R actually don’t require learning a whole new set of patterns. They follow a pattern that’s *almost* identical to the pattern for E-R verbs. Let’s start with the present tense, and we’ll only start with the two-syllable conjugations. So remember that for Deber, we had debo, debe, debes, and deben. For Vivir, we have vivo, vive, vives, and viven. So the endings are identical to their corresponding endings in Deber: The first person ends with O, and the rest have an E in there.

Let’s go ahead and practice these.

I don’t live in Mexico.

No vivo en México.

My friend lives in this house.

Mi amigo vive en esta casa.

You don’t live with your parents.

No vives con tus padres.

They live where you (formal) live.

Ellos viven donde usted vive.

All right, now to finish off the present tense, let’s look at the word for “we live”. In Deber, we had debemos, ending in “-emos”. For Vivir, we have vivimos. So this ends with “-imos” instead of “-emos”. And guess what — that’s the ONLY difference between a regular E-R verb and a regular I-R verb! The present-tense “we” form ends with “imos” instead of “emos”.

Let’s practice all of these present-tense forms.

I live in the city and she lives in a town.

Yo vivo en la ciudad y ella vive en un pueblo.

We live with our goods here.

Vivimos con nuestros bienes aquí.

The weather is good where you live.

Hace buen tiempo donde vives.

They live in their house and you (formal) live in another place.

Ellos viven en su casa y usted vive en otro lugar.

We don’t live there.

No vivimos ahí.

Next let’s look at the preterite forms, which all rhyme perfectly with the corresponding preterite forms of Deber. So “I lived” is viví, “he/she lived” is vivió, “you lived” is viviste, “they lived” is vivieron, and “we lived” is vivimos. (So it’s kind of interesting, the present-tense form “we live” is identical to the preterite form “we lived”; that was also the case with hablamos versus hablamos, although it’s not the case for regular E-R verbs, since debemos is different from debimos.)

Let’s practice viví, vivió, viviste, vivieron, and vivimos.

I lived there for two years.

Viví ahí por dos años.

He lived with me and we lived in the same house.

Vivió conmigo y vivimos en la misma casa.

You never lived in Panamá.

Nunca viviste en Panamá.

They lived in that town and they left.

Vivieron en ese pueblo y se fueron.

When we lived there we didn’t have a phone.

Cuando vivimos ahí no teníamos teléfono.

Now, for the verb Vivir, the preterite tense isn’t used as frequently as the imperfect, since living somewhere is typically something you’re going to describe as an ongoing thing, not a one-time event. The imperfect forms are all based on vivía; so we have vivía, vivías, vivían, and vivíamos. Let’s practice these.

I used to live in Peru.

Vivía en Perú.

She used to live where you (formal) used to live.

Ella vivía donde usted vivía.

You were living in Uruguay when that happened.

Vivías en Uruguay cuando eso pasó.

The tall man and his wife used to live in the same house.

El hombre alto y su esposa vivían en la misma casa. 

We used to live there.

Nosotros vivíamos allí.

The subjunctives are also pretty common; we have viva, vivas, vivan, and vivamos. Let’s practice these.

Maybe they will live with you.

Quizás vivan contigo.

She hopes I live with her.

Ella espera que yo viva con ella.

She is going to go with you (formal) when you live with him.

Ella va a ir con usted cuando usted viva con él.

When he doesn’t live with me, I want you to live here.

Cuando él no viva conmigo, quiero que vivas aquí.

I don’t think we live in a house that is so high.

No creo que vivamos en una casa que está tan alta.

And then of course we have the unconjugated forms, vivir, vivido, and viviendo. Let’s practice these.

I don’t want to live here.

No quiero vivir aquí.

I have been living with someone short.

He estado viviendo con alguien bajo.

I have lived there, but now I’m living here.

He vivido ahí, pero ahora estoy viviendo aquí.

I have lived without coffee for a month.

He vivido sin café por un mes.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/122. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

In this first example, we say that something is the same as something else, but instead of igual que, we actually have igual a. We have to do this in this example because we have a conjunction afterwards, specifically the conjunction donde, to make igual a donde. This is a bit mind-bending, but go ahead and try to predict the Spanish.

The house where I live is the same as where you have lived.

La casa donde vivo es igual a donde tú has vivido.

Look! He isn’t ready to live with me.

¡Mira! No está listo para vivir conmigo.

I want him to live in a place that is low.

Quiero que él viva en un lugar que está bajo.

Don’t look at the past month!

¡No mires el mes pasado!

She always looks at what she has to look at.

Siempre mira lo que tiene que mirar.

I need you to live where I lived.

Necesito que vivas donde yo viví.

They look at the first person to need their help.

Miran a la primera persona en necesitar su ayuda.

Believe me! What I needed is the same as what you need.

¡Créeme! Lo que yo necesitaba es igual que lo que tú necesitas.

I thought about the girl that used to live there.

Pensé en la chica que vivía ahí.

Anyways, they need you.

De todas formas, ellos te necesitan.

The people who live there are fair and we need their help.

Las personas que viven ahí son justas y necesitamos su ayuda.

That city was the first place where we lived.

Esa ciudad fue el primer lugar donde vivimos.

I look at the place where I used to live.

Miro el lugar donde yo vivía.

He lived in Argentina for a while, but now he lives in Colombia.

Vivió en Argentina por un tiempo, pero ahora vive en Colombia.

I’m thinking; I think he needs the same thing she needed.

Estoy pensando, creo que él necesita lo mismo que ella necesitaba.

She wants me to look at the dog(pet) that is living there.

Quiere que mire al perro que está viviendo ahí.

I want them to look at the place where you live.

Quiero que miren el lugar donde vives.

You think they are looking at the bed.

Crees que ellos están mirando la cama.

That dog is fast and we want you to look at it.

Ese perro es rápido y queremos que lo mires.

Look at me! I have all the goods.

¡Mírame! Tengo todos los bienes.

I live in a place where fire is a weapon.

Vivo en un lugar donde el fuego es un arma.

Believe me! If you look at it, you’ll see it’s clear.

¡Créeme! Si lo miras, verás que es claro.

You needed to think about that.

Necesitabas pensar en eso.

He wants me to live with him.

Quiere que viva con él.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/122.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn some new numbers.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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