Using El Presente for making suggestions

In Spanish it's very common to make suggestions using El Presente, similar to the same way English uses "Shall I...", "Shall we...?"

Let's see some examples:

Carlos, ¿vamos al cine?Carlos, shall we go to the cinema?

¿Le pido a Carmen su número de teléfono?Shall I ask Carmen for her phone number?

¿Salgo a cantar? Me da un poco de vergüenza...Shall I come up and sing? It's a bit embarrasing...

¿Jugamos a las cartas?Shall we play cards?

These suggestions are only made by the speaker to themselves or to their own group, like in English, we only use it in the first person singular or plural: Shall I...? Shall we...?

You may be tempted to use the future tense, as shall is an indication of the future; remember not to use it:

  • Carlos, ¿vamos al cine?
  • Carlos, ¿iremos al cine?
  • ¿Salgo a cantar?
  • ¿Saldré a cantar?

 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¿Salgo a cantar? Me da un poco de vergüenza...Shall I come up and sing? It's a bit embarrasing...
¿Le pido a Carmen su número de teléfono?Shall I ask Carmen for her phone number?
Carlos, ¿vamos al cine?Carlos, shall we go to the cinema?
¿Jugamos a las cartas?Shall we play cards?
Thinking...