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Spanish languageSpanish Verbs - Stem-Changing Verbs

Stem-changing verbs | Spelling change verbs

Spanish has two kinds of verbs that undergo spelling changes during conjugation. Spelling change verbs undergo consonant changes in certain conjugations, while stem-changing verbs are characterized by changes in vowels. Stem-changing verbs are those that have a vowel spelling change in the stem of all forms except nosotros and vosotros.

The endings for stem-changing verbs are the same as for regular -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs, so you should make sure that you understand those conjugations before working on this lesson.

Spanish has three different stem-changing patterns:

1. E changes to IE

QUERER - to want
yo quiero nosotros queremos
quieres vosotros queréis
él quiere ellos quieren

Similarly-conjugated verbs (note that there are -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs in this category):

advertir to warn
ascender to go up
atravesar to cross
cerrar to close
comenzar to begin
descender to go down
despertarse to wake up
divertirse to have fun
empezar to begin
entender to understand
mentir to lie
pensar to think
perder to lose
preferir to prefer
quebrar to break
querer to want
recomendar to recommend
sentarse to sit down
sentir to feel


2. O changes to UE

PODER - can, to be able to
yo puedo nosotros podemos
puedes vosotros podéis
él puede ellos pueden

Similar verbs (there are -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs in this category):

acostarse to go to bed
almorzar to eat lunch
contar to count
costar to cost
doler to hurt
dormir to sleep
encontrar to find
jugar* to play
morir to die
mostrar to show
oler** to smell
probar to try
recordar to remember
soler to be used to
volar to fly
volver to return

* In jugar, the U changes to UE (juego, juegas...)
** In oler, the O changes to HUE (huelo, hueles...)

3. E changes to I

REPETIR - to repeat
yo repito nosotros repetimos
repites vosotros repetís
él repite ellos repiten

Similar verbs (only -IR verbs in this category):

despedirse to say good-bye
gemir to moan, groan
impedir to prevent
medir to measure
pedir to ask for
reír to laugh
seguir to follow, continue
servir to serve
sonreírse to smile
vestirse to dress


Test on stem-changing verbs     Spanish verb lessons


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