Pretérito Conjugations: Stem-Changing Verbs

Conjugaciones del pretérito: Stem-changing verbs

Pretérito in Spanish
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Verbs which are stem-changing in the present tense may or may not have that stem change in the pretérito. Either way, they use the same endings for the pretérito as the regular verbs they share their infinitive ending with.

Stem-changing –ar verbs

Stem-changing verbs that end in –ar do not stem-change in the pretérito – they’re conjugated like regular –ar verbs, including taking the same endings:

  • -aste
  • -amos
  • -asteis
  • -aron

Por ejemplo…

pensar (to think)

cerrar (to close)

pensé cerré
pensaste cerraste
pensó cerró
pensamos cerramos
pensasteis cerrasteis
pensaron cerraron

 Verbs that end in –gar and –zar lose their stem change as above, but gain a spelling change in the yo form of the pretérito:

  changes to
g gu
z c

Por ejemplo…

jugar (to play)

empezar (to begin)

jugué empecé
jugaste empezaste
jugó empezó
jugamos empezamos
jugasteis empezasteis
jugaron empezaron

Stem-changing –er verbs

Stem-changing verbs that end in –er do not stem-change in the pretérito – they’re conjugated like regular –er verbs, including taking the same endings:

  • -iste
  • -ió
  • -imos
  • -isteis
  • -ieron

Por ejemplo…

entender (to hear)

volver (to return)

entendí volví
entendiste volviste
entendió volvió
entendimos volvimos
entendisteis volvisteis
entendieron volvieron

Stem-changing -ir verbs

1. E > I and E > IE stem-changing verbs keep that stem-change only in their third person pretérito conjugations.

Por ejemplo…

pedir (to ask for)

mentir (to lie)

pedí mentí
pediste mentiste
pidió mintió
pedimos mentimos
pedisteis mentisteis
pidieron mintieron

2. O > UE stem-changing verbs change to U instead in their third person pretérito conjugations:

Por ejemplo…

dormir (to sleep)

dormí
dormiste
durmió
dormimos
dormisteis
durmieron

Spanish quizzes Pretérito Quizzes

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Pretérito conjugations

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